When first conceiving my characters for The House, I took myself back to the many fairy tales I had read as a child, and channelled some of the creatures and folk prevalent in those classic stories. By thinking of them as archetypes, I created a beastly and dipsomaniacal Lord, an analogy to the predatory wolf, a sensitive Lady powerless to find her true calling, an essence of the damsel in distress, and a troupe of personages that one never reads about in novels written during the (regency) era my book presides in. Such as is the diverse cast that inhabit my book; transvestites, homosexuals, rent boys, courtesans, poets, and of course a time traveller, to name some of this disparate ensemble.
Menacing gargoyles, half man/beast manifestations, another borrowing from the classics, clasp the walls of the house, while in contrast, and most unexpectedly, the interior is adorned by cherubim, goddesses and friendly hard to define souls, whose animated amiable eyes follow in sympathy. Upon the face of it, the beasts ‘guarding’ the ramshackle house symbolise unknown and potentially perilous encounters within. The accidental visitor is left with very little choice for shelter however, for the forest whilst enchanting, has an impending darkness that only wolves and predators revel in.
With a narrative that takes the reader into the Georgian and Regency periods, I purposely created players that I had never met in the books of Jane Austen, nor of those of her contemporaries. While the dramatis personae in ‘The House’ have walked the well trodden path of humanity, social mores of periods past would most certainly not have approved. This was the distinction I enjoyed exploring. Despite the fact that I worked diligently to give them a voice that belonged to that particular era, the aspiration was to write a story that portrayed a familiar humanity. I have been a passionate reader of classic novels for a long while, and the stories that engage me most profoundly are those that present a psychologically complex society. Regardless of the departure from reality that this fantasy novel affords, my aim was to fashion recognisable characters that have travelled throughout time.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16