Friday, 9 March 2018

Guest Post - Living the Dream... by Linda Huber

As a young physiotherapist in in Scotland in the 1980s, I had a dream. A year in Switzerland. In those days, several Swiss jobs were advertised each month in the Physiotherapy journal, and I pored over a map (no internet or google maps back then) looking for La Chaux de Fonds, Berne, Basle, and other exotic locations. The fact that my German was as rudimentary as my French didn’t put me off – the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy had sent me a booklet with all the sentences I would need, in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Oh, the confidence of youth!
   In the end, I spent my year in Olten, near Basle, where I mingled with physios from all over Europe as well as learning functional Swiss-German. And I travelled. The Rhine Falls, Interlaken, Lucerne, the Matterhorn, Salzburg, Vienna, Lake Como, Milan – I saw them all, and realised a year wasn’t nearly enough here in central Europe. Long story short, I still live in sunny Switzerland. With the addition of a mortgage and two children, and minus my job as a physio. Nowadays, I write books. That was always a dream too.
   The first seven are psychological suspense novels. I grew up reading Mary Higgins Clark and Ruth Rendell, and crime fiction was always my favourite genre. By the time book one came out, we were living on the banks of lovely Lake Constance, with views across to Germany (on a clear day) and Austria. Book two followed a year later, then book three, and people started asking, ‘Why don’t you set a book in Switzerland? Such a beautiful country!’ I agreed, but it wasn’t until book seven that I managed to set part of a novel in my adopted country. Why was this? I wasn’t sure if I could make it work – police procedure here is different, customs and culture are different, and by this time I had my reader base, and they were used to books set in the UK.
   In Death Wish, however, one of the themes is assisted suicide, legal here in Switzerland but not in the UK. So the family in my book had to come to Switzerland to find out more about it. I didn’t specify where they went, exactly, and I didn’t give the ‘clinic’ a name, but it was a start. Four of my characters had set foot on Swiss soil!
   And then I had an idea. I would write a feel-good novella, or two or three… set right here where I live. Family and relationship problems plus sightseeing. I set to work, and A Lake in Switzerland was born and found a publisher. I started work on A Spa in Switzerland, and now I’m writing Trouble in Switzerland. The novellas are all set here by Lake Constance – though of course, the characters do quite a lot of sightseeing and travelling around!  
   I’ve had great fun with my novellas – feel-good is ‘lighter’ to write than crime, and I had all the memories of my own visits to the tourist attractions I sent my characters Stacy and Emily to. In A Lake… they visit the Rhine Falls, take a boat trip on Lake Constance, and go up the Säntis. In A Spa…, they go to Lugano for a long weekend. It’s making me want to re-visit these places too – roll on summer!

 About the Author

Melinda Huber is the feel-good pen name of psychological suspense writer Linda Huber – she’s hiding in plain sight!

Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle.
Her writing career began in the nineties, and since then she’s had seven psychological suspense novels published, plus a collection of feel-good short stories.
Her latest project is the Lakeside Hotel novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!

A Lake in Switzerland

Stacy can’t believe her luck when her best friend Emily invites her on a holiday to Switzerland.
She arrives at the Lakeside Hotel with high hopes, but the problems begin straightaway. Emily’s recent injury doesn’t let her do much, and something is wrong at the hotel. Where are all the guests? Why is the owner’s son so bad-tempered? And then there’s the odd behaviour of Stacy’s fiancé, back home. It’s hard to enjoy the scenery with all this going on…
By the last day of the holiday, Stacy knows her life will never be the same again – but the end of the week is just the beginning of the Lakeside adventure.

Amazon Author Page:

Universal link for A Lake in Switzerland (novella 1) -

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog! :-)