Seriously, ever since reading A Year in Provence and seeing Under the Tuscan Sun, I’ve wanted to find my own chateau to restore. I’ve had a fascination with old mansions for as long as I can remember. Is it the history? The fact that I currently live in a 375-square-foot apartment? The fairy-tale setting of it all? Did I live in one in a past life? All of the above?
Whatever the cause, this fascination has naturally led me to set a number of my stories in old chateaus. My recently-finished novel takes place in an ancient chateau in Normandy, though it has only twenty-one rooms (I had to make myself a diagram to keep track of where they all were, so I can’t imagine doing it in a 94-room house!)
Three years ago I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to spend a week at a (much smaller) chateau in the south of France, not far from Toulouse. My aunt had WON a free week there and I selflessly volunteered to come along as her translator. The entire house was the stuff of dreams, from the unicorn tapestries to the library to the tower bedroom covered in ivy my sister and I stayed in. I haven’t posted those photos because it was before I bought my “good” camera, but maybe I’ll work some photoshop magic and post them soon.
Until then, I will continue to dream…