If you know me, you also know how much I love to visit historic places. Doubly so for researching my stories. This applies for both my historicals and my paranormals. Where would I go to research a contemporary ghost story, you might ask? For my two paranormal romances, Traces and Remnants, I needed to find a plantation to haunt.
One of them was an old plantation that happened to be for sale. Greer House is outside of Petersburg, Tennessee, and has seen better days. The real estate agent met me and a friend at the house (no way was I going out to a site alone to meet a man I didn’t know). Thankfully, the person we met turned out to be the wife of the agent, which was fine with us. Jan and I roamed through the house, pointing out various details and aspects of the layout.
I was searching for a good place to hide a body, a body which would then become the ghost haunting the house in my story. There were several possibilities – the closet under the stairs; the basement; a secret panel in the bedroom (in my imagination, not in the house we toured!).
Mostly though I was saddened by how deteriorated the building was. Despite upgrades over the years – bathrooms with indoor plumbing, a new state-of-the-art kitchen – there were also holes in the walls, stains on the wallpaper, missing boards, and the overall sickly sweet smell of mildew.
I came away with ideas on how Twin Oaks, the plantation featured in my two ghost stories, might have decayed with lack of attention. But I tempered the images from Greer House by visiting another plantation that was restored to its former beauty by caring owners. I’ll talk more about that one in a separate post.
No matter what time period or setting of a story, some kind of research is typically need to get the facts right. It’s a good thing I love to research! To dig into the details and find the surprises to share in my stories. Like where to hid that body I was talking about, which came from visiting the second plantation.
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If you’d like to find out where I hid the body, you can get your copy of Traces at any of these places. Note that it’s available in paperback also at Amazon and B&N. Happy reading!
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1j7WOwq