Today I have the incredible privilege to introduce the amazing author, Sharon Cameron, whose debut novel, [amazon_link id=”0545327865″ target=”_blank” ]The Dark Unwinding[/amazon_link], released just days ago on September 1, 2012. She’s taken the time to write a guest post about the amazingly beautiful setting of her novel: Welbeck Abbey. I adored the setting so much. It would be an incredible adventure to visit this Abbey for myself.
Check out my review of The Dark Unwinding if you haven’t already.
*Check out the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of this amazing book, provided directly from The Cozy Reader via The Book Depository for International readers or Amazon for US readers.
[amazon_image id=”0545327865″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]The Dark Unwinding[/amazon_image]
[amazon_link id=”0545327865″ target=”_blank” ]The Dark Unwinding[/amazon_link] by Sharon Cameron
Scholastic Press | September 1, 2012 | 336 pages
Sharon Cameron Guest Post
Welbeck Abbey –Where History and Imagination Meet
I am a huge fan of using atmosphere to set a story’s tone, and then allowing plot and character to flow naturally from it. So the first time I read about Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, I knew I wanted to use it in a story. The place was bizarre, the product of an eccentric Duke that was obsessed with his own privacy, obsessed to the point of riddling the grounds with tunnels (so he could walk or ride in his carriage unseen) and even building walls around his bed.
But it was the situation of the estate that I found truly fascinating. By the mid-1800s the reclusive Duke was squandering his family fortune on massive building projects, like a ballroom over 160 ft long and underground, a private gasworks, and a stable with a 50 ft. ceiling made entirely of iron and glass. The ancient house was refitted with the most modern plumbing and “conveniences” (one in every room!), all of its walls painted pink, and thousands of gas braziers were installed along the walls of the 22 acre enclosed garden, to ripen fruit out of season. And all these improvements were made by an estimated 1500 workman, men who, along with their families, had been pulled from abject poverty and were now being supported by the Duke. Was the Duke crazy, or perhaps suffering from what we would now call an anxiety disorder, or had a wealthy man simply found a better, if unconventional, use for his money?
History has never really answered that question, and unanswered questions are like a gift dropped right into an author’s lap. It means we get to use our imagination, to pull out the elements that inspire us and create something new with them. Like an underground ballroom used only for roller skating, gaslit carriage tunnels, hundreds of empty, pink rooms, one of which contains a strange (and possibly crazy) man, surrounded by an entire town dependent on that one (possibly crazy) man. Add some moors, odd winds that seem to know more than they are telling, and a child-like, genius inventor at the center of it all, and the strange estate of Welbeck transforms into the even more peculiar Stranwyne Keep, where –like Welbeck– anything goes, and all things seem to flirt on the edge of madness.
As a writer, beginning with the creepy, gothic atmosphere that Welbeck inspired made the characters and plot of The Dark Unwinding happen almost naturally, an organic outflow of the setting. And I believe that such a setting, no matter how imaginative, is all the better for having its basis in a very firm, if slightly fantastic, reality.
Connect with Sharon Cameron
Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, [amazon_link id=”0545327865″ target=”_blank” ]The Dark Unwinding[/amazon_link]. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages.
Read the first 3 chapters on Scribd!
Blog Tour Stops
|8/26||The Book Vortex||Guest Post | Introduction|
|8/27||Book Thoughts by Marielle||Interview with Sharon|
|8/28||Starting the Next Chapter||Guest Post | Favorite Real Life Mystery|
|8/29||Denim Jacket Librarian||List | 10 Pieces of Advice|
|8/30||The Housework Can Wait||Interview with Sharon|
|8/31||The Compulsive Reader||Character Interview | Mary|
|9/2||Magnet 4 Books’ Reviews||Guest Post | Fictional Crushes|
|9/3||The Ninja Librarian||Interview with Sharon|
|9/4||A Reader of Fictions||Character Interview | Mr. Tully|
|9/5||Wastepaper Prose||Guest Post | Magical Science|
|9/6||Through the Looking Glass||Interview with Sharon|
|9/7||Katie’s Book Blog||Character Interview | Lane|
|9/8||The Cozy Reader||Guest Post | Welbeck Abbey|
|9/9||Missionto Read||Interview with Sharon|
I enjoyed this book SO much that I want to giveaway a copy to one of my readers!Giveaway
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