Research can be a wondrous labyrinth, leading to unexpected places. That's what happened to today's guest, historical novelist Diane Scott Lewis.
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The Cornish say there’s magic in a ring of stone. Reading Daphne du Maurier’s non-fiction Vanishing Cornwall for research on an earlier novel, I came across the haunting picture of a stone shaped like a ring perched on a windswept coastline. I decided I had to write a story around such a formation. For my novel, Ring of Stone, this wind and rain-ravaged phenomenon plays a vital part in the lives of the Gwynn sisters, and others in the remote village of Lankyp.
Cornwall is steeped in myths and magic and the more I researched—before the days of the internet—the more legends I wanted to include in my story. I traveled to Cornwall and walked the stormy northern coast, but also pored over numerous books at the Library of Congress.
I tossed in a practical young woman, Rose Gwynn from America, and placed her in the difficult position of wanting to practice as a doctor in a time when females were forbidden—in 1796. She’s journeyed here with her family, to the land of her ancestors, for her father’s career. Rose discounts anything supernatural and humors his tales of an ancient curse. However, her beliefs will soon be tested and twisted in a strange direction.
Rose’s arrival in the village will distress the local physician, Dr. Nelson, to whom she pleads to for assistance. Unbeknownst to her, stoic, young Nelson hides a ruinous secret and cannot allow anyone close. Rose’s beautiful sister will attract a nearby earl, who may or may not harbor evil inclinations. A tavern wench named Catern knows the ugly truth about the earl but her humiliation has kept her from revealing the painful details, though she seethes with revenge.
These three people, Rose, Dr. Nelson, Catern, will come together in ways none of them expected to help or hinder and change all their lives forever. The stone ring will have an explosive moment—or is it the characters’ imaginations?—to help one woman discover love, and save another lady’s life.
A Cornish wise-woman or “Charmer” also plays a prominent role in the story, teaching Rose to see her past as her and her sister’s future. The elderly charmer warns that someone who has barged into an ancient land should never disregard the old ways.
I tried to fit the supernatural aspect, as much as I could, into a scenario that might have happened as I’ve written it—perhaps. I enjoyed writing this story and I hope readers will enjoy the journey into mythical Cornwall.
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Learn more about Diane Scott Lewis on her website.
Ring of Stone will be featured at a cheaper price on Amazon Countdown. March 24th for Amazon US. March 25th for Amazon UK.