Ladies and gentlemen, I have found Marius’s palace. Granted, it’s more like a castle, and smaller than the fictional one, and the wrong color … Hmm. I guess I should say that I found a place that stimulates my imagination and gives me a better idea of what the palace really looks like.
I’ll provide a brief explanation for those unfamiliar with my world of Myrillia. A trio of my characters – Lucien, Marius, and Tulio – share a palace in the city of Civitas. It’s one of the settings in the first book and is the main location in book two. Since I feel that my description and atmosphere was a little lacking in book one, I’ve been searching for a concrete model I could base my descriptions on. You can imagine how thrilled I am to have found exactly what I was looking for!
Yesterday my husband and I were taking the train to Wales and made a stop in Shrewsbury to eat lunch. After eating, he suggested we wander around Shrewsbury Castle while waiting on the next train. I agreed just so we had something to do – but as soon as I walked through the gates my imagination exploded. It was perfect! The grounds were simple, yet elegant – with small flower beds and meandering pathways. The castle itself was a little small, but still stately and very masculine looking. I loved the crenelation along the top (I had to look up the proper word, but it’s the teeth-like pattern along the roof) and the arched multi-paned windows. Rather than red brick, I imagine my palace to be grey stone – something like granite. It would also need to be larger, but identical versions of the castle could form the wings of the palace … with maybe a tower or two for fun. Even the views looked right – the city of Shrewsbury spread out around the castle with forested hills rising in the distance and the Severn river glinting nearby. Absolutely beautiful. You have no idea how exhilarating it was to catch a glimpse of my Myrillia in the real world. Needless to say, I took a million photos for reference material!
I’ve had a few other buildings offer a little inspiration for things like the Council Headquarters or the Great Temple and there were even a few that had elements that I wanted for Marius’s palace – but this was the first spot that really spoke to me. To think I almost passed it by!