Swedish writer and archaeologist Karin Altenberg’s first novel, Island of Wings, set on the remote Scottish island of St Kilda, was noted for its ‘evocation of the terrain … not daintily poetic, but as bracing as this landscape needs’. Her second, Breaking Light, also takes place in a threatening environment. Amy Head has spent much time on the wild West Coast. Her 2013 short story collection, Tough, explored the coast’s ‘rugged lives lived out against rugged landscapes’. Her debut novel, Rotoroa, centres on a tiny, isolated island in the Hauraki Gulf. These two authors discuss the power of place with writer and editor Liz Grant.