[by Laura V.]

If the Auvergne wasn’t in your bucket list, you will want to add it after seeing all the magnificent photos that Christine has taken during a recent visit to Château Dauphin (Pontgibaud), Deborah’s inspiration for Sept-Tours in the Auvergne. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, she’s posted several pictures on her Instagram feed, @Chrystylen.

We were completely mesmerized by her photos, so we decided to contact her. She was very generous to chat with us and allowed us to share her pictures in this post. We learned that Christine lives in the Auvergne (lucky gal!), so the All Souls Trilogy is very special to her. Anyone wants to join a tour?

Château Dauphin, © Christine F.

How have you come across the All Souls Trilogy?

The series was recommended by friend, who knew that I love mystery, history, and above all, vampires.

Were you surprised to learn that France is so prominent in the book series?

Oh yes, I was speechless learning that the locations were so close to my home. Since then, I started to research on the Internet all the places that have inspired Deborah. Then I decided visit them, but it took some time due to time constraints.

Do you have a favorite character or characters?

Wow, tough question because I’m as strong as Diana. I have a strong personality, but I have a weakness for Matthew and for Gallowglass, the loyal friend who’s in love with Diana. Of course, I like Matthew’s father for his loyalty to the family. And I love horses. I’ve been riding for a long time and I was delighted that Deborah herself is a rider.

Château Dauphin, © Christine F.

What makes the All Souls Trilogy special for you?

What makes it special is above all the fantasy. I always loved stories about vampires. But there’s more to that because in addition to the historical side, Diana is a witch who can time travel. The supernatural is very appealing to me. Besides the fact that Deborah takes us on a journey around the world, she chose my region as a backdrop for the characters. It’s so close to home. I’m so happy! I can travel very inexpensively!!! 🙂

Visiting Château Dauphin must have been magical. Tell us about it. How did it feel to see all the locations described in such great detail in the books?

Château Dauphin gardens, © Christine F.

Oh, yes, it was indeed magical. I couldn’t deny it. I felt like I was re-reading the books as I was visiting. I did not go into Matthew’s tower, so I pictured it to be in the Knight Tower [the Knight Tower is open to the public]. I closed my eyes and imagined an encounter with Ysabeau in the salons. I climbed into the tower to see Matthew all the way up to the battlements, where Diana accepts his gifts. I dreamed the whole story. I “lived” their life!! I am happy that I was able to visit, I will re-read the trilogy again and redo the journey.

Of all the places in the castle, do you have a favorite? Were there any big surprises?

Château Dauphin, © Christine F.

I loved the Knight Tower, even though it is completely empty. This is the only tower that can be visited. As for the castle itself, only part of it is open to visitors. The castle has permanent residents, so the floors with their rooms are closed to the public. I loved the courtyard where the riders used to enter on horseback. It is covered by a canopy at the moment as it’s been restored. That’s why there was a scaffolding. In one of my photos [on Instagram] there is one that describes the restoration work. As the castle is inhabited, there is always maintenance to restore it, both inside and outside. The large living room and dining room are extraordinary. I’ll post pictures. Unfortunately, I have not had time. You’ll see how beautiful is is!

Château Dauphin, © Christine F.

Have you visited any other location mentioned in the book series?

Not until now, but I think I’ll plan to do it soon 😉

Are there specific scenes you’re looking forward to seeing in the TV adaptation? If so, which one (s)?

Oh dear … ALL OF THEM!! 😀

Thank you Christine! See you one of these days in Sept-Tours!!

Follow Christine on Instagram.


Useful Links:

Château Dauphin: ChateauDauphin.com

Auvergne Tourism: Auvergne-Tourism.com