Scotland on My Mind – Michelle McLean

I am finishing up a new historical set in 1665 Scotland, one of my all time favorite places and the first on my bucket list of places to visit. One of the best parts of writing historicals is the research (for me anyway – I have many friends who think I’m insane but I LOVE getting lost in all the details!) You come across outlander-jamie-3some really fun factoids when researching. For instance, did you know the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn? How cool is that?? unicorn-1And seriously, coming across pictures of this swoonworthy Scot is a hardship I’m totally ready to endure. *happy sigh* (–>)

While researching all the various symbols of the two clans I’m writing about (clan badges, crests, plants (they’d wear sprigs of their clan’s symbolic plant in their bonnets), animals, etc) I took a little detour and looked up the info on my husband’s clan, just for fun. I told my hubs once that the fact his family was Scottish is one of the reasons I wanted to date him. I was three books deep into the Outlander series when I met him. Scots were thick on my brain. And along comes this red-headed, broad-shoulder man with the last name of McLean and I was a goner. His grandfather immigrated to the States, so while not a Scot by birth, he was close enough that I was willing to count it 😉

The McLean’s clan seat is the Castle Duart on the island of Mull, a castle that my grandfather-in-law once got to spend the night in (from what I’ve heard, you can only do that if you are 2nd generation Scot or closer…making my husband eligible. Making me more eager than ever to get over there 😀 ). The castle was duart-castle-isle-of-mull-scotland-world-1920x1200-wallpaper70067lost to Clan Campbell (who destroyed it) in the late 17th century, but after several changes of hands, was purchased by the 26th chief of Clan MacLean and restored in 1911. Our clan crest is a tower with our clan_member_crest_badge_-_clan_maclean-svgmotto “Virtue Mine Honour” surrounding it. Our clan plant is crowberry. And our clan slogan (sometimes shouted when rallying the clan for war) is Bàs no Beatha (from Scottish Gaelic: “Death or life”).
All this research is giving me the urge to go watch a few Outlander reruns 😉

Anyone else love Scotland? Has anyone been?

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Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and a knack for explaining complicated things to uncomplicated people. Michelle's non-fiction works include guides on how to write essays, term papers, literary analysis essays, and poetry. She also writes romance with a good dose of mystery and humor, historicals, and a paranormal here and there. When Michelle's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.

2 Responses

  1. Barbara Monajem

    I visited Scotland a couple of years ago and had a fabulous time. Sigh. I want to go back. Hope you get to go there soon, Michelle. 🙂