A CHARLTON RETURNS TO 'THE SCENE OF THE CRIME'
Last month, I was invited to give a talk and a Power Point presentation at Kirkley Hall - the 'scene of the crime' in Catching the Eagle. Malcolm Watson, Chairman of the Friends of Kirkley Hall kindly organised this fabulous event. To my delight, over fifty people turned up to learn about the novel and the research behind it. I still find it amazing that people are prepared to pay hard cash just to hear about the true story behind Catching the Eagle.
Apart from the Friends of Kirkley Hall I also met John Turner from the Ponteland Local History Society. John helped me with the early research into the life and crimes of Jamie Charlton. Thanks, John.
At the book signing afterwards, several guests told me that they suspected they were descended from other characters in the novel, including: the landlady of the Seven Stars public house, 'Ma Shotton,' and Michael Aynsley's floozy, 'Lottie MacDonald.' However, I was glad that no-one in the audience stood up and announced that they were desended from my villain, Michael Aynsley. I haven't been very kind to the Kirkley Hall steward in Catching the Eagle and this could be a very tricky situation if it ever arose.
Then I discovered that the current owners of North Carter Moor farm (the home of William Charlton) were also at the event. Now this was a scary moment, too. Last summer, Chris and I went to the farm to introduce ourselves and ask permission to take some photographs. Unfortunately, no one was at home so we were cheeky, stalked around the boundaries and took loads of photographs anyway. We did push an explanatory note through the farm's letterbox, in case any of their neighbours later reported suspicious burglarious activity. (You can never tell with us Charltons.)
I completely forgot all about this little escapade of ours until Mr. and Mrs. Potts introduced themselves to me at Kirkley Hall. Startled, my first thought was that they had come to serve me a writ for trespass. Fortunately, they just wanted me to sign their copy of the novel. Lovely people. Everyone was very kind and hospitable and the whole event was a fabulous night out for me.
For photgraphs of the event, please visit my blog at www.karencharlton.com or click on the link below.
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Returning To 'the Scene Of The Crime'
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