Saturday, August 19, 2006

A haunted house, an ancient treasure...

This weekend I'm leaving for Normandy. We're going to spend a week in an old house on a windy, treeless plateau. The house hasn't been finished yet - friends of our bought it and plan on renting it out, so there isn't any furniture except for beds, one table, and two benches. There are fireplaces in every room, the floors are wooden and creak upstairs and heavy terracotta farm tiles downstairs. The kitchen is pretty much finished, so I can cook, (and since I just broke my stove, this will even be a move UP from where I am now, lol)
We stayed at the house last week for a night, and my daughter had a terrible nightmare. She dreamed there were two jealous children in the house who wanted parents like she had, so they were going to kill her and take her place. Needless to say she woke up in a state of terror and spent the night curled up next to me. And after she told me her dream, I didn't get much sleep either! I heard creaking floorboards, knocking, and the sound of whispers. So I think the house is haunted. Probably by two children. Creepy, no?
I can't wait to stay there and take notes. Authors are definitely a crazy bunch, I'm already plotting a story about the house.

And speaking of plotting, I'm working on the proposal. I sent the rough draft off and my agent loved it. We are now fleshing it out - and I'm keeping the setting (France) and I'm adding the backstory - the Protestant's treasure which was hidden at the end of the 14th century during the war between the Catholics and the Protestants. It happened here, or very close to my village, and people still seek the treasure, sure that it is buried somewhere nearby. There are caves and passages in the limestone hills beneath our village, and the town hall has an old map or two of these passages - and one lies just beneath my house and goes to the church.

What do you think about books set in other places besides America? My agent says it will be harder to sell, but she said to go ahead anyway, because she loved the premise. Are you open to books set in other countries?
Let me know!

9 comments:

Wynn Bexton said...

Personally, I prefer stories set in other countries. There is so much richness and texture and mystery you can add to them. And staying in the haunted house is a fantastic opportunity for you to glean even more story material. Have fun. Watch out for those ghosts, though!

Jona said...

Not many of the books I read are set in the Americas - but I'd never even thought about this before, and am now wondering if we do have location preferances, yikes!

Bonita said...

I love books set in all types of locations (real and imaginery!). France would be a wonderful backdrop for your story. I loves some settings more than others, but anywhere is Europe is fantastic. 'Tis the same with time periods -- of course, I have my favorites, but a well-crafted story can transcend place and time.

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, most of the books I read are not set in America.

City Slicker said...

Yes Yes Yes.
Please bring them on.
Steinbeck basically cornered the market anyway :-)
Fun blog

Cheyenne McCray said...

I love books set in other countries. I don't know why they don't think they'll sell. It'so fascinating to me. Good luck with it!

Lyn Cash said...

Ditto what Wynn said!!! Oooh, Sam, this sounds amazing - very Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stuart. No...it sounds very SAM/Jenn. *grin* And you have the perfect built-in tools. Your heroine could be a former American, living in France, who moves to this place. You'd capture the attention of both Europeans and Americans (and I'm guessing a whole lot of others). Heroine doesn't have to BE you, but your perspective would really flesh her out, no?

Keep us posted. I for one would read this in a heartbeat, no matter the heroine or hero's nationality. It sounds absolutely fascinating!

*shudder on daughter's nightmare - lol*

Madeline Hill said...

I LOVE books set in other countries, especially spooky countrysides!!!

I'd like a non fiction book about YOUR relocation to a small village in France and what it's like!!

International-Man-Of-Mystery said...

I'll read a good story regardless of the setting. The only problem I've ever run into is with novels set in Britain, written by Brits. A couple I've picked up were SO British I couldn't understand them--as in, the speech patterns were hard to follow. Those wacky English talk differently, you know. :> (Cookies are "biscuits?" What's up with THAT?) But a really good story makes up for a lot.