Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Quintedssential Gemini

With us today is Linn Halton. Tell us Linn, are you a plotter or a pantster?
Both (laugh)!  I always tend to ‘over-prepare’ but because I never say one word when I can say twenty, then I prepare too much material.  Recently I’ve come to realise that ad-libbing is not a problem for me, I can easily over-run no matter how long a spot I’m given.  So I’ve started writing cue cards with trigger points to keep me on track.
The problem I find is that I’m very passionate about things I believe in and my enthusiasm simply runs away with me.  Everyone should have several passions in their life and I firmly believe that life is what you make it.  Seek out the happiness and spread the sunshine.
Do you have critique partners or work alone?
I work alone but then have a small network of people who read whatever I’ve written.  My husband is always the first to read whatever I write and he has an inquiring mind, so will pick up on anything loose ends if I’ve missed them!  One of my advance readers only usually reads biographies or psychic/spiritual self-help books, so that’s really useful.  When someone reads something in a genre that doesn’t interest them the feedback tends to be very honest!
What is your zodiac sign and what characteristic of your sign aids you as a writer?
I’m a Gemini, but what compounds that is that I could easily become obsessive compulsive about virtually everything in life.  I’m a ‘clean and tidy freak’, love order in everything and use spreadsheets and lists to organise myself.  However, over the years I have learnt to relax and think about what is important, rather than let a compulsive nature completely take over my life.
I love being a Gemini and feel I’m pretty typical but I also think that some of the family traits I have inherited mean that some of those qualities are magnified.  However, it is clear from following my star charts that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing at this stage in my life. 
Whilst I always knew from a young child that I would sit down and write at some point in my life, it wasn’t until 2009 that the ‘me’ time presented itself.  My stars at that time indicated, and often mentioned, I would be spending my time creatively and even suggested writing a novel.  So I take each day as it comes and see where it takes me.
What are Gemini characteristics?
Geminis tend to be adaptable, versatile and very lively.  Youthful throughout our lives in the way we look at things, eloquent and our communication tends to be edged with a sense of humor.  On the dark side we can be nervous and tense, overly-inquisitive at times – always mentally active, even when we are trying to relax!  It’s a real mixed bag of traits and one of the worrying factors is that sometimes we get so caught up with the task in hand that it is easy to forget to enjoy the moment.  Remembering to have some ‘down’ time, rather than working constantly is a big issue for me, but my husband helps keeps an eye on that!
Tell us something that would surprise us about you.
When I was a teenager I trained to be a dancer.  From the age of seven through to sixteen I trained at least three nights a week and most weekends.  I had a dancing partner and entered many competitions winning a box full of medals.  I was also an assistant teacher at one of the class groups from the age of fourteen.  I lived to dance and Latin American was my all-time favourite. The paso doble in particular I found fiery and enthralling – it was a good way to spend my youth!
Title: The Quintessential Gemini
Author: Linn B. Halton
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Length: 305 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Available at:

For twenty-one years, the focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went, but what has always been there for her—her only constant other than her cat delightfully named No. 4—was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced.

With her confidence dented, Katherine is angry at life and at herself.

She’s ignored hints of “changes to come” in her horoscope forecasts, written by the wonderful and renowned astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas. 

Mark is now an “A” list celebrity in the UK and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on the new, but talented, astrologer James Kingman to help him run his web-site.

Katherine lives her life according to her daily horoscope. When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion and, unexpectedly, love as the three lives become inextricably tangled.  Insecurity, self-doubt, guilt, stress, and frustration, coupled with village gossips and merciless reporters wanting eye-catching headlines leave Katherine feeling vulnerable and in need of guidance. 

Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life, but when Katherine finds herself implicated in the headlines ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’ she’s just as surprised as everyone else! None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?

My life is falling apart. I knew it, Mark isn’t writing the forecasts and a guy named James has now admitted this to me. I don’t have a problem with that at all, but what I need at this particular moment in time is Mark’s insightful guidance. He seems to be able to tap into the very essence of my life and give simple, yet incredibly relevant, clues. James, on the other hand, is probably catering for the masses; hence, I’m finding I can’t relate to anything he says. It took me all day yesterday emailing James, whom I assumed was Mark, to get to the bottom of the problem. Today is Wednesday and the talk is on Friday evening. Everyone in town is buzzing about it and this could be major humiliation. What should I do?

I finally emailed James, asking very politely for Mark’s personal contact details. He came back with a standard, “Mark unfortunately isn’t available to…” I didn’t panic, just took a deep breath and turned to the internet. I found an interesting article about Mark and learned that he gives personal readings. Yes. Thankfully, the email address is different to the one on the Website. I dashed off a few words, asking whether he was available, and what I needed to do. That was four-thirty yesterday and I haven’t had a response yet.

I was up at six this morning and have been frantically checking my emails virtually every ten minutes. It’s now eleven thirty and the strain is beginning to tell. I can’t write, can’t eat, and can’t think straight. If Friday night is going to be a flop, then I need advance warning so that I can cancel. I’m having problems thinking of an excuse that doesn’t sound lame. If I say I’m unwell, it probably means leaving it to the last minute and then I’ll be scrutinized and will have to hide for a week. If I say something like “I’m too busy” or even tell the truth, that I’m really just a novice myself, the locals will probably think I’m not taking them seriously. In my defense, I never said to Tom I was a writer, I just said I was writing a novel. The problem is that Tom seems to be basking in some sort of local glory for being in the know and, I hear, regularly having coffee with our famous local writer. This I found out when I was in the library the other day and overheard two women talking. Everything is getting out of hand and I don’t know what to do next.

No. 4 flounces into the room with a loud meow, walks around the kitchen table twice, and then just as quickly disappears. Even he can sense the tense atmosphere that hovers like a rain cloud in the room. Suddenly I spot a flashing icon on my screen and I dash over to the table and sit down. It’s from Mark, well his representative, the person who books his personal appointments.

From: Kate on behalf of Mark Ainsley-Thomas

To: Ms K Dale

Dear Katherine

Unfortunately, Mark is touring this week, attending a number of book signings around the country. He is sorry that he is unlikely to be able to commit to a personal sitting for at least three months due to his unusually busy schedule.

I am able to offer you an individual, full chart reading service, which Mark oversees personally, and I can arrange this upon receipt of the detailed information listed on the attachment. This service is available at a cost of £19.95.

Thank you for contacting Mark and please do not hesitate to let me know if you would like the full chart reading service.

Yours sincerely
Personal Assistant to Mark Ainsley-Thomas

I suddenly feel like I have a lifeline.

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.

Twitter Account @LinnBHalton:
Facebook Author Linn B Halton:">a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Linn,

    I really like the premise of your book and enjoyed the excerpt. I laughed at your enthusiasm for planning and ad lib. Whatever gets the book written works for me :)

  2. It's lovely to be here, thank you Sandra and thank you for dropping by Shelley!

  3. Hi Shel,thanks for stopping by.

    Great to have you, Linn. Love your plot.