Sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn’t, but when I need a bit of a boost, a dirty great castle or château seems to do it for me every time.
I’ve no idea why, but I seem to be able to fit them into any story set in just about any age. I particularly like a good ruin. I think it’s the huge emptiness of them that calls to me. Echoes of the past scream around me at every gigantic fireplace, each foot-worn flagstone, even as I pass the eight inch thick wooden door!
I’m immediately asking myself questions. Who lived there? Were they a servant or a master? How did they manage those massive treads on the stairs that have my legs aching within a couple of steps? And why are the doorways always so small?
Some of the answers are well documented, but I’m thinking more of the individual people who lived within the castle’s majestic walls. Was their life a good one, or was it just an existence? Were they served, or did they do the serving? Did they suffer from vertigo while looking down from the highest tower? How many lovers stole secret kisses beneath those winding stairs?
Ah! The grandeur and romance of it all! And with that happy thought and inspiration renewed, I must return to my latest project!
Hoodwinked! Will be out soon!
Pictures taken at Upnor Castle, Rochester Castle, and in Brittany.