Kelly Florentia is an author of women's fiction. Her short stories have been published in women's magazines worldwide and anthologised by Accent Press in their charity range. Her eBook, To Tell a Tale or Two, featuring ten of her short stories, was published in February 2014 and is available for download via Amazon.
Kelly is currently working on her second novel, a contemporary romantic drama with a supernatural swirl. Her first novel is awaiting publication.
Kelly lives in London with her husband. Hobbies include reading, jogging, cycling, Facebooking, Tweeting and yoga. Oh, and the odd game of Candy Crush Saga.
I’m on Facebook – http://facebook.com/kelly.florentiaOn Twitter @kellyflorentia. I’m also on Goodreads.
My website is www.kellyflorentia.co.uk
Your anthology of short stories is called 'To Tell a Tale or Two' please could you tell me about it?
My anthology was published by Amazon KDP on 27th February 2014. It features ten of my short stories, each with a subtle twist or surprise ending. The stories are about love, betrayal and domestic drama. A couple of them have a ghostly theme, which may appeal to readers who enjoy paranormal fiction. They’re very short reads, so quite handy to dip in and out of if you’re busy, but some readers have told me that they’ve read the book in one sitting. It’s an eBook and available to download onto your Kindle or any device that supports the Kindle app. I think it would appeal to fans of chick-lit or mainstream women’s fiction. But men have told me that they’ve really enjoyed reading them too!
Are any of the characters in 'To Tell a Tale or Two' anything like you?
When I’m writing about a character, I imagine how I would feel if I were in his or her shoes, living their lives with their resources. So, I suppose a little bit of me is in all of my characters in a small way.
In several of the stories in 'To Tell a Tale or Two' we visit Greece, is this a place that is special to you?
I’ve been to quite a few of the Greek islands and have visited the mainland several times too. The Parthenon is absolutely stunning – a must see. Chania in Crete, which features in Greek Connection, is probably my favourite of the Greek islands. I’ve been there twice so far. I actually was inspired to write Greek Connection during one of my holidays. My sister and I bought two wooden spoons from an old man and his wife who were carving them outside their decrepit little bungalow up in the mountains. They were extortionately priced but we felt so sorry for them. I won’t tell you what happens next, you’ll have to read the story.
Will any of the characters from ' To Tell a Tale or Two' feature in future stories?
I usually introduce new characters when writing short stories, so it’s unlikely, but you never know. Quite a lot of people who’ve read my short stories in women’s magazines have told me that they didn’t want them to end. So perhaps I will feature one or two of them in future work.
You are currently working on your second novel, what can we expect?
Yes, I’m on the final edits of my second novel. It’s a romantic drama set in North London about a couple in their forties who are trying to get their relationship back on track after allowing complacency to drift in. Of course, nothing runs smoothly, so expect lots of twist, turns and drama. It features a very handsome and persuasive toy boy, an elderly gentleman and a supernatural twang.
I love how every story has a twist, along with a great mix of characters. Out of the 10 stories, did you have one that was more persistent in its need to be written?
I felt very excited about writing Table Manners because I wanted to talk about the psychology of eating food, which I actually believe has some essence. I think your table manners reveal quite a lot about you.
Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Yes, that’s true. You can get carried away by it all. I have been known to call a friend or family member by a character’s name! This is a difficult question because I’m very fond of all of my characters, even the antagonists. But at a push I’d pick Audrey from my first novel Betrayal (not yet published). She’s an independent woman who’s recently been dumped by her long term fiancé. So may need a shoulder to cry on. Because she works for a swanky Web Development company in town she’ll know all the best restaurants, pubs and bars to go to. So, I think we’d kick off by having a bite to eat, give her a chance to tell me all the latest about her love triangle over a bottle of wine. Then we’d go on to a nice pub so she can fill me in with all the news about her friends – the lively, man-eating Tina and professional chef/mum, Louise. After this we’d share a cab home because she only lives a mile from me. I think I’d come home with a big smile on my face.
If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
To Tell a Tale or Two because it’s got a nice mix of stories in it! Lol. Seriously though, there are so many great books out there, I don’t think I could call it.
If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
‘Non je ne regrette rien.’ I think life choices promote personal growth, shape us, make us who we are. You should take what you can from experiences and move on; for life lies ahead, never backwards. Oooh, I’ve gone all Zen.
What or who in life inspires you?
My husband Joe and my mum. They’re both full of wisdom and love. They’re very supportive but aren’t afraid to nudge me when I’m doing something wrong. I’m blessed.
What is your all time favourite book?
I find this question almost impossible to answer. I’ve got so many favourites. I think The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a work of art.
Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Only five, Kirsty, can’t I have ten? Okay, if I’m only allowed to choose five, then today it would be:
Stephen Fry because he’s so very clever and witty, and I’m sure he’ll keep us all amused with his anecdotes.
Joanna Lumley for her charm, humour and utter loveliness. I loved her in Absolutely Fabulous and would love to quiz her over the series.
The Dali Lama to inject us all with his wisdom. I think I’d be totally enthralled by this man, and would probably ignore all my other guests (hmm...maybe I shouldn’t invite him).
Micky Flanagan to make us all cry with laughter. Joe and I saw him live in Brighton last year. He was hilarious.
And finally, Mary Berry to light up the room with her charisma, plus I’d like her to sample my Moussaka (my mum’s Cypriot recipe). See what she thinks of my cooking!
At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of ' To Tell a Tale or Two' what are the ingredients?
Hmm... We’d need a good mix of drinks to cover all grounds – something sparkly and colourful, yet strong and smooth with a subtle, cool, sweet finish. Okay, the ingredients would be vodka, prosecco and cherry juice with crushed ice and a sprig of mint. Viva!
A big thank you to Kelly for talking to The Love of a Good Book!