☼ 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 ☼
What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Being a real foodie, I have deliberated far too long over this question. I have decided on prawn mayonnaise sandwiches, freshly baked cheese straws, pitta breads and taramasalata, chocolate fudge brownies, and some lovely sweet and juicy strawberries.
Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?
A glass of chilled white wine sounds perfect.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside?
Let’s go for the countryside. This evokes wonderful memories of when I was younger and used to stay with my nan.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag?
I am a traditional girl when it comes to picnics. We have to have a hamper, but finger food is fine and a blanket on the grass.
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
It would definitely be where my nan lived. She came from the village of Long Melford on the Suffolk/Essex border and her house backed onto beautiful Constable Country scenery. uring long hot summers we would have traditional picnics by the river.
Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?
I think a picnic definitely calls for some of my childhood favourites, so Enid Blyton would have to be there, as would CS Lewis, and being a Norfolk girl, I have to invite Anna Sewell. Then I will invite Louisa May Alcott and Emily Bronte.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
I have just finished reading The First Date by Zara Stoneley, which I absolutely adored. It’s the first book of hers I have read, but definitely won’t be the last. It’s the perfect read for a summer picnic.
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What is your earliest summer memory?
Living in Norfolk, I am blessed to have a beautiful coastline on the doorstep. Perfect hot summer weekends were when the family would visit Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea, often with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in tow. We would park in Wells, walk through the pine woods to Holkham, which has the most fantastic golden beach, then picnic in the sand dunes, play games on the sand and paddle in the sea. Late afternoon we would walk back to Wells and have fish n chips on the harbourfront before the drive home. Wonderful memories.
Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?
I am lucky to have beautiful parkland on my doorstep, which is a great place to spend time in the summer, but my absolute favourite place in River Green in Norwich. It is so serene with traditional pubs, a beautiful church, a little café, and the perfect view over the river.
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 prefer silence for both writing and reading, though occasionally I will have a jazz/classical playlist softly playing in the background. I love music though and a summery tune that always makes me smile is Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.
Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?
Not so much between seasons, but they certainly do with given situations. My two favourite genres are thrillers and romantic comedies. If I am going through a low patch or a difficult time, the rom coms help to pull me out of it, though I do love getting stuck into a good thriller. Those are best read when it is cold and rainy outside and you are tucked up in bed or in front of a warm fire.
Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?
I guess the winter months are a little easier. I often feel guilty if it is a warm day and I am stuck inside at the keyboard.
Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
My current WIP is set during a cold winter, always a challenge writing about snow, ice and Christmas tunes during a hot summer. It’s another psychological thriller set in Norfolk, though completely standalone, and follows a killer targeting a group of old friends for something they did in the past. It is due to be published with Bloodhound Books in November.
Keri, where can we follow you on social media?
Keri Beevis wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published after winning a contract in the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012.
Born in the village of Old Catton, less than a mile from where Anna Sewell was living when she wrote Black Beauty, Keri had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, though her tastes veered more to the macabre.
Today she still lives in Norwich, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel), where she writes a comedic lifestyle column for a local magazine. She loves Hitchcock movies, exploring creepy places, and gets extremely competitive in local pub quizzes. She is also a self-confessed klutz.
Keri joined the Bloodhound team in 2019 and her first release with them, the internationally bestselling psychological thriller, Dying To Tell, which is set in her beautiful home county of Norfolk, has been her biggest success to date, with over 1300 five-star ratings on Goodreads.
She is also the author of Deep Dark Secrets and the Rebecca Angell thrillers, M for Murder and D for Dead. Her new psychological thriller is due to be released later this year.