Lynne Shelby

A Moment With… Lynne Shelby

4 Lynne Shelby with her debut novel French Kissing

I am very pleased to be welcoming Lynne to Novel Kicks today. She talks to me about her writing process….

I never know when I’m going to get an idea for a novel. I love travelling, and very often, when I’m exploring a foreign city I’ve not visited before, I think of a story that could take place in that locale, but it could be a photograph, a piece of music or an overheard conversation that suddenly makes me want to open my laptop and start writing. The idea for my debut novel, ‘French Kissing,’ grew out of a phone conversation I overheard when travelling back from Paris to London with my family on the Eurostar. A young Frenchman sitting across the aisle spent the entire journey calling his English friends on his mobile, telling them that he was coming to London, and suggesting that they meet up. Unfortunately, none of his friends seemed to want to see him, which made me feel very sorry for him – and gave me the scenario for ‘French Kissing,’ in which a Frenchman coming to work in London is made very welcome by his English friend – who happens to be a girl…

When I start writing a story, I know the beginning and the ending, but have only a vague notion of what is going to take place in between. I jot down a few notes, just the outline of the plot, and then begin typing, throwing my hero and heroine together, and seeing what happens as they interact. I already know a lot about my hero and heroine at this point, and I note their age, appearance, etc on index cards, adding more details that as I go along. There does seem to be a moment when the characters I’ve created take over and start telling their own story! Sometimes I realise that the story arc I have planned for them just doesn’t work with the person they have become on the page, and I have to change it. A minor character in ‘French Kissing’ ended up in a romantic sub-plot, although I had no idea that this was going to happen when I first put her in the book – she was just supposed to be my heroine’s confidante.

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