Friday, 25 May 2012

A sneak preview

Today I went exploring.... well not exploring exactly, not pith helmet and machete and fight through the jungle type of exploring, more a gentle stroll to see an old house that I had glimpsed many times from the car.  It is inspiration for my latest novel.

I have never before shared information about a book before it is finished, but I am taking a chance that this won't put a jinx on the story for me...only time will tell.

For my current story I have drawn on two places close to my home on the Pennines. If I travel east along the Calder Valley, I pass a turning called Burntacres Lane.  This has fascinated me for years as I wondered why a place would be given such a name. Of course there could be many reasons - I am sure any one of you might come up with a brilliant story about why that particular lane might be so-called. It certainly sparked (please excuse the pun) a story in me, a story featuring an old house that burned down years ago, leaving only a ruin and all the land around it scorched.

Then, if I travel west, I pass the remains of a beautiful old house.  It is Holme House in the village of Cliviger. It is a listed building, and I understand there has been a dwelling on this site since at least the thirteenth century. There is quite a lot of information about this particular property on the web and it has a fascinating history so I don't need to make one up, but  that isn't important, beacuse it is the look  of the house that I need for my novel.

 My story starts a couple of years after Waterloo, when the house (called in my book Moorwood Manor) has been a burned out shell for twenty-five years. It is a tale of dark deeds and revenge, and an element of Sleeping Beauty, too, with the overgrown grounds being cleared and the house restored. It will be a Sarah Mallory love story (naturally) and it will have a happy ending (of course), but there will be tears along the way.

The finished book is a long way in the future, but I will keep you posted about its progress. In the meantime, I believe there are plans to rebuild Holme House. I have yet to pass the house when there is anyone present, so if the current owners read this before I speak to them, I hope they do not mind my posting this photo, and I would dearly love to know their plans for this wonderful old house.

Winner of the RNA's Rona Rose 2012
Sarah Mallory

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