Happy Wednesday my lovelies! Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to the lovely Lynne Shelby about winning a national writing competition, coming face to face with a gargoyle and about her most recent book, There She Goes……
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I write contemporary romance because that’s what I most enjoy reading. My debut novel, French Kissing, was published when it won a national writing competition with the prize of publication. I live in London with my husband, and I have three adult children who live nearby.
What inspired you to start writing?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! When I was fourteen, I submitted a manuscript to a publisher. They didn’t publish it, but a very kind editor sent me a letter encouraging me to keep on writing – I’m very glad I took her advice. I wrote in many different genres over the years, but about six years ago, I ‘discovered’ romantic fiction and realised that all my stories had a romance at their core, and that women’s fiction/contemporary romance that explores contemporary women’s lives was what I really wanted to write.
How many books have you written and published?
I’ve written and published three books so far, French Kissing, The One That I Want, and There She Goes, and I’ve another book due to be published in June 2020. I’m currently writing my fifth novel.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
No favourites – I love them all equally!
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I honestly don’t know where the names of my main characters come from – they just spring into my head. For minor characters, I Google names that were popular in the year they were born, although I always avoid giving them the same name as any of my relatives or close friends.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I’d want to be stranded with Julie Farrell, the heroine of my latest novel, There She Goes. I’m fascinated by the world of the theatre, and Julie’s anecdotes about her life as an aspiring actress would certainly help to pass the time on the island until we were rescued!
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
This is a difficult question to answer because I have so many favourite authors! If I have to choose only one, it would be Jane Austen, because she virtually invented the romantic novel as we know it today. It’s equally hard to decide which is my favourite out of her novels, but Pride and Prejudice has some of the best characters ever seen in fiction and never fails to make me laugh however many times I re-read it, so I’ll choose that (with Persuasion a close second).
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I remember writing a story at school when I was five. It was about a girl who lived on a farm and featured sheep escaping from a field! I can still picture the small green notebooks with unlined paper that we wrote in.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I’ve worked as a stable girl, a chaperone for child actors, as a legal administrator and in human resources. I have to say that being an author is the best job ever.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I’d choose to travel one hundred years into the future to see how the twenty-first century turned out.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d talk to Aphra Behn – it would fascinating to discuss writing with a writer who wrote over three hundred years ago, and was one of the first women to earn her living from writing.
What are your favourite things to do?
Apart from writing and reading, I love going to the theatre, especially to see a musical, and I visit London’s West End as often as I can. I also love travelling, and particularly enjoy exploring a foreign city – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Not everyone would find this strange, but walking on the roof of a cathedral and coming face to face with a stone gargoyle when I visited Milan a couple of years ago was an unusual experience for me!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Aim to write every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes, but don’t beat yourself up if other commitments sometimes get in the way – authors need to get out and about in the world as anything they experience can inspire them to write.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
There She Goes
When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can’t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who’d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street …
After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship …
Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?
Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon here.