Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Q & A with Linda Huber

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

I started writing as a seven-year-old in the Brownie Guides, doing my Writer’s Badge, and knew straightaway that this was my ‘thing’ – a published book was the dream from then on. It took me a several decades, but I got there!

2.    How did your writing career develop?

At first I was a hobby writer, then as a young stay-at-home mother I started writing short stories for women’s magazines. Over fifty of these were published, and then I began writing psychological suspense novels. The first was published in 2013, the seventh last year.

3.    Your two novellas are published this spring: A Lake in Switzerland and A Spa in Switzerland, what are they about?

The novellas are ‘feel-good’ fiction. Stacy and Emily, two twenty-something friends, arrive at the (fictional) Lakeside Hotel on Lake Constance for a week’s break. Both have problems, both are looking for ‘home’. But they fit in some sightseeing as well!

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

The beautiful lake I can see from my desk. I wanted a change from crime fiction, too, and I’ve never set a book entirely in Switzerland before.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Stacy has just finished nursing training in England – but is it what she really wants to do? Her fiancé is a final year medical student and is keen for Stacy to work with him in a trauma unit – but that’s his dream, not hers. She’s searching for answers she doesn’t really want to find, so when her friend Emily invites her on a trip to Switzerland, she jumps at the chance.

6.    You also write crime fiction. Tell us more about these stories.

These are all full-length novels. I take my inspiration from real life – Ward Zero, for instance, was inspired by a Swiss TV programme years ago (Kassensturz), uncovering ‘the grandchild trick’. For me, the characters are most important part of a book. You have to make the reader care about the people they are reading about.

7.    Where and when do you write your stories?

I write at my desk behind a north-facing window. In winter, I can see Lake Constance glinting through a belt of trees between my flat and the lake bank. In summer I only see the trees… I’m generally a late afternoon/early evening kind of writer.

8.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I teach English for around six hours a week, and I enjoy the contact with my students. Writing can be lonely work. I love walking by the lake, travelling around Switzerland, and spending time with friends and my two grown-up sons.

9.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why?

Eliza Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, just to see what it was like, being a woman at that time. (This would be for one day only; it was probably a much less comfortable life back then!)

10.  What books have influenced your life most?

Ruth Rendell’s, written both as herself and Barbara Vine. I would so love to write like that! Brilliant characters, fabulous plots…

11.   What are you working on at the moment?

The third novella, Trouble in Switzerland, and also my eighth psychological suspense novel, which is still title-less. This one’s set in my old home city, Glasgow, so I’m enjoying walking the streets with my characters!

12.   What do you enjoy most about writing?

Creating paper people, and then seeing that readers care about them. A recent review said the book ‘…even left me crying in parts.’ – I welled up myself at that.

13.   Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

Pure fantasy now, because they’re all long gone - Ruth Rendell, who was brilliant. Gerald Durrell the naturalist, whose books are so interesting and funny. Richard Hughes, author of A High Wind in Jamaica, because his Emily such a wonderful child character.  

14.   Imagine A Lake in Switzerland would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

Not being a movie fan, I have no idea! A much younger Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, maybe?

15.   How do your own experiences influence your writing?

I take little bits from my life and put them in my books. For instance, I discovered that a little girl in my extended family had drowned, in the 1940s. I’d known nothing about her, but thinking about how her parents would feel resulted in The Cold Cold Sea. Parts of The Attic Room are set on the lovely Isle of Arran, where I spent all my teenage summers, and the plot for Chosen Child came to me during a conversation about adoption at my niece’s wedding. Things like that.

16.   Coffee or tea?

Coffee – every time.

17.   Paperback or e-reader?

Both. E-reader for travelling and ‘normal’ books, paperback for special books.

18.   Mountains or the sea?

The sea – I really, really, miss the ocean. It’s the one drawback to living in Switzerland.

19.   Summer or winter?

Summer. I loathe cold weather, and no, I don’t ski…

20.   Sweet or salty?

Salty. Especially salt and vinegar crisps! (And olives.)

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 cant 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. Emilys recent injury doesnt let her do much, and something is wrong at the hotel. Where are all the guests? Why is the owners son so bad-tempered? And then theres the odd behaviour of Stacys fiancé, back home. Its 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) -

Linda is joining on Friday again with a little blog post about Switzerland and her inspiration for the books. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having me on your lovely blog!