I used to ride my horse there. And walk my dogs. It seemed incredibly magical, with its old stone walls, and those ancient foundations. Ancient, at least, for New England.
So, the title came to me first. The Hawley Book of the Dead. It haunted me, just the title, for a few years, all the time I was writing another book and a half (also set in my half-real, half-fictional version of the hilltowns of western Mass, and still in the drawer). Then, while I was riding in the forest one day, I got a vivid image of a woman riding frantically through the forest, searching for her missing daughters. And that is how The Hawley Book of the Dead was born.