Are you still a sister, if one of you is missing?
Sixteen-year-old Lil’s heart was broken when her sister Mella disappeared. There’s been no trace or sighting of her since she vanished, so when Lil sees a girl lying in the road near her house she thinks for a heart-stopping moment that it’s Mella. The girl is injured and disorientated and Lil has no choice but to take her home. But something’s not right… The girl claims she’s from a peaceful community called The Sisterhood of the Light, but why then does she have strange marks down her arms, and what – or who – is she running from…
Could she hold the key to Mella's disappearance?
And what happens if the Sisterhood is unwilling to let its daughters go…
Now let me hand over to Annalie so she can tell you more!
Setting for In Your Light by Annalie Grainger
My new novel, In Your Light, is set in North Wales. My dad has a caravan near Caernarfon, and I just love this part of the world. It's so beautiful and so remote. I also adore the changeability of the weather, although many people would probably disagree with me! The above combination provided the perfect backdrop for my book, which is about a missing girl and a cult, and it is all set over a period of three days during a really bad storm. I wanted the weather and the remote setting to feel almost like another character in the book.
Here are some photos of a research trip I did a few years ago. It mainly involved going on long walks with my dad, step-mum and their dog, Harvey. It's a tough life!
The protagonist of In Your Light is sixteen-year-old Lil. Her life fell apart three months ago when her older sister, Mella, vanished without a trace. It is Lil’s love for her sister and her desperate search to find Mella that drives most of the narrative of the book. The opening scenes of the book take place in Lil’s home, a remote farmhouse that belonged to her nain and taid (grandma and grandpa in Welsh). A storm is battering the old building, and I wanted to create a real sense of isolation and loneliness, where even the sound of the rain is menacing.
All the places in the book are made up, but Lil’s house sits on top of a mountain a bit like the one in this picture, and there are no neighbours for a good few miles. She loves the isolation, and sees the scenery as beautiful and the weather as challenging in a good way. Her sister, Mella, is less keen. She always felt oppressed by the isolation and really missed London, where they had lived until she was 11.
Lil’s Mountain – view from her bedroom
Here’s the view from Lil's bedroom window: sheep, grass, more sheep ... more grass. Lil loves it, but you can imagine how the it might quickly become scary in torrential rain with no electricity and no one around for miles!
In Your Light is dual narrative, and the second part of the story is told from Sister Brilliance’s perspective. She’s a novice of The Sisterhood of the Light, a closed community that believes in the power of the sun. The members of this group live in an even more remote area than Lil. They are hidden away in the grounds of an old stately home on the top of a cliff. There is a beach nearby where the children of the Sisterhood like to swim in the summer. Here’s one a bit like it, although the one near the Sisterhood's home is a bit smaller, but no less pretty.
And here’s a pic of my dad and me enjoying the view across the water.
The nearest town to Lil’s house is the made-up place of Old Porthpridd. It doesn’t actually exist, but it was inspired by lots of the pretty villages on the rivers of North Wales. Lil’s best male friend, Kiran, lives in a cute cottage on the river, which unfortunately always gets flooded when there’s too much rain. And there is a LOT of rain in this novel.
A sweet little bridge that might be in Porthpridd
And finally ... me and my dad on "Lil's mountain". It started raining about thirty seconds after this photo was taken. And that is what I love about having set my book in Wales – it rains all the time, making it the perfect setting for In Your Light!
Annalie and her Dad on "Lil's Mountain"
In Your Light by Annalie Grainger is out now (£7.99, Simon & Schuster)
Thanks so much for a fabulous post Annalie, I loved seeing all your photos - its always fun to see real life locations for our favourite stories!
About Annalie Grainger:
Annalie Grainger is an author and editor of books for children and young adults. Her debut novel, Captive, was named ‘One to Watch’ by The Bookseller, and it was listed as one of The Telegraph’s best YA books of the year. It was also longlisted for the Branford Boase Award for the best novel by a debut writer. Her second novel, In Your Light, is out in May 2018.
Find Annalie online: Website / Twitter / Tumblr
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