August 30, 2010

Spotlight On... Brenda Whiteside

Please help me in welcoming fellow The Wild Rose Press author Brenda Whiteside to the keyboard today.  Welcome, Brenda, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Sarah. Thanks for having me.

I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and lived there until I married a man doing a stint in the Army. He whisked me off to Massachusetts the day after we married. The Army stint ended but our habit of moving around didn’t. We’ve lived all over the place – Germany, Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Minnesota. He’s made a gypsy out of me and I’m happy about that. And we love to travel. We have one son who is a talented singer/songwriter living out west among the pines. Our second son is a very hairy guy named Rusty.

Besides writing, I like to ride behind my husband on the motorcycle, bike, hike, garden, and read. My favorite entertainment is sitting on our deck, glass of red wine in hand, with friends.

Tell us about SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON and where we can find it.

Sleeping with the Lights On was published by The Wild Rose Press and is available in both e-book and trade print. You can buy it on-line from all the standard on-line book stores, directly from The Wild Rose Press, or order from a brick and mortar store such as Barnes and Noble. Two book stores in Northern Minnesota have it on the shelf (Sister Wolf Books and Beagle Books).

The story is about discovery. Sandra is not the typical romance heroine in that she is fifty and twice divorced. She’s still looking for a career and true love. And she approaches her life with a sense of humor. There’s a bit of suspense on her journey, too. Discovery can happen at all phases of life. This is the blurb:

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. Only this time, nothing’s as it seems. A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?


How did you start writing?

I started out this life as an artist and dabbled in writing. I loved both mediums but majored in art in school. When we moved to Minnesota seventeen years ago, writing became my passion and I’ve no idea why. Honestly. Stories started brewing in my head so I wrote short stories. Now I HAVE to write. A day without writing is so incomplete. I took some creative writing classes way back then, formed a critique group with one of my classmates, and progressed from there.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Hot, sexy men – what else?! Just kidding. Don’t want to perpetuate the stereotype! Is there anyone in this world that hasn’t been touched by romance? Romance exists in every story. And the romance genre is extensive – many, many sub-genres. Even those who say they don’t read romance have read romance. Many of the classics would be classified as romance today.

Describe your writing in three words.

Oh, the tough questions! Hmmm…I guess I’ll have to give you three words that I aspire to: character-driven, entertaining, and discovery.

What do you find is the hardest part of writing a book?

The last two chapters. I get real antsy by the end of a book. I get to a point where I want to be done with it. All the characters have totally revealed themselves to me and I know the ending. I have to tell myself to slow down, don’t rush the conclusion.

What is next for you?

More of the same only bigger and better, I hope! I’ve just finished the rough of my second novel. Getting it submitted is at the top of my list right now.

Who are your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Oh, I have so many. My tastes are all over the place. To name a few, Maeve Benchy, Dick Francis, Emily Bronte, John Steinbeck, Philip Roth, Nora Roberts, Ernest Hemingway, J R R Tolkien, John Grisham, Jennifer Crusie.

I’m reading two books right now. The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry and Angels Fall by Nora Roberts. I’ve always got such a back log on my “to be read” shelf that I’m hardly ever reading new releases.

Where can we find you on the web?

At my home, my official web site:

On FaceBook (way too much):

And sometimes on Coffee Time Romance and More Forum:

Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

First let me thank you for having me today: Thanks Sarah!!

I’d like to throw out one of the questions you asked me to the readers.  

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Thanks for visiting with us today, Brenda!


Sarah Grimm said...

Thanks for visiting with us today, Brenda! Looking forward to reading Sleeping with the Lights On.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for having me Sarah. It was a pleasure!