Good morning! Welcome to another Meet The Author Moment. Today we’re welcoming Linn B. Halton!
[AC] Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
[LH]: At the moment, after having four new books launch in seven months, I’m afraid the only reading I do is proof checking! When I do get time to read, then chick lit/women’s contemporary is my favourite genre and as I mix with a lot of exciting new authors, my Kindle is packed with a long to-be-read list!
My all-time favourite ‘truly inspirational’ author would be Sergeanne Golon and the Angelique series – very hard to get hold of copies these days. As a young teen I read and re-read this series, falling in love with the setting, the history and the passionate romance. Very much ‘closed door’, but passionate all the same!
Ian Fleming, Wilkie Collins, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë – all authors who dominated my reading list as an avid young adult reader. Then Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Cathy Kelly, Candace Bushnell – to name just a few.
[AC]: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
[LH]: I love my Kindle and it’s like a third arm. BUT if I love, love, love a book, then I buy it in paperback too, as I know I’ll read it again and again.
[AC]: What book(s) are you reading at present?
[LH]: I’m just proofing the paperback for my own Quintessentially Yours – if you can call that ‘reading’ ha! Ha! Seriously, my Kindle TBR list is calling, but reading time for me is in the evening and at the moment I’m using my ‘reading time’ to write. Launching a new book means a busy promotional programme and having launched four – well, you can imagine!! So although my day job is writing, most of that is taken up with the other things associated with being an author and I write into the wee hours, then start again between 6am-9am. Then it’s on the computer and the day flies doing guest posts, social media and emails.
[AC]: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
[LH]: I have books with four different publishers and that means four different editors. I also have two self-pubbed books that I proofed myself. Going forward I doubt I’ll have time to self-publish anything else, but it is fun to be in charge of the whole process, although I now prefer the input of an editor who can see the story from another perspective! It helps me to grow as a writer.
[AC]: Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
[LH]: No and yes. I tend to edit as I go, writing maybe fifty pages and then going over them until I’m really happy and then moving on until the manuscript is complete. Then I have a spreadsheet of things I tend to say repetitively/my common errors, which I go through in detail. I record the number of times I use key words (favourites that can become annoying to the reader) and I do a word count on these. So I know on average how many times in say 85,000 I’m comfortable using a particular word. If I go over that count, then I tend to do a cutting-out exercise. At that point I then send it to my Kindle for a read-through and to correct errors I’ve missed – typos, or repeat words used too closely together eg ‘before’ might appear three times in a paragraph and I’d amend that. I make those corrections and then put it away for at least 3 months before reading it again with a fresh set of eyes. One more check for typos etc and the war with commas, then it’s ready to send to an editor!
Read on to learn about Linn’s books!
What To Read Next…
Looking for another new author?
Click HERE to meet LLm author Bonnie Trachtenberg!
Hello everyone! Welcome to another Meet The Author Moment! Today we’re featuring Zara Stoneley. Read on to learn more about Zara.
[ZS]: Full length books, like the Tippermere series I’m writing at the moment, take me around 4 months. I did manage to complete one book in around 6 weeks, but my stories seem to have a lot more pages in them these days!
[AC]: Do you ever get writer’s block?
[ZS]: I certainly get to a stage in (nearly) every story I write where the words don’t flow as easily – sticky middles are not nice! If writing is a hobby then that’s fine, but if it’s your job, your career, on the line then you can’t afford to just stop working when you have deadlines to meet. That’s why I try and think of it as a sticky patch rather than an insurmountable block.
[AC]: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
[ZS]: Keep working is my main tip! A writer has to be a tough boss, once you stop writing and get out of the habit it can get progressively harder each day to get back into it. Writing is a job and you really can’t just lay down tools when the going gets tough.
If a particular aspect of a story is causing problems I’d advise you to skip it and move on to the next chapter, or even further on. My manuscripts are littered with comments in red saying things like ‘come back to this later’, or ‘what happens next?’ (and even more cryptic comments that make no sense to me at all when I revisit them!).
If the problem is bigger then going back to your plan can help – examining the goals, motivations and conflicts of the story as a whole, or of the main character can really focus your mind. If I do this I often get a ‘eureka moment’ when I realise where things have gone wrong, and even a simple tweak can set the ball rolling again. Understanding your characters really is the key factor to being able develop a story.
If all else fails then a change of scene (for you, not the characters) can help – whether it’s a long walk, a gym session or housework it’s surprising what can kick start the little grey cells. Food for a writer (apart from chocolate!) is observing what’s around us, listening, watching, reading; inspiration springs from the most unlikely sources.
[AC]: What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
[ZS]: I’ve written two series now, but I really believe you should only write linked books when the story demands it. There is nothing worse, to my mind, than turning what is essentially one good stand-alone book into a series purely as a marketing ploy.
I am currently part way through my ‘Tippermere’ series (the first being ‘Stable Mates’, the second ‘Country Affairs’, the third due out next Spring – and with a free bonus Christmas novella ‘A Very Country Christmas’, out now). By the time I’d planned the first book it was obvious that the story I wanted to develop was far too big to cover in one novel. The feedback from readers has been amazing, with people really wanting to know what happens next in the lives of the characters – and many getting to know the fictional setting of Tippermere so well they’ve been asking where it is so they can visit (I can understand what they mean – I don’t ever want to leave Tippermere)!
From a writing point of view a series involves a lot more planning, with continuity and timelines needing close attention, but it is well worth the effort. And sometimes the whole story just has to be told!
[AC]: Who is your favorite author and why?
[ZS]: It’s impossible for me to single out just one author. I’ve always read a wide variety of authors spanning different genres and it really does depend what mood I’m in to what I reach for. The wonderful thing about books is that there’s one out there to suit every occasion and stage of your life.
What To Read Next…
Looking for another new author?
Click HERE to learn more about Linn B. Halton!
Our very own Linn B. Halton has been tremendously busy. This month we’ve got another special featuring her new release, Quintessentially Yours!
Excerpt From Quintessentially Yours
Hello everyone! I love special features. Today we a have a new release from Linn B. Halton. Read on to learn more about her latest. Let’s start with an excerpt.
Excerpt From A Cottage In The Country
Hello all! Welcome to another Special Feature day here on at the LLm Author’s Café! Today’s post highlights Under The Stars from our fabulous Linn B. Halton!
Under The Stars
For twenty-one years, the focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went, but what has always been there for her was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced.
With her confidence dented, Katherine is angry at life and at herself. She’s ignored hints of “changes to come” in her horoscope forecasts, written by the wonderful and renowned astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas. Mark is now an “A” list celebrity in the UK and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on the new, but talented, astrologer James Kingman to help him run his web-site. Katherine lives her life according to her daily horoscope.
When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion and, unexpectedly, love as the three lives become inextricably tangled. Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life, but when Katherine finds herself implicated in the headlines ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’ she’s just as surprised as everyone else. None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?
Excerpt From Under The Stars
Hello rockstars and Happy Tuesday! Welcome once more to The Author’s Café, where we blast the music, refill your coffee, and talk books–endless books. This week I was in the mood for some spooky stuff–and if a little romance is thrown in, all the better! Read on for info on these great titles from Janice Horton and Linn B. Halton.
Excerpt From How Do You VooDoo?
Excerpt From Never Alone
Recipe of the Day
So I was thinking today…since How Do You VooDoo is set partly in Glasgow, Scotland, we might have a bit of Scotch coffee? What do you think? Here you go…
- One shot of espresso
- A shot of your favourite single malt Scotch Whisky. (Keep in mind that whiskey is not Scottish. So if you want to be authentic, lose the e.)
How To Make The Magic Happen
- Combine espresso and Scotch Whisky in your favorite mug.
- Steam the milk until it has a light, frothy foam.
- Pour the milk over the combined ingrediants in your mug.
Music of the Day
I’ve been listening to rock n’ roll all day and honestly, there could be no other song for today… Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Before you head off to spend some time with your sweetie, how about some delectable reads from the café? Today’s post features reads from Linn B. Halton and Janice Horton.
Get ready for cupcakes and hot master chefs!
Excerpt From Sweet Occasions
Excerpt from Reaching For the Stars
Recipe of the Day
Author Linn B. Halton says she loves coffee with Tia Maria Liquor. That sounded yummy! I did a little digging and found this gem of a recipe courtesy of Tia Maria themselves. Check out this recipe for Tia Espresso:
- 30 ml TIA MARIA
- 30 ml ESPRESSO
- 30 ml VODKA
- 15 ml LIQUID SUGAR
- COFFEE BEANS
- Combine all ingredients together with cubed ice in a boston and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans.
Music of the Day
When I asked our authors about their playlists for these books, Janice Horton had this to say:
In my ‘celebrity chef’ novel, Reaching for the Stars, the stars mentioned both in the title and in the story are based on the famous Michelin star system, the highest accolades awarded to a chef. My title is also a double entendre, of course, meaning that to achieve at the top you have to aim high. I did lots of research for this novel in Michelin-starred kitchens and I spoke to lots of top chefs but didn’t have a music playlist as such during the writing stage. However, I found it very interesting to note that while I was launching my own ‘Reaching for the Stars’ the rapper Will.i.am was making history with his song ‘Reach for the Stars’ when it was played from the surface of Mars and beamed back to Earth on the Mars rover Curiosity – becoming the first song ever to debut from another planet. It certainly got his song noticed and made me wonder how hard it would be to have a book launch in space?!”