Choc Lit author Lynda Stacey has written an interesting post for my blog about how nothing prepared her to be an author. Over to Lynda …
I can honestly say that I was rubbish at school, I hated school with vengeance, I had no interest what-so-ever in being there, in being told what to do or being surrounded by hundreds of teenage girls and boys who I had absolutely nothing in common with. That’s not saying that I didn’t have friends, I did… but they were few and the ones that mattered are still a part of my life.
It didn’t help that I had the attention span of a goldfish…. I hated it, I didn’t want to be there, I was bored…!
At around thirteen years old, I was bought a Lilliput typewriter, which I banged around on for hours. It was something I enjoyed. I made small stories, wrote first chapters, attempted making up novels and for as long as I can remember I told everyone I was going to be an author…. if only I actually got around to writing a whole book.
Even with all of this in mind, I can honestly say that nothing prepared me to become an author, not even myself. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done as an adult via my everyday working life. I’ve worked hard, I’ve always had two jobs, one in the day and one either of an evening or on a weekend, because just sitting and watching television was never really on my radar. I spent my time doing sports, I did Tae Kwon Do, Kick Boxing, I was in a brass band, and in my thirties, I became a Scuba Diving Instructor, opened my own school and spent many years between England, the Caribbean and Egypt.
But then, I was stopped in my tracks. I was in a huge car accident in 2008. I found myself sitting for long periods of time, which drove me just a little bit insane. It was at this time that once again I began jotting down ideas… scribbling down odd sentences… and making up characters, their names, their lives and what might just happen to them, should I write the story.
It was at this time that Tell me no Secrets was born, it began as a very story with a secondary character called Kate Duggan, who was a private detective with a back story of her own. The more I wrote of the original story, the more it became apparent that Kate Duggan was screaming out from the page to become the dominant character. She had personality, I could empathise with her and what’s more, the more I got to know her, the more I really wanted to tell her story. So… I did what most authors would hate to do, I completely deleted everything I had and totally re-wrote the whole story, from Kate’s point of view.
The twists and turns within Tell me no Secrets just grew and grew. I surprised myself with how the story seemed to move along. The characters came to life and took on personalities of their own. But saying that, I still spent many days staring at the laptop, and of falling out with the whole story. But then, I’d sigh, I’d take deep breaths, and I’d glare at the page. I’d walk away, sleep on the ideas. I’d find myself falling in love with my characters, only to fall out of love with them two minutes later.
The trouble with being an author is that we go through various levels of emotion. Our world is like being on a giant rollercoaster and some days we’re on a high, other day’s we’re on a low. We think our stories are the best we could ever write and then, without warning, our stories seem like the worst thing ever, we honestly believe that no-one would ever publish them and that we’d most probably just wasted a whole year of our lives writing it.
I had no choice but to put the file away, I tried to forget about it and in the meantime, I wrote House of Secrets. To my delight it won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition and I literally bounced around a room. I was finally going to be published, I’d completed my childhood ambition and I loved House of Secrets with all my heart. But deep down, my mind would always go back to the novel I’d written first, Tell me no Secrets. I’d spent far too many hours writing it to let it go and once again I got the file out, re-read it and then, I gave it a total re-write. Same plot, better words. It took hours, weeks and when I finally hit the submit button, I felt a mixture of nerves and relief. Then, I waited…and waited…!
Finally, after around four months came that moment when the contract dropped into my inbox. This was the moment that my very first novel became a reality. It was the moment when the first book I’d written would be the second book that I’d have published. But this moment of sheer exhilaration was quickly followed by a moment of complete horror. I suddenly realised that people were actually going to read my book… they would review it, judge it and mark it and suddenly, I felt as though I were that thirteen-year-old child, back at school, back in the classroom and once again, I didn’t like it.
So, I nervously waited for publication day… the day when Tell me no Secrets first came out as an e-book. When people would first download it, read it and judge it. And I can honestly say that I literally held my breath and watched the platforms all day, while waiting for the first reviews to drop in.
And then they came… here are just a few of them…
5.0 out of 5 stars
Romance, intrigue and appalling secrets
Strong ‘marmite’ characters that you either love or hate drive the pace of this well written book. Kate’s vulnerability is exceptionally well portrayed and although I wanted her to fight back I felt why she couldn’t through the strength of the text. The story gripped me from the word go and it continued to build, adding layers of suspense until it reached its shocking conclusion. A ‘must read’ story.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Second book smash for Lynda Stacey
Writers fear the second book, and with good reason. It’s an important book to send out into the world, and Lynda’s book does not equal House of Secrets, it surpasses it. Stacey is an author who shows that she can flex her writing muscle, both books are as different as night and day – both are 5 star reads that keep you turning those pages. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.
5.0 out of 5 stars
A real page turner – a must read in my opinion – excellent..!
I really could not put this book down and read it in a couple of days at any opportunity I had. Tense moments and twists and turns entwine with wonderful characters, some I loved like Kate and others who I hated with a passion, such as Kate’s Fiancé Rob.
I really felt for Kate, who following a car accident which proved fatal for a member of her family and life changing for others, has low self-esteem due a nasty scar on her face. Starting her new job as a Private Investigator, after a period of recovery, Kate investigates a suspected drug dealer, with the bonus being she gets to work with a gorgeous guy called Ben.
There are other characters such as Kate’s Mum, who is always full of put downs for Kate, however as the book progresses you get to understand her more and the beauty in Lynda’s writing is that she can change your feelings for a character from loathing to caring due to the finer details about a character.
I fell a little in love with Ben who was kind, supportive and himself had a sad past but on the other side of the coin was Rob, full of secrets and lies, which slowly unravel throughout the book.
I really loved this book, wonderfully well written, fantastic characters, romance, suspense, secrets, it has it all for me and I can’t wait to read more from Lynda in the future.
Thank you for this guest post, Lynda. I find this insight into your life fascinating. I want to know what instrument you played in the brass band? I too get that moment of horror when I realise that people are going to read my book!
About Lynda Stacey
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.
Her own chaotic 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.
To contact Lynda use the following links:-
Facebook – www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor
Twitter – @Lyndastacey
Website – www.Lyndastacey.co.uk
BOOK BLURB – Tell me no Secrets
Can a secret be worse than a lie?
Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …
On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?
When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.
As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process …
To buy Tell me no Secrets use the following links – now available as an e-book or paperback.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tell-Me-No-Secrets-gripping-ebook/dp/B06Y5LN8BP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497552462&sr=8-1&keywords=tell+me+no+secrets
Choc Lit – TELL ME NO SECRETS
Links to Lynda‘s other books:
HOUSE OF SECRETS
HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS SECRETS
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.