I WAS SEDUCED! Plain and simple, that is the best explanation I can give for why I have become an author. I was seduced by a house! A very big and very old house. I was seduced by Selma!
I remember the day. It was January 2016 on the Wednesday before a walloping snow storm. A friend had posted a photo of an abandoned, dilapidated mansion with broken windows and scary vines, and asked if anyone could identify the property. The house was somewhat familiar, but I didn’t recognize it off-hand. And then someone answered her question: “Selma” I could not believe it! I had known of the house when I was in high school—the elegant white mansion sitting high on the Catoctin Ridge.
How could something so grand be reduced to such ruin! It’s hard to describe what I felt. It was gut-wrenching. I couldn’t stop thinking about the wasting house on the hill. She pulled at my heartstrings for three days and three nights. Somebody had to do something. I had to do something! When I saw her in person, walking her halls and through her rooms, I could feel her. She was sad, broken, and desperate yet her spirit was alive and calling. She spoke to me, drawing me in. Suddenly I no longer saw the ruin, only her beauty and her splendor—a vision of what she was to become.
Though the house was not for sale, my husband and I managed to purchase the property. Once we cleaned the vines away and started the renovations, the vision became clear. From purpose and design to colors and furnishings, she led the way. We could feel her presence – a charisma of sorts. That’s when I knew there were stories. Not just any stories; every home has stories of the families who have lived there. Selma’s families were different. Their stories are of epic proportion.