Today I am delighted to be hosting Katherine Webb on my blog and the locations featured in her latest novel, the English Girl;
2) The ruins of Tanuf, a village in the Jebel Mountains, home to one of the sheiks who led the uprising against the Sultan in the 1950s. It was bombed out by the RAF in 1955, but the villagers were warned in advance, so there were no casualties. The idea was to give the rebels nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide... But it didn't work very well - the mountains are riddled with caves, and they simply fell back to shelter in those instead.
3) Up on Jebel Akhdar - seriously unwelcoming terrain! And vast areas of it completely arid. The rebels who rose up in favour of the Imam, in opposition to the Sultan, knew these mountains like the backs of their hands, but for the British and Muscati soldiers trying to find and defeat them, it must have been incredibly hard going. They had to carry all their water with them, and sometimes used donkeys or mules. But, in many places, the going was too steep for the animals.
4) The desert when the wind blows...truly magical. The sand moves like smoke, snaking rapidly across the ground. This was taken in Wahiba Sands, in the north not too far from Muscat. It was the first night of five consecutive nights I was to spend wild camping - ie, no toilets, no washing facilities, no campsites... I spent ages enjoying the dramatic feel of the wind and taking pictures before I realised I was completely caked in sand. And would remain so, for five days...
The English Girl is available from 24 March 2016.