Hunting for A Dream Home at Fontevraud

Location scouting in France is something for which I have fallen hard. Walking the actual grounds of the main settings of The Sibylline Chronicles gives me a sense of place that cannot be found any other way. Yes, there’s the Internet. But, my mind only sets itself on a place after I’ve done the walking. I make the discovery. My nose smells and eyes recall the light.

As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.

– A.C. Benson

This trip, for me, was all about finding that dream home. Not the five-bedroom château with a dreamy sense of yesterday for me and my husband to retire to. More like Marie and Serah’s farmhouse. Maybe, a place where they could have spent the five years between novels preparing for the epic journey of becoming a Sibyl.

Trusting My Instincts While Location Scouting In France

When I was at Fontevraud, one of my goals was to suss out this location. I found a lookout along the wall at the Abbey and was able to see a farmhouse in the distance. So, I spent that afternoon hiking out to it and nosing around.

Amazingly, it is right next to a tiny chapel built by a Bourbon to honour the Virgin Mary (see, told ya, she is following me around). No one appeared to live at the farmhouse. It is absolutely perfect as a secondary location. I can see the farmhouse clearly from the Abbey. That little bit transforms the story in cool ways and really brought it to life.

As a note, it was so hot in France this week. I brought sweaters and warm jackets, only to strip down to a t-shirt. The 25C weather made it spectacular for location scouting, but a little too sweaty for me.

Off to integrate this wonderful dream house discovery into the early set pieces for The Mother House.

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