☼ Jaffareadstoo is delighted to welcome you all to our Summer Picnic ☼
Pull up a deck chair, tie knots in your hanky and roll up your trouser legs!
☼ Summer time is here ☼
☼ I'm delighted to welcome, author Audla English to our picnic ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Hi Jo, thank you very much for having me for this picnic on this glorious day. I have brought some smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, some salted kettle chips, some homemade sausage rolls (of course!) and a boozy trifle!
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
As it is such a lovely day, please may I have a tumbler of Pimms. I will honour my surname with an English tradition.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
I live in the North East of England really near the coastline so I think I will pick the countryside for something a little different.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag?
We have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery. I like to be organised for a picnic and have everything neatly ready in the picnic hamper. The picnic hamper doesn’t get much of a chance to get out so I grab the chance to use it when I can. I really enjoy the preparation of the hamper with all the lovely foods!
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
I really enjoy going to our local Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Washington not far from where I live. There is a spot I like to picnic in which is in front of a pond, you can see the dragonflies dancing in between the reeds and the ducks like to swim up to make friends. It is such a lovely relaxing setting.
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
Roald Dahl is my all-time favourite author and I would like him to join us so we could learn more about his childhood and how it influenced his writing.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
I am re-reading The Island by Victoria Hislop. I think it is such a beautiful but sad story. The writing transports me to Crete and one day I hope to visit the setting of this novel.
What is your earliest summer memory?
My earliest summer memory is playing on the beach at Marsden bay in South Tyneside. When I was little the natural arch of Marsden Rock was still intact and I have memories of drinking homemade lemonade from the Marsden Grotto which is a pub built into the side of a cliff, making sandcastles and running away from the monsters who I thought lived in the sea caves. It really is a special little bay which I hold so closely to my heart, that it plays one of the main settings in my novel ‘The Last Village’.
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
One of the places which I love to visit is the Lake District. I particularly like Bassenthwaite and there is a lodge here which overlooks the lake which I love to stay in. Pure tranquillity.
Do you have a summer music playlist for reading / writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel summery?
I have quite an eclectic musical taste and I believe music can heal the soul. In the summer I really like to listen to anything from the Buena Vista Social Club, anything by Bob Marley and then Summertime by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff!
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
Sometimes I do. If it is horrible weather in the Winter sometimes I love to be transported to sunnier climates. However, I equally like to read about cold frosty climates if I am lovely, warm and wrapped up in the house!
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
Once I am ‘in the zone’ I write whenever I can!
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is a dual timeline historical romance novel (1920’s and 1990’s) set around the milling industry in the North East of England. The nineties character will uncover a decades long secret of the twenties character…
Where can we follow you on social media?
More about Audla
Audla English grew up in the North East of England.
Born in Sunderland, a graduate of Newcastle University and living in South Tyneside, she is passionate about this wonderful region which acts as an inspiration to her writing.
Her award-winning debut novel 'The Last Village' is a dual time-line historical fiction and is written as a dedication to the now sadly demolished Old Marsden Village which was built by the Whitburn Coal Company in the 1870's. The Marsden Rock coastal setting is also used to weave a family saga style narrative around a beautiful part of north east England.
The novel is a moving love story about the life of Lily, a young woman growing up with her friends in 1945 whereas the other side of the story, in 2017, is about Anna and her own discovery of her grandmother's past life- it is a novel which spans and binds the generations through family and friendship.
☼Thank you for coming to our picnic☼
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