AN East Lancashire author will be visiting the Elizabethan mansion which is the setting to her best-selling first novel later this month.

Rawtenstall-born Stacey Halls will be at Gawthorpe Hall to discuss its impact on her book as actors bring to life the 17th Century backdrop to her witchcraft-infused fiction.

After the January publication of The Familiars, the daughter of market traders Eileen and Stuart Bartlett was compared to one of her literary heroes Hilary Mantel whose historical epic Wolf Hall was dramatised on BBC TV.

On Sunday October 13 Mrs Halls will be at Padiham's Gawthorpe Hall from noon to 4pm to talk about the book and how a 2016 visit there with her mother prompted her to link the stately home with the witchcraft-laden legends of Pendle Hill which can be viewed from its windows.

That seed of inspiration led the journalist to research in the British Library and the development of her story of Fleetwood Shuttleworth, the teenage mistress of the hall in 1612, and young Alice Gray - one of ten women tried at Lancaster Assizes for 10 murders.

With Alice accused of killing a child, Mrs Halls decided she would be a midwife in her story and the 17-year-old Lady Shuttleworth a noblewoman in desperate need of avoiding a fourth miscarriage to provide her husband Richard with an heir.

As allegations of witchcraft sweep the North-West, the two young women are drawn together as one fights to save her unborn son and the other battles to escape the hangman.

Fans of the novel and the Shuttleworth Family, who lived at the hall from the 12th century, will also be able to get a taste of life at Gawthorpe in the 1600s as costumed re-enactors depict the everyday routine for women and men of the period from their clothes and hair styles to how they ate their meals.

During the afternoon, Stacey Halls will take part in an informal interview talking about her inspiration for the novel and its characters, how important Lancashire and Gawthorpe Hall is as its setting and what she is writing next. Her second novel The Foundling is published in February,

She will be available to sign people's copies of the hardback or the newly-published paperback on sale in the hall shop.

The event is included in the normal admission price of £6 for adults, £4 for concessions and free for children.