BLOOD TIES by Heather Burnside is our feature today. We have an exclusive interview with Heather , find out what special photo she shared with us and lots more.
From the bestselling author of BORN BAD. Adele Robinson is locked up – convicted of the murder of her abusive father. She quickly realises that she’ll have to play it tough if she’s going to survive, and soon gains a reputation for standing her ground. Meanwhile, her brother Peter is building his criminal empire on the outside – running protection rackets, seedy nightclubs and all manner of schemes to make a fast buck. He soon comes to the attention of, not only the police, but also Manchester’s rival gangs, and a turf war breaks out. And when things start to get bloody, only Adele can step in to protect the family business. Will she get out in time to save Peter? After all, blood is thicker than water, and when family’s in trouble you can’t look the other way.
What book truly inspired your life and why?
I wouldn’t say there was any one book in particular that inspired my life but when I was growing up I read a lot of children’s classics so I’m sure they must have influenced my desire to write. One book that really made an impact on me is Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, which I read in my late teens. I love his use of symbolism and imagery and it’s one of those books that, no matter how many times you read it, you always spot something that you hadn’t previously noticed. Also, it’s very dark and doesn’t have a happy ending, which appeals to me because it reflects true life.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
It was a no brainer – my kids are the two most precious people in my life.
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
Yes, especially regarding prison life, and I also did research on: drugs, organized crime, GBH, ABH, body language and even keyless entry systems.
What was your favourite read of 2017?
Last year was one of those years when my reading fell by the wayside because I was so busy with moving home and various other matters. I read a few books but nothing that really grabbed me. Perhaps that was because I was reading sporadically and constantly having to recap. However, I’m now back on track and am currently enjoying The Attic Room by Linda Huber. It’s a psychological thriller, full of suspense, and I’m eager to find out how it pans out.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Guests of the Emperor by Janice Young Brooks and The Works of Shakespeare.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
It’s a long story but I’ll try to keep it short. I started writing my first novel sometime between 1999 and 2002 when I studied for a writing diploma. I received countless rejections from agents and publishers so I put it to one side while I started a writing services business.
When Amazon made it easy for authors to self-publish on the Kindle, I returned to my novel, made substantial changes and published it independently in 2014. I then followed it up with two other novels and, luckily for me, I was spotted by Aria Fiction in 2016 and eventually offered a three book deal.
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
Yes. I think this photograph is full of intrigue. You can just about see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and some greenery. It’s a particularly long tunnel and very dark inside. The water is also dark and murky. This photograph was taken in daylight so you can imagine how eerie it is at night.
What is the darkness concealing? What cruel deeds might have been committed under cover of darkness? Is it worth the risk of entering the tunnel to see what lies on the other side? Will it be more scenic than on this side of the tunnel? What could be hidden under the water where no-one can see?
Then there are also all the questions appertaining to the tunnel itself. When was it built, why and by whom? Why is it so long? Have any narrow boats ever collided inside the tunnel?
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
I think readers will get more out of the book if they have already read book one in the trilogy, Born Bad. However, Blood Ties can also be read as a standalone novel.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
I can’t think of anything to ask but I would like to say a big thank you to all my readers for their support. Thanks also to you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.
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