I am so close to being ready to upload my next Radwinter novel, Saltpans. In case you are wondering Saltpans is the name of a house, a beautiful house which featured in another book, not one of the Radwinter series. It is based on a real house I have passed many times, but my house is in a fictional location and it’s on the corner of a road opposite the beach, not right on the beach as the original is.
So where does the name come from? Thomas investigates:
Saltpans… what a strange name… salt, was it to do with the production of salt? Did people pan for salt like they panned for gold? Well obviously not, how stupid to even think it. I might not have been very interested in science at school but even without science I know that salt dissolves in water…
I gave up pointless speculation and looked it up; the immediate result was a location in The Game of Thrones. Well, I don’t think our house is called after some twenty-first century fantasy location… ‘our house’, silly boy, it isn’t our house, nor likely to be unless I can somehow magic up twice the amount our present home is worth. I’m taking on extra work, trying to be even more economical at home, but these tiny amounts will make little difference.
So what does Wikipedia tell me? First page I hit was about The Saltpans in North America – huge deserty areas with a crust of salt over pools of water; sometimes the surface breaks and it’s very dangerous – like ice but nastier…
But no, not those saltpans, so onto another page and bingo! Salt evaporation ponds, also called salterns, salt works or salt pans… ‘also called salterns’, as in Saltern House!!
… it turns out a place producing salt was called a salt house, and Saltpans was a salt house. Actually Saltpans wasn’t a salt house, the building which had preceded it was a salt house, as was Saltern House… Well of course it was! Like Saltpans, Saltern had been built on the site of the salt house. It was built as an ordinary residence and later became a hotel.
Why weren’t we taught about salt in school history? Such an important part of our local heritage!
© Lois Elsden 2018
Whether Thomas and his family manage to buy this lovely old house is one of the threads, I guess you could call it a non-musical leitmotif! There are other mysteries confronting Thomas, his wife’s family tree, a young woman found like a piece of human driftwood, a lightweight stalker…
I hope you will read ‘Saltpans’ and that you will let me know what you think! I really appreciate comments on my Amazon page, and I do take note of everything people have to say about my books!
If you haven’t caught up with all the Radwinter books yet, here’s a link:
… and the other book which features not only Saltpans but some of the characters who appear in this latest novel:
night vision – http://amzn.eu/3oCiZVQ
… and my other books: