Friday, 11 September 2015

Author Houses

Have you ever visited the house of a favourite author? Perhaps visited a place where they have set a book, or an important scene?

For as long as I can remember, I've loved Anne of Green Gables, by Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery (yes, it probably had something to do with the hair colour!). When an unexpected windfall came my way several years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: go to Canada. So I did.

Green Gables, Cavendish, PEI
Prince Edward Island has to be almost exactly opposite on the other side of the world from the small NSW country town where I live. Getting there (via LA, Chicago, driving up from Boston) was adventure enough. But staying there, smelling the Atlantic brine, walking the red dirt roads, visiting the house where Lucy Maud stayed as a girl (which Green Gables was based on), having relatives of the author (!) talk about her work, all of these things helped bring the novels to life with such clarity that a girl from Australia could only marvel and thank God for this opportunity. (And maybe pretend, for a moment, while walking down Lover's Lane, that my husband was Gilbert?)

Lake Muskoka
A few days later we were in Muskoka, Ontario, scene of the novel The Blue Castle, also by LM Montgomery. Hearing the pines sing over the swathes of beautiful blue lakes was another boost to the imaginings of a girl more used to dusty paddocks and grey-green gum trees, my raving over this gorgeous part of the world prompting my sister to visit the following year.

Your turn: have you ever visited a favourite author's house or seen a favourite location from a book? Did it meet your expectations? What was the experience like?

                                   Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of the Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her novels have won or finaled in over a dozen contests, including the 2014 RWA ‘Touched by Love’ and 2014 ACFW Genesis contests. Carolyn is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

Connect with her: www.carolynmiller.org    


15 comments:

  1. That's somewhere I would love to visit! LMM is one of my favourite authors, and The Blue Castle definitely up there in my top 10 books :)

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    1. If you ever visit the Muskoka area ('Mistawis') then be sure to visit the museum in Bala. So interesting! (And now I'm feeling the need to reread 'A Tangled Web'!)

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  2. Green with envy, Carolyn--just like Anne's hair turned when she tried to dye it!!! Oh well ... one day ... when I write my GREAT AUSTRALIAN NOVEL. Lovely you could go there, however, and I'm sure it would have inspired you for your own writing.

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    1. Yes - at the time I was writing a contemporary novel, set in Muskoka, so to see the lakes and 'cottages' (luxury mini-mansions!) was extremely helpful in detailing setting.

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  3. Wow, what a wonderful experience. That was always one of my dream destinations too, but it's looking less likely. I have visited some British sites though, such as Jane Austen's house and the Bronte parsonage.

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    1. I truly never thought it possible either, and had to content myself with imagining what Canada would be like, whilst trying not to envy those who'd been (surely they could never appreciate like I would!) But God can take us by surprise, and give us the desires of our heart. Here's to PEI adventures for more of us!

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  4. I've always worried that if I had the opportunity to go to Prince Edward Island I might be disappointed. I have such romanticised ideas about it, that it would be hard for reality to match them. Did the visit meet all your expectations?

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    1. Yes, Susan, it met my expectations. I don't know how many Aussie summers I've read LMM's books, dreaming, imagining. The films (esp. the first) went some way to matching what I imagined, but being there, seeing the aged apple tree outside the cottage where LMM lived, walking the paths she (& Anne!) walked, listening to one of her descendants talk about LMM's life, were goosebump-inducing! If you get the chance, take it!

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  5. Funny I haven't wanted to see an authors home but wanted to go to places in books. I do want to go to Prince Edward Island. After reading a book set in Shiloh National Park Tennessee I want to visit there. Also after I visited Hawaii I read a book set in Maui and could recognise places and it would take me back to the place. I would love to see Laura Ingles Wilders home.

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    1. On our drive up to PEI we also had to stop and take photos at a few other literary locales, such as Louisa May Alcotts home outside Concord, Massachusetts, & Nathaniel Hawthorne's house in Salem, then seeing the Maine townships similar to Jessica Fletcher's 'Cabot Cove'. I love travel!

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  6. Carolyn, great post! I've always wanted to visit PEI and it's on my travel wish list :)

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  7. PEI is well worth it! And there's something rather special about being on the Atlantic shores realizing how far one is from home :)

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  8. PEI is well worth it! And there's something rather special about being on the Atlantic shores realizing how far one is from home :)

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  9. I visited PEI and it was one of the happiest times of my life. Walking the trails. Reading LM's diaries and novels while there. Imagining Anne as a real person. Oh the joys! Thanks for sharing your journey. It's brought back so many memories!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! (And what do you mean Anne isn't real?!)

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