This week I've chosen the debut novel, French Kissing by Lynne Shelby for my Friday Read. Lynne loves travelling, and is often inspired to write by the many wonderful foreign cities that she’s visited. French Kissing is set partly in Paris and is published by Accent Press.
Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since they met as children on a school exchange trip. When Paris-based Alex, now a successful professional photographer, comes to work in London, Anna fails to recognise him. Instead of the small, geeky boy she remembers, he is tall, broad-shouldered and gorgeous.
Anna’s female friends are soon swooning over Alex’s Gallic charm, and Anna’s boyfriend, Nick, is becoming increasingly jealous of their friendship.
When Alex has to return to Paris to oversee the hanging of his photographs in an exhibition, he invites Anna to accompany him so that he can show her the city he adores …
Oh, la, la! Sounds fun doesn't it? If you want to read more you can buy it here:
Lynne Shelby can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing, and it was always her ambition to be a published author. She writes contemporary romance because that is what she most likes reading. She’s worked in a variety of day jobs from stable girl to legal administrator. Now she can add published author to that list! Congratulations, Lynne!
I asked Lynne to tell us a bit more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I submitted my first ms (an adventure story for teenagers – it would be called YA these days) to a publisher when I was fourteen. They didn’t publish it, but I did get a very kind letter from an editor encouraging me to keep writing. I’m so glad I took their advice.
What do you like writing most?
For many years I wrote in different genres such as science fiction or historical, but in every story I wrote, the relationship between the hero and heroine was important to the plot. About six or seven years ago, I ‘discovered’ contemporary romantic fiction, and realised this was what I really wanted to write.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I’m lucky enough to have my own writing room (aka the spare bedroom) with a desk by a window overlooking the garden, so even although I live in a town, I have a view of trees and flowers. I built the desk myself from a kit, and when it was put together it turned out to be far too high for any writer of human proportions, which is why I now write sitting on a high bar-stool! Opposite my desk is a large cork notice board covered with pictures that inspire my WIP, such as photos of my story’s locations. As I write, the board gradually becomes covered with post-it notes, as I think of details to add to chapters I’ve already written or make a note of facts I need to check.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I guess I’m a bit of both. I know the beginning and end of my stories before I start writing, but have only a vague notion of what is going to take place in the middle. I jot down the outline of the plot, and then begin typing, throwing my hero and heroine together, and seeing what happens as they interact. There does seem to be a moment when the characters I’ve created take over and start telling their own version of events, but after I’ve written the first two thirds of a story, I do plan the later chapters to make sure the plot stays on course.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m writing a series of books, contemporary romances, set in the world of showbusiness.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by the world of film and theatre, and what goes on behind the scenes. My daughters were child-actors when they were younger, and I used to have great fun as a ‘stage mother’ chaperoning them to pantomime rehearsals or on film sets. Nowadays, a lot of my family work in the industry, and inspired me to write about it.
What time of the day do you write best?
I definitely write best in the morning, but if a story a story is going well, I do sometimes forget to have lunch and keep writing into the afternoon.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, theatre-going and travelling. I love exploring a foreign city – with my writer’s notebook in hand.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Write every day if you can. This will keep your story vivid in your mind. And you’ll be amazed at how your ms grows, even if you’re only able to write for a few minutes.
Great advice, Lynne!
Thanks for dropping by, Lynne. :)