It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome the lovely Tina K. Burton to MBB this week, to tell us about her novel, newly released by Crooked Cat Publishing, CHAPTERS OF LIFE. I met Tina when we were both members of the same writers’ group on FB and anyone who says virtual friends are not as good as the ‘real thing’ should see us chatting on FB. We’re both almost exactly the same age, having recently celebrated milestone birthdays within weeks of each other and of course we both love to write and tell stories. CHAPTERS OF LIFE is such a compulsive read that I found myself calling Tina the English Maeve Binchy, because her gentle story of love and relationships revolving around a reading group and a bookshop put me so much in mind of the late, great Irish novelist, a particular favourite of mine. Tina, like me, is also a short story writer and is considerably more successful than I am, having been published in British periodicals as well down under in Australia. She is also an accomplished crafter, which means that she’s quite a talented lady. She lives in Devon with her husband and is the mother of a grown up daughter.
TINA ON THE WEB:
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Tina, you’re an author who has had great success with short stories. Which is your favourite type of fiction, short or long?
Well I enjoy writing novels because you have so much more scope for developing your characters, but I like the challenge of short stories – coming up with an idea and making it work within a set number of words, so it’s hard to choose between them. If I had to say one, I’d say short because I’m quite impatient and can finish it quickly.
How does it feel to be a published author?
Wonderful! I’m always delighted when I sell a short story of course, but to have my novel published is a dream come true. I always believed it was a good story, but to have someone else like it enough to sign me up, is a great feeling.
Your book CHAPTERS OF LIFE is really absorbing with attractive characters. When you were finished writing it, did you feel lost ? Did you miss that special world you’d created?
Yes, very much so. The book took me quite a while to write on and off – almost four years – and in that time I came to think of the characters as old friends, so I was rather sad when it ended. That makes me sound odd, but I’m sure other writers will understand. However, some of the characters will be back, so we’re not saying goodbye to them all 🙂
Can you sum up your book in tweet (140 characters)?
An emotional but heart-warming story about real people. Do I win a prize as that’s even less?
When can we look forward to your next release? Can you share a little about it?
Well, I have three novels on the go and I’m trying to decide which one to concentrate on. There’s the sequel to COL, called Pieces of Cake, and this time it’s set in a tea room, or there’s a romcom set around a dating agency with the hapless Daisy Dorson, and lastly there’s a thriller that involves cloning but with a really dark twist. I try to concentrate on one, but get ideas for the other two so it’s quite difficult to decide which one to work on.
CHAPTERS OF LIFE
Following a premonition before reading Clare’s tarot cards, Jo takes a risk and decides to go into business with her. Eventually, they open the doors to Clare’s dream: Merrilies, a bookshop situated in a small English Cotswold town. Soon, Merrilies becomes the home from home for some of the locals.
Seven-year old Annie visits each day after school, and worms her way into the hearts of everyone she meets, including the five members of the reading group.
Graham takes a shine to Mollie, and wonders if he’ll find romance after years of being alone; single mum Tessa struggles with her teenage daughter; and Michael confronts a bully at work. Will Felicity – who’s dropped out of law school – ever grow up and stop scrounging off her parents?
This diverse group of people, brought together by their love of reading, forge lasting friendships and make some unexpected discoveries about themselves and each other.
Join the reading group!
Read my review here