Jen: Today we welcome Nadine Sutton to Romancing the Book. Nadine, will you share a short bio with us?
Nadine: I come from Ireland, but I have lived in many different places. I’ve spent many years in Ireland, and shorter times living in Europe. For a long time now, I have lived in London, with my partner, but I don’t see it as my permanent home. However, I enjoy the artistic side of London life. I love to walk around and see buildings that have been here for centuries and to look around historical monuments, particularly the Royal Palaces. I enjoy the theater though it does not seem to me as good as it used to be! I used to go very often, now it’s more like an occasional treat. But I really love music, particularly country, folk, “light” opera, some Rock, and the music of the great musicals; I take advantage of being in London to attend concerts.
My hobbies are sedate ones. I like to knit and used to make a lot of woollies when I lived in cold climates. I also try my hand at things like flower arranging, jewellery making and painting. I used to swim and ride horses, and to play a little tennis, but I don’t get time for that nowadays. I love music and enjoy very much listening to music and going to concerts and musicals, and I take singing lessons. Naturally I love to read and always have a couple of books or my Kindle with me. I enjoy walking and an occasional game of golf and I love board games. I also enjoy travelling, whether by train, boat or air. I particularly love America, and hope to visit there again very soon.
My initial degree was in history. I loved English but I wanted to do something more “relevant” and I dabbled in politics. When I left college, I worked in many different fields, changing jobs quite often. Some of my jobs were to do with books; I was a library officer and worked in the office of a bookshop. I’ve also worked in the legal field, in education, in social work support, and in businesses. At present, I work in a public service and health field. I’ve worked in social work, helping with volunteer organizations. I used to work with a hostel for homeless people and with visiting the elderly and people in need.
My great hobby is reading, which naturally led me to want to write. I started writing when I was a kid, with absolutely no success. I wrote very serious short stories, usually with a feminist slant! I tried serious historical fiction. Then I gave it up for some years as I needed to earn a living and didn’t have the time. I enjoy my work, but I love to write. It is a very important creative outlet for me, as my job, while it’s useful in promoting public health and very worthwhile, helping the public, doesn’t have any creative side.
I have also done light journalistic work, on women’s issues, but about 10 years ago I began to explore creative writing, and to try to write fiction again. I took a few classes, and then I started to write light historical fiction, and joined writers’ groups. Now I’ve chosen to write modern fiction and my new story The Lovers of the Road is the result. I am looking forward to its being published and to finding, I hope, some new fans.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Nadine: My story is about a road trip and is then set in Nashville TN, which is a lovely city. I think that it came from my longing to visit the US, and drive from the North down to the South. But I haven’t driven for years, so I’ll probably never do it.
Here’s the official blurb:
Garth Clayton is a guy who doesn’t have any complaints about his life. He’s a successful musician and songwriter. He lives very well in a New York bachelor pad with a steady girlfriend, which isn’t too shabby for an introverted kid from the Bible belt. When he offers a ride to an Irish immigrant, he never expects his life to turn upside down.
Connor Adams is the opposite of Garth. He’s wild, foolish, and not about to apologize for who he is. He likes to live on the edge. When he is nearly arrested for a fight in a gay bar, Garth is shocked to learn of Connor’s sexual preference. Unable to hide the truth any longer, Garth confesses the deep secret he’s kept buried—he’s attracted to men.
Garth and Connor start a secret love affair, but when Connor asks Garth to be truthful about their relationship with his parents, he can’t bring himself to do it. Unwilling to be his “dirty little secret” any longer, Connor ends things. Will Garth stop hiding his true self, or will he lose the man he loves?
And enjoy this short excerpt:
Cursing, Garth pulled on his jeans and a sweater, and hurried down to the lobby. The officer waiting for him was a young chubby faced man, not much older than Connor.
“Mr Clayton, this young man has been thrown out of a bar for using obscene language and—crazy behaviour. I found him out on the street cursing and yelling. Making a noise an’ being a pain. I don’t want to go through all the paperwork of booking him.”
Garth’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. He couldn’t believe that even Connor could get into this sort of trouble so quickly. His heart beat faster as he looked at the young police officer.
“If you can promise that you and he will be out of the town by 8 a.m. then I’ll forget what happened. It wasn’t much and we’re a small police department here.”
The cop lowered his voice and leaned closer to Garth. “Look, Mr Clayton, it was a gay bar. My boss doesn’t like faggots, but there are a couple of bars where they go and mostly they don’t do any harm to anyone. Hardly ever any trouble there. I don’t want any bother so, you just get him out of town.”
“Where is he?” Garth grumbled.
He could only thank his lucky stars that this nice young guy had been the one to find Connor. Some other policemen might have investigated further.
“He’s out in my car, sir. He told me that he was traveling with you and that you write songs that are on the T.V. I’d heard your name, and my wife likes you, so I thought I’d let this one go. But you have to promise you’ll get out of town.”
“Officer, I’d go right now if it weren’t so damn late. That boy is—” he trailed off. It might not be a good idea to criticize Connor.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Nadine: Describe your writing in 3 words. Love, fun, men!
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Nadine: No. I just start and usually I get stuck after I’ve done some writing. Then I often take a while before I can get my story back on track again. I just keep on till the story’s done. Then I tweak it. Then someone points out the faults and I get mad!
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Nadine: I’d love to try Science Fiction, at least something that’s related to Star Trek? But I probably never will! I adored Mr Spock as a kid. I suppose it is because it’s set in the future but still, people don’t change. I would never write vampire or zombie stories. I just can’t take them very seriously!
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Nadine: Romance writers, such as Margaret Mitchell. I don’t like Daphne Du Maurier but I love her “Rebecca”.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Nadine: I’d love to travel in the Wild West, but it wouldn’t be much fun on a horse all the time. I’d go by train and take a soft cushion! I’d also have to take some books and comfortable shoes.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Nadine: Right now I don’t have much free time.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Nadine: I’m not sure. I hope to write some more stories set in the USA.