Friday Night Drinks with…Lynne Shelby

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As we continue with our social distancing IRL, what better way to spend a Friday evening that with virtual drinks with an author. Tonight, for Friday Night Drinks, I am joined by author and fellow RNA member….Lynne Shelby.

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Lynne, welcome to my virtual bar and thank you for joining me this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

 I’m drinking cold white wine.

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

I’d be taking you to see a musical in London’s West End. My favourite night out is to see a musical or a play, and we could enjoy a drink in the theatre bar in the interval!     

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I love musicals! 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?

I’d invite Jane Austen for her witty conversation, and Shakespeare because I’d be interested to know what he thought of modern theatre.

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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?

At the moment, I’m looking forward to the publication of my latest novel, The Summer of Taking Chances. The book is set in a fictional seaside village on the Sussex coast, based on a village where I used to spend holidays as a child and which I still visit every year, and was very much inspired by the location. I hope readers enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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

My proudest moment since I started writing was holding a paperback copy of my debut novel, French Kissing, in my hand for the first time. There have been many exciting moments since then, but it’s a moment I’ll never forget. My biggest challenge has been to know when to stop editing a manuscript. Usually, I realize that when I’ve changed ‘a’ to ‘the’ and back again, it’s time to send a story out into the world. 

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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!

I would love one of my novels to be made into a film. 

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

I’m working on a contemporary romance set on a Greek island. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Greece several times, and it’s been wonderful to go there again in my imagination. 

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?

Like you, I love travelling, and it’s really hard to choose a favourite out of the wonderful places I’ve visited. But one place everyone should visit is Paris – it’s such a romantic city. Top of my bucket list to visit next is Japan. 

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

I not at all athletic, but I can ride a horse.

I love to ride too, we have two ponies at home at the moment. 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’?

I’d give you my favourite book of all time The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. I first read it when I was seventeen, and I’ve re-read it many times since.

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Invited to an extravagantly lavish party in a Long Island mansion, Nick Carraway, a young bachelor who has just settled in the neighbouring cottage, is intrigued by the mysterious host, Jay Gatsby, a flamboyant but reserved self-made man with murky business interests and a shadowy past.

As the two men strike up an unlikely friendship, details of Gatsby’s impossible love for a married woman emerge, until events spiral into tragedy.

Regarded as Fitzgerald’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of American literature, The Great Gatsby is a vivid chronicle of the excesses and decadence of the ‘Jazz Age’, as well as a timeless cautionary critique of the American dream.

I love that book. 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?

Drinking a glass of water for every glass of wine usually works for me! If it doesn’t, my go-to cure is toast and marmite – comfort food!

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

Ideally, I’ll be spending the rest of the weekend writing and reading – hopefully in my garden, if the weather is good – and having Sunday lunch with my family.

Sounds delightful. Lynne, thank you so much for joining me, it has been a delight to chat to you. Good luck with the new book.

Lynne’s latest novel, The Summer of Taking Chances, will be published on 4 June and you can buy a copy here.

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It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay to chase the limelight, Emma’s dreams left with him.

Now Emma is content living a quiet and uneventful life in South Quay. It’s far from the life she imagined, but at least her job at the local hotel has helped heal her broken heart.

But when Jake returns home for the summer to escape the spotlight, Emma’s feelings quickly come flooding back. There’s clearly a connection between them, but Jake has damaged her heart once already – will she ever be able to give him a second chance?

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time.

When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Reykjavik – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

You can find out more about Lynne and her writing on her website, FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Next week, I will be having drinks with blogger and blog tour organiser, Emma Welton, from damp pebbles, so do make sure you join us.

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