In which we begin SILENT ON THE MOOR

It’s week three of our bloggish retrospective of the books and next up is SILENT ON THE MOOR. Oh, this one was interesting to write, chickens! After learning LOADS about revising through working on SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY, I was able to pick this one apart and make some major fixes before I turned it in. For instance, the Allenby sisters were originally one character, Ailith. I read through the first draft when it was done and she just seemed fractured, as if too many people were inhabiting one body. And the obvious solution was to divide her–thus the creation of Hilda, a character that absolutely didn’t exist in the first draft. It’s rare for me to create someone entirely new after the first draft, but when I do it, it’s invariably because it was absolutely necessary. In this case, separating the two sisters allowed me to develop another subplot involving Hilda which I greatly enjoyed.

I also loved the chance to move out of the familiar settings of London and a manicured country estate to the wilds of Yorkshire. The landscape is incredibly dramatic, and to get a good feel for it, I went to the north of England. (My exact words to my husband were, “I need to smell a moor.” A month later we were there.) We stayed in Haworth, the home of the Brontes, in a small bed and breakfast directly across the road from their parsonage. We took the same path through the graveyard and up onto the moor that Emily Bronte took, and we walked for miles. It was spectacular and melancholy and–at that time of year–LOUD. I was amazed to find it so difficult to hold a conversation on a moor when the spring wind is high. I also discovered, rather by accident, a manor house that I used as the basis for Grimsgrave Hall–photos coming later this week!

But what I loved most was settling into my role as puppet master with my characters. I put some together, tore others apart, and I twisted the knife a little on unsuspecting readers. It was insanely enjoyable. If you’ve missed this one, here’s a little peek at what goes on between the covers:

In Grimsgrave Hall, enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane has inherited a ruined estate, replete with uncanny tenants and one unwanted houseguest: Lady Julia Grey

Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family: the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes….

A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.

 This is also the first book to feature a trailer, courtesy of Two Rock Media.


9 thoughts on “In which we begin SILENT ON THE MOOR”

  1. ashlee guest says:

    This was one of my favorites in the series. And I’m visiting England next summer, one of the things on my “to do” list is to find a moor! Perhaps I should write down Haworth?

  2. Valerie Ward says:

    Oh boy now you tweaked me. I guess I’ll just have to go back for my third read of this book. I love them all. Enjoying this blog. Thanks.

  3. Brigitte Kiefer says:

    Deanna, I love your books and have to thank Susanna Kearsley for introducing them to me. Thanks so much for the back stories on your plot lines and characters. I’m currently re-reading the Lady Julia books and look forward to Midsummer Night once it’s released!

  4. Jaye says:

    I am gearing up to read the series again. I try to read/listen to them every year, because I always find something that sticks in my mind. I hope there will be another longer sequel soon.

  5. Ben Hunt says:

    In which we enjoyed Silent on the Moor, and reviewed it very favourably (UK cover apart)

    http://materialwitness.typepad.com/material_witness/2009/09/review-silent-on-the-moor-by-deanna-raybourn.html

  6. Krista Jones says:

    The smelling of violets scene in the beginning gets me every time!

  7. Bonnie Mintz says:

    I stayed at the Black Bull Inn in Haworth (is that where you stayed, Deanna?) and really enjoyed seeing the Bronte Parsonage, the moors and just the general atmosphere of Yorkshire. I could really get a feel of how it must have been to live in such a rural area and it made “Wuthering Heights” come alive to me! My window at the Black Bull faced the graveyard and loved it but I saw no ghosty images of Emily, Charlotte, Branwell or Anne! 🙁

  8. Kristin H says:

    It is very enjoyable to learn about your process. This book was so atmospheric, and now I know why. You weren’t guessing; you were there. I really admired Julia’s gumption in this book, and to see her growth.
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Alice says:

    Love, love this one! You made the level of angst just perfect. Up to the very end, I really didn’t think they would get together!

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