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Currently, I am working on the FOUR SEASONS series, which begins with THE POET OF LOCH NESS. Here are some snapshots from several of our recent fact-finding trips.

On the trail of Nessie: THE POET OF LOCH NESS

Christmas 2002 with Damaris at the Rubens, London. Much of THE POET OF LOCH NESS was sketched out in this room. We like to stay at the Rubens because it is directly across the street from the Royal Mews, and it is quite impossible to keep Damaris away from the horses.

Me with Adrian Shine, naturalist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and leading expert on the ecology of Loch Ness. We are standing outside the Loch Ness Exhibit in Drumnadrochit on the shores of the Loch.

Damaris high on Achtuie taking one of the photos for the cover.

Me at the top of the Fall of Foyers on the southeast side of the loch. Loch Ness comes from the phrase loch an ness meaning "the lake on the cataract." The Fall at Foyers is the cataract for which the loch is named.

Damaris photographing her beloved St. Andrews from the pier.

Me on the pier with the cathedral in the background.

Damaris went all over the loch looking for the perfect set up for a cover photograph. Here she is on Ceilidh and I on Blossom, hacking around the mountains for that perfect picture.

Here is some of her work, much of it from horseback, for the book's cover.


With my mother, Constance, and wife, Damaris, at the Villa Borghese gardens–which figures in the second of the FOUR SEASONS novels, THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION.

Damaris and me at the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, where we enjoyed the most expensive lunch we have ever had. Worth doing . . . once. Still on the track of THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION.

At the Forum Romanum, collecting material for THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION

Painting of Amalfi from the sea by Lucibello. Site of the major action in THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION.

Amalfi from the sea. The green-capped tower of the cathedral of Sant'Andrea in the foreground. The Torre dello Ziro can clearly be seen above the town. The piney woods in the upper left of the photograph conceal the Castello di Scalella where the duchess was murdered.

Damaris and me on our private balcony at the Belvedere, Conca dei Marini, overlooking Amalfi. On the table behind my hand you can see my notebook with sketches for THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION already begun.

View of Amalfi from our balcony at the Belvedere, Conca dei Marini.

Pontone, with Amalfi in the background. Seeking a trail up to the duchess's castle.

The ancient, nearly forgotten trail: the steep climb up to the Torre dello Ziro and the Castello di Scalella, where the duchess was murdered.

The Torre dello Ziro with its ruined parapet and rampart viewed from above.

A successful venture: the view high above Amalfi, from the Castello di Scalella where the Duchess of Amalfi was murdered. Look for it in THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION.

Last spring: picnic at St. James Park, London, with mom and Damaris. Research for the third of the FOUR SEASONS novels . . . more to come.

One of my favorite things: rowing on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Lindsay Gober)