Christina Courtenay The Silent Touch of Shadows Background

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I first started writing this story many years ago, after I'd stayed at an old manor house (see photo below) which was reputed to be haunted. The owners told me they'd seen the ghost, a handsome man who looked as though he'd been there since the house was built some time during the late fifteenth century. This intrigued me and I started to wonder what would make someone's soul hang around a place for that length of time - it had to be something fairly traumatic!

I began to make up a story to account for this, and being a huge admirer of time slips, where the present and the past are interwoven, I decided that was what I wanted to write. The Silent Touch of Shadows slowly evolved from there.

The ghost must have lived during the time of the Wars of the Roses, a very turbulent period in English history. I had to read up on it in order to see where he fitted in and this gave me lots of ideas as well.

Since I'm a keen amateur genealogist, I decided my heroine should be a professional one - that would give her the knowledge needed to research the house's history and thereby find out what had happened to the ghost.