I’ve found a star! At least, I’m happy to be hosting Lynda Stacey today – she won Choc Lit and Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition, so she must be a shining light … And I’m very much looking forward to meeting her.
Hi Lynda, and welcome. Let’s start off by finding out how long you’ve been writing.
I wrote on and off as a child. I always said that I would write a book and be published, but I have little self-belief. It was only when others began reading what I wrote and encouraged me, that I realised that maybe – just maybe – I could turn my dream into a reality. But I can’t say it comes easy to me. I left school very young, our school wasn’t very good and to be honest, I was taught nothing about grammar, which means that every sentence is a struggle.
You’re doing all right so far! So tell me, what do you like/dislike most about writing?
I love the art of writing, being submerged in the story and allowing the characters to take on their own personality. It always makes me laugh when you stare at the page, wondering why your character has just done something a little bizarre, then a few pages later, you realise why they did it.
You sound as though you get really close to your characters – do you see anything of yourself in them?
I don’t ever see myself in my characters, but I do see other people in them. I’d love for people to read the book and identify themselves. But, I’ll never admit to who each character is.
So that’s the creative side of writing. How about social media? Do you find it rewarding – or dull?
I spend far too much time on social media. I love it. As well as being an author, I used to be a Scuba Diving instructor and have friends who are now living all over the world. The social media gives me the opportunity to keep in touch with them, see what they are doing and ultimately, I know that they are safe.
Scuba diving, eh? There must be a book in there somewhere … I’m tempted to say it would have great depths, but I’ll resist. What’s your ambition as a writer?
I’d love to provide myself with a small retirement income. I’ve never believed in pensions and have always invested money into property. The plan had always been to buy, refurbish and sell, and then buy, refurbish and sell a bit more. But the problem is, I now, have a property that I absolutely love, and I don’t want to sell it. So there goes my pension… haha… I therefore need to find another way to afford food in my old age.
Do you write in solitary splendour, or do you have writing buddies and/or beta readers?
I have some amazing friends. Some are authors, others are not. Jane Lovering always does my full critique. She’s very strict and sometimes tells me to get rid of characters, plot lines or whole paragraphs of work. I sulk for a while, but eventually I realise that she’s right (as always) and do as I’m told. I also have three other people who read for me on a regular basis. They give me great feedback and pull me along kicking and screaming at times.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your writing?
I always love it when people say that they’ve loved what I’ve written, but on the same level, I’m always stunned. For some reason, I still wait for the but….. I always expect the, “I loved it, but I think you could have done this…”, which of course doesn’t come.
What are you proudest of?
Surviving… As I said earlier, I used to teach Scuba Diving, and yes, I was the crazy lady who dived with sharks, without a cage. When I first started diving, I thought that if I ever saw a shark, I’d have been the first woman to walk on water. But they are the most fabulous creature, ever and completely misunderstood. I used to love the adrenaline rush of being down there with them.
Yikes! I’m off! Thanks for being my guest, Lynda …
House of Secrets
A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …
Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.
Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.
After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.
But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …
Lynda, is a wife, step-mother and grandmother, she grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.
Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.