How Research Gave Me the Home I Didn’t Want and the World I Needed

PatriciaBurroughs_ThisCrumblingPageant_600px

Pat Rice here, asking you to welcome Patricia (Pooks) Burroughs and her new historical fantasy, THIS CRUMBLING PAGEANT, released just last week.

Award-winning screenwriter and best selling novelist Patricia Burroughs loves dogs, books, movies, and football. A lifelong Anglophile, she treasures her frequent travels in the British Isles researching The Fury Triad, the epic fantasy that has taken over her life and heart.  She and her high school sweetheart husband are living happily ever after in their hometown of Dallas, Texas.

And here's Pooks

All I needed was a place for my magical family in This Crumbling Pageant to live. I knew it was a manor house of some sort, that they were wealthy, that they didn’t live in London.

The Fury family is known for its extraordinary music, its powerful magic, and its historic role as kingmakers. But the Furys have their secrets as well, none so dangerous as Persephone—the daughter whose Shadow magic spills from her, unchecked. Unless her powers are concealed, she’s not only ruined in Society, but marked as a target for those who would use and abuse her magic.

I knew they would need to live somewhere that she could be hidden.

I happen to love Tudor/Elizabethan architecture so decided arbitrarily that their manor house at least existed that far back, and had those influences.

That was the last arbitrary choice I made.

I googled ‘Tudor manor houses’ and found several that were lovely, just the kind of place I imagined for the Furys. But I couldn’t imagine—nor could I find adequate floor plans to imagine—how they would actually live inside. Sleeping chambers, public Baddesely-Clinton-first-floor-300x177rooms vs family, etc. Since several were also National Trust properties with guidebooks, I sent off for six of them. And I found that most of them didn’t actually have multiple bedrooms. They still had much the same structure they’d had when built, before children had their own bedrooms.

There was one notable exception: Baddesley Clinton. It had a nice floor plan that showed three, possibly four bedrooms upstairs. There was also a problem. It was a big, square hulk of a building without the wonderful Tudor touches I saw in my mind’s eye. This was not my magical Fury home.

At this point a couple of friends asked, what difference does it make? You’re making this up, Pooks. You can make up bedrooms. You can make it look like you want. You can take the outside you like and the floor plan you like and put them together. Why do you need a floor plan, anyway?

Yes, one of the very first books I ever bought when I decided to be a writer was The English Medieval House by Margaret E. Wood. Mind you, I never expected to use it, because I couldn’t imagine myself writing something set in historical times or in England, but it was something I loved and something that made me feel “writerly” and I bought it. So I had been filling my head with research bits for a couple of decades. Yes, technically, I could wing it.

My problem is, I actually can’t do that when world-building. My brain doesn’t work Exterior-Baddesley-Clinton-300x225that way. I have enough problems trying to move people through a space I can see in my head. I can’t write about a place that is fuzzy in my head, or isn’t in my head at all. I need some walls to guide me, some visuals, some significant details to make the place come to life, something to hang an emotion on.

What’s more—making it up, winging it, makes thin fiction.

And here, with Baddesley Clinton, is one of the best examples why.

Baddesley Clinton wouldn't let me go. It kept telling me, "I am everything you need and more. I have a moat. A library. Enough bedrooms. A coffin room!" And I finally sighed, gave up on my romanticized Tudor manor house and accepted the grim reality of Baddesley Clinton.

I chose it because it had been refashioned to hold a family, with three bedrooms and a chapel upstairs. Voilá! The chapel became the fourth bedroom, the room shared by Persephone and her older sister Electra. In my world, it still had an altar shoved up against a wall. It still had stained glass and an image of the ‘Christian virgin’ though Persephone prefers to think of it as an image of Aphrodite, since the Magi in my magical world worship the Greco-Roman pantheon of deities they brought with them first in the Roman occupation, and later with the Norman invasion.

Interior-Doorway-Baddesley-Clinton-150x150Again, you might ask, why make it a chapel at all, if your story isn’t about Christians?

Because it intrigued me more as a former chapel. It was more interesting. It had history to be plumbed.

Baddesley Clinton was a Catholic home, complete with three priest holes in which to hide their clergy and Catholic friends from persecution. How could I not use priest holes? And even though at first glance, Henry VIII’s issues with the Catholic church had little to do with my story, it ultimately had everything to do with my world.

All because of Baddesley Clinton and its chapel, its priest holes, its Catholic history.

That is where the foundation of my Magi world was born.

Prior to Henry VIII, the magical people of England lived amongst the Ordinary people in the Ordinary world. Bardán Fury, a rogue of an Irishman (and don’t ask the Irish about him, unless you want to have your ears blistered!) served in Henry VIII’s court, and later in Elizabeth I’s.

When Henry destroyed a Catholic lord who wouldn’t give up the Catholic faith and accept the Church of England, Henry confiscated his estate, and gave it to Bardán Fury as a boon for his loyalty and services rendered.

If Christians turned on Christians, killed them, confiscated their properties and destroyed their families over what Bardán considered more politics than religion, what would they do to him and the Magi once they realized there were magical people amongst them? Oh, the irony, that had Henry known the truth about his loyal servant, he would have had him burned at the stake for witchcraft, instead!

Bardán was nobody’s fool. So he used his considerable charm and diplomatic skills to convince the Magi to withdraw, to erase their footprint from the Ordinary world, to live separately with their own king.

An entire history of my magical world began spinning onto the page, all because I needed a house for my Fury family to live in, a place where they could hide my heroine, Persephone Fury, and keep their family’s shame a secret. And that's why I love research. Because the awkward facts, the ones that don't fit, often make the author work harder, be more creative, find a less obvious and more exciting plot twist or emotion.

In April of 2011 I actually visited Baddesley Clinton. I’d already completed the book, so this was more for sentiment than research. It was every bit as wonderful as I’d imagined. Walking across the moat, through the gatehouse and into the inner courtyard was a revelation. The exterior was a big hulking square of a castle. The interior was as rich with with Tudor detail as any house of my dreams.

Is it exactly like the Erinyes Manor of This Crumbling Pageant? No. My imagination and my research did take over and Erinyes Manor is definitely its own place. For one thing, Erinyes Manor still has the medieval wing that no longer exists at Baddesley Clinton, leaving one side of its structure with nothing but a high wall separating it from its moat.

But to be walking in the place where it all started, to see the library where Persephone began her education, to see the moat that generations of Fury sons (and one particularly intrepid daughter) crossed at night to go on adventures?

That was magic.

 –

Pooks with wand 1000Pooks is shamelessly begging you to buy her book asap. It seems wenches Pat and Mary Jo are very happy to scheme on ways to turn RT New Orleans on its head in the “Exorcising Your Inner Demons” workshop, but have declined to come up with Pooks’ bail money should it all go pear-shaped. They are calling it “further opportunity for research.” Pooks hates to be distrustful, but… just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

125 thoughts on “How Research Gave Me the Home I Didn’t Want and the World I Needed”

  1. Pooks, what a fascinating explanation of how the creative mind works! I tend to be fuzzy in my descriptions so I will cheerfully invent places to suit my story, but I well know how the throwaway detail ends up being enormously important in the way stories and characters develop. The lizard brain at work, I think.
    See you in New Orleans!

    Reply
  2. Pooks, what a fascinating explanation of how the creative mind works! I tend to be fuzzy in my descriptions so I will cheerfully invent places to suit my story, but I well know how the throwaway detail ends up being enormously important in the way stories and characters develop. The lizard brain at work, I think.
    See you in New Orleans!

    Reply
  3. Pooks, what a fascinating explanation of how the creative mind works! I tend to be fuzzy in my descriptions so I will cheerfully invent places to suit my story, but I well know how the throwaway detail ends up being enormously important in the way stories and characters develop. The lizard brain at work, I think.
    See you in New Orleans!

    Reply
  4. Pooks, what a fascinating explanation of how the creative mind works! I tend to be fuzzy in my descriptions so I will cheerfully invent places to suit my story, but I well know how the throwaway detail ends up being enormously important in the way stories and characters develop. The lizard brain at work, I think.
    See you in New Orleans!

    Reply
  5. Pooks, what a fascinating explanation of how the creative mind works! I tend to be fuzzy in my descriptions so I will cheerfully invent places to suit my story, but I well know how the throwaway detail ends up being enormously important in the way stories and characters develop. The lizard brain at work, I think.
    See you in New Orleans!

    Reply
  6. Thanks so much for hosting me! My book actually launches tomorrow, but the Amazon links are live early just for the Wenches! Y’all rock!
    I can’t wait for New Orleans!

    Reply
  7. Thanks so much for hosting me! My book actually launches tomorrow, but the Amazon links are live early just for the Wenches! Y’all rock!
    I can’t wait for New Orleans!

    Reply
  8. Thanks so much for hosting me! My book actually launches tomorrow, but the Amazon links are live early just for the Wenches! Y’all rock!
    I can’t wait for New Orleans!

    Reply
  9. Thanks so much for hosting me! My book actually launches tomorrow, but the Amazon links are live early just for the Wenches! Y’all rock!
    I can’t wait for New Orleans!

    Reply
  10. Thanks so much for hosting me! My book actually launches tomorrow, but the Amazon links are live early just for the Wenches! Y’all rock!
    I can’t wait for New Orleans!

    Reply
  11. I often visit places that feature in novels that I enjoy, but I haven’t yet read a book because it is based on a place that I know well!
    I have visited Baddesley Clinton several times. It has a wonderful atmosphere. The priest holes are an impressive legacy of the persecution of Catholics.
    Knowing the house and learning of its role in developing the magical world of the Fury family leaves me with a curiosity, and if the magic is not too ‘Woo Woo’ an urge to buy!
    Pooks, I’m afraid that I am new to your books and as a scientist I like to read fantasy where the magic can be imagined as an (almost) plausible evolution of existing mental powers.
    The plausibility, by imparting a sense that it might actually happen in some future, makes a story more compelling and exciting for me.
    Could you perhaps give us a flavour of the magic used by the Fury family?

    Reply
  12. I often visit places that feature in novels that I enjoy, but I haven’t yet read a book because it is based on a place that I know well!
    I have visited Baddesley Clinton several times. It has a wonderful atmosphere. The priest holes are an impressive legacy of the persecution of Catholics.
    Knowing the house and learning of its role in developing the magical world of the Fury family leaves me with a curiosity, and if the magic is not too ‘Woo Woo’ an urge to buy!
    Pooks, I’m afraid that I am new to your books and as a scientist I like to read fantasy where the magic can be imagined as an (almost) plausible evolution of existing mental powers.
    The plausibility, by imparting a sense that it might actually happen in some future, makes a story more compelling and exciting for me.
    Could you perhaps give us a flavour of the magic used by the Fury family?

    Reply
  13. I often visit places that feature in novels that I enjoy, but I haven’t yet read a book because it is based on a place that I know well!
    I have visited Baddesley Clinton several times. It has a wonderful atmosphere. The priest holes are an impressive legacy of the persecution of Catholics.
    Knowing the house and learning of its role in developing the magical world of the Fury family leaves me with a curiosity, and if the magic is not too ‘Woo Woo’ an urge to buy!
    Pooks, I’m afraid that I am new to your books and as a scientist I like to read fantasy where the magic can be imagined as an (almost) plausible evolution of existing mental powers.
    The plausibility, by imparting a sense that it might actually happen in some future, makes a story more compelling and exciting for me.
    Could you perhaps give us a flavour of the magic used by the Fury family?

    Reply
  14. I often visit places that feature in novels that I enjoy, but I haven’t yet read a book because it is based on a place that I know well!
    I have visited Baddesley Clinton several times. It has a wonderful atmosphere. The priest holes are an impressive legacy of the persecution of Catholics.
    Knowing the house and learning of its role in developing the magical world of the Fury family leaves me with a curiosity, and if the magic is not too ‘Woo Woo’ an urge to buy!
    Pooks, I’m afraid that I am new to your books and as a scientist I like to read fantasy where the magic can be imagined as an (almost) plausible evolution of existing mental powers.
    The plausibility, by imparting a sense that it might actually happen in some future, makes a story more compelling and exciting for me.
    Could you perhaps give us a flavour of the magic used by the Fury family?

    Reply
  15. I often visit places that feature in novels that I enjoy, but I haven’t yet read a book because it is based on a place that I know well!
    I have visited Baddesley Clinton several times. It has a wonderful atmosphere. The priest holes are an impressive legacy of the persecution of Catholics.
    Knowing the house and learning of its role in developing the magical world of the Fury family leaves me with a curiosity, and if the magic is not too ‘Woo Woo’ an urge to buy!
    Pooks, I’m afraid that I am new to your books and as a scientist I like to read fantasy where the magic can be imagined as an (almost) plausible evolution of existing mental powers.
    The plausibility, by imparting a sense that it might actually happen in some future, makes a story more compelling and exciting for me.
    Could you perhaps give us a flavour of the magic used by the Fury family?

    Reply
  16. I’m thrilled and jealous that you have spent so much time there. I could easily spend a day just on the grounds, exploring and enjoying, and really wish I had been able to before writing the book. What’s more, that was a place where I truly felt I could simply unpack my bags and live. It felt warm and comfortable, whether the room was historically correct or had some updated elements.
    As for the magic, it might be too woowoo for you. It’s a bit more magic wand than science, I’m afraid. It’s more historical romance or novel with magic than Harry Potter, if that helps. But there are sample downloads at Amazon and BN so you can check it out before you risk it! I do understand that we all like different things.
    What is your favorite room in Baddesley Clinton?

    Reply
  17. I’m thrilled and jealous that you have spent so much time there. I could easily spend a day just on the grounds, exploring and enjoying, and really wish I had been able to before writing the book. What’s more, that was a place where I truly felt I could simply unpack my bags and live. It felt warm and comfortable, whether the room was historically correct or had some updated elements.
    As for the magic, it might be too woowoo for you. It’s a bit more magic wand than science, I’m afraid. It’s more historical romance or novel with magic than Harry Potter, if that helps. But there are sample downloads at Amazon and BN so you can check it out before you risk it! I do understand that we all like different things.
    What is your favorite room in Baddesley Clinton?

    Reply
  18. I’m thrilled and jealous that you have spent so much time there. I could easily spend a day just on the grounds, exploring and enjoying, and really wish I had been able to before writing the book. What’s more, that was a place where I truly felt I could simply unpack my bags and live. It felt warm and comfortable, whether the room was historically correct or had some updated elements.
    As for the magic, it might be too woowoo for you. It’s a bit more magic wand than science, I’m afraid. It’s more historical romance or novel with magic than Harry Potter, if that helps. But there are sample downloads at Amazon and BN so you can check it out before you risk it! I do understand that we all like different things.
    What is your favorite room in Baddesley Clinton?

    Reply
  19. I’m thrilled and jealous that you have spent so much time there. I could easily spend a day just on the grounds, exploring and enjoying, and really wish I had been able to before writing the book. What’s more, that was a place where I truly felt I could simply unpack my bags and live. It felt warm and comfortable, whether the room was historically correct or had some updated elements.
    As for the magic, it might be too woowoo for you. It’s a bit more magic wand than science, I’m afraid. It’s more historical romance or novel with magic than Harry Potter, if that helps. But there are sample downloads at Amazon and BN so you can check it out before you risk it! I do understand that we all like different things.
    What is your favorite room in Baddesley Clinton?

    Reply
  20. I’m thrilled and jealous that you have spent so much time there. I could easily spend a day just on the grounds, exploring and enjoying, and really wish I had been able to before writing the book. What’s more, that was a place where I truly felt I could simply unpack my bags and live. It felt warm and comfortable, whether the room was historically correct or had some updated elements.
    As for the magic, it might be too woowoo for you. It’s a bit more magic wand than science, I’m afraid. It’s more historical romance or novel with magic than Harry Potter, if that helps. But there are sample downloads at Amazon and BN so you can check it out before you risk it! I do understand that we all like different things.
    What is your favorite room in Baddesley Clinton?

    Reply
  21. What a fascinating blog, Pooks! Sometimes real history is just too good to pass up! Why waste creative energy inventing when the real thing is far better than any imaginary place. And of course, now you’ve totally hooked me on the book . . . (running off to order it!)
    Thanks for stopping by the Wenches. (Am very jealous that you and Pat and Mary Jo are going to wreak such fun magic together in New Orleans. Wish I could be there!)

    Reply
  22. What a fascinating blog, Pooks! Sometimes real history is just too good to pass up! Why waste creative energy inventing when the real thing is far better than any imaginary place. And of course, now you’ve totally hooked me on the book . . . (running off to order it!)
    Thanks for stopping by the Wenches. (Am very jealous that you and Pat and Mary Jo are going to wreak such fun magic together in New Orleans. Wish I could be there!)

    Reply
  23. What a fascinating blog, Pooks! Sometimes real history is just too good to pass up! Why waste creative energy inventing when the real thing is far better than any imaginary place. And of course, now you’ve totally hooked me on the book . . . (running off to order it!)
    Thanks for stopping by the Wenches. (Am very jealous that you and Pat and Mary Jo are going to wreak such fun magic together in New Orleans. Wish I could be there!)

    Reply
  24. What a fascinating blog, Pooks! Sometimes real history is just too good to pass up! Why waste creative energy inventing when the real thing is far better than any imaginary place. And of course, now you’ve totally hooked me on the book . . . (running off to order it!)
    Thanks for stopping by the Wenches. (Am very jealous that you and Pat and Mary Jo are going to wreak such fun magic together in New Orleans. Wish I could be there!)

    Reply
  25. What a fascinating blog, Pooks! Sometimes real history is just too good to pass up! Why waste creative energy inventing when the real thing is far better than any imaginary place. And of course, now you’ve totally hooked me on the book . . . (running off to order it!)
    Thanks for stopping by the Wenches. (Am very jealous that you and Pat and Mary Jo are going to wreak such fun magic together in New Orleans. Wish I could be there!)

    Reply
  26. It’s so great to be able to visit book locations – and especially good when so much research went into bringing the place to life in the book.
    I spent a while living on the top floor of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street in London, and ever since I’ve been wishing I could come up with some fantastic novel about it! I don’t believe in ghosts, but there were definitely ghosts there!

    Reply
  27. It’s so great to be able to visit book locations – and especially good when so much research went into bringing the place to life in the book.
    I spent a while living on the top floor of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street in London, and ever since I’ve been wishing I could come up with some fantastic novel about it! I don’t believe in ghosts, but there were definitely ghosts there!

    Reply
  28. It’s so great to be able to visit book locations – and especially good when so much research went into bringing the place to life in the book.
    I spent a while living on the top floor of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street in London, and ever since I’ve been wishing I could come up with some fantastic novel about it! I don’t believe in ghosts, but there were definitely ghosts there!

    Reply
  29. It’s so great to be able to visit book locations – and especially good when so much research went into bringing the place to life in the book.
    I spent a while living on the top floor of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street in London, and ever since I’ve been wishing I could come up with some fantastic novel about it! I don’t believe in ghosts, but there were definitely ghosts there!

    Reply
  30. It’s so great to be able to visit book locations – and especially good when so much research went into bringing the place to life in the book.
    I spent a while living on the top floor of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street in London, and ever since I’ve been wishing I could come up with some fantastic novel about it! I don’t believe in ghosts, but there were definitely ghosts there!

    Reply
  31. Oh, thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to entice you! And come to the Big Easy. You won’t regret it. We’ll make room for you in the parade and jail cell!

    Reply
  32. Oh, thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to entice you! And come to the Big Easy. You won’t regret it. We’ll make room for you in the parade and jail cell!

    Reply
  33. Oh, thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to entice you! And come to the Big Easy. You won’t regret it. We’ll make room for you in the parade and jail cell!

    Reply
  34. Oh, thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to entice you! And come to the Big Easy. You won’t regret it. We’ll make room for you in the parade and jail cell!

    Reply
  35. Oh, thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to entice you! And come to the Big Easy. You won’t regret it. We’ll make room for you in the parade and jail cell!

    Reply
  36. You must write that book, especially about the woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts even though they’re right there talking to her! 😉

    Reply
  37. You must write that book, especially about the woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts even though they’re right there talking to her! 😉

    Reply
  38. You must write that book, especially about the woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts even though they’re right there talking to her! 😉

    Reply
  39. You must write that book, especially about the woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts even though they’re right there talking to her! 😉

    Reply
  40. You must write that book, especially about the woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts even though they’re right there talking to her! 😉

    Reply
  41. I had an odd feeling after visiting a temple in Egypt for the second time. (There were two things I had to see when I visited Egypt for the second time–this temple and the fort in Alexandria where the Pharos supposed stood in ancient times.) Anyhow, both at the temple on the boat ride back to shore it felt like a priestess or a goddess still lived there, and she wanted me to tell her story. A friend suggested reincarnation; that somehow I once served at that temple.
    Anyhow, before I wrote this, I was click-clicking on Amazon. Somehow this story landed on my Kindle. These things happen.

    Reply
  42. I had an odd feeling after visiting a temple in Egypt for the second time. (There were two things I had to see when I visited Egypt for the second time–this temple and the fort in Alexandria where the Pharos supposed stood in ancient times.) Anyhow, both at the temple on the boat ride back to shore it felt like a priestess or a goddess still lived there, and she wanted me to tell her story. A friend suggested reincarnation; that somehow I once served at that temple.
    Anyhow, before I wrote this, I was click-clicking on Amazon. Somehow this story landed on my Kindle. These things happen.

    Reply
  43. I had an odd feeling after visiting a temple in Egypt for the second time. (There were two things I had to see when I visited Egypt for the second time–this temple and the fort in Alexandria where the Pharos supposed stood in ancient times.) Anyhow, both at the temple on the boat ride back to shore it felt like a priestess or a goddess still lived there, and she wanted me to tell her story. A friend suggested reincarnation; that somehow I once served at that temple.
    Anyhow, before I wrote this, I was click-clicking on Amazon. Somehow this story landed on my Kindle. These things happen.

    Reply
  44. I had an odd feeling after visiting a temple in Egypt for the second time. (There were two things I had to see when I visited Egypt for the second time–this temple and the fort in Alexandria where the Pharos supposed stood in ancient times.) Anyhow, both at the temple on the boat ride back to shore it felt like a priestess or a goddess still lived there, and she wanted me to tell her story. A friend suggested reincarnation; that somehow I once served at that temple.
    Anyhow, before I wrote this, I was click-clicking on Amazon. Somehow this story landed on my Kindle. These things happen.

    Reply
  45. I had an odd feeling after visiting a temple in Egypt for the second time. (There were two things I had to see when I visited Egypt for the second time–this temple and the fort in Alexandria where the Pharos supposed stood in ancient times.) Anyhow, both at the temple on the boat ride back to shore it felt like a priestess or a goddess still lived there, and she wanted me to tell her story. A friend suggested reincarnation; that somehow I once served at that temple.
    Anyhow, before I wrote this, I was click-clicking on Amazon. Somehow this story landed on my Kindle. These things happen.

    Reply
  46. That’s so cool about that feeling in Egypt. I experienced something similar, first in a building in Charleston, SC that was in use during the American Revolution, and then again in several different spots in England. There is a real connection there that feels soul-deep.
    I hope you enjoy the story!

    Reply
  47. That’s so cool about that feeling in Egypt. I experienced something similar, first in a building in Charleston, SC that was in use during the American Revolution, and then again in several different spots in England. There is a real connection there that feels soul-deep.
    I hope you enjoy the story!

    Reply
  48. That’s so cool about that feeling in Egypt. I experienced something similar, first in a building in Charleston, SC that was in use during the American Revolution, and then again in several different spots in England. There is a real connection there that feels soul-deep.
    I hope you enjoy the story!

    Reply
  49. That’s so cool about that feeling in Egypt. I experienced something similar, first in a building in Charleston, SC that was in use during the American Revolution, and then again in several different spots in England. There is a real connection there that feels soul-deep.
    I hope you enjoy the story!

    Reply
  50. That’s so cool about that feeling in Egypt. I experienced something similar, first in a building in Charleston, SC that was in use during the American Revolution, and then again in several different spots in England. There is a real connection there that feels soul-deep.
    I hope you enjoy the story!

    Reply
  51. I don’t really have a favourite room though the Great Hall with that heraldic chimney-piece and the portraits is impressive. I mainly like the overall impression; the moat making it difficult for intruders to gain undetected entry and the Tudor defence of the Catholic faith. This ‘defensive’ aspect probably enhances the appeal for your story where the Fury family are hiding ‘shadow magic’!
    I will read a sample to see if it appeals. I’m not against magic wands which can concentrate power and I definitely like historical romance.
    I remember reading Anne McCaffrey’s books as a student. The Dragons of Pearn were a favourite, and the ‘plausibility’ was there as the dragons had been genetically engineered. Her ‘Rowan’ series also struck a chord as the latent mental powers sometimes experienced in our world (telepathy, psychokinesis etc) are developed into very powerful tools.
    I just need to see a link to current scientific theoretical understanding 🙂

    Reply
  52. I don’t really have a favourite room though the Great Hall with that heraldic chimney-piece and the portraits is impressive. I mainly like the overall impression; the moat making it difficult for intruders to gain undetected entry and the Tudor defence of the Catholic faith. This ‘defensive’ aspect probably enhances the appeal for your story where the Fury family are hiding ‘shadow magic’!
    I will read a sample to see if it appeals. I’m not against magic wands which can concentrate power and I definitely like historical romance.
    I remember reading Anne McCaffrey’s books as a student. The Dragons of Pearn were a favourite, and the ‘plausibility’ was there as the dragons had been genetically engineered. Her ‘Rowan’ series also struck a chord as the latent mental powers sometimes experienced in our world (telepathy, psychokinesis etc) are developed into very powerful tools.
    I just need to see a link to current scientific theoretical understanding 🙂

    Reply
  53. I don’t really have a favourite room though the Great Hall with that heraldic chimney-piece and the portraits is impressive. I mainly like the overall impression; the moat making it difficult for intruders to gain undetected entry and the Tudor defence of the Catholic faith. This ‘defensive’ aspect probably enhances the appeal for your story where the Fury family are hiding ‘shadow magic’!
    I will read a sample to see if it appeals. I’m not against magic wands which can concentrate power and I definitely like historical romance.
    I remember reading Anne McCaffrey’s books as a student. The Dragons of Pearn were a favourite, and the ‘plausibility’ was there as the dragons had been genetically engineered. Her ‘Rowan’ series also struck a chord as the latent mental powers sometimes experienced in our world (telepathy, psychokinesis etc) are developed into very powerful tools.
    I just need to see a link to current scientific theoretical understanding 🙂

    Reply
  54. I don’t really have a favourite room though the Great Hall with that heraldic chimney-piece and the portraits is impressive. I mainly like the overall impression; the moat making it difficult for intruders to gain undetected entry and the Tudor defence of the Catholic faith. This ‘defensive’ aspect probably enhances the appeal for your story where the Fury family are hiding ‘shadow magic’!
    I will read a sample to see if it appeals. I’m not against magic wands which can concentrate power and I definitely like historical romance.
    I remember reading Anne McCaffrey’s books as a student. The Dragons of Pearn were a favourite, and the ‘plausibility’ was there as the dragons had been genetically engineered. Her ‘Rowan’ series also struck a chord as the latent mental powers sometimes experienced in our world (telepathy, psychokinesis etc) are developed into very powerful tools.
    I just need to see a link to current scientific theoretical understanding 🙂

    Reply
  55. I don’t really have a favourite room though the Great Hall with that heraldic chimney-piece and the portraits is impressive. I mainly like the overall impression; the moat making it difficult for intruders to gain undetected entry and the Tudor defence of the Catholic faith. This ‘defensive’ aspect probably enhances the appeal for your story where the Fury family are hiding ‘shadow magic’!
    I will read a sample to see if it appeals. I’m not against magic wands which can concentrate power and I definitely like historical romance.
    I remember reading Anne McCaffrey’s books as a student. The Dragons of Pearn were a favourite, and the ‘plausibility’ was there as the dragons had been genetically engineered. Her ‘Rowan’ series also struck a chord as the latent mental powers sometimes experienced in our world (telepathy, psychokinesis etc) are developed into very powerful tools.
    I just need to see a link to current scientific theoretical understanding 🙂

    Reply
  56. Pooks, thanks for this fascinating exploration! I’m finally going to see Englad this fall, and so excited. Since real places are so important in my own writing, it’s good to read about the inspirations you and other are finding. When I camped in the labyrinthine ruins of Falassarna on Crete, I had vivid dreams that brought the ancient city to life around me — and became part of my upcoming novel The Ariadne Connection. I love hearing about these convergences others have found. Keep it up! I’m going shopping for your novel now.

    Reply
  57. Pooks, thanks for this fascinating exploration! I’m finally going to see Englad this fall, and so excited. Since real places are so important in my own writing, it’s good to read about the inspirations you and other are finding. When I camped in the labyrinthine ruins of Falassarna on Crete, I had vivid dreams that brought the ancient city to life around me — and became part of my upcoming novel The Ariadne Connection. I love hearing about these convergences others have found. Keep it up! I’m going shopping for your novel now.

    Reply
  58. Pooks, thanks for this fascinating exploration! I’m finally going to see Englad this fall, and so excited. Since real places are so important in my own writing, it’s good to read about the inspirations you and other are finding. When I camped in the labyrinthine ruins of Falassarna on Crete, I had vivid dreams that brought the ancient city to life around me — and became part of my upcoming novel The Ariadne Connection. I love hearing about these convergences others have found. Keep it up! I’m going shopping for your novel now.

    Reply
  59. Pooks, thanks for this fascinating exploration! I’m finally going to see Englad this fall, and so excited. Since real places are so important in my own writing, it’s good to read about the inspirations you and other are finding. When I camped in the labyrinthine ruins of Falassarna on Crete, I had vivid dreams that brought the ancient city to life around me — and became part of my upcoming novel The Ariadne Connection. I love hearing about these convergences others have found. Keep it up! I’m going shopping for your novel now.

    Reply
  60. Pooks, thanks for this fascinating exploration! I’m finally going to see Englad this fall, and so excited. Since real places are so important in my own writing, it’s good to read about the inspirations you and other are finding. When I camped in the labyrinthine ruins of Falassarna on Crete, I had vivid dreams that brought the ancient city to life around me — and became part of my upcoming novel The Ariadne Connection. I love hearing about these convergences others have found. Keep it up! I’m going shopping for your novel now.

    Reply
  61. I will say that the magic has logic behind it, if not science. The logic is on the page for any who can ‘see’ it but isn’t explained until book two.

    Reply
  62. I will say that the magic has logic behind it, if not science. The logic is on the page for any who can ‘see’ it but isn’t explained until book two.

    Reply
  63. I will say that the magic has logic behind it, if not science. The logic is on the page for any who can ‘see’ it but isn’t explained until book two.

    Reply
  64. I will say that the magic has logic behind it, if not science. The logic is on the page for any who can ‘see’ it but isn’t explained until book two.

    Reply
  65. I will say that the magic has logic behind it, if not science. The logic is on the page for any who can ‘see’ it but isn’t explained until book two.

    Reply
  66. Thanks so much, Sara! My husband and I have hit a few of the ‘major sites’ but we most enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing things most tourists don’t see. We have never ascribed to the ‘spend two weeks in London and day-trip out’ method. We have spent three consecutive nights at the most, before picking up a rental and taking off driving. Last few trips we skipped London.

    Reply
  67. Thanks so much, Sara! My husband and I have hit a few of the ‘major sites’ but we most enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing things most tourists don’t see. We have never ascribed to the ‘spend two weeks in London and day-trip out’ method. We have spent three consecutive nights at the most, before picking up a rental and taking off driving. Last few trips we skipped London.

    Reply
  68. Thanks so much, Sara! My husband and I have hit a few of the ‘major sites’ but we most enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing things most tourists don’t see. We have never ascribed to the ‘spend two weeks in London and day-trip out’ method. We have spent three consecutive nights at the most, before picking up a rental and taking off driving. Last few trips we skipped London.

    Reply
  69. Thanks so much, Sara! My husband and I have hit a few of the ‘major sites’ but we most enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing things most tourists don’t see. We have never ascribed to the ‘spend two weeks in London and day-trip out’ method. We have spent three consecutive nights at the most, before picking up a rental and taking off driving. Last few trips we skipped London.

    Reply
  70. Thanks so much, Sara! My husband and I have hit a few of the ‘major sites’ but we most enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing things most tourists don’t see. We have never ascribed to the ‘spend two weeks in London and day-trip out’ method. We have spent three consecutive nights at the most, before picking up a rental and taking off driving. Last few trips we skipped London.

    Reply
  71. Coming belatedly to this post, which I LOVED to bits. I loved hearing how you research and how the house grabbed you anyway and caught and sparked your imagination and fleshed out your world.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  72. Coming belatedly to this post, which I LOVED to bits. I loved hearing how you research and how the house grabbed you anyway and caught and sparked your imagination and fleshed out your world.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  73. Coming belatedly to this post, which I LOVED to bits. I loved hearing how you research and how the house grabbed you anyway and caught and sparked your imagination and fleshed out your world.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  74. Coming belatedly to this post, which I LOVED to bits. I loved hearing how you research and how the house grabbed you anyway and caught and sparked your imagination and fleshed out your world.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  75. Coming belatedly to this post, which I LOVED to bits. I loved hearing how you research and how the house grabbed you anyway and caught and sparked your imagination and fleshed out your world.
    Looking forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  76. Thanks so much! I will never be an expert at anything. This is what I call cherry-picking. Research happens until I finally find that special thing that makes me go ‘aha!’ and realize, this is in my world, and I can run with it. Lots and lots of research, but only as a means to a creative end. I admire and envy writers who absorb and retain all that historical detail and write such deliciously authentic novels!

    Reply
  77. Thanks so much! I will never be an expert at anything. This is what I call cherry-picking. Research happens until I finally find that special thing that makes me go ‘aha!’ and realize, this is in my world, and I can run with it. Lots and lots of research, but only as a means to a creative end. I admire and envy writers who absorb and retain all that historical detail and write such deliciously authentic novels!

    Reply
  78. Thanks so much! I will never be an expert at anything. This is what I call cherry-picking. Research happens until I finally find that special thing that makes me go ‘aha!’ and realize, this is in my world, and I can run with it. Lots and lots of research, but only as a means to a creative end. I admire and envy writers who absorb and retain all that historical detail and write such deliciously authentic novels!

    Reply
  79. Thanks so much! I will never be an expert at anything. This is what I call cherry-picking. Research happens until I finally find that special thing that makes me go ‘aha!’ and realize, this is in my world, and I can run with it. Lots and lots of research, but only as a means to a creative end. I admire and envy writers who absorb and retain all that historical detail and write such deliciously authentic novels!

    Reply
  80. Thanks so much! I will never be an expert at anything. This is what I call cherry-picking. Research happens until I finally find that special thing that makes me go ‘aha!’ and realize, this is in my world, and I can run with it. Lots and lots of research, but only as a means to a creative end. I admire and envy writers who absorb and retain all that historical detail and write such deliciously authentic novels!

    Reply
  81. By the way–in my world the wand doesn’t only concentrate power [making it extremely powerful and dangerous], but they also protect the user from some of the negative impact. And now I’ve told you more than I intended to say about the rules of my magic. In my world, I equate wands with the way Europeans and Brits view handguns. They are dangerous and [in my world] only the wicked use them.

    Reply
  82. By the way–in my world the wand doesn’t only concentrate power [making it extremely powerful and dangerous], but they also protect the user from some of the negative impact. And now I’ve told you more than I intended to say about the rules of my magic. In my world, I equate wands with the way Europeans and Brits view handguns. They are dangerous and [in my world] only the wicked use them.

    Reply
  83. By the way–in my world the wand doesn’t only concentrate power [making it extremely powerful and dangerous], but they also protect the user from some of the negative impact. And now I’ve told you more than I intended to say about the rules of my magic. In my world, I equate wands with the way Europeans and Brits view handguns. They are dangerous and [in my world] only the wicked use them.

    Reply
  84. By the way–in my world the wand doesn’t only concentrate power [making it extremely powerful and dangerous], but they also protect the user from some of the negative impact. And now I’ve told you more than I intended to say about the rules of my magic. In my world, I equate wands with the way Europeans and Brits view handguns. They are dangerous and [in my world] only the wicked use them.

    Reply
  85. By the way–in my world the wand doesn’t only concentrate power [making it extremely powerful and dangerous], but they also protect the user from some of the negative impact. And now I’ve told you more than I intended to say about the rules of my magic. In my world, I equate wands with the way Europeans and Brits view handguns. They are dangerous and [in my world] only the wicked use them.

    Reply

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