Once upon a time I had a dream...
Despite the title I don’t attribute much meaning to dreams, and yet it was a reoccurring dream that brought about the inspiration to write my novel.
It was over twenty years ago when I first began dreaming about roller coasters. The dreams came seemingly from nowhere, as I had only been to the odd seaside funfair as a child. I was curious to understand their origin but found most interpretations of dreams to be rather ambiguous and trite, so after a few years I knew there was only one place to go… Alton Towers!
And whilst it was the excitement and exhilaration of the roller coasters that first called me there, it was the history and architecture of the house that stole my heart. I vowed one day I would tell their story, and so now I am writing the first of a young adult series of novels that chronicle their captivating history.
And did my dreams ever stop, you may ask? No, and I hope they never will. For without them, I may never have embarked on this exciting and magical journey.
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Along the way, she forms an unlikely friendship with her uncle’s exuberant architect, Augustus Pugin. Bonding over their shared experiences of loss, Augustus takes her under his wing and shows her the true wonder of Gothic architecture.
The story begins in 1851 and follows the tale of the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury’s niece, Charlotte Talbot. Recently orphaned, Charlotte is sent to live at the Towers and await the return of her uncle and family from their residence in Italy. Left to her own devices, with only a few members of staff for company, it’s not long before she begins to discover the mysterious enchantments of her new home.
But, when a local boy goes missing, Charlotte overhears the villagers’ hushed
whispers of a curse and soon comes to learn there is a dark side to her family history….