☼ 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, Kate Frost to our picnic ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
An orzo salad with sundried tomatoes and olives, homemade spanakopita, a creamy potato salad with finely chopped red onions, parsley and gherkins, chipolatas from my local butcher, and Eton mess for pudding - basically lots of Mediterranean summer flavours inspired by my Greek husband and his family.
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
Ooh, Pimms sounds lovely, thank you.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
It has to be by the sea, but somewhere wild and backed by countryside, I don’t like anywhere too busy. A beach on the north Norfolk coast like Holkham with its sand dunes or the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea lined by colourful beach huts and woodland would be perfect.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag ?
Something in-between – a picnic rucksack with plenty of space for food, plus a chilled compartment for that Pimms…
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
I have lovely memories of picnics beneath the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
Uhtred of Bebbanburg from Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom series (although to be honest, I actually prefer the Netflix series over the books…), Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, and having been immersed in children’s books recently (from reading with my six-year-old and co-founding a children’s book festival), I’d add The BFG into the mix too. However, none of these literary heroes would make for a relaxing picnic…
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
I adore the cover of Lucy Coleman’s Summer in Provence, which screams summer, so I quite fancy dipping into that.
What is your earliest summer memory?
Being on my grandparents’ farm in north Norfolk – sunshine, hay and the rumble of a combine harvester.
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
My grandparents’ farmhouse (which was left to my mum) on the edge of a village close to the north Norfolk coast. The garden looks out over a field of horses. I love it there.
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 like it quiet when I read, but I do sometimes listen to music when I’m writing as long as it’s not too distracting. Theme playlists on Amazon Prime are fun to write along to – chilled, happy, dance, acoustic, something for every mood. Not that I can listen to it and write at the same time, but “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi immediately makes me think of summer.
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
A little, but only because I’d find it odd to read a book set at Christmas in the summer, although in the depths of winter there’s something rather nice reading about sunnier climes and exotic locations.
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
I try to stick to a writing routine so I make myself write whether I feel like it or not! I am probably more productive in the winter though.
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
I’m working on a Romantic Escape series. The first book, Tanzania-set The Baobab Beach Retreat was published a couple of years ago and the next standalone book, A Starlit Summer was published in July. It’s set in Cornwall and the story revolves around a film set. I’m currently editing the next book, The Greek Heart, which is mainly set on the Greek islands of Santorini and Paros.
Kate, where can we follow you on social media?
• Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/katefrostauthor/
Kate Frost is the author of character-driven women’s fiction and romances set in the UK, Greece and Tanzania, plus an award winning time travel adventure trilogy for children called Time Shifters. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa university and is the co-founder of Storytale Festival, a new citywide children’s book festival in her hometown of Bristol.