Name Tina K Burton
Where are you from Devon UK
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
I live in the beautiful Devon countryside with my husband, Paul, and rehomed greyhound Cherry. I’m surrounded by trees, fields, rivers, sheep and cows – the perfect place to sit and write my short stories and novels, and walk Cherry.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My second novel, The Love Shack, will be released by Crooked Cat Publishing on 28th July. I’m also having a Facebook launch party on the same day.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and used to gaze out of the window at school, making up stories, rather than concentrating on my lessons. I told my daughter tales when she was little, but, it was only about ten-years-ago that I started writing seriously. I had ideas for short stories and articles, and needed to get them written.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I’d sold my first piece of writing, which was an article about luck to The Lady magazine. That’s quite a posh mag, so I was really pleased. Then I sold several short stories to various magazines, and felt like a real writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in a bookshop, wishing they had a café so I could sit with a cup of tea and slice of cake whilst reading a book, and suddenly, I could picture it. I could see this bookshop with a café upstairs and customers milling around. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and so, Chapters of Life, my first novel, was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think I do, but my readers tell me they’d know a piece of my writing because I write like I speak. I apparently have an easy, relaxed chatty style of writing. If that’s true, I’m happy with that 😀
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For The Love Shack? Well, I’d been thinking about a title for my book about a dating agency, and that evening, I was running on my treadmill whilst listening to my ipod. The Love Shack by the B52s – one of my favourite songs – came on, and that was it, I’d found my title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No. But if there was, it’d be – just grab a chance of love when you can, because it can easily be snatched away.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, that depends on what you mean. The events and happenings are realistic because I write about everyday things and ordinary people. But, it’s not based on anyone in real life. I had fun inventing some of the quirkier characters 😀
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really. They are everyday experiences that happen to each and every one of us at some point in our lives.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
That’s not easy to answer because I don’t read heavy, influential books. There’s enough of that in real life, so I like to read fun, light-hearted stories. I enjoy books by various authors, depending on my mood. No one person has influenced me, and I don’t have a mentor.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve just started reading an old hardback book that I found for sale in a National Trust property last year. It’s called The Masterpiece Library of Short Stories. I have edition eleven, Irish & Overseas. There were twenty volumes, from all over the world. The stories are rather strange, but they’re all old; dating from 1672-1894. The book itself is fab. Red, leather bound, with that old musty book smell. It cost me £1!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not really. I like trying books from friends I meet on Facebook, or books that friends recommend. Or, I’ll pick up a book just because I like the look of the cover. I like buying cheap, old books too. You often stumble across real gems that way. I don’t keep up to date with ‘new authors.’ All authors are new if I haven’t read them before 😀
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m writing a fun book set in the thirties, have started the sequel to Chapters of Life, and I also have a thriller that’s almost complete.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’d rather not name people, as I can’t pick just one person. I have a few close friends who are great supporters of my writing and crafting.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No, I don’t earn enough for that! It’s just a hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. I love it just as it is.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes. I read avidly as a child, mostly Enid Blyton – I wonder how many people say the same thing? – but, she gave me a love of stories that will stay with me forever. I still have some of my original Blyton books, and actually read a couple the other day. I still love them.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Okay. It’s about a girl who suffers with Sudden Death Transition. When a relatively young person dies suddenly, say in a car crash or something, they get transported back to an era they’d have liked to live in.
Emily is killed as she crosses the road whilst texting her friend, and finds herself back in 1932. Her great aunt Clarissa is there to help her through and it’s the story, from Emily’s point of view, of how she learns to live, and love, back in the thirties. On the whole, it’s a fun read, but there’s an underlying sorrow because of what the future holds.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Only my lack of discipline.
I wish I could be the sort of person who sits down to write at 9am and stops at 5-6pm, but I’m not like that. I will be at my desk at 7am, and write non-stop – literally, no lunch or anything – until about 7pm. I’ll do that for a week or two, then not write another word for a month. It’s a terrible way to work, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to write.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one. There are too many good writers out there to choose just one!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, I can do all my research online.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
It’s a joint effort between me, and Laurence from Crooked Cat Publishing.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This second one wasn’t hard at all. I really enjoyed writing it because it’s a fun read, with great characters. The only slight downside was the time it took because of the way I work.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Nope, it’s not that sort of book.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read as much as you can, learn to take constructive criticism – it’ll help you to become a better writer – and grow a thick skin.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Only that I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not specifically, but it would have been a Blyton one.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Cruelty to animals makes me sob my heart out. Tommy Cooper style jokes make me laugh. Animals doing crazy things makes me laugh too.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
Again, I can’t choose just one person, there’s been too many interesting ones. John Keats – because I love his poems. Noel Coward, Agatha Christie, and other writers from that era – because I love the whole period, and Audrey Hepburn – because she was such an elegant, beautiful woman. I wouldn’t want to meet anyone important or influential because I’d be terrified!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I’m being cremated so there won’t be a headstone.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Yes. I’m a crafter and quilling artist. Quilling is the art of rolling up narrow strips of coloured paper, then shaping them to make a picture or decorate items. I have a page on Facebook called Quillina, where you can see my work.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like period dramas such as Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge. I also like The Musketeers, Once Upon a Time, Coronation Street, Holby and Casualty. I’m not keen on reality TV, and I’m not a great film watcher.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Roast pork dinner with all the trimmings, including Yorkshire pudding…yummy. My favourite colour is blue. I like a wide range of music. But some of my favourites are Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and many of the old American rock bands, such as Foreigner, Journey and Reo Speedwagon.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I worked in the funeral profession, and trained as an embalmer, so I’d have liked to further that and go into forensic science. Things like helping the police to find out how a person died etc.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do, but I’m not very good at keeping it up to date. I only post in it when I have something to say. I have to add my latest news about The Love Shack.
Here’s the link to my Quillina page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quillina/1446989932205225
On Twitter I’m – @TinaKBurton
And, finally, here’s the link to my Amazon author page, where you can find my books. –
Thanks for the interview, Fiona, I enjoyed it x