I’m so pleased to be part of the ”Waterbury Winter” book tour to celebrate the latest novel by author Linda Stewart Henley. Definitely a heart warming story that draws you in with its array of lovable characters – a story of friendship,and real life. This delightful story is a great book to pack in your holiday suitcase or download on your kindle to read whilst lying prone on the sunbed! I loved it!
Barnaby Brown has had enough of freezing winters, insurmountable debt, a dead-end job, and his solitary life as a young widower with no one but his beloved parrot Popsicle. He yearns to move to California and reawaken his long-lost early life as an artist. But new troubles come in threes. His ancient car crashes into a snowbank. Popsicle escapes through a window carelessly left open.
A New York gallery owner offers to represent Barnaby’s paintings—but is he on the up-and-up? All of it serves to shock Barnaby into confronting how low he has sunk, and he vows—again and again—to change. He has a few obstacles, starting with his heavy drinking and long-term neglect of his ancestral home. As he takes steps toward a better life, he re-discovers the value of old friendships and latent talents seen in new light, and finds the courage to consider a second chance at love. Rejoining the mainstream of life presents several startling mysteries he must unravel, with a few mortifying but enlightening stumbles.
A heart-warming novel about ordinary people reclaiming their dormant potential, Waterbury Winter celebrates the restorative value of art and the joy to be found in keeping promises.
It is with great pleasure to welcome Linda Stewart Henley onto the blog! Hi Linda!
Hello 😊 I’m Linda Stewart Henley , author of Estelle: A Novel. (Among other honors, it won Silver in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Historical Fiction and was a finalist for The Eric Hoffer Book Awards as well as for the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award). Waterbury Winter is my second novel. I live in Anacortes, Washington, with my husband.
I’m an English-born American and I choose settings for my novels in places I have lived. These include New Orleans (Estelle) and Connecticut (Waterbury Winter)
Who or what inspired you to write “Waterbury Winter”?
During a visit to see family for Christmas one year in a snowy part of the country, my husband and I stopped by a drugstore. It was December 26th. We were the only people in the store except for the cashier at the checkout counter. He asked us how our Christmas was. Fine, we said, and asked him the same question. “Well, I was here, and my car broke down.” That man, unknown to him, became the model for Barnaby Brown, a lonely man who doesn’t celebrate Christmas and whose car breaks down.
I really enjoyed reading your book, “Waterbury Winter ” and I particularly enjoyed the characters of Barnaby, Julia, Lisa & Sean. What character did you particularly enjoy writing about? What character was the hardest to portray?
Julia was the hardest. I had to make her relationship with Barnaby believable. I think it worked because they were both lost, haunted by their past, and stuck when they met.
Researching for your novel must have been quite interesting…for example, the brass button collections, the social work aspect, ice fishing … did you discover anything that shocked you or uncover some nugget of information that was unexpected?
I didn’t know anything about Waterbury when I started the novel, so yes, everything surprised me. More about that in the next question.
The novel is based in New England and yet you live across the continent in Washington State. What made you pick that location for the novel?
I wanted a location that had seen better days, just like Barnaby. Waterbury seemed right because its once famous brass industry had disappeared. It seemed like the perfect setting for the story of a man who struggles to redeem himself.
Growing up, did you envisage yourself as a writer or did you have other career aspirations?
I never saw myself as a writer until my first novel was accepted for publication in 2020. Until then, I was just playing with words, trying to learn how to write fiction. I spent my entire career working as an administrator at institutions of higher education.
Is “Waterbury Winter ” available to purchase worldwide?
I’m not sure if it’s available worldwide, but it’s for sale through Amazon in the USA, Canada, Europe, and the UK.
If you could visit any place in the world to inspire your next novel, where would you go and why?
My next novel is set in the UK at the start of WWII. I’d love to go there to confirm that I’ve accurately represented the places I write about there. I haven’t lived in England since I was sixteen.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I’m not working, and most people in my part of Washington State prefer casual clothes. The rainy climate doesn’t allow for stylish shoes and many people enjoy hiking. So we wear a lot of hiking gear, even when we’re not on the trail. Having spent time in the Southern United States, where people tend to dress up more, I sometimes wish we had opportunities to wear more interesting clothes. I do have a few nice dresses, mostly summer ones.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I miss the big department stores like Nordstrom’s. I like clothing boutiques, places where the sales people want to help you find suitable clothes. The personal service is much more fun for me than online shopping.
Boots or Shoes?
Both! I can’t imagine wearing street shoes in the mud and snow. I had to learn about this. When I first moved to Washington, I went on a hike in the Cascade Mountains. It was early spring, and the creeks were overflowing. It was impossible to keep to the trail without wading through the water. I wore hiking boots that I’d bought in California, and they weren’t waterproof. I walked all day with wet feet. After that, I went to REI and bought a sturdy pair of waterproof boots.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
THE BOOK TOUR DATES
Great to chat to you Linda! Thank you so much for the advance copy of your book and inviting me onto your book tour! I’ve had a blast!
All photographs have been published with kind permission of Linda Stewart Henley.