Guest Post: A wander around London: The Girl in the Painting by Kirsty Ferry

Today I am delighted to welcome Kirsty Ferry back to The Love of a Good Book.

Thank you for letting me chat on your blog about my new paperback release, The Girl in the Painting. As I write this, I’m in a hotel room in Bloomsbury having a ‘moment’. We came down for a few days to see some of the sights and I knew there was no way I’d get my teenage son into the Tate Gallery to see Ophelia by Millais, which is a huge part of my novel – but I did manage to get him to walk around the area a bit, and, to my fan-girling delight, I saw number 7, Gower Street. It’s a lovely, neat, end terraced house and it is the place where, in 1848, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded.
There’s a little street running along the side of the house called Gower Mews, and on our way to Gower Street, we crossed a park called Russell Square. These three places are locations in The Girl in the Painting, and until today I hadn’t visited any of them. It was a strange feeling to think I was walking in the footsteps of my characters, who seem so real to me that I can visualise Daisy promenading around Russell Square and heading towards Gower Street, with the sole intention of bumping into Dante Gabriel Rossetti or Lizzie Siddal or John Everett Millais. I can imagine contemporary Cori pitching up outside of number 7, completely baffled as to why she’d ended up there, and having quite an unpleasant ‘moment’ of her own in the side street as the ghost of Daisy tries to explain it all to her!
The Brotherhood was founded in Gower Street, in John Millais’ parents’ house, and the first meeting comprised of painters John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. As an aspiring poet, Rossetti wished to develop the links between Romantic poetry and art, and I’ve sort of done the same by linking my first book in the Rossetti Mysteries series, Some Veil Did Fall, into the second book, The Girl in the Painting. The first novel is based on a Rossetti poem called Sudden Light, which is all about reincarnation and soulmates, and the second one is based on art and painting; more specifically, the painting of Ophelia by Millais, as I mentioned earlier. I’ve linked the third book, The Girl in the Photograph, into Pre-Raphaelite photography – as you can probably guess from the title! The original characters from Some Veil Did Fall also crop up in the new books, so hopefully readers will be interested to find out what happens to them, as well as enjoying meeting new characters like Cori and Daisy.
But it was lovely to see the locations I mentioned in the books for myself. I do hope that someone in the future will, having read my novels, take that walk as well, and feel a little thrill of excitement as Cori ducks into the alleyway, just out of sight, and Daisy drifts past in a cloud of hopes and dreams on her way to stardom, just like her heroine, Lizzie Siddal. Google Street View is awesome from a research point of view, but sometimes it’s no substitute for the real thing!

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Blurbs:
The Girl in the Painting
What if you thought you knew a secret that could change history?
Whilst standing engrossed in her favourite Pre-Raphaelite painting – Millais’s Ophelia – Cori catches the eye of Tate gallery worker, Simon, who is immediately struck by her resemblance to the red-haired beauty in the famous artwork.
The attraction is mutual, but Cori has other things on her mind. She has recently acquired the diary of Daisy, a Victorian woman with a shocking secret. As Cori reads, it soon becomes apparent that Daisy will stop at nothing to be heard, even outside of the pages of her diary …
Will Simon stick around when life becomes increasingly spooky for Cori, as she moves ever closer to uncovering the truth about Daisy’s connection to the girl in her favourite painting?

Buy The Girl in the Painting: www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-in-the-painting/
The Girl in the Photograph

What if the past was trying to teach you a lesson?
Staying alone in the shadow of an abandoned manor house in Yorkshire would be madness to some, but art enthusiast Lissy de Luca can’t wait. Lissy has her reasons for seeking isolation, and she wants to study the Staithes Group – an artists’ commune active at the turn of the twentieth century.
Lissy is fascinated by the imposing Sea Scarr Hall – but the deeper she delves, the stranger things get. A lonely figure patrols the cove at night, whilst a hidden painting leads to a chilling realisation. And then there’s the photograph of the girl; so beautiful she could be a mermaid … and so familiar.
As Lissy further immerses herself, she comes to an eerie conclusion: The occupants of Sea Scarr Hall are long gone, but they have a message for her – and they’re going to make sure she gets it.

Buy The Girl in the Photograph: www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-in-the-photograph/

About the Kirsty Ferry
Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale Enchantment. She has also written North East based novels, short stories and articles for magazines such as Weekly News, Peoples Friend, Ghost Voices and It’s Fate.

Her timeslip novel, Some Veil Did Fall, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, The Girl in the Painting in February 2016 and The Girl in the Photograph in March 2017. The experience of signing Some Veil Did Fall in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!
Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.

For more information on Kirsty Ferry, follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry

A big thank you to Kirsty for stopping by.

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