☼ Jaffareadstoo is delighted to welcome you all to our Summer Picnic ☼
☼ I'm delighted to welcome author, A A Abbot to our picnic ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Finger foods - deliciousness without fuss. We’ll have crustless sandwiches filled with Cheddar cheese and cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and ham and cress. To follow, crisp Gala apples and home-made fruit scones. Maybe strawberry jam, clotted cream and a few spoons if you care to risk jammy hands…?
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
Pimms, please. It’s the taste of summer celebrations.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
Let’s head out of the city for a quiet spot in the countryside.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag ?
Neither. There’s a rug to sit on, and the food and drink are in separate coolbags.
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
Ashridge Forest, the magical beechwood where I was taken on family picnics as a child.
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
Shoot me dead for this if you like, but Enid Blyton wrote about food with such zeal that she deserves an invitation. I’m sure she’ll hold her own among John Grisham, Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell and JK Rowling.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
Feelgood uplit - Katharine D’Souza’s “Park Life”. All women over 40 should read it. So should anyone who loves trees.
What is your earliest summer memory?
My grandparents were visiting from the Netherlands, so there was an outing to a grand garden somewhere, and we stopped for a meal. I was excited to be allowed to run barefoot through the grass. It was less thrilling to sustain a tiny cut – perhaps shoes had their uses after all! At the time, I knew I was one year old (my parents later worked out that I must have been 22 months).
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
St Paul’s Square in Birmingham. Sitting on a bench, shaded by trees, near the handsome old church – it’s a moment out of time.
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 upbeat music, especially songs that tell a story. My summer fave is 60s classic “Summer in the City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
No, whatever the season, my reading tastes are broad. I enjoy crime stories, suspense thrillers, romance, fantasy and historical fiction.
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
I write at all times, and in most places – if I’m in flow, I’ll tap at my laptop on a bus.
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
Latest book, The Final Trail, is a thriller sizzling with family drama. Young Ben Halloran killed his father to save Kat White’s life. Now Ben’s brother wants to even the score. Meanwhile, glamorous Kat struggles with her memories. Can she finally achieve love and success, or will they slip from her grasp?
Helen, where can we follow you on social media?
More about A A Abbott
AA Abbott (also known as Helen) is a city girl writing about city life in her family drama thrillers. Her Trail series races between London, Birmingham and the former Soviet Union, as three families fight for control of a high-end vodka brand and a chilling criminal empire.
☼ Thank you for coming to our picnic ☼
Thanks for hosting me. It’s been a blast!
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