Similar to Lessons in Etiquette, Nuttall desired to avoid a "boarding school story," where Emily Sanderson would simply be stuck at Whitehall every book. In Work Experience, he wanted to give her another opportunity to explore the Nameless World and what was in it.
The Cairngorm Mountains are named after the mountains in Scotland, where Nuttall was born. However, the description of the mountains are based off of Nuttall's memories as a child of visiting Norway. The customs of the people living in this domain was meant to be a mix of Russian peasants and Scottish highlanders, and Nuttall based many of the practices and events from Russian history.
Plot Summary (Spoilers) Edit