"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

House of Dreams: Location, location, location

I'm one of those writers who is intensely inspired by place. This could be a result of family influence--we know who we are, we cherish where we came from. Or because of early literary influences. So much of British and Southern and New England literature is connected to place.

My novels are character-driven, yet most of them are significantly tied to specific areas that I know rather well.

This house has fascinated and inspired me for quite a long time now. It appears in a back-burnered contemporary novel of mine. It's located on the coast of Maine.

It has about 355 feet of ocean frontage, with a private beach.

It's the perfect dwelling for a historian and historical novelist. Built in the 1920's, it was modelled upon a famous medieval house in southern England.

The original house is the setting for a famous time-travel historical novel by a favourite author of mine. The local quarried stone isn't an exact match for the stone found in Kent, but I like its warm reddish hue.

In all, there are 22 rooms (that's twice as many as the Lodge), including a great hall.

Here is the formal sitting room, with lovely wood panelling.

And a dining room with period ambiance. It has a fireplace--one of 13 in the house.

The kitchen, however, is exquisitely modern.

There are 7 bedrooms.

And 5 full baths, plus one 3/4 bath and one 1/2 bath.

The main house has a library, of course. And a secret staircase.

The guest quarters include yet another library, bedroom, billiard room, loft, and pantry.

The patio has a lovely view of the sea, about 1/2 mile away. A perfect spot for writing, or just daydreaming.

There are 52 acres of formal gardens, and several reflecting pools.

Last time this house was for sale, it was priced at $9.95 million. It didn't sell.

It's on the market again. Current price: $10.75 million.

I prefer lakeside living to seaside living--this Pisces is strictly a freshwater fishie. I'm not planning to up sticks. But if I were....

Anyway, it's fun to dream. And dreams don't cost anything.

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