One of London's "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries from the Victorian era, Brompton was the birthplace of my novel What the Clocks Know. I stumbled on this graveyard immediately after relocating to London several years ago, and it's been my favorite London location ever since. As Morrissey sings in the Smiths' song "Cemetry Gates":
So we go inside and we gravely read the stonesThat's what I contemplate, too, whenever walking through Brompton. This cemetery has some notable residents resting in peace there, like the renowned suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. But the unknowns also fascinate me as I wonder who they were. Now of very special note to me is one Charlotte Pidgeon, whom I "met" early on during my Brompton strolls and ended up fictionalizing in my story. (Beatrix Potter, too, used to take names for her Peter Rabbit characters from the headstones here.)
All those people, all those lives
Where are they now?
With loves and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived
And then they died
So you can imagine my thrill when the lovely Friends of Brompton Cemetery agreed to host this signing, and that joy increased exponentially when Shani Struthers agreed to sign by my side. Shani is the author of Jessamine, the Psychic Surveys series, and the new This Haunted World series (which just launched with book one, the Amazon bestseller The Venetian). Her ghost stories are among my favorites, a wonderful complement to my own paranormal fiction, and fit in perfectly with our unconventional venue. All of our books paired well with wine, too. 😄🍷
Also at Brompton's chapel this month is artist Iluá Hauck da Silva, who gave a talk about her "Minotaurs of the Mind: The Second Coil" exhibition prior to our signing. She and her work are stunning, and I was captivated by her inspirations and process.
Shani and I originally intended to hold our event inside the chapel, too, but we were graced with lovely weather (something you cannot take for granted in London!) so decided to move the party outside. The sun eventually tucked behind the clouds, but we still enjoyed the fresh air and our view, as well as greeting passersby.
Among our attendees was an actual ghost-hunting team! Does it get better than that??! We are so grateful to Twilight Ghost Hunts for stopping by before their overnight ghost tour of the London Tombs.
Our excitement lasted right to the very end, when we raced against time to pack up and reach the gate before we got locked in the graveyard overnight!! We did make it out, carrying on our supernatural celebration with "spirits" of the cocktail variety at the Troubadour cafe. Here is Shani looking ab fab at our private post-party:
Needless to say, we had a spooky and splendid time on Saturday, and now our souls are restless for more! 👻 👻
(You can view all our photos of the event here: https://www.facebook.com/rumerhaven/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1197733590283938)