I’ve always been a sucker for any book that is set on a grand estate shrouded by fog and featuring things that go bump in the night. One of my favourite novels is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – a classic gothic novel where Manderley (the fictional estate of Maxim de Winter) is every inch a character in its own right.
Another thing I spend ages reading about is spirit photography. WWI claimed over 20 million lives (depends on your source: the death rate could be higher), and the Spanish flu carried off another 50 million.
That’s a heck of a lot of people who left behind parents, partners, children, and other family members. It’s no wonder spirit mediums and spirit photographers captured the popular imagination of the time. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a firm believer in spiritualism and the notion that those who have passed are able to speak through a medium. Of course, there were many skeptics – the illusionist Harry Houdini being an outspoken one.
So…put a story set on a sprawling English estate and throw in spiritualism and spirit photography and you have my novel – Ashgrove Park, which will be published in April 2021. I’ll tell you a bit more about the characters in a post soon. Oh, and I’ll tell you how I decided on the name – because the original title was Bristol Park. I think there were some spirits involved with the name change LOL.