My readers have asked me to tell them what inspired the appearance and mood, both inside and out, of the fictitious Wraithmoor Castle Inn in my book, SHE HAD TO KNOW. Having been fortunate enough to stay in and visit many castles and manor homes during my travels, I drew upon their various attributes. My photographs were a great help and luckily, to aid my memory, I saved all brochures collected along the way.
Since my story is set in Scotland, I needed to capture the Scottish architecture of the period or periods in which it was built, so the exterior reflects mainly the Scots Baronial style mixed with some English Tudor. I then created a drawing of my perception of what the castle would look like. Later, when I was looking for ideas for the book’s cover for my publisher, I was fortunate in finding a photo which was very similar to my concept and drawing.
To complete the exterior, I needed an elaborate iron gate at the entrance to the parklands of the estate. I already had an idea for that. Chirk Castle in Wales had the perfect gate, although I altered its description.
I needed spiral steps leading from the residence wing to the scullery, and also to the lower regions of the castle. I found them at Dover Castle in England. (My son populates this picture.)
The rose room that Arran stays in was inspired by The Italian Room at Great Fosters, a manor home in England. I changed it as well, but kept the beautiful mullioned windows.
Hever Castle in England and Ruthin Castle in Wales provided lots of inspiration for paintings, the library, drawing room and suits of armor.
My imagination took hold from there, which certainly wasn’t difficult after seeing so many beautiful sights. For those of you who write, have you combined sites in your stories?