Romance Author Interview | Beth Linton
This month I've been a guest of Clare Beesley. Claire is an author, editor and choreographer, based in Cambridgeshire in the UK. She has a passion for creativity and the arts, and champions women to create the space they need in their lives to freely express their identity. Check out her website to read her interview with me and much more! Or you can find a cheeky peek below!
My name is Beth Linton and I write paranormal / fantasy romance and contemporary romance.
You can find me at my website www.bethlinton.co.uk
and you can follow me on Instagram @bethlintonauthor
Stage you’re at in your writing career:
I’m traditionally published with a small Canadian publishing house called Evernight. I write mainstream romance for smart, busy women who enjoy a good romance book so they can switch off and grab some well-deserved ‘me time’.
My present romance series is called The Guardians’ Trust, and book seven in the series will be out soon (likely Feb). This series is fantasy/paranormal romance involving fated mates, shapeshifters and strong female characters.
I write the kind of romance novels I like to read – books with a compelling story, action… as well as emotion and heat (!)
I also write contemporary romance – my first of this subgenre was a medical romance released in December 2021 and is called Christmas Together.
How long have you been writing for?
I’ve always been a big reader, and I’ve been writing quietly at home for years. But when my son started primary school, I decided to stay working part-time and dedicate the gained hours to writing.
It was lockdown that gave me the push to submit my series to publishers. As you can imagine, I was thrilled when The Guardians’ Trust: Ana (the first book in the series) was accepted!
Ana was published a little over a year ago and I’ve been writing furiously ever since!
What first made you start writing?
I have a memory of sitting in my bedroom and typing stories on my mother’s old typewriter. I was about eight, maybe ten, and I tapped away for hours on that old thing, regardless of the finger cramps the effort of pressing those rigid keys would inflict.
I even remember the first ‘novel’ I finished. It 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.
What’s your typical day like?
My days vary massively. I’m a busy mum and my life is packed with work, parenting and all the usual life chores. In between this madness, I carve out time to write. My absolute favorite time of day is early in the morning. I set my alarm so I get up before the house wakes, and I make myself two cups of coffee (one simply won’t do!) and turn on my laptop. I begin every morning with my characters and caffeine. To me, this is heaven!
Do you have any pets and what are their names?
Unfortunately, our gerbils passed away recently, but we have cat plans in the not-too-distant future.
Do you have a favorite author and/or book?
I’m an eclectic reader. I studied Literature at university and read novels and plays from most genres for my degree and masters. Given this fact, I should probably answer Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte but for fun, relaxation, and escape, I read (and write) romance. My favourite romance author is Stephanie Laurens.
I also have to confess to being a massive Harry Potter fan!
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Writing is a time-consuming profession, and it takes dedication to carve out time to draft and edit a manuscript many, many times before submission.
Any working mother reading this will know that, as a mum, your time is rarely your own. I write everyday but the time might vary from twenty minutes to several hours depending on what’s going on around me.
I’ve become inventive: I write in the car while I wait for a sports lesson to finish, and I take my laptop everywhere. I’ve become an expert at being able to stop midsentence to avert a Lego disaster and then resume where I left off, whether that’s two minutes or two hours later.
What comes first, plot or characters, and why?
I live on the Welsh-English border, and when I was looking for ideas for my romance series, I began to look into local history and Celtic (and wider) mythology. The Guardians’ Trust germinated from this historical, cultural and local research – so the theme and the premise of the series came first.
The central idea of the series is the doppelganger – the idea of doubles. In my series women are born identical, one in this world, one in another realm. It is their fate to change places and make an arranged marriage with the man Mother Nature birthed as her mate. Once I had the idea of doubles, the plot and the individual characters took shape. How different are your first drafts to your final, polished manuscripts? This truly varies. My Christmas story practically wrote itself in a very short space of time, and while it needed many edits to tighten everything up, the story remained largely unchanged. The book I am presently working on for my publisher (The Guardians’ Trust: Mags, book 7) was an entirely different beast. The characters fought me and the plot just wouldn’t settle. I ended up going back and making huge plot revisions when the novel was finished as I wasn’t happy. Only then did the characters fall into line! Which characters in your book/s are most similar to people you know?
I love this question! There are elements of myself, friends, and relatives in my characters, but I think these aspects can be found in the things that they say, rather than in their behavior.
When creating my female characters, I write women I’d like to be friends with (or be!) They are intelligent, fun, and strong: doctor, vet, survivor, or soldier (for Greenpeace and the British Army). They all have passion and guts.
Too many heroines in romance novels are passive. They wait pliantly and suffer before they find happiness; they hope for a man to ride in on his white horse or motorcycle (depending on the century of the story) and change their lives for them.
As a twenty-first century reader/writer, I want to create strong women: professional, educated, confident. Women who have passion for their career, who take care of themselves and are then, yes, comfortable in their own skin, standing on their own two feet, they take the passion and love on offer because it suits them – not because they need to.
A review of Ana stated that “the reader is plunged headfirst into her [Ana’s] adventure… She is a courageous character, and she brings her warmth and kindness through to the reader.” These words made my day! And who’s your favourite character and why? Easy! Seren Daire.
Seren’s character arcs through The Guardians’ Trust series, connecting the books. She is a religious oracle, spiritually connected to Mother Nature, and despite looking thirty-something, she is several centuries old. Seren is tough, intelligent, and one hell of a shot with her bow. She has fiery red hair, a face streaked with green war paint, and green eyes as hard as jade. Seren is the guiding star of both the Resistance and the series – in Welsh, the name Seren means star. While Seren features in every novel, her story will be told toward the end of the series. I can’t wait to tell it! What would be your biggest tip for a new writer? 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 authors who get published and those who don’t is perseverance. In short, don’t give up!
If you are an aspiring author, here are a few useful free resources to help you on your way: