The final ever Romancing The Romance Authors! It’s been great fun doing this feature over the past 18 months but it’s retiring now, ready for a new feature in January. Let’s send it off with a bang by talking romance with author… Lynne Shelby.
Tell me a bit about the type of books you write and where you are in your publishing journey.
I write contemporary romance set in the world of theatre and film or in a foreign location that I have enjoyed visiting. I was first published in 2015, when my debut novel, French Kissing, won a national writing competition and since then I have had four more novels published. I am currently editing my sixth novel, Rome for the Summer, which will be published in 2022.
Before I wrote romance, I tried my hand at writing science fiction, fantasy, historical and mainstream stories, but about ten years ago, I ‘discovered’ romantic fiction and realised that with my stories all having a romantic relationship at their centre, romance is what I’d been writing all along without realising it. I enjoy writing (and reading) romance because, with it’s assurance of a happy-ever-after or happy-for-now ending (or even a hopefully-ever-after ending) it is a genre whose books leave the reader feeling positive about life and love, whatever tribulations the heroine and hero have to overcome along the way.
What inspires your stories?
I find that almost anything can inspire a story. For example, a photograph or a painting or visiting a new place can spark an idea. My most recent novel, Love on Location, was inspired by a visit to Greece when I knew I simply had to write a book set in that beautiful country. I also get a lot of ideas for stories from overheard conversations on trains or buses, or even in the queue at the supermarket!
Who are your favourite romance authors, past and/or present?
Jane Austen, Miranda Dickinson, Paige Toon, Kate Eberlen, Jojo Moyes
If you had to pick one romance novel for me to read, which one would you recommend?
This is a very hard question to answer as there are so many fabulous romance novels to choose from, but I would have to say Pride and Prejudice as it sets the standard for every romance novel that came after it.
Pride and Prejudice, which opens with one of the most famous sentences in English Literature, is an ironic novel of manners. In it the garrulous and empty-headed Mrs Bennet has only one aim – that of finding a good match for each of her five daughters. In this she is mocked by her cynical and indolent husband.
With its wit, its social precision and, above all, its irresistible heroine, Pride and Prejudice has proved one of the most enduringly popular novels in the English language.
Which romantic hero or heroine would you choose to spend your perfect romantic weekend with? Where would you go and what would you do?
It has to be Mr Darcy! I’d hope to be invited to a ball at Pemberley where I would dance ‘til dawn.
What is your favourite thing about being a member of the RNA? What do you think you have gained from membership?
My favourite thing about being a member of the RNA is that events such as the Annual Conference have given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful authors who write in the romance genre. RNA members are very generous with their advice, and if anyone has a question about writing there is usually someone in the organization who can answer it. Besides which, it’s great to meet other people who don’t look at you askance when you talk about the people in your head! I have learned so much about writing since being in the RNA and made some amazing writer friends.
What one piece of advice or tip would you give to new writers starting out in the romance genre?
Keep going, even when you find writing hard – it’s perseverance that turns a writer into a published author.
Tell us about your most recent novel.
My most recent novel, Love On Location, is a contemporary romance set in the world of film-making, in London, Athens and on a fictional Greek island that bears more than a passing resemblance to Santorini.
When screenwriter Laurel Martin is asked to rewrite the script for a new timeslip movie set in ancient Greece, she expects the film’s historical advisor to be an elderly academic. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist with his own ideas about the script, she finds that the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought…
A screenwriter. An archaeologist. A film crew on location on an idyllic Greek island. Will movie magic lead to real life romance?
The book is available in ebook and paperback formats here.
When screenwriter Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip movie, she expects the historical advisor hired by the studio to be an elderly academic who won’t interfere too much with her writing. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist who has his own ideas about the script, she realises the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought.
As their work takes them from arguing over historical details in a cramped London office to discovering the hidden beauties of a Greek island, Laurel and Jason’s relationship starts to echo the romance of their script.
But with Laurel’s actor ex-boyfriend making trouble at home, and constant issues with the volatile director, will Laurel and Jason ever be able to write the happy ending for their own story?
About the Author
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city with her writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.
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