Five on Friday with Lynne Shelby @LynneShelby5

Today I’m delighted to feature author Lynne Shelby. Lynne writes women’s fiction/contemporary romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, now re-launched in e-book as Meet Me In Paris, won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, with the prize of publication. She has six novels published, and is working on a seventh.

Lynne can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories, and she first submitted a novel to a publisher when she was fourteen. They didn’t publish it, but a kind editor sent her a letter encouraging her to keep writing, and she is extremely glad she followed this advice.

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. Apart from three years at university in Leicester, where she majored in history, Lynne has always lived in or near London. She now lives in north London with her husband and has three adult children who live nearby.

Over to Lynne :

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Starman by David Bowie. I’ve listened to Bowie’s music in the singer’s various incarnations over the decades and still have my old vinyl LPs. Starman is my favourite song of his. My son is also a great Bowie fan, and I like to think I’ve passed this music on to him.

Could It Be Forever by David Cassidy – As a teenager, like most of my friends, I was a David Cassidy fan (Yes, we did all have a photo of the pop star on our bedroom walls!), but this particular song was the track that my husband and I chose for our first dance at our wedding, so it will always be special for us.

Hotel California by the Eagles – When I was a student, we’d come in after a night out, and sit talking into the early hours – as you do when you’re a student – while listening to the Eagles. I only have to hear this song to be swept back to those days.

Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart. I never listened to classical music until, when I was in my twenties, I went to see a production of the play Amadeus which included a lot of Mozart’s music, after which I started listening to popular classical pieces, and was hooked.

Defying Gravity from Wicked. I love going to musicals and often play show tunes while I’m writing. It was hard to pick out one song, but hearing Defying Gravity sung live by the great Edina Menzel was amazing – one of those theatrical moments you always remember.

What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

My laptop. Not only because I write on a laptop, but because I use my laptop for social media, and to send messages to friends more than I use my phone.

Books. I always have at least one novel on the go at any one time.

The theatre. I love going to the theatre to watch a play or a musical, and see as many as I can, preferably in London’s West End. I’ve also set some of my books in London’s Theatreland.

Travel. Much as I love London, one of my favourite things is to explore a foreign city. I’ve set books in Paris, Rome and Athens.


Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

Never give up your dream of being a published author, because dreams do come true.

Travel as much as you can.

Keep that tiered dress – it’ll come back into fashion!

If it’s a choice between housework and reading a book, choose the book!

Most important of all, even if it is a cliché: seize the day

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I can ride a horse.

I once appeared on the TV quiz programme Ask The Family.

I can’t sing a note in tune (not that it stops me singing around the house!).

I met my husband at a Youth Theatre group. I was fifteen, he was sixteen.

I used to be a member of Mensa.

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

I’d love to have one of my books made into a movie or a TV series, particularly if I got a say in who would play my characters.

It’s been a long-held ambition of mine to visit Japan, and that country is most definitely top of my bucket list.

I’d like to swim with dolphins.

I’d like to learn to play the guitar. I do have a guitar that was given to me many years ago, but have never learnt to play it.

I’d love to work on an archaeological dig. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d like to be an archaeologist.

Many thanks for joining me today Lynne and an extra special thank you for bringing me my idol! I was totally obsessed with David Cassidy and would spend all my pocket money on posters, magazines and records. That ‘but’ in Could it be Forever still gets me now! Over Christmas, a particular radio station was playing Christmas records from the 70’s and up popped the Partridge Family with a song from their ‘Christmas Card’ LP. I haven’t heard it, or played it since the 70’s and yet I was still word perfect. I couldn’t agree more with the policy of books before housework, it works for me all the time. My house might be a tip, but I’m happy with that (until we have visitors). I also believe in ‘seizing the day’, and taking all the opportunities to do what you can, when you can, while you can. Hopefully the opportunities will arise for you to achieve your own dreams – the movie or TV series sounds good. Have you already got actors in your head for the parts?

Lynne’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Rome for the Summer

Kate Harper has always loved the painting that has hung in her parents’ dining room for years, never suspecting that it is worth a fortune. When her art dealer boyfriend cheats her family out of the proceeds of the painting’s sale, she is left devastated and alone.

Kate discovers that two hundred years ago, the girl in the painting, Charlotte Browne, ran off to Rome with the artist who painted her portrait, but her eventual fate is unknown.

Hoping to uncover the mystery of what happened to Charlotte, Kate seizes the chance of a summer job in Rome, where she strikes up a friendship with Jamie Taylor, an English artist. As they explore the city and start to piece together the surprising secrets of Charlotte’s life, Kate finds herself wondering if a summer in Rome can mend a broken heart…

Love on Location

When Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip blockbuster, 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 some ideas of his own 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?

The Summer of Taking Chances

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?

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?

The One that I Want

When Lucy Ashford lands a top job at a leading theatrical agency in London, work mixes with pleasure, as she literally falls into the arms of Hollywood heartthrob Daniel Miller.

Handsome, charming and irresistible, Daniel is just what unlucky-in-love Lucy needs, and she is quickly drawn into his glittering celebrity lifestyle. But can she tame the A-list bad boy or is she just one more girl in Daniel s long line of conquests?

And then there’s up-and-coming actor Owen Somers, fiercely talented but as yet uncast in a starring role. After she takes him onto the agency’s books, Owen and Lucy’s friendship slowly grows. If she looks closely, Lucy’s leading man might be right before her very eyes…

Meet Me in Paris

Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. When Alex, now a successful photographer, comes to work in London, Anna offers to put him up, and is astounded to discover that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered and gorgeous.

Anna’s female friends are soon swooning over Alex’s Gallic charm, and Anna’s boyfriend Nick is increasingly jealous of her friendship with an attractive single man. Then Alex has to return to Paris to oversee the hanging of his photographs in an exhibition, and invites Anna to accompany him so that he can show her the city he adores…

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