Title: House of Shadows Author: Nicola Cornick Published: 5th November 2015 Publisher: MIRA
Happy November Bookworms! Today brings my stop on the tour for House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick with a Guestpost on the inspiration behind the story. As always the other stops on the tour are listed below, so do stop by their blogs for some other great content.
The inspiration behind House of Shadows.
It was the house that started it all for me. For years I had driven along the lonely road over the hills, with not another soul in sight, and seen Ashdown nestling in the wood with the sun shining on the golden dome on the roof. I’d always wondered whom it belonged to and what the story was behind it. Although it was open to the public to visit it never seemed open on the days I was free and so it remained a mystery to me.
Then I left my office job to become a full time writer and I was looking around for things I could do alongside my writing. An advertisement caught my eye; the National Trust needed people to act as guides at Ashdown House. I signed up. So began my love affair with Ashdown.
There’s something about Ashdown and its history that captures you as soon as you walk through the door. It’s a little gem of a house but the story behind it is equally compelling. The idea that William Craven had it built for Elizabeth, the Winter Queen, is a fascinating one. It’s full of her paintings and other reminders of her. Visiting is like looking into her life.
I’d known for a long time that I wanted to write a book involving Ashdown and when I started to research the house’s history and read about the possibility of a secret marriage between Elizabeth and Lord Craven, I was hooked. The story became so much more than I had imagined; Elizabeth and her first husband King Frederick were members of a secret order that believed in magic and the power to foretell the future. After he died, Frederick’s body was lost and no one knows where it is to this day. Through all her travails, William Craven stood at Elizabeth’s side and supported her. House of Shadows grew out of all these elements of history and mystery and romance. I loved writing it and I hope readers love it too!
House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick is out on 5th November (Mira, £7.99)