Thursday, August 8, 2013

Finding Inspiration: Swannanoa Mansion

As I've worked toward my weekly goal for the WIPMarathon, I've been thinking a lot about where I find inspiration for my books. One thing that really inspires me is visiting places so unique that I find myself making up characters who might have lived there, and pondering what their was. I love to read (and write) books with vivid, memorable settings.

This leads me to last weekend, when my husband and I joined my mom and sister for a little outing in Afton, VA. We spent the afternoon exploring Swannanoa Mansion, a beautiful old estate which, sadly, is falling into ruin. It's also supposedly haunted, another thing that fascinates and inspires me. You can read about the supposed haunting and explore evidence from a local paranormal group here. Despite some boisterous tourists, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and I was able to take some awesome photos. I hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and be assured that some of the features of this lovely place will show up in a future ghost story of mine... :)

From the front

Around the side- courtyard

Ghost in the hall! Or, you know, me ;)
One of the many gorgeous fireplaces inside

View from an upper window
As you can see, some parts were in complete disrepair

But overall...
The place is still stunning!