Good morning Lynda and welcome to Tuesday Talk. First of all many congratulations on winning Choc Lit’s Search for a Star 2015. Can I firstly ask you to tell us a little about yourself.
Thank you so much for inviting me to speak to you. And thank you for your congratulations; I’m delighted to have won The Choc Lit Search for a star competition. It really was my dream comes true.
I began writing when I was a teenager, my English teacher wanted me to go into journalism, but I was the daughter of a miner and in 1984, I left school to work. Our family needed the income and we needed to eat.
Writing was put to one side; I was married by the age of 19 and found myself in an abusive and difficult relationship. After suffering for 3 years, I finally found a way to leave. I left my position as a dental nurse and took a driving and sales job with the company I still work for. I’m now the Sales Director at that company.
Over the years, I’ve pushed myself to live life to the limit, when you’ve lived how I did; you begin to appreciate life more. In 2002, I took a PADI scuba diving course. I learnt how to dive and pushed myself until I achieved the status of PADI Staff Instructor, I was an instructor who could teach people from first breaths underwater, to being instructors themselves.
When did your writing journey begin and what was the trigger?
In 2007, I was involved in a car accident. My shoulder was badly damaged in the accident and I no longer had the strength in my right arm to rescue a scuba student if they got into trouble. I couldn’t risk people getting hurt or killed and I had to stop teaching.
It was then that I began to write again, taking it more seriously in 2012 and in 2013, I was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. This was my trigger, I knew that I could do it and pushed myself to work every night after work to achieve my goal.
Your winning novel – Keeper of the House – can you tell us something about it?
It’s based upon a hotel in Scalby, near Scarborough called Wrea Head Hall.My husband and I go there on a regular basis; it’s the most amazing place. It only has 22 rooms, so you really feel as though you’ve gone away to your own country house retreat for the weekend. You can literally feel the history seeping out of the walls and I knew it had a story that just had to be told.
The novel has a parallel story, based in the 1940’s and if asked to describe it, I’d say it’s Fatal Attraction meets Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
My novel begins with Madeleine Frost, she finds herself in a rebound relationship after the death of her husband. Fearing for the safety of her three year old daughter, Poppy, Madeleine leaves and goes to live with her estranged father at the hall. But Declan won’t let go, he likes to control but Madeleine has met Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine with an over protective nature. Bandit has no problem in trying to protect Madeleine, but can he save her, or does Madeleine become yet another of Declan’s victims?
What is the best part of writing for you? And what is the worst?
I love everything about writing. It’s a great release and I love getting to know my characters, building their lives and giving them a backstory.
I guess the best part is when people read and love what you do. There’s no better feeling than to get really great feedback.
The worst is probably the continual going over and over the same manuscript, no one (unless you’re a writer) would ever know how many times one manuscript is written or how long it takes.
How do you spend your chill out time?
I live in the countryside, I love to be at home, watch the wildlife and of course, I love to go to Wrea Head Hall for a treat.
I still Scuba dive for pleasure but these day’s I’d call myself a http://www.diver (a warm water wuss) and prefer to dive whilst on holidays.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Difficult question, I’m afraid I’ve been spoilt. We’ve travelled a lot and have chosen our holidays by dive sites. I loved the Maldives; it was idyllic, the only way I can describe it is, it’s like being Robinson Crusoe, with a bar and a chef.
But then again, the Caribbean will always be special to me. My (2nd) husband Haydn and I got married on the island of Jamaica in 1997 and we’ve since travelled to Grenada, the Dominican Republic and Barbados since.
I love all of it, the music, the people and the culture. The scuba diving is pretty spectacular too, especially off of Grenada where you get the Atlantic meeting the Caribbean. There are lots of wrecks and with the deeper, fast moving water, you get lots of sharks. And yes, we go in without a cage.!!
If you were able to go back and live in any historical time period what would it be and why?
I’d like to go back to any part in time when we didn’t have wars. I hate everything about war and how evil mankind can be to one another.
So, I’d like to go back to a time when we had world peace….. but sadly no date springs to mind.!
You can catch up with Lynda on Twitter and her blog: