My favourite subject at school was English, and I was fortunate enough to have an excellent teacher. Mrs McCarthy said I had a very good imagination. I think her support and praise set me up for life.
Like many novelists, I started off as a short story writer. My stories have been published in women’s magazines and in several anthologies. I’m still very fond of the humble short story - it’s a brilliant quick fix.
As a teenager, I loved expressing myself through poetry. I’m not the best poet in the world but I still write them sometimes. You can find two on my blog – My Friend, and The Sea.
I’m a keen runner and take part in 5k and 10k charity runs. I’ve got three medals so far - two from Cancer Research UK (for a 5k and 10k) and one from Mind for the Vitality London 10k, which I trudged through huffing and puffing earlier this year. Although I love pounding the streets of north London, training for an event can be tough and demanding, and quite daunting, too - the pressure, the speed, the pace, and of course, the sponsorship. I think asking people for their hard earned cash is the worst part of it. But it’s always for a brilliant cause, so I do it!
I cried when I typed The End to No Way Back. I got so involved with the characters and their lives that I missed them terribly afterwards, especially Audrey. I wandered around in a daze for days. I can’t help gazing at her address in Muswell Hill whenever I pass by. It was empty and for sale when I created the story, but I often wonder who really lives in there now.
So it’s a good job that I’m in the midst of writing the sequel, Her Secret, featuring all the same characters and a few more!
People often ask me where I get my writing inspiration from. In fact, it’s probably the question I’m asked the most. Inspiration comes in many forms, one being music. When I’m out running, or pounding away on the treadmill at the gym (okay, huffing and puffing as close to the air-con vent as possible) my WIP is always on my mind - the protagonist, the cast, the chapter I’m working on. Some of these melodies help me to create a mental image of the characters and their lives, the scenes, the highs and the lows, the cliff-hangers. Because of this, I thought it was a good idea to create a playlist on Spotify of the songs that inspired me whilst I was penning No Way Back. Several of the titles on this soundtrack are songs that I listened to while I was working on the book, a few are mentioned in the novel, and some simply embody the story in a way that takes the characters and their lives beyond the pages of the book. I think that people who’ve read No Way Back will definitely be able to relate. You can listen to it here - https://play.spotify.com/user/11135145039/playlist/0IbxzB3L6ZPdbrFiUY5fAI?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open
I’m an Audrey Hepburn fan. I think she was very classy and gorgeous and talented and kind. Hence, my heroine’s name in No Way Back.
I start my day off with a smoothie for breakfast. I usually blend spinach or kale with fruit and flaxseed (or a combination of seeds and goji berries). I somehow feel instantly rejuvenated after I’ve necked it.
But I do love my coffee and will often be found in a local café editing over a skinny cappuccino or two (no chocolate sprinkles!).
No Way Back by Kelly Florentia is published by Urbane Books and is out now.