Today, I have a guest interview with fellow Choc Lit debut author Lynda Stacey. I first met Lynda in 2014 when we both shortlisted for the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award. We both now write for Choc Lit, having won their Search For a Star competition, Lynda in 2015 and myself in 2016.
Lynda, is a wife, step-mother and grandmother, she grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.
She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage.
Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.
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 ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.
Lynda’s first novel for Choc Lit was published on 19 July 2016. I asked her a few questions:
How does it feel being a published author after having the goal for so long?
In a word, I’d say it feels surreal. I know I can see it online, I can see a beautiful cover with my name on it, but I don’t think it will really sink in until I can hold a book in my hand. (Lynda’s book is digital at the moment).
How do you manage to combine your day job with writing?
With great difficulty. I’m a Sales Director, which means high pressure. I have 16 staff and I’m responsible for maintaining a level of business, to keep them all in jobs. So, my writing has to come second. I normally write on an evening, it’s a way of relaxing me and something to do, other than watch the rubbish on television.
I know you were inspired by Wrea Head Hall, but what exactly was it about the hotel that spoke to you?
Everything. I absolutely fell in love with the Hall the moment I walked in. There is so much history there, the owners are renovating it with such care and everything they’ve done has been in keeping with the way it would have been in 1881, when it was first built. I can honestly say that you can literally feel the history; it seeps out of the walls at you as you walk through the corridors.
Are you like your heroine Madelaine in any way?
Maybe in my younger days, but definitely not now. Once upon a time, I’d have fallen in love easily like she did with Liam and I’d have put up with the way he was. But now, I’d walk away in an instant, life is far too short to be in a destructive relationship like that.
Name some of the books that you have kept on your book shelf.
Wow, have you seen my bookshelves. They are literally floor to ceiling in a whole room. I always loved Enid Blyton as a child and I still have all my copies of her books, I love Kate Morton, Deborah Harkness, Lesley Pearce, Tess Gerritsen and Stephen King. I also have sections that are signed books that I love. On there are Jane Lovering, Paul McGee, Jean Fullerton, Milly Johnson, and next year, I hope to add yours to that shelf. My reading habits are diverse; it all depends on my mood.
Thank you, Lynda. Finally, details of Lynda’s book. Please buy it and leave a review to encourage a debut author.
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 …
Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.
Link to Choc Lit – http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/house-of-secrets/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor
Twitter – @Lyndastacey
Website – www.Lyndastacey.co.uk