Monday 15 February 2016

Author Interview: Linn B Halton

In the interview seat this week we have the lovely Linn B Halton. Bristol-born Linn lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

"I'm a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache..."

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn's novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Linn writes chick lit, women's contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

Hello Linn and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom

Waves from the Forest of Dean, Shona! It’s lovely to be here and thanks so much for inviting me over.

Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?

I think I was born with an over-active imagination and a love of pure escapism. Reading books was a way of expanding my horizons at an age when my life was about learning and going to school, and then I began writing. I used to write episodes of my favourite TV programmes … and cut out pictures from magazines to illustrate them! As an adult I was side-tracked by marriage and two children; there simply wasn’t time to write, as once the boys were at school I went back to work. It never was a case of ‘if’ I write, but simply ‘when’. Walking away from any long-term career to begin something new is a scary challenge, but that’s what I did in March 2009 and it changed my life!

What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?

The time it takes from writing ‘The End’ to seeing the book out there for sale. I’m a compulsive starter/finisher and a Gemini, so I thrive on deadlines and tend to work well in advance. However, I’m impatient and then want things to happen immediately, but it’s a process and that takes time. I always panic about a month before a new book is released, wondering how it will be received by the reviewers. It is literally a nail-biting time for me, every launch feels like the first!

If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Sorry - I'm cheating here and two of my choices are actually series:

Woman In White by Wilkie Collins - this book reminds me of those intense teen years when I read and re-read this book.

The entire Angelique Series by Sergeanne Golon - history and romance; the passion leaps off the pages.

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer - definitely enhanced by the wonderful casting for the films, but a modern day classic.

The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes - the first book I read after my mum died and we took a five day break in Le Crotoy in France. It allowed me to switch off for a while and for that I will always be eternally grateful. I began writing shortly afterwards.

Do you and your main character share any personality traits?

No, yes, and maybe – sometimes! I have to admit that my characters seem to create themselves and I don’t begin a new story with any preconceived ideas. I usually have a working title and the name of the two lead characters. From there on in the story writes itself. However, I think that writers automatically draw from what they’ve previously witnessed or experienced, and their imagination then takes over. I am a people-watcher and I think of my mind as a filing cabinet. When I need a character to display a certain trait, it’s a case of going to the right drawer and taking out the memory. This works particularly well when writing a romcom and when I wrote Quintessentially Yours (the sequel to Under The Stars), most of the baby ‘scenes’ were written based upon personal hands-on experience with the newest arrival in our family! Occasionally, I will draw upon facets of my own personality, but each character tends to be a unique mix, simply because that’s the key to that particular story. I write from inside the head of the character, in first person speak, because the reader is then privy not just to what a person says, but what they are THINKING. It’s often what we choose not to say, that tells us what’s really going on.

If you could live in any book what book would it be?

Well, because the film was so good, I'd choose A Good Year (2006) starring Russell Crowe as Max Skinner. Failed London banker Max Skinner inherits his uncle's (Albert Finney) vineyard in Provence, where he spent many childhood holidays. Upon his arrival, he meets a woman from California who tells Max she is his long-lost cousin and that the property is hers. I know the film is only loosely based on the 2004 novel of the same name by British author Peter Mayle, but I just have a thing about Provence. And a vineyard is simply such a PERFECT setting!

Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music?

They just pop into my head, although I have a beautiful hand-crafted journal full of ideas that I’ve kept ever since I was a child. One day I’ll have a chance to look through it, but for the time being I have more ideas than I have time to write!

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write from the heart; write what you makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Don't over-think it when you begin, just sit down and make a start. If writing comes naturally to you, then you will find with each completed manuscript you will up the bar, because it is a learning process. Above all, have no expectations, then anything you achieve is a bonus. If you write for yourself, because it's a passion, then you will probably continue writing until the day you die ...

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.
But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she feels that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.
But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015, published Jan 2016.

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  1. Happy Monday Booky Ramblings - so fab to be here and thank you so much for some great interview questions! Have a great week. Lxx

  2. Linn, you are one of my favorite authors and learning more about you is always a treat. These questions were great and loved your answers!! Xx


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