Friday, 8 February 2013

Brook Cottage Books is extremely honoured to have the very talented Linn B Halton on the blog today as part of the Fiction Addiction Book Tour. Linn's new book NEVER ALONE is a fantastic read and the review for it featured on the blog yesterday. You can find it HERE. Linn very kindly agreed to be interviewed about the book and she provides us with fascinating insight into an very interesting subject matter.
 
 


JB:Your new book also has a supernatural element about it. What inspires you to write about such a topic?

Linn: What inspires me to write in general, often stems from a single incident and then it grows. Having had many psychic experiences over the years, it has been instrumental in changing the way I look at life and what might lie beyond. So it’s only natural that when stories whirl around in my head, that too is a big part of it for me. Whilst I have written two books that do not feature anything psychic or paranormal, I seem to keep coming back to it as my favourite theme!

JB: Holly, the main character in the book describes herself in a pretty upbeat way, never worrying about a problem until it happens. Are you this type of person?

Linn: No, quite the opposite! I worry if I don’t have anything to worry about, because I then think it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong! I think worriers are born and if you are so inclined, you will always find something or someone to worry about. I’m a nurturer by nature and worry about a LOT of people (laugh).

To make the story work Holly had to appear to be a little ‘shallow’ at the beginning of the book. Like an air-brushed photo, everything seems perfect! As her character grows and the story unfolds we see there is more to her than meets the eye. However, she is a ‘glass half-full’ person and would never be become a classic ‘worrier’ although what’s happening troubles her deeply.

JB: Have you ever had a supernatural experience before? If so, would you like to tell us a little bit about it?

Linn: Well, every psychic episode that happens in Never Alone! Including, yes ‘I was THAT estate agent’ and yes, I would have been sacked if I had been found out. But I would rather have lost my job than gone back inside that house. Even the bit about the light being left on is perfectly true. It was a part time job whilst I was renovating an old stables with my husband. It was hard work and to give ourselves a break from the dust and dirt of construction, we both took part time jobs. My husband worked in a garden centre looking after plants, which he’d always want to do and we were able to stock the half-acre garden at a discounted price! I love houses (we’ve lived in 13 so far) and did viewings.

I try not to exaggerate any of the experiences I relate, as I feel they would not ring true, but did have to ‘dove-tail’ two separate incidents together to create the moment I wanted. When Holly is driving in the lane and something is following her, that was one incident. When the shape of a person appears in front of the car, that was a totally separate incident but in the story both are linked together.

For many years I was a sceptic despite what I’d seen, felt and heard. It’s a long story and one I tell in ‘Being A Sceptic Is Oh So Easy’. It’s a sort of diary of most of my experiences and I talk about my take on déjà vu, coincidences, fate, luck etc. Since publishing it a lot of people have contacted me to say they have experienced similar and have then gone on to tell me their own experiences. Of course, they then tell me they are sceptics. I love that. Particularly dear to me are the very different last moments in the lives of my mother and father, both unique experiences that helped me see things in a very uplifting way.

I will always be sceptical about every little thing that happens and try to find a logical explanation first. But some of the things that have happened in recent years have been validated beyond any reasonable doubt. I suppose I ‘came out’ only after my husband and I both began experiencing things in one house we lived in that had a resident. She was lovely though and liked what we were doing to the house. My husband was an even stronger sceptic than I was to begin with. His first experience was when he was alone in one of the rooms and it took him a week to talk about it!

JB: I really related to the character of Holly as I’ve had a few ‘spooky’ experiences myself. Would you say that you also have an ‘intuitive gene’ like Holly’s?

Linn: Holly’s intuition is written from the heart. It took me a long time to string together my experiences and make myself face up to what was happening. So I’m writing what I know there! I’m so glad to hear that, as it means the truth behind the words shines through. Thank you JB!

JB: The book focuses on Holly’s rediscovery of her physic abilities. This is obviously a field that interests you greatly and there’s a scene in the book where Holly goes to see Mediums at work. Have you personally ever been to see a medium?

Linn: I go regularly and again, the session in the book reflects a collection of some of the stories I’ve heard mediums tell at various evenings of clairvoyance over the years. So in essence they are all real. The dog incident was the funniest! I have shed tears as I’ve watched other people shedding their tears with the messages they receive. However, I prefer one-to-one sessions. The validation is much better, it’s more personal and it’s private.

JB: How did you go about researching for the book?

Linn: There was hardly anything I had to research at all for this book, partly because so much is based on personal experience. To be honest with you it was one of those books you just sit down and write because it flows. The story knew where it was going.

I use healing crystals and love the feel of stones, so that was simply a case of choosing the most appropriate ones for the story. I did have to research the chakras to check I had the colours rights, as although I sometimes meditate I had to ensure I described each correctly. When I meditate I use Richard Holmes’ CDs and although he takes you through each one, I’m usually so in the zone I’m on auto pilot.

I have a cousin who is a practising medium too and I’ve often had chats with her, so if I have a question she’s on the other end of the phone!

I’ve been to a closed circle, so that too was from experience, although obviously the content of the session was to suit the story. But in essence the format was almost identical. And then LA… I’ve been numerous times – really wish I’d had to research that one and fly out for a quick visit! I did research properties online so that when Holly and Will were looking at properties in LA it would ring true. But the one used was a composite with a bit of imagination (wishful thinking even…) thrown in!

JB: The luxurious lifestyle that is there for Holly, should she want it, sounds wonderful! Can you see yourself enjoying such a lifestyle if offered to you or are you more a cosy home person?

Linn: No. I’m old enough to know that possessions and money don’t necessary make you happy. Having given up work to concentrate on writing, my husband and I decided to de-clutter our lives. We downsized and moved into a small courtyard community on what was a working farm. Instead of cleaning a large house, most of which was never used, we now have a cosy cottage and love it. Although we do have lots of things in a storage facility that will need to be sorted soon!

As our sons are now grown up, we go to visit them instead of the other way around. As distance is involved, they appreciate that!

We were lucky enough to have experienced staying with an actor friend and his family, when he lived in the Hollywood hills. He moved to New York and we lost touch as our families grew up. It was a very different lifestyle and we loved our visits, but home for us is about family and our family is in the UK.

JB: Thanks Linn for answering all my questions!

Linn: My pleasure JB! Thank you for your time in reading, reviewing and being a part of this book tour. It’s lovely to be able to discuss my story with someone who can feel some sort of connection with the bits that aren’t just pure fiction. So many people have had unexplained things happen to them. I think only two things are important – if it isn’t a nice experience tell it to go away and if you can, leave! If it’s a comforting experience, then it’s probably someone you love - so accept the healing and karma they are sending you. It’s uplifting!

I think everyone will agree that Linn B Halton is indeed a very interesting person! To be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of the book tell us, in the comments section about a 'spooky' experience you have had or indeed if you think that such things exist! What are your views?There are 3 copies in the giveaway so get commenting! The draw closes on tonight at 7pm GMT. GOOD LUCK!
 
 
About the author:
 
Linn writes contemporary women's love stories that reflect life, but you are always guaranteed an ending that won't disappoint!
Love, life and beyond…but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!
Linn signed with US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in 2012; The Quintessential Gemini, a heart-warming romance was released in June 2012 and The Restaurant @ The Mill, a collection of life/love stories based around an old mill, was released in August 2012. Linn is a member of the RNA.
Linn also has two self-published books – Touched By The Light (a psychic romance that will make you think) and Being A Sceptic Is Oh So Easy (a diary of events/true story).
Linn is a featured new Author loveahappyending.com and also one of the Editors on the website's magazine-style blog.
 

EXCERPT
A contemporary romance with a Twist!
“It’s a gift to be shown something that allows you to make a difference and alter the outcome of someone else’s life. However, the weight of the responsibility that goes along with that is huge and what about the ethics?  The thing I have to ask myself, is how did my actions change the future?”
Holly is the envy of all her friends, she has lived with the gorgeous Will for five years and supported him every step of the way.  His IT business is about to go global and they are on the verge of having all their dreams come true!  A life split between homes in the UK and Los Angeles beckons, offering them a glamorous and exciting lifestyle they will both fit into quite perfectly.  So when Will pops the question, why won’t Holly say ‘yes’? 
 
A series of terrifying encounters unleashes an inherited psychic connection within Holly.  Her ‘perfect’ life is turned upside down as she struggles with the reality of her ‘gift’.  Help comes from a chance meeting with medium Peter Shaw and she discovers that she is also being given healing and protection by the spirits of two people.  One of them is her best friend’s brother, Nick, who died suddenly in tragic circumstances. Holly finds herself confiding in him in an attempt to sort out her own life.
She begins to sense that the path she’s on isn’t the one she’s destined for, but is it too late to change things?  The thought of hurting the people she loves the most causes her to bury her emotions, until fate takes a hand………..
Life’s all about the choices we make …
 Excerpt:
 
HOUSE FOR SALE
 
When I met Will Cameron it was lust at first sight, but love came bounding in shortly afterwards. If tall, dark, and slim with a gorgeous body and a well-defined six-pack is your idea of perfection, then Will is perfection personified. As usual, the heavens were smiling down on me because he also happens to be a genuinely good person beneath all that macho beauty. His one fault is that he’s much too clever for his own good. He’s married to his work, but as his special girl I come a very close second. Lucky, lucky me.

 
I’m Holly by the way, Holly Elizabeth Atherton. Age twenty-three, long, naturally blonde hair, sickeningly thin without having to try and I’m a Gemini. My mother says you can never be too thin or too rich. My father keeps telling me I need fattening up, worried I’m following the thin trend, but that isn’t me. Fortunately I can eat like a horse without having to think about calories at all. My friends envy me for that, but it hasn’t always been a plus factor. Will nicknamed me Chick when Alice, who was my best friend at high school, told him they used to call me chicken legs. Going to an exclusive girls’ school we had little on which to focus; not having boys around made life quite dull.

 
Something I learnt early on in life is the sad, but true, fact that more opportunities seem to open up if you come from an affluent background. My father, David Miles Thomas Atherton, owns a chain of estate agents. He also has a large personal property portfolio and is regarded as being an astute businessman. He dotes on me, although I have to work equally as hard as anyone else to earn my salary.
 
The wonderful thing about having a father who thinks you are the sunshine in his normally serious, and often grey, life is that he’s kind and generous. That’s why he invested in Will’s company. The fact that it became an enormous Internet success overnight is down to Will’s genius. He seems to have this natural instinct that allows him to spot a niche in the market that’s waiting to be filled. Will sold the first business and made a lot of money for himself and my father, then started business number two. We live together in his penthouse flat on the top floor of a converted former pin mill. Sitting on the edge of the small town of Ardington, to the east we look across towards Stroud and to the west we look out across open fields that seem to go on forever.
 
So I’m golden girl, not because I brought Will and my father together, but because things seem to turn out well for me. So far my life has been fairly straightforward. Life and fate have been kind to me; I’ve had more than my fair share of luck. One thought has always worried me though; it constantly niggles away in the back of my mind. What happens if one day my luck suddenly runs out?

 
I suppose it’s about whom you know, how much money you have—which makes life an awful lot easier in so many ways—and a pretty face. And that’s me. I don’t mean to sound as if I take it all for granted or that I’m being smug, because I try my best not to do that and I’m not (smug that is). I do appreciate what I was born with and I try hard to live up to the expectations of my parents and the people in my life who matter to me the most.

 
My brother Matt isn’t easy to impress and I suspect it’s because he thinks I’ve had it rather easy. I don’t think for one moment that we were treated any differently when we were growing up, but Matt seems to spend his life worrying and looking for problems. My approach is to do my best and worry about a problem only if and when it arises.
 
Geminis are by nature good communicators. We are talkative and versatile, add to that an entanglement of paradoxes and you have a mix that allows those born under that sign to see beyond stereotypical confines. I accept people as they are and that helps when I’m dealing with people from all walks of life.
 
The best part about being an estate agent is the moment when you usher a potential purchaser over the threshold for the first time and suddenly it hits them. Full on. They’ve found their perfect house and the smiles keep getting bigger and bigger, as you walk them from room to room. It’s a magical moment. The emotion is one of intense excitement. You’ve found them the house in which they might spend many happily married years, or perhaps raise their future family and hopefully live a contented life. In my rosy-hued picture of life, things like divorce, betrayal and disappointment don’t get a look-in. I’m optimistic enough to hope it reflects the minority and not the vast majority. I have absolutely no idea whether that is factually correct, but you have to live your life believing in good things, don’t you? The alternative is simply much too depressing.
 
Most intriguing of all, is the fact that whether a property is old, new, large, small, ugly, or beautiful, each one has its own story to tell. It never occurred to me until fairly recently that the history of a house could be a problem for me. Everything was fine until Matt insisted I show the Hayworths’ house, even after I asked him if someone else could be assigned to it. He thought I was dismissing it because it wasn’t anything special and it was half an hour’s drive from the office—but that wasn’t the reason at all.
 
I will never forget that Thursday, the first time I saw number twenty-two Bisley Rise, set in the idyllic and sleepy village of Rosegrove….

Linn’s links:

13 Responses so far.

  1. Hi JB - well, what can I say but 'great questions' and you really made me think! I really enjoyed 'talking' to you and am delighted to be here! Thank you so much for your wonderful review yesterday and for such an intesting interview. Lxx

  2. Mandy says:

    Absolutely loved this book and I'm not surprised that these were some of Linn's experiences. Every episode Holly has is so well written! Great interview and post, ladies!

    Mandy

  3. Fabulous interview, JB, and thanks to Linn for her candour and sharing her experiences. As for spooky... I've had some weird coincidences happen, like bumping into people when I was thinking about them or the phone ringing and I knew it was a friend I hadn't spoken to in months and who needed help(this was in the days before caller ID, obviously) but nothing too weird that I can recall. Maybe I just take it all as normal? Great feature, ladies!

  4. Sheryl says:

    Fabulous interview, Linn and JB. Yes, I've had some odd incidents - mostly phone related around the loss of people. One such time was when someone picked up and said, 'Hello - followed by my dad's name'. I'd sadly just lost him. No, I wasn't mistaken. My sister rang the same number. Same thing. We were ringing the funeral home. Oh, dear. We like to think it was him, letting us know he was okay. :) xx

  5. I have one a copy as a prize. looking forward to turning the first page. :)

  6. Fabulous questions and answers ladies. Always love getting a little bit deeper into the background of a book.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour JB.
    Shaz x

  7. Excellent reading - both this post and Linn's book. Thank you both.

  8. I much prefer interviews by bloggers after they've read the book. Very insightful. Thanks, JB and Linn.

  9. It would take too much time to explain my Spookiest moment...

  10. Melanie says:

    I wouldn't class my incidents as spooky, more odd than anything. I would have to say the most unnerving one was when I saw what appeared to be the face of a baby hovering above our bedroom window.

  11. Love it when people share their moments ... I always look for the logical explanation first, but sometimes there just isn't one.... Strange Sheryl about the phone, you aren't the first person I've heard who has had experiences like that. Thanks for sharing and for dropping by everyone!

  12. Really interesting reading Linn to find out how you 'came out'.

    Thanks for sharing.

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