It’s surprising what you find doing a Google search! Today I was looking for a painting I’d seen at Tyntesfield, the estate I have in mind as I write my Highland Hall books, and I found a blog post written by the photographer whose photo was used on the cover of The Governess of Highland Hall. When the book came out he recieved a copy from my publisher and wrote about it on his blog – Little Green Men Photography.
This quote stung a bit: “Reading the blurb on the back, it’s clear that the story is some kind of Edwardian bodice-ripper, unashamedly cashing in on the current popularity ofDownton Abbey.”
Hmmmm, an Edwardian bodice-ripper? I think he must not have read the story. I wondered if I should respond and leave a comment on his blog to set the story straight or let it go. After a thinking a about it a few minutes, here is the comment I posted:
Hello, I’m the author of The Governess of Highland Hall, and the one who pointed the art director to your lovely photo for possible use on the cover. Your photos were a great help to me as I wrote the story and imagined what my characters would do and see at Highland Hall. I watched a documentary about Tyntesfield and found several more photos online that I saved on a Pinterest board . . . but yours were the first. Thank you for sharing them!
I was very excited to finally visit Tyntesfield last May. What a delight! It is even more beautiful in person than in the photos. The National Trust staff was very kind and gave me a private tour of several of the rooms that were closed to most visitors. It was a wonderful day that I will never forget. I took a lot of photos myself that day.
I’ve gone on to write two more books in the series. The Daughter of Highland Hall released last October. It is mainly set in London, and now I’m working on A Refuge at Highland Hall, which releases this coming October. This story brings us back to Highland Hall (Tyntesfield) and follows the Ramsey family through WW1. The hero is a very brave and daring British pilot who must learn how to build a new life after he is injured in the war, but not before he takes down a German zeppelin. I enjoyed the research and learning more about WW1 in England and France. I try to give my readers a look back at history as well as romance, family drama, and inspiration.
The Governess of Highland Hall is not a bodice-ripper. My novels are inspriational, clean-reads that can be enjoyed by teens through greatgrandmothers with no embarrassment. I’m very happy about that, and so are my readers. The Governess of Highland Hall has done well in the US and has been translated into Dutch. It’s been a finalist for two national writing awards and has some great reviews on Amazon.
I hope you’re pleased to see your photo used for the cover. I would’ve sent my thanks earlier, but I just found this blog post when I Googled Tyntesfield images. I hope you keep taking and sharing great photos! You never know who you will inspire!
Want to read the books for yourself and see? Just click on over to my book page.
When we or our work are criticized or belittled, we have a choice how we respond. It felt great to set the record straight, yet do it in a way that I hope was kind and informative. I hope the Little Green Men agree! : )
***Update, check out Ian Wilson’s reply to my comment. It seems I’ve won a friend who is eager to share more photos with me for future projects.