Writers have dreams, and one dream of mine has always been to visit the homes of my favorite British authors. I finally did it! (Photos below.) This was a trip I’d planned and saved for all year.
Since I last blogged, I spent ten days in England, part research for a new book and part marketing for a book due out in November (both set in England). It was the trip of a lifetime, walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Beatrix Potter. Below are just a few photos of the 895 prints I ordered. More will go up on Facebook. I’m still working on my scrap book, adding in all the little momentoes like train tickets and British money.
I did a bit of marketing at the Jane Austen home in Chawton. When A Dangerous Tide is released in November, they’ll read a copy and decide whether to include it in their gift shop fiction section of books featuring Jane Austen. That would be such an honor. The first photo is outside her home. The second photo has my early copy of the book RIGHT BESIDE where Jane wrote Pride and Prejudice!
I also did a lot of research in Haworth, in the Yorkshires where the Brontes lived and died, for a mystery due in the spring. It certainly brought Jane Eyre alive for me, after walking over the moors, seeing where Charlotte wrote, and visiting the graveyard beside the parsonage. So much ATMOSPHERE there. Below are photos showing her home, the graveyard, and the steep cobblestone street up to her home. No photos were allowed inside.
The last author home and surroundings that I visited was Beatrix Potter’s in the Lake District. As many of you know, she donated 14 farms and 4,000 acres to the National Trust. If you’ve seen the excellent movie, “Miss Potter,” you know her story. Below I’m standing in front of Hill Top Farm where she lived. Both her home and the Bronte parsonage were left exactly as when the authors lived there. For other “Miss Potter” fans, the photo at the bottom is the movie set, as they weren’t allowed to film the movie in her real home. No photos were allowed inside, so I bought lots of guide books and post cards!
Not every writer’s dream is receiving a bestseller or mega award. One of mine for years has been to visit England, go back in time to a simpler time for writers, and “live it” for a while. A bonus? On the ninth day, while hiking in the Lake District, a book series idea came to me. It seemed fitting.