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Take a quick read of the featured Jewel of Historical Romance author’s favorite point of inspiration for her stories, then answer two simple questions and you’re entered!
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ENTRY FORM BELOW! READ POST FIRST!
Cynthia “Ruby” Wright
What inspires me? Places I visit that feel timeless, especially those with colorful historical stories that excite my imagination.
I’ve had those experiences all over the world – inside the 18th century historic homes of Connecticut, at Sam Lord’s Castle on Barbados, standing on the battlefield at Little Bighorn, and on the preserved main street of Columbia, California. At Marble House in Newport, I was inspired to write TEMPEST and when I journeyed through the Loire Valley of France, I fell in love with King François I and my book YOU & NO OTHER was born. Like many writers, when I travel to a place steeped in history, I have all my feelers out to pick up those mysterious vibes. And I get very excited as the ghosts and legends of the past begin to speak to me.
In recent years, my Inspiration Point has been a southeastern section of Cornwall, between Fowey and Polperro, where Daphne Du Maurier lived and wrote. I’ve traveled there five times now, staying in atmospheric villages for a week at a time to soak up the rhythms and history, tramping around the countryside, over stiles and down paths that have been in use for centuries. When writing SMUGGLER’S MOON, I searched out a real-life smuggler’s hole near the village of Lerryn and discovered the hidden ruins of a 13th century chapel (on the grounds of the manor house that inspired my own Trevarre Hall).
The last time my husband and I were in Cornwall, we hiked one day along the coast from Polruan to Lansallos (site of my favorite smuggler’s beach) and then decided to take a “shortcut” back, via the narrow roads. Because the hedgerows rise up around the often-unmarked lanes, we got lost and wandered a couple miles out of our way. There were no cars, no houses… We came into a typical Cornish tunnel of trees and it was truly an Alice in Wonderland experience.
When we emerged, we walked around a bend in the lane and saw a stately manor house, sitting all alone – unmarked, without any cars or other signs of the 21st century. If Poldark himself had come out the front door, it wouldn’t have surprised me. I took some photos… and eventually we found our way back to Polruan, though I had no idea where we’d been, or if that house had been a vision from the past. After we returned to America and I began to write HIS MAKE-BELIEVE BRIDE, the manor house came alive as Frenchman’s Lair, the home of Justin St. Briac, the book’s unconventional hero.
Thanks to Google Maps, I later was able to retrace our walk that day and I discovered that the manor house was quite real. Since then, it’s become an inn and a wedding venue … but I like to think we traveled back in time that day, emerging from that tunnel of trees in1818, when my characters would have glimpsed Frenchman’s Lair for the first time.
I’m convinced that inspiration, especially for authors, is part magic!
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IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ
One of Cynthia’s books…
HIS MAKE-BELIEVE BRIDE, Cynthia’s newest Raveneau Family novel, will be published on October 12th, but you can pre-order your copy now.
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