The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 9 January 2012

Welcome Melange Books author, Brenda Whiteside!

When I hooked up with Brenda for today's interview, she had me interested just from the title of her latest book, "Honey on White Bread"...what?? I can't wait to find out more about it, and more importantly, read it!

Let's get started... Welcome, Brenda! :)

1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

About eighteen years ago, I took a creative writing class for fun. I’d loved to write as a kid but hadn’t put pen to paper in years when someone mentioned the class. Now, a day without writing is unfinished and leaves me restless. I had so much fun writing and after a couple of years and several short stories later, I wanted to share my fun. Or at least I hope it’s fun for the reader.

2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

It’s hard to come up with a worse thing. I adore editors – would be lost without them. But they are human. There was some advice I received from one on where to market a book and wasted some time trying her direction. The best thing I have learned from an editor is how to make a scene deeper. I tend to get carried away with dialogue and not put in enough physical and emotional tags. She taught me how to sprinkle them in with great results.

3) Favourite author/s?

The list is extensive but I’ll throw out a few and in no particular order: Diana Cabaldon, Dick Francis, Ernest Hemingway, John Grisham, Jennifer Crusie, Mark Twain

4) What is your typical day?

I’m up by 6 a.m. and head straight to the coffee pot. While it brews and during my first cup, I check email and Facebook. Unless I receive something that needs further attention, I’m writing by the 2nd cup of coffee. I try to take a break mid morning for either a short yoga routine or squats (both are great for the back). While eating lunch, I’ll check in on email and Facebook again. After lunch, I attend to my editing job or proof. I work for two small publishers. The balance of the afternoon is writing related in some way – research, storyboard, plotting, etc. I get the dog out for a walk in the late afternoon, check email and FB one more time and start dinner. And of course, dotted in are marketing and critique partners pages. There are times, like now, when the routine is out of kilter as I am doing promo for new releases. Just not enough hours in the day!

5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

Honey On White Bread

When seventeen-year-old Claire Flanagan is wrenched from her father and deposited at the Good Shepherd’s Home for Wayward Girls, all dreams for Hollywood stardom are lost. But when twenty-year-old Benjamin Russell helps secure her release, she starts to believe in a happy future with him…until she discovers his ex-girlfriend is pregnant.

In this post WWII coming of age novel, Claire discovers the silver screen can’t compare with the fight she takes on for the leading role in her own life.

6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

I’m torn between Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone for Claire. Benjamin could be played only by Shia LaBeouf.

7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

For one thing I’m not a plotter. For another, I typically write characters that are at least forty and usually closer to fifty. But Honey On White Bread is the book of my heart. I grew up watching old 1940’s movies every afternoon, especially when it got too hot to be outside in Phoenix, Arizona. The forties were also my mom’s teen years and she’s a wonderful storyteller. I fell in love with the era. This book percolated for a few years in my head until I got it down on paper.

8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?

The work had only begun! Writing is the easiest, and certainly the most enjoyable, in my opinion.

9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

I do. I have a small computer table and on it are my laptop, five reference books, and an assortment of clips, post-its and pencils. On the wall, to one side, is a white board calendar that changes month to month with appearance dates and projected writing milestones. I also have a few framed pictures that might change depending on what I am writing. There is also a scented candle (nagchampa).

10) What’s next for you?

Personally – we’re moving to prairie country in Arizona at Christmas. Crazy timing. Professionally, I’m writing a romantic mystery that will in turn have two more spin off novels from it. And then I have another book brewing in my head for a bygone era – 1930’s America. So much to write and so little time!

I love to hear from readers and can be reached at

For information on my other December releases and for my latest contest news, visit

You’ll find her most days on Facebook at

On the 9th and 24th of every month I blog at

Honey On White Bread ISBN: 978-1-61235-267-1

Honey On White Bread Amazon ASIN: B006LWJ6VU

Warm Christmas Wishes ISBN: 978-1-61235-265-7

Tattoos, Leather and Studs ISBN: 978-1-61235-258-9

Great interview, Brenda - you sound as though you work so hard! I wish you all the success in the world with regards to your work and sales. Hope the move went well over Christmas too! Right, off to find you on Facebook...

Brenda would love to hear from you!


  1. Thanks for having me today, Rachel. Update on the move - I'm still in limbo. Living at my sisters and waiting for the house to close. Why would I think it would come off without a hitch! LOL

  2. I loved Honey on White Bread! And I have to say, it's one of the best titles I've come across. Best of luck with it, Brenda. I can see why it's the story of your heart.

  3. Thank you, Jannine. It was so much fun to write.

  4. Hi Rosemary and Brenda

    Great interview ladies - and it's nice to catch up with you again, Brenda, what a great title for a book!

    I must say I envy you moving to 'prairie country' as a lover of horses and 'the wide open spaces' I can't imagine anything more idylic - apart from my native Wales, of course, but I've always fancied living on the prairies!

  5. Enjoyed your interview as well as the blurb, Brenda. I love the title of your book. It's so original. Hope you have lots of sales.

  6. And I envy you. Wales is somewhere I really want to visit - as does my husband who is mostly Welsh. Thanks for dropping by, Hywela.

  7. You are a very busy woman, Brenda! Good luck with the move!