My Monday guest – Tina K Burton

Today, I’d like to welcome Tina K. Burton back to my blog.

Tina

Tina writes short stories, articles, novels, and even the occasional haiku. She’s also a quilling artist. Both her novels, Chapters of Life, and The Love Shack, are signed with Crooked Cat Publishing. Her articles are on the OapsChat website and many of her short stories can be found at Alfie Dog Fiction. Tina is currently working on her third novel, in between doing her quilling projects, and when she’s not writing, Tina spends her time relaxing with friends, and taking her rescued greyhound for walks across the beautiful moorland in Devon, where she lives with her husband.

Walking Cherry

Welcome, Tina. How would you describe yourself as a colour? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious colour?

Light and airy pastels because they are softer and more gentle. But, my favourite colour is blue and I do like that rich royal blue colour, so maybe a mix of both.

I love blue too. Tell me, if you could morph into any creature what would it be?

A bird.

If you don’t mind me asking, why a bird?

I’d love to be able to fly – I have lots of flying dreams and it’s such a wonderful feeling. I envy them the freedom to just be able to fly wherever they like, and the feeling of being in the open air is wonderful. The closest I’ve ever got was when I went parasailing. Hanging 400ft up in the air from a parachute was just amazing. It was so quiet and still and the view was wonderful.

Rather you than me, Tina. Laughs. At bedtime, do you like relaxing-so-you-can-sleep sounds? Or is your preference white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else? 

I don’t really like any sounds at bedtime. All I have is the ticking of my bedside clock, which reminds me of when I used to stay with my maternal grandmother when I was a little girl.

Absolutely! What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favourite song?

I don’t like modern music, but I do have quite a mixed range of music that I like, from rock – stuff like Queen and American rock bands such as Foreigner, Reo Speedwagon, Aerosmith – to folk music, seventies, and country. My favourite band ever though is Fleetwood Mac.

Yeah, they sure rock. If your life were a movie, Tina, would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?

Probably fantasy because I’m often daydreaming and off in my own little world, or ‘away with the fairies’ as my husband puts it!

How do you handle a writer’s block?

I’m a quilling artist – which, for anyone who doesn’t know, is rolling up narrow strips of coloured paper into coils, which you then shape and use to make pictures and decorate items. It’s a very old artform – so I sit and do a quilling project when I can’t write. That helps clear my mind and I can get back to the writing.

Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer?

Straight onto a Word doc. I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of writing it out by hand then transferring it onto the computer. Why make more work for yourself?

I agree. Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?

Yes I do. I could never write a story – short or novel length – without knowing the ending. I have the whole thing planned out in my head before I start to write it down. I may add or change bits in the middle as I’m going along, but the ending always stays as it is.

The same with me. Do you like to read the genre that you write?

Yes, definitely. I read mostly women’s fiction, romance – not slushy Mills & Boon type stuff, but books by authors such as Erica James – and stories that are character driven rather than plot driven. I think it’s good to write about what you know. I don’t read a lot of crime, so couldn’t write a crime novel.

What are you working on now, Tina? Would you like to share anything about it?

My third novel is a story about a girl who suffers with Sudden Death Transisition. She’s killed while crossing the road and texting on her mobile, and finds herself back in 1932, where she’s looked after by her great aunt Clarissa. It’s a fun read, but with an underlying sadness. It’s great fun to research that era.

Do you have a new book coming out soon or recently released? Do tell us about it!

The Love Shack was released three weeks ago. It’s a fun read, set around a dating agency, and stars the hapless Daisy Dorson who stomps in to complain and ends up with an unexpected offer. There’s plenty of laughs, quirky characters and romance.

The Love Shack

I’m reading The Love Shack now – a light, fun read – and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Please let my readers know how they can find you, Tina. Do you have a web page, Facebook page or any buy links?

You can buy The Love Shack on Amazon for Kindle and it’s being released in paperback soon too.

getBook.at/TheLoveShack

My author page viewAuthor.at/Amazonlookmeup

My Facebook quilling page – in case people want to learn more –

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quillina/1446989932205225

Tina with Cherry

It’s been a joy interviewing you, Tina. And I’m sure my readers will love reading about you and admiring Cherry, your gorgeous greyhound. All the best with your writing, my lovely. As I said, I’m loving Daisy and her exploits in The Love Shack and your next book sounds intriguing. 

My Monday guest – Shani Struthers

I’m delighted to have the lovely Shani Struthers on my blog today. Thank you, Shani, for talking to us whilst you are on vacation.

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Shani and I met on Facebook a couple of years ago. She’s been hugely encouraging to me and it’s great to host her today.

Born and bred in the sunny seaside town of Brighton, one of the first literary conundrums Shani had to deal with was her own name – Shani can be pronounced in a variety of ways but in this instance it’s Shay-nee not Shar-ney or Shan-ni – although she does indeed know a Shanni – just to confuse matters further! Hobbies include reading and writing – so no surprises there. After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in English and American Literature, Shani became a freelance copywriter. Twenty years later, the day job includes crafting novels too. Writing both contemporary fiction and paranormal mystery, she is the author of The Runaway Year and The Runaway Ex, both published by Omnific Publishing. Her paranormal work is published by Crooked Cat Publishing and includes Jessamine and the bestselling Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall and Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me. All are available on Amazon. The Return – published June 2015 – is the third in the Runaway series but can also be read as a standalone. Coming soon: Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story.

Tell me, Shani. How would you describe yourself as a colour? Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious colour?

Colours – they are the bane of my life! I wear black – end of! But everyone keeps saying to me ‘you look so washed-out in black, wear something bright, red perhaps, green, you’d look lovely in green’ and so on and so on. Well, no, I’m not going to wear colours – I like black, I always have done and always will do. You’re not just a Goth for Christmas you know, I’ve taken a life-long pledge! 

Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?

A morning person – up with lark I am and ready to crack on with the day. Having said that, I’m a bit of an evening person too – I tend to go out with friends around three times a week and never stroll in until gone midnight. Which makes me a ‘burn the candle at both ends’ type of gal, I think!

Tell me something you would like your readers to know about you.

I might wear black all the time, I might burn the candles at both end and I might write books that veer towards the dark side of the paranormal but actually I’m the most cheerful person ever! Honestly, I might look doom and gloom but I was born happy!

Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds. Is your preference, white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else, Shani?

The sound of silence please at bedtime. A babbling brook could be play havoc with the waterworks and white noise is just plain annoying.

I agree, Shani. I need absolute silence for sleeping too. Tell us, when did you start writing?

Most writers would have you believe they’ve written since they could hold a pen, well, I haven’t. I spent a lot of my formative years devouring books rather than attempting them. In my teens I dabbled with poetry and then I got a job copywriting after university and have been doing that for a long time. It was only around 3 to 4 years ago I thought I’d write a book – that was The Runaway Year, a contemporary romance set in North Cornwall. It did well on submission, was duly published and sent me on my way. Several more books followed, two more in the Runaway series and my paranormal range, which I’m now concentrating on. Beware, once you unleash the muse, she won’t let you go.

HH Teaser 6

Please tell us, Shani. Where do you get your ideas?

They come at me from all angles, and often in the most bizarre of places at the most bizarre of times. There’s no shortage of ideas, look around you, at life, the news headlines, Facebook even, there’s a story brewing just about everywhere. My tip is be open to ideas, receptive, they’ll come to you, you don’t have to go looking for them.

When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?

I always write consecutive scenes; I start at the beginning and plod on to the end. I have a vague idea of plot but it is just that – vague. I prefer to let the story develop organically, when you do that, it often goes in a way you could never have anticipated. I think the reader doesn’t know what’s coming so why should I, the writer? I let my characters do what they want (within reason) and so far, so good. I’ve been advised in the past to plot and I have tried it, but I write best when I don’t outline.

Which geographical locations are your favourites and why?

I’m a travel writer by day so I LOVE locations! The Runaway series is set in North Cornwall, a place I absolutely love and have been visiting annually since I was a child. It’s rugged, it’s wild, it’s the perfect setting for a group of twenty to thirty-something’s to play out their lives against. Jessamine,  a paranormal romance, is set in the Highlands of Scotland – the Glenelg peninsula overlooking the Isle of Skye. It’s dramatic, mysterious and somewhat bleak surrounds suit the story perfectly. Last but by no means least, my Psychic Surveys series is set in Lewes, five miles away from where I live in Brighton. You gotta write about what you know and I know about my home county!

What are you working on now, Shani? Would you like to share anything about it?

I’m in Florida at the moment but when I come back in September I’m going straight into edits on Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story. A spin-off novella from the Psychic Surveys series, it features two of the most popular characters from it, Theo and Ness, who come together to work on a case in Yorkshire. Based on true events, it’s not just the market hall that’s haunted, it’s the entire town! I’m also working on Psychic Surveys Three: 44 Gilmore Street, which is due out in the spring of 2015.

Please tell us about your latest release!

Recently released is the third in the Runaway series – The Return. I say it’s the third, it can be also be read as a standalone and is quite a tearjerker I’ve been told by the readers, but it’s good to have a bit of a cry now and then I think, so I’m happy to be of service!

How can we find you? Do you have a web page, Facebook page or any buy links?

I do indeed, here’s the links:

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Blog: http://shanisite.wordpress.com

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

TSU https://www.tsu.co/shanistruthers

The Haunting of Highdown Hall

Global Link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00JY83HBI

 Haunting of Highdown Hall Cover MEDIUM WEB

Rise to Me

Global Link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00U4ZFO5W

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Jessamine

UK http://tinyurl.com/ml3om46

US http://tinyurl.com/n5adytl

 Jessamine Teaser 3

The Runaway Year

UK http://tinyurl.com/oyb5r3v

US http://tinyurl.com/ousz5zb

 RunawayYear_Cover

The Runaway Ex

UK http://tinyurl.com/prz4nra

US http://tinyurl.com/op5zv5q

 RunawayEX_Sample13a

The Return

Global Link http://authl.it/3gl

 

The Return Cover LARGE EBOOK

It’s been fun chatting to you, Shani. I’m definitely going to download your Christmas ghost story. Sounds like the perfect read for curling up by the fire with a glass of mulled wine.