Now we’re back in lockdown for a second time, what could be better than a bit of vicarious travel? I’m delighted to be visiting Paranormal Warwickshire with S. C. Skillman and have a feeling that when lockdown is lifted we’ll be packing up our motorhome and heading off there for real. Let’s find out more as Sheila explains what it is about Warwickshire that led her to writing Paranormal Warwickshire in a super guest post.
Paranormal Warwickshire will be released by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020 and is available for pre-order from Sheila’s local bookshop Kenilworth Books, and in all the usual places like Waterstones as well as directly from the publisher.
Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works. The towns and villages of Warwickshire, its castles, houses, churches, theatres, inns and many other places both grand and everyday have rich and complex stories to tell of paranormal presences. In this book author S. C. Skillman investigates the rich supernatural heritage of this county at the heart of England in places such as Guy’s Cliffe House, the Saxon Mill, Kenilworth Castle, Warwick Castle, St Mary’s Church in Warwick, Nash’s House and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Stoneleigh Abbey, as well as in the towns of Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington Spa. She explores the spiritual resonance of each location, recounting the tales of paranormal activity associated with it and examining the reasons for this within the history of the place.
Paranormal Warwickshire takes the reader into the world of ghosts and spirits in the county, following their footsteps into the unknown. These tales of haunted places, supernatural happenings and shadowy presences will delight the ghost hunters, and fascinate and intrigue everybody who knows Warwickshire.
A Guest Post by S. C. Skillman
Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works.
The towns and villages of Warwickshire, its castles, houses, churches, theatres, inns and many other places both grand and everyday have rich and complex stories to tell of paranormal presences.
In this book I investigate stories at places such as Guy’s Cliffe, the Saxon Mill, Warwick Castle and St Mary’s Church, Warwick; Kenilworth Castle and Stoneleigh Abbey; Nash’s House and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as in the towns of Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.
I explore the spiritual resonance of each location, recounting the tales of paranormal activity associated with it and examining the reasons for this within the history of the place.
Born and brought up in Kent, I came to Warwickshire to settle here with my family over twenty-four years ago. The seeds of this book were sown after I visited many historic properties in Shakespeare’s county, which are rich with stories and have a strong atmosphere. I began to write about them on my own blog, in my occasional series Places of Inspiration. Out of those blog posts, my book emerged. Encouraged by a fellow author, I originally called it Spirit of Warwickshire. When I submitted my proposal to history publisher Amberley Publishing, they were interested in the book but wanted it to fit into their paranormal series. I hadn’t previously focused on ghost stories but was more than happy to do so, as I am a long-time lover of the paranormal, both in fiction and non-fiction.
As I researched the curious anecdotes that surround many of the properties, and discovered some new stories, I became more and more intrigued. I joined a few ghost tours and town history tours – specifically in Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon – and found several colourful raconteurs. There’s no doubt that paranormal tales tend to attract the most quirky, lively and humorous people! I thoroughly enjoyed my research – not least, afternoon tea at haunted properties like the tea rooms in Thomas Oken’s House, Warwick, and the magnificent gothic manor at Ettington Park, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Everyday places feature in this book as well – railway stations, shops, pubs, houses. I recount stories told by people in their working environment or in their own homes. I particularly value the new stories I was able to gather; I’d love to do more of this in the future, going around with my audio recorder and interviewing people. I feel very privileged when people trust me enough to recount their tales – tales which they may be sharing for the first time.
As this is Shakespeare’s county, the Bard played his part too. I decided to use the theme of Shakespeare’s Ghosts and Spirits, and I loved including relevant quotes throughout my book. I was amazed at how easy it was to find quotes that enriched or threw into sharp relief my own feelings about the place in question. Shakespeare had something to say on so many aspects of the human condition; and he covered such a wide emotional and psychological range.
I hope you will enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed researching them!
I’m sure we will Sheila. Thanks so much for taking us into Warwickshire!
It’s a pleasure to be here, Linda.
About S. C. Skillman
Sheila lives in Warwickshire, and writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.
She began her publishing journey with a duology of novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit. This was followed by a non-fiction book Perilous Path: a writer’s journey. Sheila is currently working on the second novel in a new gothic fiction series.
She posts twice weekly on her blog and she also gives author talks to local groups.
Sheila was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and studied English Literature at Lancaster University. Her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK.
She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter is studying at university in Australia.