At the heart of my adventure mystery series, The Secret of the Tirthas, is a magical ‘garden of hedged rooms’, buried deep in the English countryside. What a lot of people don’t know is that the garden was inspired by a real garden in Herefordshire, owned for a while by my wife’s parents.
Designed and built by a former resident, the one-acre plot had 26 hedged and bordered rooms, filled with fountains and sculptures and themed around special places on the planet – as well as more obscure references such as ‘Miss Day’s Garden’ and ‘Akademia’.
My wife and I spent many happy weeks staying there in the little two-bed cottage, exploring the garden and the fabulous countryside around it. It didn’t take long before the idea for a cluster of portals in the gardens, connecting to the places they represented, came to mind. I copied a few – Easter Island Garden, Gothic Garden, Miss Day’s Garden – and added more of my own (Indian Garden, Rainbow Serpent Garden, Master-of-Nets Garden). And soon overlayered it all with a young girl’s voyage of discovery – of the world, its evil, tortured choices, her father’s true nature – and of herself.
Enjoy all five novels of The Secret of the Tirthas at a bargain price in a new Boxed Set on Kindle (click link below).
Plus… coming soon… a surprise prequel novella to the series, about a witch and the mysterious origins of the garden of rooms… Watch this space!