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.