My new timeslip, The Phantom Tree, was published last week and it’s so exciting to see it in the shops! This time I’m travelling between the present and the Tudor era, visiting Wolf Hall in mysterious Savernake Forest, and Littlecote Hall near Hungerford (thinly disguised as Middlecote in the book!) I blogged about the Wiltshire background to the book last month but this time I wanted to share with you the picture that started it all...
I was visiting family and saw this gorgeous picture on the wall of a woman in Tudor dress. I found it totally beguiling. She has a hint of a smile on her face as though she knows a secret, and there is a pearl missing from her hood… On the back of the picture it says it is a portrait of Anne Boleyn, one I’d never seen before. It also had another inscription in Latin. I found this totally intriguing and would love to know the history and provenance of the picture. The art dealer who sold it apparently suggested that it was a 19th century copy of a Tudor portrait. I need to find an art historian who can help discover the true story behind the picture!
However, Anne Boleyn or not, my writer’s imagination got going and I started to speculate on how
I love the way that so many different things can spark a story idea and then the idea grows and develops in unexpected directions. I’ve always loved timeslip stories and dual time books where a historical mystery is solved in the present but although the mystery of Mary’s disappearance is solved (fictionally) in The Phantom Tree I’m wondering if I can solve the case of the mystery portrait!