Friday, May 27, 2011

Tattered Pages Welcomes Author Brenda Whiteside!

Brenda has been writing all of her life in one way or another, from the captions on her childish artwork, to teenage psychedelic scrolls, to her current novel.

After publishing several short stories, she turned to writing novels. Regardless of the length of her story, the characters drive her forward, taking her on their journey of discovery and love.

Her life is blessed with three creative soul mates. Her son, a singer/song writer, lives with his lady in a far off western town in the pines. Brenda and her husband, an excellent photographer, live in Minnesota, a nature wonderland that captured her heart eighteen years ago. They share their home with their dog, Rusty, who creates joy (and is the smartest dog in the world).
Glad to have you here, Brenda. With the recent evolution of the e-publishing industry, tell me, have you ever considered self-publication?
Only recently. There used to be a stigma to self-publication, but there are quite a few success stories floating around right now. It sounds like a great deal of work and that may keep me away from it for a while. I need to get many more stories down on paper before I try it. But if I have some books where normal avenues are not working, I would have no qualms about going the self-publication path.
What are you working on now?
I’m having a lot of fun with a contemporary western novella. It’s strictly a lighthearted, entertainment read. I’m doing the last of my edits on an historical YA romance. This book takes place in 1945 and has more to say, would also be enjoyed by an older audience. And then I’m in the early stages of my contemporary romantic mystery.
After finishing a manuscript, do you take some time off or dive right in to the next story?
What’s time off? Since I started this rollercoaster a little late in life, and there’s a plethora of half-baked ideas bumping into each other in my head. I can’t take time off even when I take time off. My husband says I don’t know how to relax. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been writing three stories at the same time. I didn’t think I could ever do that, but decided to try it and had fun. One sort of bullied the others out of the way a few times, but the other two weren’t totally ignored. And even when I’m not at my keyboard, I’m writing in my head. So, no, I don’t take time off!
What are you reading now?
I love to read but besides what my critique partners write, and what I’m editing, I don’t have much time. I do keep something on my nightstand and read for a few minutes before I fall asleep. I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read so many years ago for the first time that I didn’t remember it. Great book. I started reading The Time Travelers Wife last night. Verdict is still out on it.
Who is the one person that most influenced your life?
I can’t give you just one. Can I give you a few? Joan of Arc for refusing to deny who she was and what she fought for. I read about her when I was ten years old and I was touched. My father for his entrepreneurial spirit. Writers need that spirit. My son for his creative work ethic and hardheadedness about his beliefs. My mother for never meeting someone she didn’t like and her outgoing personality.
Do you have critique partners or belong to a writers group?
Both. I belong to Romance Writers of America and the local Midwest Fiction Writers. I meet one Saturday a month with a group of ladies, there are five of us, and we are in all stages of our careers. One weeknight a month, I meet with another critique partner. We do a one on one that has been invaluable. I can’t imagine writing without critique partners. I credit them with the growth of my abilities and for getting published.

Does your husband read your work? And if so, what’s his reaction?
I don’t let him read it until it’s completed. He gets impatient with me about this. But I think he can’t possibly be unbiased, and I don’t want to be influenced before I get it all done, my way.
Favorite Cocktail?
Mojitos – but I have to be on the beach, baking in the sun, in Cancun.
Do you have any pets?
We have a dog that is half Red Heeler and half Golden Retriever. We call him the smartest dog in the world. He thinks he’s human. He helps carry groceries in from the car, helps me put away paper towels in the cupboard, helps carry laundry to the laundry room and brings in the newspaper every morning. He also thinks it’s very important to keep the squirrels out of the back yard.
Read below for the excerpt and blurb for Brenda's latest release, Sleeping with The Lights On, available now from The Wild Rose Press. 

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke. 

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again.  Only this time, nothing’s as it seems.  A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?

“When do you go back to Vegas?”
Carson hesitated. “In a day or two.”
“You sound rather vague.” And still allusive. What could be the big secret about this charity gig he couldn’t divulge?
“I have a few more things to find out. I’ll be out of here as soon as I get all my questions answered. It’s complicated.”
We’d reached the edge of my apartment complex.
“Carson, honestly, how complicated can a gig—”
Pulling me around, we stopped, facing each other. My head said run like hell, but my legs wouldn’t respond. Mushy from wine or Carson and moonlight. I couldn’t be sure which.
“Have lunch with me tomorrow, darlin’.” His fingers slipped from mine to gingerly brush along my forearm. The moonlight caught in his eyes. “Another hour of your time with a long lost friend?”
“Yes.” My voice went all husky and come-hither. I wanted to kick myself for being so easy.
“Good.” Grasping my hand again, he led me toward the door. “What’s the address of your office?”
I struggled to shake off the moon shadows and to remember where I worked. Once inside the building, I took a scrap of paper from my purse and wrote the address.
“I’ll walk you to your door and say goodnight,” he said, tucking the scrap of paper in his pocket. “Unless you want to have me in for a goodnight drink.”
I didn’t answer. If he’d only known the extent of my uncertainty at that moment, a little persistence might have made me cave.
“Okay, then—” His mouth gaped.
I followed his bewildered look to my apartment door.

Contact Brenda on the web at:

Thank you for visiting AJ's Tattered Pages, Brenda. It was a pleasure having you!!


Lynn Chantale said...

Hi AJ, Hi Brenda! Great interview! Where can I get a dog like that? He would fit into my family perfectly. The one and only dog we had slept on his back and snored, but at least he knew when the kids came home.
I'm adding Sleeping with the Lights On to my TBR pile. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Great interview AJ and Brenda! I want a dog like that too! Although, my hubby's chihuahua does a great job keeping gophers and squirrels under control.

You sound like me with your writing focus Barbara. I have too many projects going at once.

Mary Ricksen said...

the dog is right! Squirrels have no business in the front yard!
My DH has never read anything I wrote. He doesn't read stories he says. Razafraza...Hmmmm.
So nice that yours is supportive. That he can't wait to read it! Wow!

DarleneLF said...

Great interview ladies. Brenda, the cover of "Sleeping With The Lights On" is definitely one of my favourites!

Joya said...

Hi AJ and Brenda,
From one Cancun lover to another, congrats on your success, Brenda. A western novella sounds really interesting! :)

Lilly Gayle said...

Glad I'm finally able to post. Brenda, I know what you mean about not having enough time to read published books. My first book was published last year...the same year I turned 50. So, like you, I feel pushed to get these ideas of mine on to paper. But, I vow to take some time off this summer and do more reading. I'm currently reading AJ's novel and it's really good.HOpe to finish it on the beach this weekend!
Happy Memorial Day ladies.

AJ Nuest said...

Whoo Hoo! To Lilly Gayle for figuring out the techno problem with posting to Blogger. I LOVE YOU, LILLY! Brenda is out right now (DH surprised her with "date night"), but promised to be back to visit in a bit. Thanks to everyone for stopping by - and hopefully this is the END of the Blogger snafu. :-)

Emma Lai said...

Mojitos are awesome, but they do require the proper atmosphere. I'd like a cabana boy, rather man, serving me mine, if possible. Great interview ladies!

Mimi Barbour said...

Hi AJ and Brenda,
So nice to visit someone else's blog for a change. Totally loved reading about your experiences Brenda, and I think you're so lucky to have a hubby who wants to read your work. One timeI mentioned it to my guy and he broke out in a sweat, his eyes started searching for an escape route, and his hands shot up, palms out. Gee something sorta told me that there wasn't a chance in he..!!
Good luck with the looks like a great read!

AJ Nuest said...

Mimi, you're hilarious. Your experience with your DH sounds similar to mine.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Trying again. Here's hoping. Decided to try my hubby's computer. My computer has a fried hard drive and is in the hospital right now. I've been using a little back up thing. Not sure why it won't work and this one does. So HI!! So happy you all made it by.

You know ladies,I'm totally not sure he's all that anxious to read my stories but he is nice enough to pretend anyway! :-) A few of us do agree on beaches and Mojitos it sounds like. And yes, my doggie is a keeper. Right now he's bugging me for attention since we were gone for a couple of hours.

By the way, Johnny Depp was a great pirate as always. This latest one was better than the last.

Thank you all for coming by. What a mess blogger was today so a big thanks.


Brenda Whiteside said...

Had to try my little computer again. So this is a test. By the way, Emma an AJ had a good blog today, too!

AJ Nuest said...

Hurray, Brenda! Finally the gangs all here! Geesh, this Blogger is obnoxious. Someone oughta write a book!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Oh right - a book - I think I'll do that. ;-)

Brenda Whiteside said...

In spite of all the problems with blogger today, AJ still hosts a great blog. Time for me to turn in - big Saturday planned. Thanks to all of you who commented and all of you who tried and couldn't. And for visiting even if you stayed silent.

Thanks for having me, AJ.

Marilyn Yarbrough said...

I've had problems with my blog for the last couple of days also.

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