Fall in love with Washington, D.C. all over again!

Monday, February 6, 2012

From Mount Vernon Estates to The Smithsonian: How the Setting of Buried Deception Came to Life

"No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this."
- George Washington, 1790

Ever wonder where an author gets an idea for a story? The idea for Buried Deception came in 2005 when my family took a three week homeschool tour up the East coast. Mount Vernon was one of our stops.

I loved everything about Mount Vernon in the summertime from the beautiful foliage and blooming trees to the richness of the history on the grounds. I marveled at George Washington’s innovations as I walked through the mansion and wondered which antiques were original and which were replicas. That thought lead to another... “What if a real antique at Mount Vernon was discovered to be a fake?” One thing lead to another and Buried Deception was born.

It was months before I began writing the novella and years before it actually sold. Though I had visited Mount Vernon, it had been too long to trust my memory. That’s when I contacted an archaeologist at Mount Vernon to help me fill in the gaps. It was then that I learned that new buildings were built on the grounds since I had visited and the picture in my head needed a visual reminder not only of the layout of the buildings, but the floor plan of the mansion.

Thankfully, the virtual map of the Mount Vernon Mansion was invaluable when writing the scenes in the mansion. I referred to it dozens of times when writing Buried Deception. Updated maps and the Mount Vernon website also gave me a bird’s eye view that I needed to bring the setting of my novella to life.

I utilized the same research technique with the other locations in Buried Deception, and it’s my hope that while you read it you will actually feel like you’re walking the halls of the Smithsonian and the grounds of Christ Church and Mount Vernon.

If you’re a visual reader and want to bring Buried Deception to life in a more visual way? Check out the link and explore the mansion and rooms Samantha and her children visited for yourself!

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