26 April 2011

Influencial settings in Duty Calls

Choosing the setting for my current novel, Duty Calls came easily and is based on the landscape and beautiful scenery of Holkham Hall, Norfolk, in the UK.

Trudi Delaney, my heroine, has reluctantly accepted ownership of the huge English estate her late husband managed to ‘acquire’.

Not only does she want nothing to do with anything connected with her late husband, but she is plagued by misgivings that the rightful heir is still alive.

I live in the beautiful English county of Norfolk which is peppered with large estates, and Holkham Hall  is close enough to consider it an extension of our garden and we visit regularly. One of my favourite walks is through the trees and around the lake.


It is the lake and view of Holkham that I use as the setting for Duty Calls, not the interior of the house.

Holkham has twenty five tenanted farms plus several thousand hectares of what they describe as ‘in-hand’ land that is farmed on a rotation basis.

The nearby farm in Duty Calls comes from the imagination, as does the walk through the woods. But I couldn’t resist adding the fawn as you will often see several when you walk through the grounds of Holkahm Hall during the spring.

There are several wonderful walks that take you in every direction across the lands and attract thousands of visitors every year.

Holkham Hall recently featured as the interior of Buckingham Palace in the BBC TV drama 'The Lost Prince'. The park featured in the C4 docudrama 'Victoria's Men' televised in June 2008 to name just a few of the many other television and film credits.

Holkham, unlike my fictional Kinsale Hall is close to the sea and boasts one of the largest expanses of sand covered beach along the Norfolk coast.

The director of 'Shakespeare in Love' had actress Gwyneth Paltrow walking along Holkhan beach in the closing scenes.

 It is also one of the few nudist beaches in the county! And when you discover that Holkham beach is purported to be one of the Queen’s favourite beaches that is quite a surprise.

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