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Guest Article from Suzie Tullett: Living Outside Your Box as a Woman Writer

Taking on Individual Roles in Life: Living Outside the Box
by Suzie Tullett, author of Little White Lies and Butterflies

In my experience, when it comes to certain relationships we’re very often put in boxes. We’re expected to behave and think in a certain way according to our role.

Of course over time expectations change, alongside the societies we live in.

Take us women, for example. Once of a day we were simply expected to manage the home, support our men and raise our children. Not that any of these tasks were, indeed are, ever all that simple! However, thanks to changing times being the perfect homemaker is no longer our sole responsibility. We’re now expected to bring home at least some of the bacon on top of everything else; apparently multi-tasking is something we’re good at.

Naturally, I don’t think this is a bad thing. The contributions we women make are just as valid outside of the home as they are inside. And women have fought hard for us to gain the rights we enjoy today.

But wouldn’t it be fun to be able to fly in the face of what’s expected of us just once in a while? I mean, imagine our colleagues’ faces if we turned up at the office wearing a onesie; Or if we decided to give up the day job completely as well as the household chores, in favour of setting up a new world religion.

That’s why it’s fun to be a fiction writer. If we so choose, we can write characters who for whatever reason feel able to do and say many of the things we, in reality, probably wouldn’t. Our characters can disregard all things conventional – albeit, in a way that’s completely understandable considering their histories and personalities.

But when it comes to penning our stories, we as writers can blur the lines of who our relationships dictate we be too.

Take me as a mother of two sons. One of them waits until my novels are a bone fide book before he opens the first page; the other gets a little more involved in the writing process. He tells me what’s working, what’s not quite on the page in the way I might think it is and I have to say he’s an excellent spell checker. But whatever role my children do or don’t take, in reading my work at whatever stage they have the opportunity to see me outside of the box that our relationship puts me in. It enables them to learn a bit more about the way I tick not just as their mother, but as an individual in my own right.

 Little White Lies and Butterflies, Synopsis~                  

9781908208194_covA child of the nineties, Lydia Livingston is different. The last thing she’s ever wanted is to be superwoman; she knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a definite case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. At almost thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice all those years ago. And realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and banishes herself off to a distant land- all in the hope of finding a new direction.

 
At least that’s the plan.
 
But Lydia Livingston isn’t just different, she’s misunderstood. A fact she knows all too well. So when the totally unsuitable Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef- not exactly the best new identity to come up with for a woman who can’t even cook. Of course, the last thing she expects is for him to find out the truth and start blackmailing her. Let alone find herself roped into catering for a local wedding. But with things going from bad to worse, her madder than mad family also turn up in something of a surprise visit, intent on celebrating a birthday she’s no intentions of celebrating!
 
 

Suzie Tullett, Biography~

Born and raised in Lancashire, Suzie Tullett has worn many hats in life: from office work to teaching, from managing an advice center to being an outreach worker for Women’s Aid. She’s achieved a Bachelor’s and a Master’s and works with the BBC as a scriptwriter—all while raising her family. Ultimately, she wants to leave scriptwriting behind and write full-time. She says “it’s fair to say my working life has given me the chance to get to know all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds; a definite asset for anyone looking to write for a living.”

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Guest Post: Lin Treadgold on Writing Romance “Goodbye Henrietta Street”

Goodbye Henrietta Street, by Lin Treadgold, launches on July 1, 2013 from Safkhet Publishing in Germany, but is available for pre-order in many countries now! You can see all the stops on Lin’s book tour by going here:  http://safkhetpublishing.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/lin-treadgold-goes-on-tour/.  A light romantic novel with a theme for nature lovers, this books sounds like a great read to add to your summer list.

Today I have a guest post from Lin about how she started to write her debut novel while living in the Netherlands as an ex-pat, while setting her book in England at the island she enjoys (and misses) most. Enjoy!

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On Writing ‘Goodbye Henrietta Street’
Guest Post from Author, Lin Treadgold

When I first came to The Netherlands in 2001, I had given up my driving school business to follow my husband’s new job. Everything was new and I have to admit to feeling rather lost. A new language, strange culture and despite living ‘next door and across the pond’ from the UK, the Dutch way of life is very different.

The Netherlands is a place you either love or hate; there are no ‘in betweens’. Most expatriates return to the UK within four years, when their contract ends. I am now in my twelfth year and missing the English scenery, but will return to the UK when my husband retires in 2016. The two hobbies I had always enjoyed were nature conservation and writing. Could this be my chance to follow my dreams and aspirations?

My heart lies in the south west of England. I am prone to taking time out and spending my days in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly where nature has to balance between tourism and weather at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Having travelled the world and seen so many places, my thoughts are always with the islands and the people. So, I wrote a book, a romance novel based around island life on Scilly and submitted my manuscript to a few publishers and agents. I received the usual ‘thanks – but no thanks’ but most were very helpful and later when I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association my writing career began to blossom. Within a couple of years and several new drafts later, Safkhet Publishing accepted my submission.

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Sven Jørgensen is a delicious thirty-something character in the story of Goodbye, Henrietta Street. He arrived on the Isles of Scilly in the early 1980s after the betrayal of his fiancée in Norway. Sven is kind, generous, and looking for love.  His job is to manage the local nature reserve on the Isles of Scilly working with the Environmental Trust. When Pippa Lambton arrives on the scene after suffering a tragedy in her life, Sven is keen to help her overcome her grief, he observes she is married, but why is she here alone? Perhaps the answer to her problems is to help her overcome her sorrow through learning about nature. Is he able to step over the boundaries and find out more about her or is she just another passing tourist? The story is not only set on the islands, but also part of Pippa’s life is in Whitby, Yorkshire. 

The present day Wildlife Trust, on the Isles of Scilly, is keen to support my novel when launched on 1st July 2013. Their role is to ‘conserve and restore the landscape and archaeological sites of Scilly, and provide information to the public with events and activities, leaflets and interpretation boards.’ Not a lot has changed over the years, my character Sven, in 1986, might have taken part in all these projects. Scilly has five islands. The main island of St Mary’s, St Agnes, Tresco, Bryher, and St Martin’s. Each one with its own character and charm.

The location and climate of the Isles of Scilly has created stunning landscapes. Under the seas, the clear water is home to an amazing array of marine life. The archaeology dates back four thousand years. The Trust manages and conserves the habitats for the benefit of wildlife and visitor access.

I never forget how lucky we are to live on this planet. I do my best to conserve the natural world in my own environment. One person really can make a difference; a whole planet can do so much more.  If Sven was a real person, I can certainly empathise with his feelings to take on the world and show the importance of conserving ‘his islands’. Pippa and Sven are two realistic characters I hope my readers will grow to love.    

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Goodbye Henrietta Street, Synopsis~

9781908208149 - Goodbye Henrietta Street covAn island paradise in Cornwall…The eternal nature holiday or just a passing wave on the beach?

Pippa Lambton’s life has fallen apart and husband Rob is ready to give up their marriage. Three years before, their son Daniel passed away; he was the glue that held them together. Now, Pippa’s left home for the beautiful Isles of Scilly, for a chance to rediscover herself. She meets handsome Norwegian nature warden, Sven Jorgensen, who teaches her about the island wildlife.

Pippa finds herself laughing again. She is aware of Rob’s dilemma over his childhood adoption and their turbulent relationship, but after an awkward kiss with Sven, she is torn about how to proceed. There is much to resolve, and leaving Rob could prove a disaster. Is her affair with Sven a holiday fling? How can she walk away from Rob after losing Daniel? Should she leave her home in Yorkshire for Sven and his island paradise? Find out more in Goodbye, Henrietta Street.

Author Lin Treadgold, Biography~

photoLin Treadgold was born in Yorkshire and attended private education. After travelling the world and visiting over thirty countries, she retired in 2001 to folllow her husband’s work and live in the Netherlands. From her travelling experiences, she took the opportunity to become a writer and nature conservationist. She has always wanted to write a novel; moving to Holland gave her the opportunity to fulfill a dream.

Lin is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors, and organises workshop events for new writers.

Blog: http://www.itslinhere.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lin.treadgold
Twitter: @itslinhere

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