Photograph by Kathie Trent Kingery. (Photo used with permission.) Check out her facebook page at Miss K’s Photography or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When I first saw this photograph, I knew this would be the perfect model house for Isabel’s half-brother Jim. If you have read The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, you may remember Isabel’s surprise birthday party. A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE is posted under The Vision of a Mother’s Heart Sample Chapters.
I don’t know about you, but I love looking at houses – especially older abandoned homes. There is something sad about seeing a house or cabin that used to be someone’s home. If I am a passenger in the car, I scour the scenery for “homes” that may be appropriate for characters in my book. Some old houses have so much character – rotting gingerbread trim, bay windows, wide, wrap-around porches. Any of the above elements will grab my attention and my imagination. “I wonder who lived there?” A story begins to take shape in my mind. I visualize the house as it must have looked when it was new. Children playing in the yard, dogs, kittens, flowers and Mama watching the activities from the porch swing while stringing beans.
I’m not sure how much research most authors do when writing a novel. An author of historic fiction must spend a lot of time in research in order to have a story that is historically correct and appealing to readers. I spend a lot of time in research, including reading local history books, visiting local historic sites on-line and checking census records for the time period.
I look at houses on the internet, go to realtor sites who have slide shows of older homes and browse through the rooms. I especially like sites with vintage or antique furniture, restored homes, Pinterest is a wonderful site for getting ideas for a character’s setting. Magazines are also a good resource when researching period homes and appliances.
When I saw this photograph taken by my friend, I just knew it was “Jim’s house!” A printed copy is on my story board for inspiration for the sequel. She has other wonderful pictures on her facebook page.
Last night, someone posted the picture of an old abandoned cabin. It was exactly as I imagined Grandpa Greene’s cabin in The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. I wasn’t the only one with that thought. A good friend who had read the book posted that it was just like the cabin in the book and she could see Isabel coming to the door. (Most likely with a baby brother in her arms!) It was perfect! Just as this house is perfect for Jim!
Be sure to look for Jim’s house in the sequel, Hope Beyond the Sunset. It may play an important part in our story!