Welcome to my stop on the “Through the Mirror Door” blog tour. Today I am giving the CHOUETT stage to Sarah Baker who give us a little insight into the inspiration behind her novel.
Inspiration Piece by Sarah Baker
One of the first questions I’m asked about my book is where I got the idea. Given that the story includes a little time travel and lot of ghostly activity, I can’t say it’s a true story, but it is based on a real holiday and originally featured in one of my ‘what I did in the holidays essays’ written at school, aged 10
First, the disclaimer: my actual aunt, uncle and cousins are lovely. No, they really, really are. They even took me on holiday with them to France, that’s how nice they are. We travelled around the Dordogne and Tours areas, swam in rivers, picnicked in the back of the car on rainy days, explored castles straight out of fairytales and put on plays in the evening (this was way back when before iPhones, Kindles and even DVD players had been invented).
On our way back to the ferry we stopped off to visit a friend of my Aunt and Uncle in a small village. It was an odd house with an orchard split between very robust and healthy trees (excellent for games of tag) and old, broken and blackened trees (perfect for scaring each other with tales of ghosts come nightfall). There wasn’t quite enough room in the guesthouse, so one cousin and I were offered the chance to stay in the big house. Now while I’ve taken a lot of liberties with the exterior and interior in my story, the bedroom Angela’s given is exactly how I remember it. Plus, my cousin got cold feet (a headache) at the last minute and by the time I’d remembered to say, ‘hang on a minute, please don’t leave me alone in this big, scary house’, I was on my own.
The adults went off for dinner and, after about 5 seconds in the draughty, cold room with squeaking shutters and a huge suit of armour lurking right outside the door, I decided I had to explore. Lets just say I got lost, scared myself silly and thought, one day I’ll write about this.
This is (sort of) that story.
And that’s what I love about writing. How a single moment getting lost in a spooky old house in the middle of France aged ten can turn a typical school essay into a ghostly time travelling adventure story a few (ahem) years later. Incidentally, I may* have added a few ghosts into the school essay (*I did), which certainly livened it up.
Just goes to show. Inspiration is everywhere. Even if it didn’t really happen. Or did it? I mean, the house is still there… you could check it out.
Through the Mirror Door by Sarah Baker (£6.99, Catnip)