About Me

Biography

Lynn Forth photoI was born, the oldest of four children, in Derbyshire, and had a happy childhood even though my Father’s work meant we moved around many towns and I was always starting in new  schools. I was always reading and writing stories even then and was often asked to read them out in class, which I did very nervously at first but gradually became more confident. Eventually I arrived, aged 11, in Accrington and, on being accused of ‘speaking posh,’ I rapidly acquired a Lancashire accent, which has never quite faded despite moving away from Lancashire aged 18.

After studying English and Psychology at Hull University I ended up in Worcestershire with a much-loved job as an English lecturer in a College. This combined my two great fascinations, words and people.

WP_20150726_004One of my proudest moments was when I was nominated for the Outstanding Teaching and Learning Practitioner Awards by the Learning and Skills Council. After winning in the Midlands category I went on to be a finalist in the National Awards. At an amazing Star Awards ceremony in London I was delighted to be Highly Commended as Runner Up.

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But I  found juggling this demanding job with bringing up two sons left little time for writing. However, I have always kept a daily diary which records events, ideas and feelings. These not only make for fascinating reading years later, but are a source of inspiration for the motivations of my characters.

I wrote one novel whilst I was at work but, as I’m sure most writers find, it was very frustrating trying to fit a challenging work-load round my need to write. And it was a need.

So recently, and reluctantly, I left my College job to concentrate on my creative life. And it’s like a dam has burst. All the pent up stories and ideas flow non-stop. When I’m on a roll I write throughout the night. During the day I work through scenarios during housework and mutter dialogue over the kitchen sink, just itching for the moment when I can sit at my computer to write in all down. Bliss.

I have thus far written three novels and 12 children’s books.

Interests

Reading and writing, it’s fair to say I love both equally.

Running two book reading groups satisfies my love of discussing a wide range of reading with fellow enthusiasts. And I have kept a book diary recording hundreds of my  reviews over many years. (see my Blog Page for my latest book reviews)

Reading Favourites

I have so many much-loved authors, far too many to list but include anything by Katie Fforde, Marian Keyes, Freya North, and Maggie o’ Farrell.

Some old favourites are Daphne du Maurier, Jilly Cooper, Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope.

But the two authors who have probably influenced me the most are Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. I love their sly humour, wicked observations and humorous asides.

Georgette Heyer is my spirit-lifting-read-again-favourite. I am inspired by the sparkly bantering dialogue between her equally-matched heroes and heroines. If only I could write as wittily and effervescently as she does. And as effortlessly!

Jane Austen’s novels are my long-time loves and I also devour anything Austen-related. So my toes curled with pleasure as I read Death Comes to Pemberley. How perfectly P D James captures the Austen style and takes the story of Elizabeth and Darcy believably into their futures.

And my eyes were opened by the cleverly constructed meshing of the upstairs /downstairs Pride and Prejudice domestic scenes in Jo Baker’s Longbourn. I had never thought about the servant aspect before and I will now re-read all the books from a different viewpoint.

Films

And as a film fan I enjoy discussing films from many countries at a local film club.  And  I have an eclectic mix of films I enjoy. (See my blog page for latest reviews)

However, confession time, my DVD collection features a lot of films starring Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Hugh Jackman and  Daniel Craig. So, purely for research purposes of course, I might spend an evening with one of these men …and chocolate. Very inspiring for my writing.

Travelling

Or should I just confess and call it ‘holidays’. I especially like going to ‘Goldilocks’ places where it’s not too hot and not too cold, so we often to go north in the summer  (e.g. Norway, Iceland, Canada, Scotland), and south in the winter (The Caribbean, U.S.A, Spain).

We have been lucky enough to have travelled  to many more countries, especially in Europe,  and to many exciting cities such as Amsterdam, St Petersburg, Brussels, Quebec, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Some of these places feature in my novels.

As my husband is a fluent French speaker (and I can get by) we also visit France at least once a year. Just recently we realised that, as a result of all these visits, we have in fact travelled around the whole length of the French coastline (plus Corsica) and have been to every single Département.

But still our favourites are Brittany for family holidays, Provence for sharing with friends and Nice for us as a couple. (I hope I have captured some of the French atmosphere in my books).

Activities

Although I’m not a big exercise fan, I do love dancing and music, so combine the two enthusiastically in my sessions of Zumba, and, if I’ve got enough breath, I even sing along in incomprehensible Spanish. And as a Strictly fan, I love Fitsteps where I  learn all the dances, such as  the Quickstep, the American Smooth, the Paso Doble and especially the fiery, passionate Tango.

And of course my garden. I do one side of the garden in a flowery disorderly riot of colours and my husband does the other with neat serried rows of vegetables. We meet down the bottom amidst the roses.

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11 Responses to About Me

  1. Sally Potter says:

    Hi Lynn, Very interested to see your list of favourite authors – helpful when trying to decide on my next kindle download. Noticed no male authors on the list. Any particular reason for this?

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  2. Lynn Forth says:

    You are totally right of course …and on re-reading the list I could add many more. But I won’t.
    What I will do is add a list of favourite male authors who have arguably had less influence on my own writing, but have nevertheless brightened, deepened, informed my reading life.
    And in fact in one of my reading groups I always ensure we read male and female authors alternately.
    (Controversially I maintain that women will read male authors …but most men rarely read female ones.)
    Right here goes, she said skimming over her book shelves and choosing randomly from what’s there and in no particular order …takes deep breath…; Sebastian Faulkes Birdsong, Patrick Susskind Perfume, John Williams Stoner, Kazuo Ishiguro Remains of the Day, and Never Let me Go , and anything by Phillip Pullman, Jasper Fforde, C J Sansom …..and even sneakily Robert Galbraith (OK, I do know it’s really J. K. Rowling, but she writes very convincingly as a man)
    As soon as I’ve posted this I will think of loads more …but enough already.
    See what you have started? Who would be in your list?

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  3. Sally Potter says:

    With regard to who reads what, I think you’re right and, furthermore, is it the case, do you think, that men tend to read less fiction than women and may prefer non-fiction, journals etc?.
    I very much enjoy female writers (was riveted by Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch) and, as far as male authors are concerned, having checked my Kindle list, I particularly enjoyed books by the following:
    Tan Twan Eng, Colm Toibin, Jo Nesbo, Allan Hollinghurst, Julian Barnes, Edward St Aubyn, Herman Koch, Ian Rankin and Antonio Tabacchi.

    p.s. I’d love to read your Feminist Granny!

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  4. Yes, I agree about men reading more non-fiction. And it’s fascinating to notice how the men in my book group read so very differently from the women. They are very unforgiving about any factual error in writing, which we hardly notice or forgive if it’s consistent with the story (poetic licence if you will).
    The Goldfinch is on my pile to be read. Yes I like some of those male authors too, but confess to never having read Tan Twan Eng, or Antonio Tabacchi.

    And my Feminist Granny is proceeding apace …but struggling with what to leave out …and trying to keep it funny. Any ideas gratefully accepted.

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  5. Anne Bagust says:

    Hi Lynn,

    You say men will rarely read a book written by a female author … and yet I wonder how many men have, unknowingly, read work by a woman author writing under a pseudonym… In Bronte times men would have missed out with work by Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell aka Anne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte)
    Anne
    (a member of one of Lynn’s book group)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right Anne, but even more recently than the Brontes, someone like P D James felt she had to hide her gender in order to reach a readership of men and women. And she isn’t the only one. Look at J. K Rowling. I’m going to make a sweeping statement here, but I often wonder when an author uses their initials instead of a name that they are trying to disguise their gender to avoid the stereotyping that can occur.

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  6. Karen Holmes says:

    Hi Lynn, don’t know if you remember me from woman returners course but I still often talk about you and your classes on personal development and the fun of being 18 all over again, and purple day! I think it is just fantastic that you are writing, how incredibly exciting.

    Very best wishes, Karen.

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    • I do indeed remember you Karen…I could probably still find your (very good) marks in my mark book. And yes, what wonderful times they were, when we were all 18, ate our favourite sweeties and wore purple. I loved those classes.

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      • Karen Holmes says:

        I loved those classes too. I don’t work now. I had a stroke in 2010 which took the use of my right hand. I persevered and it’s good again now. It’s odd suddenly finding that you can’t write your own name. Just some cognitive issues now so I am a lady of leisure (so called!!)

        All the best with everything. Take care of yourself, love Karen.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So sorry to hear about your stroke, Karen. How awful to be robbed of your abilities in such a sudden and cruel way. Typical of you to fight it, and you appear to be coming out the other side. Certainly you seem to be very au fait with the modern technology of using a keyboard and the internet. Take care of yourself too, and thanks for getting in touch to remember those wonderful women returner days. Good luck.

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