The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Welcome fellow UK romance author, Linn B Halton!

So happy to finally be able to welcome you here today, Linn! It feels as though we have been chatting for weeks via Twitter and I am very much looking forward to meeting you in person on Saturday at The Summer Audience in Tetbury :)

If any of my lovely UK visitors are interested in what is sure to be a fun and informative day - go to for the full day's programme and link to buy tickets. Love to see you there!

Okay, let's get to know more about Linn and her writing. Over to you...

It’s so lovely to be here Rachel and I’m really looking forward to reading Love’s Debt when it’s released on September 5, 2012 as I hear it’s based in and around Bristol Docks. I worked very close to the centre of Bristol for many years.

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

I was eleven years old and fell in love with books. I began writing poetry, then moved on to short stories and writing little episodes for my favourite TV programmes. All kept in a lovely little folder under my bed; the paper is yellowed and tatty now but I still have some of those jottings. By the age of thirteen I would go to the library and read absolutely anything; I think they thought the books I took out were for my parents. My favourites were Sergeanne Golon and the Angelique series and Wilkie Collins Woman In White. I read Stephen King, who terrified me and then fell in love with historical romances. Life then took me away from writing as I married at the age of eighteen and had two children, then a busy career. I continued to write poetry when moved to do so, but longed to find time to write in a meaningful way. I never doubted it would come and I have a journal full of ideas and mini-plots for stories. Often it was simply a sentence that had popped into my head, sometimes a character. Usually ideas that occurred to me as I was doing something mundane, like spring-cleaning the house.

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

To remember to consider your manuscript from the eyes of the reader: which is difficult to do when you have lived the story in your head over and over again. That’s why a good editor is vital, it’s a fresh set of eyes to spot the flaws and, if you are new, pass on the benefit of their experience. The best comment was from the editor of my debut novel Touched By The Light.  The Email I received was to say it had gone to print and that the editor had thoroughly enjoyed working on the book “the characters are so well drawn and likeable that they really stay in your mind.” I was thrilled when I read that, it meant so much.  The worst was being told to cut a chapter, it was like a stab in the heart. I bowed to greater knowledge of course, but I hate loose ends and that’s what I felt it left not being able to wrap up the story of one of the background characters.

3)   Favourite author/s?

Marian Keyes, Freya North, Cathy Kelly, Anna Barrie and Jill Mansell. However I now have a whole host of new authors on my Kindle as since I’ve started writing I’ve come to appreciate how important it is to support new authors.  I’ve recently read Janice Horton’s novels and I’m currently reading Bonnie Trachtenberg, all brilliant reads.

4)   What is your typical day?

My week is split as I spend two days a week looking after a very lively 21 month old who keeps me grounded! The rest of the time writing and running website (I run three) is my full-time job. I hate to think how many hours I work and with three books coming out this year there isn’t much ‘down-time’ or relaxation going on at the moment.

5)   Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us
The Quintessential Gemini was released on June 7, 2012 by Sapphire Star Publishing and I’m still in celebration mode!

It’s a fun, romantic story about Katherine Dale and the three men in her life!  Two astrologers and a cat named No. 4.  Who would have thought that this rather reserved lady would end up caught in a mystic love triangle…. if only!

For twenty-one years the main focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work.  Love interests and hobbies came and went; but always there for her, her only constant – other than her cat delightfully named No. 4 – was her nine to five habit.   Until she’s replaced.

Her confidence is dented and she’s angry; at life and at herself.  She’s failed to grasp the office politics that were going on around her and ignored hints of ‘changes to come’ in her horoscope forecasts. For over twenty years she has followed Mark Ainsley-Thomas, a renowned Astrologer in the UK and USA.  His daily forecasts direct the way she lives her life as a typically complex Gemini.  Mark is now an ‘A’ list celebrity and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on James Kingman to help him run his website.

Katherine is totally confused by James’ forecasts.  After a couple of Email exchanges, James admits he’s writing the daily forecasts now instead of Mark and advises her ‘it’s probably best not to get too bogged down with the minute detail’.  Katherine explodes and drafts a reply, letting out all of the hurt and anger she’s been bottling up.  She feels better afterwards and instead sends James a much friendlier Email, acknowledging Mark has a unique style and wishing him luck.  To her horror she receives a tirade back from James and realises she sent the wrong Email !

The story is told through the eyes of Katherine, Mark and James.  Gossip results in all three being named in a national newspaper headline ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’.

The problem is, what will Mark’s wife say when she hears this shattering news – especially as it isn’t true?  What will Katherine’s family think now she’s a scarlet woman?  And as for James, well – can it possibly get any worse?

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

Ooh… good question! Well Kate Hudson would be a perfect choice for Katherine Dale. The Quintessential Gemini has two heros; Zac Efron would be amazing for the lovely James Kingman and for the part of Mark Ainsley-Thomas, well Jonathan Cainer is the only man who could do that role justice! Mark is a renowned, world-wide astrologer in the story and for me there is only one person I’d want to play that role. The question is, do you act Jonathan?

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

I start with a tiny idea and let it flow from there. I find the title is a big thing for me, I have to have at least a working title even if I change it as the manuscript progresses. I know that sounds rather strange, some writers have a fully outlined plot whereas I just have a title. I’ve found that the characters grow and then they literally tell me what to write. Each develops a personality of their own and it’s actually quite exciting to spend a day being several different characters. I still get a thrill when writing from a male viewpoint and that was a surprise. The whole experience is such fun, but I dread typing that final word, it signifies for a writer that the relationship has run its course. Sad but true.

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

How long it took to get from signing a contract to holding the book in your hands. My debut novel took fifteen months in total. My new publishers, Sapphire Star Publishing are amazing and seem to be able to create miracles, without cutting corners.

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

I write in a cow shed, well to be correct it was where the cow pats were stored. Today of course it’s a converted cow shed and hayloft, tiny but sweet in Arlingham, near the river Severn. It’s a light, bright room with four windows and is adjacent to the kitchen – my favourite room.

10)                   What’s next for you?

More of the same. I have another book coming out on August 2, 2012 The Restaurant @ The Mill, also by Sapphire Star Publishing, and Never Alone coming out on October 10, 2012 by a new UK publisher. It’s going to be a busy year, but then I had a long list of New Year’s resolutions on 1 January 2012 and I haven’t yet ticked them all off…

Linn’s Website:
Amazon UK (buy) -
Amazon US (buy) -
Twitter Account @LinnBHalton: Author Page:

 Great interview, Linn! You sound like a hard worker and if there is one thing I learned in this business is hard work equal success - there's no other way :) Look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Okay over to you guys for questions and comments :)


  1. Fabulous to be here Rachel and thank you so much for being such a lovely and interesting host! It's been a whirlwind week since the launch of Jun 7th and guesting here is a highlight. We will be meeting face to face at a Summer Audience in Tetbury this Saturday (16 June) and I can't wait.

  2. First of all, Happy Birthday to Linn and congrats again on the launch of TQG. Whooot! What a fabulous interview. Every time I read an interview, I learn something new about you, Linn. I too read the Angelique series when perhaps I was too young for it; embarrasingly enough, I remember nothing about the books other than the sense of being absolutely spellbound and entranced. The same goes for Stephen King, whose books I read as a teenager without incurring any nightmares. Couldn't do it now. So, lots of common ground here, thank you for sharing.

    I look forward to meeting you both at the Summer Audience on Saturday, rock on!

  3. It's going to be a blast on Saturday! Thanks for dropping by Nicky. Stephen King used to terrify me, but then I was a very young teen when I was reading them ... I have no idea why I went for scary books, when I'm so easily scared. But the romance was something else. It's like a bug once it gets into your system, but what better way to live than in a world where there is a happy ending? Lx

  4. Thanks for being here, Linn and nice to 'meet' you, Nicky - after a week of laryngitis, my voice is finally returning so I am now really looking forward to Saturday. I would have hated not being able to talk to you, properly!

    See you soon,

    Rachel x

  5. Hope you are feeling better Rachel, so sorry to hear you were poorly again. It's a nasty bug. It was a fab day and I really hope we can meet up some time in the not-too-distant future! Best regards, L x