Friday, August 3, 2012

Author Interview: Linn B Halton (The Restaurant @ The Mill)

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
My main passion is interior design and decorating. I was lucky enough to have been able to do
that as a second career for a few years before I gave up work to write full time. We moved into
a converted cow shed and hayloft about a year ago and have nearly completed remodelling it.
My husband and I love renovating old properties and have had most styles from very new (blank
canvasses) to an old hunting lodge that was over 250 years old. However, after thirteen moves
we feel we have finally found somewhere that feels right. This might be our last move … but
you never know!

What's your favorite season?
Spring, undoubtedly. It’s a time when there is a sense of renewal and beginnings. Everything
looks so fresh and new. You can almost ‘feel’ nature stirring and the energy builds as shoots
and buds appear and plant-life awakens. Watching the birds nesting and hearing the baby
birds chirping, seeing the lambs jumping about in the fields … it reminds me that it’s a time of
optimism and opportunity. I also welcome the lighter mornings after the darkness of the winter,
when all I want to do is hibernate and stay warm.

Describe your ideal reading space (no expense spared here).
I read more and more on my Kindle these days, but ideally I love to hold a paperback in my
hands and curl up in a cosy chair. Autumn/winter is my ideal time, as it’s guaranteed to be in
the comfort of the sitting room and there are fewer distractions. I like peace and quiet when
I’m reading as I want to immerse myself in the story. In summer I tend to read outside in the
garden, but invariably I find myself watching the birds or gazing across as the flowers. I also
find background noise distracting and if the story has lots of detail you can miss something if
your concentration wanders for even a few moments.

The best reading experience I ever had was on the first vacation we had after my mother had
died. It had been a traumatic few months and my husband and I went to a small French beach
resort. We rented a top floor apartment overlooking the sea, it was very quiet there. It had a
well-protected balcony, that was very private and mornings we spent walking along the pebble
beach, which was adjacent to a nature reserve. You could walk for over 10 kilometres to the
next small village. In the afternoons and evenings we played board games on the balcony
and read. I can’t remember the title of the book I took with me, although I know I have it still –
but the story was perfect for that vacation. I needed something to occupy my mind in a light-
hearted and entertaining way to stop myself dwelling on things that had happened. It really
helped make that break a cathartic experience, a time of rest, relaxation and healing – with
plenty of long walks, sea air and reading time. Both my husband and I went home renewed.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I’m writing this sitting in an apartment in Lake Garda (Italy), in a tiny village in the mountains
called Tignale. We are celebrating our wedding anniversary and doing a two-week tour of
Europe. I am glancing out over an unbelievable view that includes forests, mountain tops and
on down to the lake itself. It’s 7am and the early morning sun is making the lake look like pure
silver – it’s so quiet all you can hear is the odd cricket. I hope we get to come back again some
time in the future, because this is sheer heaven!

What three things do you need in order to write?
Quiet – I like gentle background music but no distracting noises. No interruptions - breaking
off at inopportune moments can often mean losing some of those precious thoughts that jump
into your head and go just as quickly if you don’t ‘grab’ them. The third thing is no pressure –
I couldn’t write to a timetable, although I can write continuously as I haven’t yet suffered with
writer’s block. However, if I had a target date by which to compete something I would feel like
it was ‘a job’ and that would spoil it a little for me. I write because I enjoy doing it and it’s pure

I take my breaks when I feel my energy levels are flagging, but have often worked through the
night. Sleep is something you can catch up on when the mood has passed, and if my head
is full of something I often find if I do try to sleep, I only lay there thinking about what I want to

What's the first sentence of The Restaurant @ the Mill?
The first time I walked around the flour mill at Huntingbridge in Gloucestershire turned out to be
a life-changing moment. Reminiscent of the first time I met my business partner, Ben Adams.

Do you have a favorite line in The Restaurant @ the Mill?
“I guess I have my answer—you were kissing me back pretty fiercely there!” It’s a moment
between two the characters that was a long time in coming! Their story began in my debut
novel released in February 2011 and, as secondary characters, it’s only in The Restaurant their
own story reaches a conclusion.

Tell us what is The Restaurant @ the Mill is about.
The Restaurant is not just about the owners, Hilary and Ben, but as 'The Restaurant @ The
Mill' thrives and comes alive with the conversations and emotions of people unconnected in
their day-to-day lives, another five stories unfold. There is also a cameo appearance by a spirit
names Sarah, who wanders the Mill looking for her beloved husband.

Only one thing is certain, life is an eternal struggle and that is the common thread which ties
us all together. Age, relationships, and careers – we all appear to be so very different. Yet
beneath the exterior facade we show to the world at large, is that really the case? The things
we bury deep inside; the worries and fears we are unable to verbalise, and the hand fate takes
in our lives. Sometimes we fail to recognise in each other that innermost struggle and yet it
exists for all of us. Each story is unique, each is a story about the pursuit of love…

Dish, who’s your favorite character?
Now that’s a tough question. I think it would have to be Ben, he’s the chef at the restaurant and
as the story unfolds we find out there’s much more to this gentle, shy man who hides away in
his immaculate kitchen. He’s a fighter and he’s determined to hold onto the person he loves
with all his heart in the only way he knows how.

How did you feel when you finished The Restaurant @ the Mill?
A great sense of completeness. Several of the characters within the story have featured in
other novels I’ve written and I felt their relationships were interesting enough to see how they
developed and find out whether they achieved their ‘happy ending’.

For all of us impatient readers, what is up next for you?
It’s ‘Never Alone’ which is a romance with quite a strong psychic element to it. Planned release
date is October 10, 2012.

Thanks Linn!

Thank you! Fun questions. L

About The Restaurant @ the Mill

Age, relationships, and careers -we are all unique. Yet beneath the exterior facade we choose to show to the world at large, what do we have in common? The things we bury deep inside-the worries and fears we are unable to verbalize, and the hand fate takes in our lives is a common thread. Sometimes we fail to recognize in each other that innermost struggle on the path to true love.

Six very different stories, six couples linked by The Restaurant @ The Mill, owned by Hilary Marks and Ben Adams. As the restaurant thrives the atmosphere is alive with conversation, snapshots of lives unfolding, each one a personal journey.
Will Hilary learn to trust a man with her heart ever again? Why does Ben prefer the sanctuary of his kitchen? Will he finally open up and let the world in?
And the diners-how will their lives play out?
Charlotte kissed a lot of frogs before she found her Prince, but will it all fall apart after an accident changes the man she loves?
Grace and Lawrence have been parted for more than half a century. Can an old secret bring them together for their twilight years?
Isobel and David's love is strong, but everything in their lives is changing. Isobel is attractive and still a catch, but will she begin to tire of him now that it's just the two of them?
Will Sadie ever get Sam to see her as a serious love interest when he used to be engaged to her sister? Or will she always be the younger sibling?
And Thomas, rich beyond most people's wildest dreams, but still in love with the girl he knew at school - is he destined to be a sought-after bachelor for the rest of his life?
About the Author
Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes romantic fiction with a psychic or astrological theme and many of the paranormal events that feature in her books are real life experiences.

Linn is also a featured new Author on and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups’ including ‘Reader/Author Team Reports’ on the website’s magazine-style blog.