Today I have the great pleasure of introducing Kathryn Brown and her book Discovery At Rosehill. Kathryn is an author, sheep and arable farmer in Northumberland, mother, prolific blogger and special needs campaigner. Her first novel, Discovery at Rosehill is a romantic ghost story set in a large dilapidated house in the Scottish Borders. The heroine, Camilla Armstrong, is a medium and the story revolves around her attempts to contact the spirits of the house and her eventual discovery of the house’s dark secret. Just to make things difficult for herself, Camilla falls in love with the local vicar, a man with strongly opposing views on mediumship.
I asked Kathryn a few questions about her book and why she had written a paranormal romance. I wondered how much of her life is reflected in the book.
What was the inspiration for Discovery at Rosehill?
Two things inspired me to write the book; the first was my father who passed over in July 2001. His presence in my life ‘after’ he passed was immense and I knew I had to write about the paranormal. The other thing was my home; a large, Georgian Hall that is filled with atmosphere and energy. Some of my experiences in the house were included in the book, where they became Camilla’s experiences.
How did you first become interested in the spirit world?
The first time I really showed an interest was shortly after my grandmother passed away in 1990. Her death was hard to accept and made me realise that our lives are so precious, not to mention short. I went to see a medium who gave me information that no one else could have known. It was quite incredible to think that my grandmother was around and so my fascination grew.
What made you decide to write a ghost story?
I guess the fact that I’m sensitive to the world of spirit and fascinated in the paranormal was the key factor to me deciding a book of paranormal genre would be the perfect start to my writing career. I have experienced a lot of phenomena in my home that I wanted to write down so I wouldn’t forget. There have been some experiences that have left me speechless and the written word was the only way I could communicate what had happened. Being an author, this was most definitely the way to get my story across.
How much of your life as a farmer appears in the book? Your heroine, Camilla, purchases dogs from a local farmer.
Yes, she does. And that is something I do in real life. I have four sheep dogs, two of which regularly work. Camilla’s character is a part of me. Perhaps one day I’ll come into contact with a sophisticated vicar, too!
The passages about visitations from spirits are particularly powerful. Have you ever experienced anything like that yourself?
Yes, most of the experiences that Camilla has were actually my own. I did ‘beef’ them up a bit in order to make them sound more interesting to the reader, but Rosehill was based on my house. The staircase has a wonderful ambience and the mirror never fails to introduce me to a life beyond. Aromas waft around the house and I often sense someone on the top floor landing. The description of the cellars at Rosehill is really a description of my own cellars. The visitations that Camilla is presented with are ones she physically sees. My visions are flitting, corner-of-the-eye moments, whilst I am able to sense a spirit rather than see it is its human form like Camilla.
Have you ever sat for a reading yourself?
Many times. Each one has been equally as fascinating. Most of the mediums I have encountered have told me I am guarded by several male spirits. I assume some of them to be grounded spirits in my home, a spirit that doesn’t want to move on. I can’t blame them really. I wouldn’t want to move on from here either. And something I have always vowed I will remember is that this was their home first.
You’re currently writing your second novel. Could you tell us something about that?
It’s called Hideaway. I finished the first draft a few months ago and have yet to start editing it. The story is about Lydia who thinks she has the perfect marriage. But one day she discovers her husband has been having an affair and so the marriage ends. Lydia divorces Michael who moves with his lover to a cottage that he and Lydia used to own when they were married. But tragedy strikes when Michael’s body is found at the cottage and his lover, Bernadette, goes on the run. The book is a murder/mystery that follows the investigation into Michael’s murder and the nationwide hunt for Bernadette. Meanwhile, Lydia is under police protection as a bodyguard moves in to her home.
Discovery at Rosehill is available on Amazon for £8.99 in print or £1.02 on Kindle. Kathryn is on Twitter @crystaljigsaw and can also be contacted via her blog www. http://crystaljigsaw.blogspot.com/.