Monday, January 30, 2012

TBR welcomes Brenda Whiteside

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Brenda. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Brenda: Thank you so much for having me. After publishing several short stories, my first novel was published in 2010. My husband and I have recently moved to prairie country in Arizona where we are enjoying the wide-open spaces while tending fruit trees and veggie gardens. We’re trying a new way of life in a large home with our son and his lady and three dogs between us. I’ll blog about our experiences on my personal blog all year. When I’m not at my laptop writing, I enjoy hiking, motorcycling and the company of good friends. 

Visit me at or on Facebook

TBR: Tell us about Honey on White Bread and where it's available.
Brenda: Honey On White Bread is a 1945 historical romance. Claire Flanagan, a starry-eyed young woman, has been raised by her crop-worker father. Benjamin Russell is helping support his five siblings without a father. The two families are poor and struggling but have plenty of love. There’s plenty of drama with these families.

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TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Brenda: When seventeen-year-old Claire Flanagan is wrenched from her father and deposited at the Good Shepherd’s Home for Wayward Girls, all dreams for Hollywood stardom are lost. But when twenty-year-old Benjamin Russell helps secure her release, she starts to believe in a happy future with him…until she discovers his ex-girlfriend is pregnant.

In this post WWII coming of age novel, Claire discovers the silver screen can’t compare with the fight she takes on for the leading role in her own life.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Brenda: My mom was the number one inspiration. She grew up in the 30s and 40s. She’s a great storyteller and led a most unusual life. Movies and movie stars captivated her and my sister and I would watch old black and white movies from her childhood on television. I loved them as much as she did. Between her reminiscing and the old movies, my book took shape.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Brenda: Definitely a pantser. The smallest idea can set me off and I start writing. Sometimes it works beautifully…and sometimes not. The book I am working on right now is quite involved and I had to stop at one point and do some plotting. Hated it. But once I had a clearer picture, I was off and running again, letting the characters do most of the writing.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Brenda: I’d like to share one from Honey On White Bread. This is Benjamin speaking to Claire.

“You know what honey does to plain white bread?” … “You dribble it on, slow…and…thick. The bread soaks the honey in and changes.” … “Well, I’m white bread to your honey.”

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Brenda: The hero in my first book, Sleeping with the Lights On, is so darn charming. If he’d flirt with me like he did with Sandra and maybe sing me one of his country western love songs, I’d gladly cook him dinner. I don’t even like to cook.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Brenda: The characters take on a mind of their own once they first hit my page. I’ve since heard other authors say this in one way or another, but I was quite surprised when it happened to me. There are times I can’t force the storyline in anyway but how a character is guiding me. And another thing is the appearance of unplanned characters. This could be a result of being a pantser instead of a plotter, but it still amazes me when it happens.

TBR: What's next for you?
Brenda: I’m well into a romantic mystery set in Flagstaff, Arizona. This book takes me back to writing slightly older hero and heroine – in their forties. While writing this book, I’ve gotten two more spinoff books percolating in my head inspired by minor characters. And then there is the desire to return to an historical but in the 1930s this time. This idea is unusual for me in that the main character will be male.

TBR: Any other published works?
Brenda: Sleeping with the Lights on is a contemporary romance published by The Wild Rose Press available in print or ebook. Tattoos, Leather and Studs is a short published by Melange Books and available in ebook. Sometime this year, The Morning After, a contemporary western novella will release through The Wild Rose Press as an ebook. Thank you for asking!

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Brenda: I’m always interested in hearing what readers are looking for in a book. When I was working to get Honey On White Bread published, there were publishers not interested in the 40s era. What era and genre would you readers like to see more?

TBR: Readers, Brenda is giving away a Night At The Movies 1945 Style, which includes a 1940s DVD, popcorn and candy. She'll pick a winner next week and announce the winner here. Be sure to include your email address so Brenda can reach you if you win.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Brenda. Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome, Brenda. Thanks for offering such a fun prize!

    1. And if anyone would like to find my book, they can order both print and ebook directly from the publisher Melange Books ( or the ebook is available on Amazon and several other sites.

  2. You're very welcome. I'm so glad to be here!

  3. HI the premise of your story. Your story reminds me of mother also loved older movies and we'd spend many late evenings watching them. I love that your story takes place in the 40's...I love that era and it's hard to find books from that era. Looking forward to reading your book..sounds great!


    1. Thanks, Christine. Happy to hear there are others who love the era.

  4. This book sounds pretty interesting. I suppose most people associate the 40's and 30's with the Great Depression and post war. They think about Wuthering Heights and Grapes of Wrath, classics. I wonder if that could be one of the reasons for some of the lack of interest on the agent's part.

    Although I'm not big on historical novels, I wouldn't mind something set in the 2o's, that rolling lifestyle juxtaposed with hard life struggles of dreamers and wishers.

    1. The 20s would be great. I have an idea for a book set in the 30s when being a hobo was a way of life. Maybe after I tackle that one, I'll dip further back to the 20s. Thanks, Angela.

  5. I think the 40's is a most fascinating era! I actually moderate a yahoo group for writers interested in WWII. Starting to see more and more WWII books percolating into the marketplace, which is great news indeed. Congrats on the sale and nice to type to you!

  6. I'm glad to hear that! Thanks, Pauline.

  7. I'm glad at least ONE publisher was interested, Brenda.

    1. And a good one to work with, for sure. Thanks for coming by, Jenny.

  8. I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to announce the winner of the drawing. I've been moving and did not have Internet for over a week. Congrats to Pauline for being the winner of the drawing!


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