Friday Night Drinks with…. Florence Keeling @KeelingFlorence @LilyMaeWalters1 @CrimsonCloakPub #FridayNightDrinks #FictionCafeWriters

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Tonight I am delighted to be joined for Friday Night Drinks  by author and fellow Fiction Cafe Writer…..Florence Keeling.

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(Another camera shy guest again this week!)

Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

I have recently discovered Parma violet gin, with lemonade rather than tonic…it has to be lemonade as tonic spoils the taste of the gin. I also found cherry Bakewell vodka last week…delicious.

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If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

There’s nothing like a country pub. I’d take you round the corner to a beautiful little restaurant/bar in the middle of nowhere with a huge open fire.

Oh, you’d love my local! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

The Queen would be top of my list but I suspect it would be afternoon tea rather than a pint down the pub. And I’d love to sit down with Henry 8th, he’d have some fabulous stories to tell.

I suspect the Queen enjoys a cheeky sherry! So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I’m currently working on my children’s stories under the name of Lily Mae Walters before returning to my women’s fiction novels.
There are two series… Josie James is currently on its third of a five- book series and Brittle’s Academy for the Magically Unstable is brand new.
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I’d love for them both to be read worldwide and loved by thousands  of children.

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

My proudest moment so far has happened very recently. I’ve been asked to open a new school library as a children’s author and I’m absolutely thrilled.
My biggest challenge is balancing my writing with my work. I have three jobs and find it hard to sit down and physically write.

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

My greatest ambition is to be able to write full time and to make a living from it. I have so many stories and characters whirling around in my head that I want to share with the world.

What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

I’m currently planning a series of romance books…real feel good love stories…Pedals and Prosecco, Cocktails and Cadillacs are just two of the titles.

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

I’m not fond of flying, in fact I’m absolutely terrified. We’ve flown a few times as a family but I’d have to say that you can’t beat the good old British seaside. If I’m near the sea, I’m happy.
I’d love to visit Venice and the Pyramids one day, they are definitely on the bucket list.

I’ve been to Venice, but I’d love to go back. The Pyramids are definitely on my bucket list too. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

I share a birthday of April Fools Day with my great grandmother Florence Keeling, this is why I use her name as my pen name. My children’s author name is a mixture of all my grandparents names. Lily for Lilian, Mae for Marjorie and both my grandads had Walter as a first or second name.

Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

You have to read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I love historical fiction especially the Tudor era and she just writes as if she was there at the time and saw the events for herself.

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This chance for us Howards comes once in a century…

1521. Henry VIII rules over a fashionable court alive with pageant and celebration, the lack of a son his only threat. When young Mary Boleyn arrives at court, she becomes his new mistress, an unwitting pawn in the ambitions of the powerful Boleyn and Howard families.

As Henry’s interest begins to wane, the Boleyns scheme to put forward Mary’s sister, Anne. Yet Anne Boleyn, newly returned from the French court, won’t agree to be Henry’s mistress, only his wife.

Pitting the king’s desperation for an heir against the advice of his powerful advisors, Wolsey and Cromwell, what follows will change the course of a country’s history.

Great choice. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

I’m not a big drinker and have only ever been drunk once in my life…but I’ve always been told that you must drink a glass of water before bed and then a fry up in the morning.

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

After our night out, a lovely walk in the country with my two dogs followed by a huge carvery lunch with all the trimmings and jam roly poly for pudding.

Florence, thank you so much for joining me, it has been a wonderful evening.

Florence Keeling is the author of two women’s fiction  novels, Winter’s Gift and Reflected Destinies. 

As Lily Mae Walters, she is the author of Josie James & the Teardrops of Summer and Josie James & the Velvet Knife and the upcoming Brittle’s Academy for the Magically Unstable.

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You can read my review of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer here.

Florence Keeling/Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also star in the Josie James series. She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books. Florence lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories. Family and friends mean the world to her and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series. Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling. You can find Florence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please join me next week for Friday Night Drinks with blogger Sandra from BookLoverWorm.

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