Jeny Heckman Logo 2021

Historical Fiction / Drama / Romance Author

SPOTLIGHT ON:

L.B. Griffin

CONNECT WITH L.B. Griffin

Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox

Release Date:

July 27, 2021

Publisher:

The Wild Rose Press

Cover Design:

R Morris

All About L.B. Griffin

I live in rural Wiltshire England and am lucky enough to have my wonderful family surrounding me and am one potty granny and love them all!

Its wonderful to be able to say that my debut novel Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox has just been released! Absolutely amazing.

A little tag line for you: 1950s London and everyone has a secret. In another nutshell it’s about love, hope, betrayal and survival.

Though, if it hadn’t been for generous people who gave me a well-aimed boot up the proverbial, it may never have reached a publisher. And when The Wild Rose Press gave me the break and offered me the contract, I thought it was a scam. Seriously! I can’t thank them enough.

I write. All the time. I have to. It gives the little devils dancing around in my head a chance to get out and tell their story. I also read, absolutely anything and everything!

I don’t think I’m special. Everyone is. We all have something to offer.

My background in education is strange – I was always told I was dense at school go figure – I have a Certificate in Teaching, developed, and ran a highly successful full time course SENDd for adults in Further Education, and have an MEd from Bristol University, which I did part time over two years whilst working full time. HUGE thanks to my husband for all his support, I wonder he survived those years!

When I worked, and got an actual salary, I’d get out of bed at around 6.00 a.m. I’m freshest in the morning. I can think better. I’d type for about an hour or so but would often fly out the door with my slippers still on and my fingers wishing they were still on the keyboard.

Now I’m retired. (Yes, a retired. I’m the potty grab a granny and she’ll tell you a story kind.) Though maybe the word retired is probably not quite accurate now, since having signed a contract – it seems I have a whole new career, not just in writing but the hard work of publicity especially in this climate – I did a book signing and discovered my bookmarks were being tossed into the bin because of Covid! Cross contamination of course! Didn’t think!

I’m finishing off my next book (Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is its prequel) and I am in the middle of writing something else. But all the characters from both books are shouting at me… “get on with it then!”

Oh, yes, I’m blogging, grab a granny manages to blog a bit! Of course I would love it if you reached out, bought my book, and would definitely to reply to anyone who has something sensible to ask or to share – I’m most of the social media sites – though I’m more easily reached through  WifeInTheWest.com unfortunately, being trolled the other day stopped me for a while. My sole purpose is to encourage budding writers, not trolls.

By the way, I love British strawberries. I’m eating one now.’

Now my debut novel Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox has just been released! To me all of that has been absolutely astounding – and a HUMONGOUS learning curve, it still is!

What I am saying is if I can do it, so can you. Never give up. If you have a dream, go for it. Believe in yourself. You can do it.

Welcome L.B. to Jeny's TattleTales

I am so excited to welcome you to my TattleTales and getting to know you better. Let’s get started, shall we?

What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever done in your life?

I set up, developed and ran a full time course for Adults with SENDd in Further Education, the first of its kind it was hugely successful.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

When something doesn’t work and that stops me moving forward, so I try my best to write the next chapter and hopefully it will resolve itself.

What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
I was always considered dense at school. I left school without any qualifications. It wasn’t until I went to work that I began to learn. They gave me the opportunity to go for day release and night school. That was the real beginning to believing in myself.

What does being a successful author look like to you?

I think of Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, quietly confident.

What’s your writing kryptonite?

Early mornings at the computer when hubby is sound asleep.

What’s one positive thing you’ve learned your capable of during the Covid lockdown?

Keep on going and trying to be positive. I’m no different to anyone else but when I set up zoom quizzes and whatsapp groups, my friends were surprised. I don’t do IT – my husband will tell you I’m IT phobic!

If you released your novel during Covid, how did you launch it?

This is so difficult to answer. I’ve been doing a drip feed rather than a huge splurge – my daughter and husband have been superstars helping me in all sorts of ways. My son sorted out the blog for me and if it hadn’t been for them, I would never have sorted anything out.

If you could change one thing about your novel now that it’s published, what would it be?

Breathe and read it as if it was for the first time.

What are the words you live by? A kind of motto?

You wouldn’t believe it but I am really shy. So, I am always pushing myself out of my comfort zone – “go on what have you got to lose?”

What was the hardest, most unusual, or interesting part of the story to research?

I loved doing all the research, the trouble was it was so interesting that I often got distracted, but the most difficult was to ensure that the timeline was accurate. I did my very best, but I’m sure someone somewhere will find me out!

Which is your favorite season to write in, and why?

Winter – I don’t feel encouraged to go out. So writing then is the perfect time.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Not one particular spot! I’d have to go to Europe and travel a little more across the world to experience life and its idiosyncrasies.

Picture this: You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

I dare not answer that one for fear of putting the kibosh on it!

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

People and the world around plus the little characters in my head doing a dance. Really, they are telling me what to write. Seriously!

If you have pictures on your writing desk, who/what are they of?

I have pictures of my grandchildren.

What is your most unusual writing quirk?

I bounce between loads of things, there is probably ten things open on my computer right now.

What’s most important? A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?

Strong characters and plot twists.

Do you write original themes, or do you like to right to the mainstream reader?

I like to think I like to original themes, but I understand there are seven plot archetypes.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Real people?

I tend to blend many people together to get the perfect character for my stories. Choosing names is hard. An old telephone directory, a mix of several people, a cemetery, I heard road and street names and thought that was a brilliant idea.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I guess its all down to history

Do you read your book reviews?

No. my husband does and it scares me when he says ‘you’ve had another review’ but I have been so amazed and humbled by everyone who has taken the time to review and they are brilliant reviews.

Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?

Dave, my husband, he has put up with me vanishing for hours and forgetting everything else, even to cook the tea, so he does it and shouts out ‘its ready!’ and more recently my daughter Kelly, who has been the genius with her creativity. She gave birth the day after I got my contract and still finds time in amongst running her own business, home and family to help me.

Do you ever take random writing breaks to dance? If so, when do they occur?

When my neck is stiff, my bottom sore and my legs ache. And that happens a lot!

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Family. Friends.

What is your favorite quote?

“In a gentle way you can shake the world” Mahatma Gandhi

Your life would be absolutely complete if…

all humans were able to be kind to one another, and not just for a nanosecond, and most close to my heart a cure for terminal illness.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, they are waiting to be taken from the shelf and dusted off!

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would like Harriet to choose.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, its subtle but I think its there for all to see – the powers of the world talk about change but never really act on it.

What do you like best about your hero or heroine?

Harriet’s innate sense of justice.

What’s next for you?

The sequel. The Twenty One Year Contract.

What do you use to envision your characters? Storyboard? Pictures? Mental images, etc?

When I write I see everything and everyone in film.

What space do you prefer for writing? Supreme quiet? Music? Coffee shop or office, or maybe even outdoors?

I like it to be extremely quiet, though birds and forest sounds are good.

Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox
Blurb & Excerpts

When Harriet Laws loses her grandmother and her job, her happy life in London seems over. Alone, grief-stricken and penniless, she thinks wildly about ending it all. Fate steps in as Tom Fletcher saves her, gives her hope, and guides her to new employment. He takes her to dinner, and she finds him attractive. He’s older, but she doesn’t mind. Does he? Tom, a quiet, hardworking man, is unsure of Harriet’s feelings. Harriet appreciates Tom’s quiet strength of character, his kindness and caring nature, and as already begun to fall for him. Tom is busy building his business interests and now dares to hope that he may take their friendship to another level.

However, CJ Rutherford, a handsome, wealthy antiques dealer has viewed Harriet from a distance. He has been watching, waiting, planning. At precisely the right moment CJ capitalises, and swiftly draws Harriet into his carefully spun web of lies and deceit. Having stolen Harriet from Tom, CJ is now able to forge on with his plans.  Whilst Harriet is smart, she is also trusting. CJ is charming, sophisticated and she finds herself irresistibly swept into his arms and into his world. A world different to all she has ever known before.

Harriet is now on a journey she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams. CJ’s plans begin to come to fruition. Harriet’s life has changed beyond all recognition. Harriet feels unable to free herself from CJ, until finally she makes shocking discoveries and runs for her life. What follows, no one could have predicted, as Harriet has not only lost contact with all her friends, but she must again fight for her very life…will she ever see Tom again?

Excerpt 1

She felt the telltale gust of wind from the ink-black cave. The train was coming. A strand of hair came loose from her plait, flicking at her face as debris skittered along the ground. The train was imminent. People throw themselves in front of trains all the time.

 

Excerpt 2

Her mouth dried as she twisted the doorknob, terrified CJ would come home and catch her in the act. Harriet went to lock the door again, the key stuck fast.

PURCHASE SECRETS, SHAME, AND A SHOEBOX HERE:

Jeny's TattleTales

Look right…Name the most out of place item. A hairclip

What is your most attractive feature? Hmm.

Place you’d most like to visit? Amazon rain forest

Describe yourself in three words: Young at heart

Favorite season: Spring

Call or text? Both

Do you prefer to write indoors or outdoors? Indoors

Movie you can watch again and again? Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve got mail.

Are you a morning bird or night owl? Morning

Driver or passenger seat? Back seat driver

Forgiver or a forgetter? Both

Optimist or a pessimist? Optimist

Do you believe in love at first sight? yes

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