|Edward Hopper's House by the Railroad, photo by unbearable lightness, used with attribution, CC license|
That idea morphed and evolved into the present novel that I describe as 'A Wrinkle in Time' meets 'The Shining'.
I didn't know what a mansard house was when I initially started this book. All I imagined when I thought of a haunted house was the house from the Adamms Family. When I did a little research, I discovered that house was called a mansard, or second empire house and that mansard houses look like the flat roofed beauty in Hopper's painting.
My dear NYC friend, Diane, told me that the NYTimes sunday magazine had a study of some of Hopper's houses, with images of the paintings and the photos of the houses as they stand now.
Hopper's famous Mansard Roof was painted in Gloucester, MA. But it looks a lot less like *my* house than the House by the Railroad seen above. The loneliness factor is just right, though the house from my book is brick.
That house actually exists, as if fully sprung from my own twisted imagination.
I found it 2 years ago when I visited Newark, NJ for the Geraldine R Dodge poetry festival. My writer-friend Sue took me through the Newark Museum and when we walked through the Ballantine House, which the museum is built around, I just about fell over. (If you follow the link, you will see black and white photos from the Nat'l register of historic places. This *is* the house Parker must challenge for his father's life and sanity.)
Someday, I would love to have a book release party there. Though I would be constantly looking over my shoulder for the ghosts.