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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Sherry Gloag

This is a part of the Virtual Book Tour for The Brat scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. In addition to being entered in our Spotlight contest, any comment on this post will also be included in the drawing for a free download of The Brat. You can follow Sherry's tour here. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. One comment per stop will be counted, but feel free to dialogue with Sherry as you like.

If walls had ears, have you ever wondered what tales they could pass on if they could speak up? We talk about the aura of a room when we enter it. You know the kind of thing I mean. When you walk into one room and you feel good, happy and relaxed. Yes the owners of that room may well be responsible, to a degree, by the way the decorated it and use it, but that wouldn’t account for the other rooms you enter that feel heavy and oppressed, while the rest of the house may feel light and airy.

Have you ever wondered how much of that ambiance, do you suppose, is carried down from previous centuries? Until the end of May this year it was obligatory for the house seller in the UK to provide a Home Information Pack that included details such as whether someone died in the house and in which room.

I mean, most of the older houses must have experienced a death of a resident, over the years. But the fact that someone ~sitting in their little-big office somewhere in officialdom-land~ decided such a clause must be included surely means the idea of essence is more than just a cursory thought?

I don’t believe you can confuse the essence of the room with a ghostly haunting.

East Anglia is full of grand old houses and manors and in such places it is easier to see that by the artifacts retain their essence of antiquity. There are thousands of homes; we’ve all been in at least one that seems to wrap you in a warm welcome as soon as you step through the door.

I wonder what they could tell you if they could speak?

Up in the northwest corner of Norfolk you’ll come across the Queen’s private holiday home, Sandringham House. It has no claim to beauty, but carries an air of confused dignity about it, unlike the stately gardens surrounding it.

Sandringham was opened to the public in 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year. It is quite a while since I visited, but I do remember the diverse atmospheres I experienced as I walked from one room to the next. Even the connecting corridors had their own distinct personalities. Perhaps I’d just finished a Georgette Heyer. I don’t know. I do remember wondering what kind of influence those rooms had on the different family members down the centuries.

Queen Victoria bought the place in 1862 at the request of her son, the then Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII.

Even when you walk round the walled gardens surrounding the house, it is easy to imagine Victoria’s children romping around in unaccustomed freedom. But once inside again, did the personality of the house impose itself upon those children?

In my debut novel, The Brat, place and the sense of place plays a strong yet subliminal part throughout the story.


Maureen said...

I think that's so interesting that you would have to provide information on any deaths in a house. I have definitely had different feelings when visiting new places but I never thought about why.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Sherry Gloag said...

Maureen, over here we have several tv programs that follow couple on their house-hunting, and it is amazing how often -the woman in particular- says the house has to 'connect' with her when she first enters it. If it doesn't she'll hesitate to even consider giving it a second viewing however much she likes it. Go figure!!
But the 'first impression as they walk through the front door, occurs over and over again, so there must be something in it. :-)
Thanks for keeping me company here today.