☼ 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 Valerie Keogh to our picnic ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Sherry trifle in individual bowls – with extra sherry
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
Pimms, please! But no cucumber in it!
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
In the countryside, with a nice view over hills.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag?
Wicker hamper, table cloth, cutlery, proper glasses.
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
On a grassy area on the side of the Kennet and Avon canal, chilling as we watch the ducks, swans and narrowboats go by.
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
Stephen King, EF Benson, Elizabeth George, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce and Brendan Behan.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
The 6 Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson. I’ve read them all before, they’re the perfect nostalgic summer read.
What is your earliest summer memory?
Hearing the music of an ice cream van, and my mother finding enough money to buy all nine of us an ice cream cone.
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
Lynmouth in Devon or Ventnor, Isle of Wight
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?
Has to be Ella Fitzgerald’s Summertime, immediately brings lazy summer days to mind.
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
No, not really. Although I tend to read more magazines in the summer!
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
In the winter when I’m not lured outside by the garden and the weeds that are springing up and the plants that are begging to be fed!
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
Currently, I’m working on the 5th in my Dublin Murder Mystery series – it has mostly the same characters, Garda Sergeant Mike West and his partner Peter Andrews and West’s girlfriend, Edel Johnson who tends to get tangled up in his cases. It’s based in a suburb of Dublin called Foxrock.
Valerie , where can we follow you on social media?
More about Valerie
My name is Valerie Dickenson – I write under the penname Valerie Keogh. I worked as a nurse until 2018 when I became a full-time writer. I published two psychological thrillers, Secrets Between Us and The Housewife with Bookouture and then was offered a contract with Bloodhound Books who published my previously self-published crime series and also offered me a three-book contract for psychological thrillers. The first, The Three Women was released in Feb, the second is due out in June and the third in September.
My Irish crime series was released with new covers and titles – the 5th in the series is due out in November with a 6th early next year. It’s a traditional murder/mystery series with just a hint of romance to spice things up. Its set mostly in Dublin with book three in the series heading to the west coast of Ireland for a change!
I write or edit every day – I think I took Christmas Day off this year. There are always stories in my head wanting to get out, and new ones developing sparked by something I see, or something someone says or does. If I get stuck on where my plot is going, I’ll take myself along the Kennet and Avon canal and can almost guarantee that by the end of the walk I have it worked out. Writing is not only a passion, it’s a compulsion. And I love it!
☼Thank you for coming to our picnic☼
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