This week on Inheritance Books, I’ve got fellow romance novelist, Lynne Shelby. Welcome Lynne, why don’t you make yourself comfortable while I get a brew on. Help yourself to Easter eggs. While I’m doing that, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve always lived in or near North London, apart from three years as a student at Leicester University, studying history. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer, but over the years I’ve done a variety of day jobs, including stable girl, child actors’ chaperone and most recently legal administrator. I now write full-time, and I have to say that being an author is the best job ever. I enjoy travelling, especially exploring a foreign city for the first time. In my teens, I was a keen amateur actress – I met my husband at a drama group – and these days I love visiting the theatre and do so whenever I can. I write contemporary women’s fiction, but I read books in any genre from SF to detective novels. My debut novel, ‘French Kissing,’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and I’m currently working on a series of books set in the world of show business.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
It was hard to choose just one book that I inherited from the generation above, so I hope I’m allowed a series. Neither of my parents were voracious readers, but my mother did enjoy historical novels, and passed onto me her enthusiasm for the ‘Angelique’ books by Sergeanne Golon. This feisty heroine’s adventures in 17th Century France, were not only a great read, but also gave me a passion for reading historical novels, and for history itself. In my final exams at uni, I answered a question on Louis XIV based on historical facts I learnt from ‘Angelique and the King.’
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
The book I’d like to pass on to future generations is ‘The Great Gatsby.’ The first time I read F Scott Fitzgerald’s exquisitely written novel, I was instantly captivated by the story of the fabulously wealthy yet mysterious Jay Gatsby and his obsessive love for a girl he knew in his youth. Since then, I’ve read the book many times, and on each reading I’ve seen something new in it, a nuance of character, a wonderful sentence that I wish I’d written myself. It’s a short book, but with so much in it for the reader to discover – a classic that is accessible to all. Written in 1926, it still has so much to say to contemporary readers, and I’d like to think that future generations will continue to read it and marvel at the way so many themes – cynicism and romance, illusion and reality – are effortlessly woven into the deceptively simple yet wonderfully crafted and intricate plot.
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Lynne. All the best with French Kissing (the book, I mean).