Joining me today in The Loft is award-winning author Brenda Whiteside. Brenda writes romantic suspense, cozy mystery, and romance. She’s also delving into children’s books and hopes to have her first one, co-written with her ten-year-old granddaughter, published this year. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo.
Author Brenda WhitesideS: Good morning, Brenda. I'm so happy you could join me today!
You began your career as an artist, but transitioned to writing books. If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose to write books?
B: That is a resounding yes. In fact, I would’ve chosen writing so many years sooner if I could do it again. I’ve always liked to write. In school, I was in accelerated English and loved all writing assignments. But from the time I was about six years old, my artwork gained more attention than my writing. I geared myself to be an artist. Art was my major in college. I never worked in an art field. When I married, I got off track for any kind of education or career. Eventually, I took some classes, one of which was a creative writing class. I was hooked. I packed away my paints and filled blank pages with words instead of paint.
S: Do you write in genres other than romance?
B: I wrote a couple of strictly romance books in the beginning of my author career. Although one of them is considered romance, it’s written with some light suspense. That gave me a taste of a cross-over genre, and I switched to romantic suspense. I like writing about villains. And I like writing them from their point of view. The old adage is write what you know, but I say write what you like. Recently, I’ve branched out into two other genres. I am co-writing a cozy mystery with Joyce Proell. This new venture is so much fun. Why am I trying cozy? I had an idea for a series, but it didn’t fit in the romantic suspense genre, yet I couldn’t let the idea go. The Chocolate Martini Sisters demanded I give them a shot at their own series. I’m not sure I would’ve tried it without my mystery partner, Joyce, because mystery and suspense are quite different if done properly. I’m also co-writing a children’s book with my ten-year-old granddaughter, Sadi. This series is inspired by Sadi and her dog Max. The why of this one is simply that my granddaughter asked me to do it. She’s my illustrator and my synopsis gal. If I could just keep her on schedule. Ten-year-olds do have lives outside of writing.
S: It sounds like you have some exciting times ahead. Congratulations.
Do you remember your first kiss? What was memorable about it?
B: I certainly do. I was in sixth grade, and he was an older man—eighth grade. We were in the back of a truck. I can’t remember the details of where we’d been. I think the school had a swimming party of some sort at some public park. We’d met at the school parking lot, and we were on our way back to the parking lot to go home from there. I ended up in the back of a truck, in the dark, with Gary. There were other kids, too, but I didn’t care. I’d had such a crush on him. He probably knew it. He took advantage of me! I also didn’t care about that either. It was a simple, sweet kiss, but wow, did it send me into heaven. By the way, our relationship began and ended with that truck ride home.
S: Someone should write a book about experiences in the back of a pickup truck. I imagine it would be filled with memories like yours.
What was your worst date ever?
B: In high school, dating a letterman was the ultimate--some sort of status. So when a letterman from another school asked me out, I said yes. I wasn’t attracted to him, and I didn’t really know him. But he wore a letterman’s jacket. Lesson learned. He took me to a drive-in. He was the worse kisser ever. I tried eating popcorn, asking for a second cola, laughed at the movie—anything to avoid having him slobber all over my face. Man, that guy had a huge mouth.
S: Remember the saying, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince?"
Do you believe in love at first sight?
B: Technically no, I don’t believe in love at first sight. What I do believe in is lust at first sight. It might turn into love rather quickly, but it really isn’t love with that first glance. When I was younger, I had lots of lust at first sight experiences. Only one of those actually became love. But it didn’t last. Strangely enough, the man I ended up with and have been married to for decades wasn’t even lust at first sight.
S: What inspired "The Deep Well of Love and Murder?"
B: In this case, inspiration was a great deal of work. When I came up with the idea for a romantic suspense series, I asked my publisher to be locked into a five-book contract. At that point, I had no idea what books four and five would be. "The Deep Well of Love and Murder" was the most difficult. Two characters who basically had walk-on parts in prior books whispered to me. They wanted a story, but wow, were they reluctant to spell it out. When I finally understood the gist of what was happening, I got my teeth into a complicated double plot. Remember how I said I like to write villains? This book has at least two. I don’t want to give too much away.
S: Is there anything special you would like people to know about "The Deep Well of Love and Murder?"
B: This is Book 4 in the Wild Horse Peaks series. This is the second edition of the book. The series was originally published under the series name, Love and Murder. I’ve re-edited, updated, and re-released all the books. If you haven’t read it, it’s a first for you.
Here's the blurb:
A vengeful ex-husband and bloody fight for land threaten a love-struck couple’s happiness.
After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Timberline, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.
Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a brutal land grab is underway. As the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a vicious battle for his land—and the woman he wants by his side.
Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Uncertain where the next attack will come from—will their love be caught in the crossfire?
S: That sounds like a suspenseful story! Where can readers buy your book?
B: It's available at--
S: Brenda, thanks so much for visiting The Loft! If you'd like to learn more about Brenda and her books, please visit--