I recently got to touch base with Letters from Skye Author Jessica Brockmole to talk about her book and her recent nomination as a Goodreads Choice Awards Best New Author.
So you’ve been nominated for a Goodreads Debut author of the year. How does that feel?
I’m thrilled! Regardless of the outcome, it’s an honor to be listed among so many really great debut authors.
The story itself feels more non fiction than fiction. How much research went into it? Was it based on any person or story in particular?
I did quite a bit of research, not only into the history of Skye, Edinburgh, and the two world wars, but also into the mythology of Skye and to the language used then. I read many letters from the eras, written both during wartime and during peace, to get a sense of the things people would write about and the language they would use to share those things. There are so many layers to the language found in a letter, speaking to time, location, status, relationship, and personal choice, that I took care to get it right.
Are their any stories in particular that stood out for you?
Unsurprisingly, I love the stories of the steadfastness and the patient love throughout war. I read one of a couple who exchanged almost 6,000 letters over the course of WW2, while he (an army chaplain) was overseas. They kept every one to remember that time apart. What a treasure for their later generations!
I have to ask, is Skye a real place in Scotland and is it truly as magical as it sounds?
The Isle of Skye is a real place, an island in the Inner Hebrides, off the northwest coast of Scotland. The island isn’t very big, only about 50 miles, but has such a varied landscape. Mountains, flat green land, rocky coasts, rolling beaches, waterfalls, tiny burns, hidden pools. While we visited Skye, there always seemed to be a rainbow—something other visitors have also noticed. It’s difficult to visit Skye and not feel inspired. Such a poetically beautiful spot!
Give me 6 words to describe your book.
Adventure. Love. Poetry. Family. Nostalgia. Waiting.