Welcome to Beth Linton, my guest author for February 2022. Beth and I did an exchange blog way back in May last year where she wrote about sexual stereotypes within paranormal romance novels; Alpha Males, Strong Women and Consent is available here.
Now Beth is back, having released two more books in the Guardian's trust series, plus a standalone Christmas romance.
At what point did you discover the joy of writing? I think I read somewhere that you wrote your first novel aged 8, so you must have started even earlier!
You’re right! I wrote my first novel when I was about that age. I have a memory of sitting in my bedroom and typing stories on my mother’s old typewriter. I tapped away for hours on that old thing determinedly ignoring the finger cramps the effort of pressing those rigid keys would inflict! The ‘novel’ was no doubt hideous in both style and spelling, but the content spoke to my young heart: it was a romance about young love and hand holding. While that story has been lost in a dusty attic somewhere, the desire to write never left me.
Why do you write? And what draws you to the romance genre?
I’d describe myself as a compulsive writer. I have a deep need to write, and as a busy mum, I’ve gotten used to writing early in the morning, or in the car while I wait for clubs to finish – everywhere and anywhere! Writing allows me to do something purely for myself and I love it.
Why romance? I studied Literature at university and have a degree and a Masters degree in the subject, so I’ve read novels, poetry, and plays from most genres – and continue to do so. But for fun, for relaxation, and escape I read (and write) romance.
I stumbled upon paranormal romance novels quite by chance. I was twenty-two, new to the city of Chester after gaining my first job post-university, and I was working my way through the new, exciting shelves of the city’s library. Between Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer, I came across a thin, unassuming book that unexpectedly blew my mind.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title or the author of this book, but what has stuck with me is the unexpected journey the paranormal romance took me on. I still remember my surprise when I learned the hero was both blessed and cursed by his ability to transform into a wolf at each full moon. I was excited by the supernatural elements of the story, intrigued by the hero as he prowled the cliffs around his home, and I fell in love with the passion the genre twist added to what would have otherwise been an enjoyable but normal romance.
I still love Roberts and Spencer but the chance discovery of paranormal romance changed my experience of reading… forever.
Propelled by that accidental discovery, I have created my own paranormal romance world of shapeshifters and prowling, hungering heroes, and I will be very happy if they give my readers even a small amount of the joy that accidental book gave me.
Tell me more about the Guardians Trust series.
The Guardians’ Trust books are a contemporary paranormal/fantasy romance series. The premise of the series is that some women (and men) are born identical - one in the human world, one in the tropical jungle of the Other Realm. It is their fate to change places, their exchange playing a part in defeating the self-proclaimed king who rules the Other Realm.
The women of the series are strong and clever: leaders, professionals, warriors (for Greenpeace and the Army!), and they are all brave, fighting for what they want – no passive, simpering heroines!
The human Doubles cross into an Amazonian world, join the Resistance in their fight against a misogynistic dictator and make an arranged marriage with the fated mate Mother Nature birthed to be her husband. The women in the Other Realm cross to join the human world and marry members of the Guardians’ Trust, a wealthy family group who guard the gateway between the two worlds.
Of course, the men are strong and attractive, brave and protective – but on equal terms, valuing the women in their lives as partners and lovers. They value strength, they aren’t intimidated by it.
If you’d like to know more about the series, please visit www.bethlinton.co.uk/books
What future ambitions do you have? Is there another book to the series, or more standalone novels like ‘Christmas Together’?
The next two novels in The Guardians’ Trust are due out very soon. I’m presently working on the second edit of book seven for my publisher. There are seventeen books in the series and they are all in various stages of completion, so my immediate ambition is to finish them all – but I’m sure I’ll write more standalone romances.
The Guardians’ Trust is actually the second series I’ve written. My first really serious writing attempt was the prequel series. Since I finished them, these six books have languished in a file, but I’m itching to go revisit them and redraft. I’ve learned so much on my publishing journey. I’m a much better writer now!
Your blog is full of advice. Do you have any tips for those who might like to start writing?
I’m a big believer in #writerssupportingwriters. The purpose of my blog is to share what I’ve learned on my publishing journey in the hope that I can smooth someone else’s experience. I’ve blogged about the areas that were steep learning curves for me like how to get published and how to tighten up your point of view in a story so you have a chance of having your manuscript accepted, all the way down to the small but important things like punctuation.
All of my tips for would-be-writers can be found on my website, but to any hopeful author I would stress the importance of perseverance. Writing is the fun part of being an author, editing is harder, and working out how to get your stories published is a killer! I’ve heard quite a few writers say that the difference between writers who get published and those who don’t is perseverance. In short, don’t give up!
Lastly, how might my readers keep in touch with you?
You can sign up for my newsletter (new releases – no spam!) on my website www.bethlinton.co.uk You can also contact me directly through my website. Also, find @bethlintonauthor on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
I love to hear from readers and writers. I always reply. 😊