2016 Blog Tours Guest Post Hannah Emery HarperImpulse
Blog Tour: The Secrets of Castle du Rêve by Hannah Emery - Guest Post
Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for The Secrets of Castle du Rêve by Hannah Emery. This intriguing story was published yesterday and to celebrate it, Hannah has stopped by to talk all about castles. Hannah, all yours:
When I was thinking of ideas for The Secrets of Castle du Reve and considering the setting, I knew straight away that I wanted to include a castle. Castles and stories are bound together so often in history, fairy tales and myths, it seemed the perfect choice for the backdrop to my characters’ lives.
Creating the castle was one of my favourite parts of writing the book. I love the idea that one building could be so many places at different points in time: a lavish home; a place to stay for evacuees; a university; a school. I briefly daydreamed about doing some kind of UK castle tour as research but sadly I didn’t feel that my small children would share my enthusiasm for spiral staircases and moments of quiet contemplation. With this in mind, I remembered the castles I already knew, and researched ones I didn’t. Here were the ones that helped the most:
The Tower of London
The jewels, the executions, the ghosts, and the spine-tingling Traitors’ Gate: the Tower of London’s glamour, mysteries and grisly histories show just how many secrets castles can keep. One of the most amazing things about places like the Tower of London is how you can feel so connected to things that happened hundreds of years ago. That, and the gift shops.
I adore this place! Peering into the living rooms of families throughout different points in history to see the things they would have had – what’s not to love? York Castle Museum always makes me want to rush home and write hundreds of books about people living in different decades. People from the 1960s fascinate me just as much as medieval ones. I love thinking about what they wore, how their Fairy Liquid bottles looked different from ours, and how on earth they dealt with having no iPhones.
I’ve never been to Blair Castle in Scotland but I used it as inspiration after I read that evacuees were sent there during WWII. It’s a beautiful castle with the kind of pointed turrets I imagined for Castle du Reve. There was a fascinating story about Blair Castle last year: a letter written from one brother to another during the war was found behind a radiator in the Grand Ballroom after seventy years. The recipient of the letter, Bill, was a seven-year old evacuee who was staying at the castle. I love stories like this – it could be straight out of a novel!
Beaumaris Castle and Caernarfon Castle
Some of my happiest memories are of family holidays in Wales. We’d pile into my big brother’s orange Fiesta and speed off for days out in places like Beaumaris and Caernarfon. When I was considering what Castle du Reve might be like, I thought about these castles a lot. I remember the spiral staircases, the neverending views and again, that fabulous feeling that I’d stepped back in time. The characters in The Secrets of Castle du Reve are all pulled towards the castle for one reason or another. I’ll always be pulled towards these ones.
The castles above sum up everything that I enjoyed giving Castle du Reve: mystery, beauty and the magical ability of connecting the present to the past.
I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, and I know work in a College where I mentor degree students. The most important things in my life are my family, my friends, books, baking on a Saturday afternoon, getting glammed up to go out for champagne and dinner and having cosy weekends away. I live in Blackpool with my husband and our little girl.
About the book:
Author: Hannah Emery
Published: 18th February 2016 by Harper Impulse
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore, a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…
Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…
In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?
In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.
Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…