☼ 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 Lynn Fraser to our picnic ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Crusty French bread, cheese and strawberries. I remember a summer back when I was a student, hitchhiking to the south of France with a boy I loved too much, living in a tent, sitting outside in the sun and living on just those foods.
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
Prosecco for me, please.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
This is a tricky question because I love the sea, but I hate eating on the beach where everything ends up with that gritty under taste and - in my favourite place, Cornwall - you’re always in danger of losing your lunch to the gulls. So how about we sit in the dappled shade of a tree, in a garden overlooking the sea, where we can walk off our lunch with a walk and a paddle?
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag ?
Definitely no cutlery, but I’m a sucker for a wicker hamper. I still dream that someday I’ll get one from Fortnums.
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
The grounds of a castle, any castle, or a ruined abbey. How about Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, so we can nip to Betty’s Tea Rooms on the way to stock up on Fat Rascals and get a cup of tea for the road?
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
Angela Carter, George Eliot and Fay Weldon. I reckon they’d be great company. Yesterday I learnt that a dear friend and writing mentor, novelist and poet, Caron Freeborn died. I think she should come too. There’ll be pink wine, swearing and laughter.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’ by Laurie Lee. I only have to look at the cover to feel the sun.
What is your earliest summer memory?
I remember making daisy chains. Sitting in the grass, picking a flower, making slit in the stem with my thumb nail and threading through the next stem. Carrying on beyond the circlet and the necklace, to create long ropes of daisies that could be draped across bushes like fairy bunting.
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
I have a writing shed at the end of the garden. I hide there not just to write, but to be. Sometimes my friend and I leave the kids in the house and retreat down there with a bottle of wine to gossip and talk books.
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 a fondness of folk and country. In the shed at the moment is Emmylou Harris, Joshua Kadison and Kathryn Williams. For a classic summer song, I’d probably pick Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘Summertime’.
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
I don’t think my reading tastes a seasonal. They can be affected by mood and circumstance. When I’m stressed, I might turn to non-fiction because escaping into fiction is more difficult - something like Katharine May’s ‘Wintering’. I like to save a juicy favourite for my summer holiday - anything by Kate Atkinson, for example.
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
I think I maybe write better in the summer, or at least in the warmer months when things are growing and I can escape to the shed (no heating in there).
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
‘The Busy Mum’s Guide to Getting Away with It’ is published as digital only by Orion. It’s a darkly witty novel about motherhood and school gates politics and Beverley, a mum who will do *anything* for her kids. https://amzn.to/3bH1SqX
Beverley Wright has worked hard to secure the best possible start for her children, far better than the one she had. Unfortunately her husband proves to be predictable in ways she had never predicted and dumps her for his secretary. This leaves Beverley and the children at the mercy of failing primary school Harper Hill - and the monstrous matriarch who rules it. What will Beverley do? It turns out that joining the PTA is only the beginning.
Lynn where can we find you on social media?
More about Lynn
I live in Cambridge with my partner and wrangle a teenager, a couple of cats, a pack of personal demons and words. As a fundraiser, business copywriter and communication consultant, I helped other people tell their stories but now I mostly tell my own. Fuelled by tea and rage. Calmed by TV crime dramas, inept crafting, the sea and books.
☼Thank you for coming to our picnic☼
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