Her novels are normally psychological thrillers, but today I've asked her to talk about her new book, out this week. They're short romantic and feel-good stories. Right up my street. But first, can I ask you, Linda, - I'm rubbish at short stories - What are the pros and cons of writing short stories over novels?
The biggest pro is that you end up with the finished product a whole lot sooner! Plus, when you’re only writing 4,000 words, it’s easier to keep track of the action, and who said what to whom, when and where. The disadvantage for me is you don’t have the chance to really get to know your characters, and that’s what I find so fascinating about novel-writing. By the time a book’s finished, my characters almost feel like members of the family. Or the good guys do, anyway!
And I'm sure you have to pick and choose with your usual genre. But how easy is it switching between genres?
I think it’s mind-stretching, trying out a different genre and a different way of writing – I suppose it’s a bit like switching between two jobs (which I do too; I’m an English teacher as well as a writer). You have your mindset and persona for each. Writing feel-good stories is lighter than writing psychological suspense. Because they’re feel-good they don’t have much heartbreak or fear in them, although a couple in this collection are bittersweet.
Hurrah! But novel length psychological thrillers are your main thing, so how did you end up writing these?
The short stories came first, way back in the late nineties when I was still scribbling away at my still-unfinished children’s novel. My mother was visiting us in Switzerland, and one day she was sitting on the sofa reading a magazine, and said, ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, what a silly story – I’m sure you could do better!’
I took up the challenge, wrote a story, and sent it off. Back it came with a ‘thanks, but not quite right for us’ rejection note. ‘Huh,’ I thought, and wrote another, taking care to make this one really good. Back it came too, with the same note. I can’t remember if it was after my third or fourth attempt that the penny dropped. I was writing what I thought was a really good story. I should have been writing what they’d think was a good story. After that, it was easier, and although I still had the odd rejection, most of my efforts were published in the end. And now that the rights for them have reverted to me, I can use them again to make money for a good cause.
What is the charity the proceeds are going to and why have you chosen it?
I don’t know yet, but it’ll be one of the medical charities. In my younger days I was a physiotherapist and I’m still very interested in medical progress etc. One thing I’m still finding out about is the tax aspect – if I can deduct my donation, it’ll swell the end profit going to the charity. However, I live in Switzerland and I know from experience that not all ‘foreign’ donations are deductible. I’m planning to go into a huddle with my accountant about it. One idea is to wait until the end of the year, see what’s happening in the world, and decide accordingly.
Indeed. Well good luck. Money matters are rarely straight forward.
And what can we expect next?
At the moment I’m working with my editor on another psychological suspense novel. It’s at the second edit stage so it’s really starting to look like a book now. There’s a tinge of ‘medical’ about it too – the effects of childlessness, and like all my novels it’s not so much a ‘whodunit’ as a ‘whydunit’. The title is still a work in progress, but it’ll be out late summer.
Now, back to the imminent release. I will definitely be getting a copy of this.
The Saturday Secret and other Stories is a collection of fifteen tales of life, love, and family – perfect for a coffee-break! Previously published in UK national magazines, the stories are about relationships within the family and without – some are humorous, some bittersweet; all are upbeat and emotional.
Pre-order now: Amazon
The Party Partners Belinda and Phillip have fun at weddings, engagement parties and all sorts of celebrations. But anything more personal was out of the question – or was it?
Family Matters Gary shares Sharon’s dream of having children – but as far as he’s concerned, it’s something for the future.
Corinna’s Big Day It was the most important day in baby Corinna’s life, but for Madge, it was one of the saddest…
Lucky for Some You might say drawing number 13 in the cycle rally was bad luck. You might say falling off was bad luck, too. But Hilary knew better!
Patiently Waiting Mike woke up after his operation and saw the girl of his dreams. The problem was the engagement ring she wore on a chain round her neck…
The Saturday Secret What was she up to? The whole family wanted to know! But Gran wasn’t telling…
And many more…
Thanks so much for coming on, Linda and good luck with your future releases.
You can find Linda on social media and also at her website: