Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Please Welcome author of Honey on White Bread, Brenda Whiteside

Wow, this looks like an interesting book. Hope everyone stopping by here leaves a comment and buys her book. Brenda must be a movie lover, look what she is giving away:
Just looking at this cover brings back memories, of course I don't want to date myself. After all I feel young.

Tour gifts
Brenda will be giving away a 1940's double feature night at the movies which will consist of two DVD movies from the era starring the movie idols the heroine mentions often in the book - one Betty Grable movie and one Tyrone Power movie - plus popcorn and a box of candy to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Let's learn a little bit about Brenda: 

Convinced she was born to be an artist, Brenda never took her love of writing seriously. And then one day, sometime after college, after marrying a man doing a stint in the army and the birth of her son, she found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color. She left her paints behind. 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.
Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Recently, they moved to prairie country in Arizona and are enjoying the wide-open spaces while tending fruit trees and veggie gardens. They share their home with their dog, Rusty. When Brenda isn’t at her laptop writing, she enjoys hiking, motorcycle riding and the company of good friends.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com

Just a little teaser:

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.

Brenda will be on tour from March 5th through March 9th. Go to goddessfish for locations!

Maybe we will learn more about Brenda from her interview. Hmmm...

1.What or who inspired you to start writing? This may sound odd, but I inspired myself. My first love was art – all the way back to first grade. And whenever I painted, I would create a caption or sometimes a poem for my artwork. Eventually, I liked writing better than painting.
2.How did you come up with ideas for your books? People and incidents in real life, both mine and family or friends. Honey On White Bread takes place in 1945. I grew up listening to my mom’s stories and fell in love with the era.
3.What expertise did you bring to your writing? Everyday life experience and I guess my expertise comes with my power of observation. My writing is character driven. I’m fascinated with the discoveries we make in our day-to-day lives and how we interact with each other.
4.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio? I use to go to Love-Ins. Hmm…yes, I was a wanna be Hippie.
5.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans? To keep writing – it’s so much fun! I’m working on a book right now and I have three more percolating in my head. I can’t write fast enough. I had so much fun with the post WWII era that I’d like to try my hand at the 1930’s. That would be book four so it will be awhile.
6.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why? Claire Flanagan, in Honey On White Bread. I totally romanticize the 1940’s. Claire is sassy and a bit ahead of her time, yet every bit a 1940’s era woman. Life was simpler and hadn’t yet reached the age of consumption of the 1950’s. If you wanted to be a movie star, which she did, your dream was possible. The romance of the era grabs me.
7.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing? I do. In fact, I belong to two. There is no down side. I’d be floundering if it wasn’t for my CP’s. They see things I do not see, keep me honest and demand my best. I can’t imagine writing without them.
8.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step? I took some baby steps with some short stories in free on-line magazines. My first encouragement came from the very first critique group I was part of – the Wildwood Writer’s Group. None of us were published but we were very supportive. I had to move away and lose that group about the time I started writing my first book. Submitting my novel was a result of the encouragement from those first CP’s.
9.What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing) I’ve gotten a great deal of good advice from my publishers and editors. When I get advice from others, I take it with caution. One bit of bad advice was to present an unpublished manuscript in a different genre than I intended. I took the advice and wasted some time. I eventually sold it in the genre I first intended. The best advice I received was from a singer/song writer friend and it is in two parts – first is to write everyday no matter what; second is to selectively choose how much you can do and let the rest of it go. This second thing was in regards to promo.
10.         Do you outline your books or just start writing? I am definitely a pantser. I recently tried an outline, several chapters into a book. And then I tried a different method of plotting. I did get some ideas and direction but reverted back to the seat of my pants. I’m happiest writing like that.
11.         Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books? Not really. I’ve had hobbies and there are a few in the cupboard to be picked up some day, maybe. But I love to read and I love even more to write so that is my main activity. I garden and love to travel but those are activities not hobbies. So, no, I guess not.
12.         Do you have an all time favorite book? I have to name two because I have read both of them repeatedly and love both. Not in any order – Wuthering Heights by Bronte and Shogun by Clavell.

13.         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book? Sure! My working title is Lacy Dahl only because that is my heroine’s name. She’s widowed, just lost her adoptive parents and is on a trip of discovery on several levels. She’s researching some art left to her but ends up finding the truth about her birth parents, encounters mystery and murder and of course love in the form of a very sexy sheriff. Writing this book has produced two spin-offs from other characters in the book so I’m already working on those two books (in my head anyway).
14.         Your interview will be posted March 6th. Is there a family spring break tradition or recipe you would like to share? You’re asking the wrong family. No spring break tradition. I can honestly say, growing up we never took a family vacation. My father was a workaholic. Now, with my own family, there have been plenty of vacations but no spring break tradition. And as for recipes – wow, really asking the wrong person. I don’t even like to cook.
15.         What is your favorite reality show? You may not believe this, but I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of any reality show. Will it make me unpopular to say I don’t like reality shows? Oh well, it’s the truth.
16.         Who is your favorite actor or actress? Oh easy – right now it’s Ryan Gosling. I’ve seen him in several movies lately and he’s not only very easy on the eyes – no, he’s hot! – but he can actually act. Oh wait, I’m in love with Johnny Depp too!

17.         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book? In Honey On White Bread, the biggest black moment (there is a minor black moment) is when Claire believes she and Benjamin have finally declared their love for each other and will live happily ever after. But Benjamin discovers his recent ex-girlfriend is pregnant. It’s 1945 and Benjamin is a stand-up guy. His only choice is to stand by the ex-girlfriend even if it means giving up the love of his life. Claire’s world falls apart.
18.         Anything else you might want to add? Thank you, Christine, for a most in depth interview. You nearly stumped me on some of these questions!

What we have all been waiting for--the Excerpt!

My gaze lingered on Benjamin. His smile was tepid, his blue eyes veiled, as he politely applauded. The only one I cared about pleasing gave me nothing. I briefly curtsied for the judges, flashed my Hollywood smile at each of them and strolled off the stage. I glanced back over my shoulder before sliding behind the curtain. On second look, Benjamin’s smile was crooked, warm and he was still watching me. Perhaps I was making something of nothing, still, hope swelled in my chest.
“You knocked their socks off, Claire.”
“Thanks, Kevin.”
“I’ll be watching you in the movies some day.”
Doubt loomed.
That’s what I wanted, wasn’t it? I felt at home on the stage. There were no nerves, and I liked to wow the judges. Could I compare the thrill of being a Hollywood star with the thrill of a future with Benjamin Willis Russell as my real life leading man? The bright lights of Hollywood paled in comparison to his blue eyes. I leaned my elbows on my knees with my head in my hands.
“Don’t be nervous.” Kevin leaned down to whisper in my ear. “I have a feeling you have them all in the palm of your hand.”
All? Benjamin was barely at my fingertips. Hollywood fame seemed more attainable. Maybe I didn’t have to choose. I bolted upright. The solution appeared to be easy enough. I calmed myself with the rationale I could have it all. A decision to choose between Benjamin and a career didn’t need to be made right then, if at all.

Ok now, just two things to remember:
1. Leave a comment (I love movies)
2. Don't forget to buy Honey on White Bread. Today!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Brenda today.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good morning! So happy to be here this morning.

Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Brenda, I don't like reality shows, either. Too much negativity for me. Loved the excerpt, but I gotta tell ya, my mind snagged on "love-ins." I remember those days.

Christine Young said...

Welcome, hope you have a great tour!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi Vonnie - oh, another love-in lady! Fun days, huh?

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Christine!

Jenny Twist said...

Another great post, Brenda. I am SO looking forward to reading this book

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi Jenny! I'm SO happy you feel that way.

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Brenda,
Super fun post. I love getting to know my fave authors (and people) better. I'm thrilled you're writing in this genre--I think we need more books like this!! Can't wait to read it.

MomJane said...

Great tour. Loved the excerpts.

Jody Vitek said...

Another fun interview where I got to learn a few more things about you that I never knew. Lacy Dahl is fleshing out to be a great story. No surprise there, when Honey On White Bread is so wonderful. I highly recommend everyone take the time to read Honey and take a journey back in time.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hey, Liz. Good to see you (even in in picture form). I appreciate you stopping by when I know you're busy with your own recent release.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi Jane - glad you liked!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jody, a bit here and a bit there. I'll have a tell-all one of these days!

Catherine Lee said...

I'm such a huge fan of 1940s movies...The Philadelphia Story, The Big Sleep, Casablanca, My Favorite Wife, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and of course, my favorite Christmas movies: It's a Wonderful Life, The Bishop's Wife, and Holiday Affair (with Robert Mitchum). Can you tell that I'm addicted to TCM?

Brenda Whiteside said...

You named some good ones, Catherine. Some of those have been remade but they're not as good as the originals!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for a fun interview, Christine. Thanks for all who joined in and to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing.