On day two of the blog tour for Tania Crosse’s latest novel, Nobody’s Girl, Tania is here with a guest post so it’s over to you Tania …
SPOOKY TALES OF INSPIRATION
As authors, we are constantly on the look out for new inspiration for our stories. Sometimes we glean ideas from the most unexpected sources, or at the most unexpected moments. But never more so than from the strange experience that inspired my next two historical novels.
On the way to stay with our son in Kent, my husband and I called in en route to make our first ever visit to Winston Churchill’s family home of Chartwell. A fascinating place, we were soon engaging with the National Trust stewards and found ourselves absorbing details of the Churchill’s private lives, including the tragic loss of a little daughter, Marigold.
It was, however, in the library that I had one of the weirdest moments of my life. I was standing behind the desk and suddenly Winston Churchill appeared to me in a vision. He was sitting with his back to me, and I was a young maid carrying a tray of refreshments. He turned to smile over his shoulder and said in his stentorian voice, ‘Thank you, my dear. And my favourite biscuits, too.’
As we moved on, I retreated into my own little world, utterly stunned. It wasn’t until we were outside again, that I told my husband what had happened. ‘Oh, perhaps you should write a book about it,’ he answered jokingly.
Well, that’s just the wrong thing to say to an author who bases her novels on real-life historical situations! At that time, I was working on the ninth book of a series of ten Dartmoor stories, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Who was the young maid? What was her story, and why did Churchill appear to have a fondness for her? Was there a connection between her and their lost child?
I kept pondering these questions while I finished the Dartmoor series. Should that spooky experience inspire another book? It wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened to me, you see. I’d had similar flash visions many years previously at Morwellham Quay, the Victorian copper port and now living history museum, in Devon, which had led to my debut novel in 2004 and the ten-strong Devonshire series. Could my encounter with The Greatest Briton lead to another new series?
Well, it has! A mini-series of two, anyway. The story has undergone many changes since its inception. It’s set at an imaginary grand residence, Robin Hill House, and the characters are entirely fictitious. But it was most definitely inspired by that uncanny moment!
As for future novels, two stories inspired by my early childhood in a London back street are already in the pipeline. Then there’s the English buffoon who caught my attention in a sleepy town in the South of France, the Irish side of my own family history – the ideas pop up all over the place, although I’ve not had any more odd experiences of late.
But wait a minute. Who could that ghostly figure in the corner possibly be?
Nobody’s Girl by Tania Crosse will be published by Aria Fiction on 1st May. Its sequel, A Place to Call Home, will follow later in the year.
Tania would love to know if anyone else has encountered such spooky experiences that have inspired a novel! You can contact her via her website
Make sure you keep up with the rest of the tour … There’s plenty of fun going on all week!
Nobody’s Girl is out now and you can get your copy over at Amazon UK
Here’s the blurb …
A compelling story that tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love. Perfect for the fans of Jo Cox and Rosie Goodwin.
The boom years immediately after the Great War bring nothing but happiness for wealthy industrialist Wigmore Stratfield-Whyte and his wife Clarissa â€“ until tragedy robs them of their greatest treasure.
Many years later, an horrific fatal accident brings young Meg Chandler, a spirited farmer’s daughter, into their lives. Meg wants nothing to do with them, but Clarissa is drawn irresistibly towards the bereaved girl and will move heaven and earth to help her. Will Meg allow Clarissa into her own shattered life, and can the two share a future happiness together? And will Meg‘s new acquaintances bring her the contentment she craves – or seek to destroy her?
Set in the Kent countryside in the years leading up to the Second World War, this compelling saga tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love.
About the author …
Delaying her childhood dream of writing historical novels until her family had grown up, Tania eventually completed a series of published stories based on her beloved Dartmoor. She is now setting her future sagas in London and the south east.