Journal

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Winter writing

As I sit here, writing my fourth novel, snow has left dappled white patches on top of our local mountain. It almost seems as if this is a present, something that is atop everything else, and slightly beyond us, down here in the valley carved out by the river below. It almost suggests that there is something magical up there, something to which we cannot attain. In the meantime, I am writing scenes set in a hot summer in Europe. How strange that seems when I have to rug up and don a down jacket just to go outside.

I am about to write my second newsletter, but I want to share a bit more with my subscribers about the real Schloss that inspired Schloss Seigel in The House by the Lake. I am catching up with my friend again soon, whose family had to escape their palace in the former East Germany on the eve of the Soviet occupation in 1946. She is going to bring more photos of the gorgeous old palace, and we have promised each other that we will visit it together one day. She has access to a key. I based so much of Schloss Seigel on the real palace, that I will feel, like Anna, in The House by the Lake, completely at home when I go there, a little strange, and I know one thing- incredibly moved.

I would like to thank my lovely publishers, Lake Union for sending me this beautiful gift. This came a couple of weeks ago, and since then, they have popped something else in the post, which is on its way across the world as I write. I am enormously grateful, and humbled to all those readers who have picked up this story of a family from the former Prussia who have been scattered around the world.

As we face questions in our own world, I think it is helpful to go back to the past, and consider what our ancestors went through, what they had to face, how far they were willing to take things, and, perhaps, to consider what the outcomes were for them.

Hope everyone of my readers are well, wherever you may be.

xx Ella.

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