Flickr Friday

I love knowing where writers get their inspiration for their books. Here’s a little peek at what inspired me.

I am two things. (Ok, so obviously I am more than two things, but for purposes of this post, let’s pretend I am only two things). I am an Anglophile, and I am a history buff. Put these together, and it should come as no surprise that I love castles. I have books upon books about castles. You write a novel based in a castle, and I will read it. And then pretend I live there. If you and I were to take a trip to Europe together, you’d better believe there will be a castle-a-day itinerary. But don’t get bored — we could go drink beer afterward (and talk about castles).

Naturally, my current project is set in a castle. My castle is fictional but is based loosely on this real one.

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Gorgeous, no? That’s Orford Castle, in Surrey. It was built by Henry II and dates from the 12th Century, which just blows my mind. I grew up in a town that was founded all the way in 1971 and often wondered what it must be like to live in a place where you are surrounded by history. Growing up, the only historical questions I could ask myself were “Remember when that was just an empty tract of land? Now there’s a Barnes & Noble there. Crazy!” I decided to find out what it was like to live in history in the fall of 2000 and moved to Boston. I got my answer in a few short months: cold. I hightailed it back to Florida.

Anyhow, let’s look at Orford a little more, shall we? Can you imagine having to navigate these dim stairs while wearing a long dress? This is way before safety councils mandated handrails, of course.

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Or what it must have been like to see this for the first time?

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Isn’t this guy creepy? Don’t you just love it?

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Any other castlephiles out there? And in case you’re wondering, yes, I Googled “person who loves castles” to see if there is a more technical name than “castlephile.” I came up empty.

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5 Responses

  1. Ellen says:

    I LOVE CASTLES!! The thing that weirded me out/excited me most about visiting England was how they're all over the place. My fiance and I were on a drive through the countryside, in the middle of nowhere, and he's like "oh, and through the trees there is such-and-such castle."
    Me: … Why aren't there any signs??
    Him: Oh, it's just a tiny one. Here wait, we'll stop at the next big one. It's just the next town over
    Me: !!!

  2. Meredith says:

    Have you ever watched Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill? He has a whole bit on that. Hi-larious.

  3. Ellen says:

    YES! I love that bit.
    Also, I hear rumors that there are EVEN MORE castles along the Rhine River in Germany. My new life goal (after I am rich and famous, naturally) is to buy and renovate one of these. Totally practical. Just like being a writer! >.>

  4. A* says:

    OK I have known you for quite a long time and did not know this. How did I not know this? Please note that I have not actually said HOW long I have known you. :)

    Oh yeah. Castles are cool. The stairs freak me out since they are so steep and incredibly teeny. Plus haunted. And drafty. But yeah…cool.

  5. thegingerbreadninja says:

    I love castles!! They're so magical. Drafty, but magical. I want to visit a castle someday.

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