I just returned home from the Number One London tour of the Lake District. What a fabulous time! We saw vistas like this:
What an inspirational trip! I just so happen to be starting a new book and I can set the book anywhere in England, so why not the Lake District?
The Lake District was a popular destination for English travelers during the Regency, perhaps because Europe was closed to them or maybe it was because William Wordsworth wrote a guidebook popularizing the place.
Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, and with his sister Dorothy, settled in Dove Cottage in Grasmere, soon to be joined by a wife, the wife’s sister, and three out of their five children. We visited Dove Cottage and, while it had a charming exterior, inside it was dark and small. There were only three bedrooms, one for the Wordsworth and his wife, one for Dorothy, and one for the children. The poor sister-in-law slept sometimes with the children, sometimes with Dorothy and sometimes in a cot in the sitting room, if none of Wordsworth’s frequent guests were visiting.
It was pretty clear to me that my book would not put my hero and heroine in such a small, dismal house.
Another choice was a castle. We visited Sizergh Castle, a residence of the Strickland family since 1239. This house was quite atmospheric, with dark oak panelling and oak carved fireplaces and winding castle-like staircases.
Or perhaps a stately Georgian house would be a better fit. We also visited Dalemain House.
With its beautiful gardens.
What do you think?
(By the way, this was only a fraction of the wonderful sights we saw in the Lake District)
I know there are reasons why college financial aid paperwork and income tax paperwork have to done at the same time, but I don’t have to like it!
When I am up to my eyeballs in Things I Don’t Enjoy, I take the odd moment to fantasize about travel. Lately I’ve been dreaming about a trip back to the UK. I lived there for three years while on international assignment, but that was twenty years ago. I am really longing to go back and hoping it may be possible in a few years.
Of course I will want to revisit London and perhaps other major cities. But my heart is really in the countryside. Since I don’t have a lot of time to write about my favorite locations (have to get back to that annoying paperwork), I hope you will enjoy some pictures from some of my places I’d revisit in my dream tour.
I would definitely go back to Sussex and revisit favorite walks and pubs there.
I couldn’t miss Cornwall—so craggy and romantic.
The Cotswolds are how I imagine as the Shire, from The Lord of the Rings.
The Yorkshire moors—breezy and other-worldly.
I think my favorite area may be the Lake District.
Where would you most like to go, whether in the UK or elsewhere?
Catherine is the most flawed heroine I’ve written so far and she’s drawn a lot of mixed reactions. In any case, readers have loved the hero, Philip. He’s been described as the perfect Beta hero. The way I see it, he’s a strong man to deal with a mess like Catherine.
This is a story about healing and since I often seek healing in nature, I decided to set it in one of the most beautiful places I visited in the UK: the English Lake District, near Ullswater, where Wordsworth was inspired to write his famous poem about the daffodils. My husband and I paddled around it in a canoe, enjoying the play of light and shadow cast by scudding clouds over the hillsides, until rain forced us back to shore.
We also hiked to see Aira Force, a waterfall that the characters visit in the story and that is featured on the new cover.
I’ve set other stories in Kent and Sussex (where I lived during my assignment). I’ve also used the Cotswolds and Cornwall. I have a story in the idea file that would feature the North York Moors.
I’ll be giving away 5 Kindle copies of The Incorrigible Lady Catherine to commenters chosen at random. If you win, you can also nominate a friend to receive a free copy. Void where prohibited. You must be over 18. No purchase necessary. Post your comment by midnight EST on December 2. I will post an announcement on Saturday, December 3, so please check back to see if you have won.