MYSTERY, HISTORY, ROMANCE AND GHOSTS – Alison Stuart on writing GATHER THE BONES
Thanks for having me here, Nas and crew.
I am often asked where I get the inspiration for my stories and it’s not an easy question to answer. Sometimes it comes from a passing reference in a book (as it did for THE KING’S MAN) but more often it is buildings. I love old buildings and on my trips to England I could spend my entire time poking around old houses and ruined castles.
When I visited Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, a medieval moated manor house, it just begged for a story to be set in its crooked corridors.
I started off wanting to write a ghost story. I’ve always liked ghost stories and have written a couple of short stories with a supernatural bent but never turned my hand to a full length novel. I thought a change from my beloved seventeenth century was called for and a recent tour of the battlefields of the First World War gave me the major plot for the story. A story about the aftermath of the Great War.
Setting a book in 1923 allowed me to write an Australian character (my heroine, Helen) and I love archaeology so my hero is an archaeologist. Finally I wanted to try my hand at a mystery. Like the witches in Macbeth, I threw the whole lot in and stirred.
The result is GATHER THE BONES…mystery, history, romance and ghosts…or as one young friend called it “Downton Abbey with ghosts”.
Or as my editor would prefer…
The horrors of the Great War are not the only ghosts that haunt Helen Morrow and her late husband's reclusive cousin, Paul. Unquiet spirits from another time and another conflict touch them.
A coded diary gives them clues to the mysterious disappearance of Paul's great-grandmother in 1812, and the desperate voice of a young woman reaches out to them from the pages. Together Helen and Paul must search for answers, not only for the old mystery, but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen's husband at Passchandaele in 1917.
As the mysteries entwine, their relationship is bound by the search for truth, in the present and the past.
Mystery, history, romance or ghosts…what is your favourite read?
Stop by and leave a comment and go in the draw to win a Gather the Bones related prize.
Please add to your Goodreads. And there is a Goodreads Giveaway going at the moment.
Alison around the web: