I am thrilled to welcome Linda MacDonald back to my blog. I really do like the sound of her books and I hope to read them at some stage.
Linda has kindly answered some questions for me about her writing.
Firstly, please can you tell me about the types of books you write.
I write Women’s fiction with characters facing real-life relationship issues. Each novel covers different themes, often with a psychological slant.
Where did you get the ideas for your books from?
Many ideas come from personal experience or through discussion with friends. For example, the ‘stalking’ theme in The Alone Alternative came about because of a series of threatening nuisance calls I received over a period of months. It transpired they were from the partner of a supermarket delivery driver. She found my phone number on his mobile from a late night call (which happened when a promised late delivery hadn’t turned up) and assumed I was having an affair with him. You couldn’t make it up!
Can you relate to any of your characters?
Marianne in Meeting Lydia was bullied as a child when she was one of very few girls in a boys’ prep school. The same thing happened to me and it continued to affect me in later life. Marianne also, like me, found a classmate via Friends Reunited (the only boy in the class who was never horrible to her) and this prompted the exchange of many emails. However, the adult Marianne has a life different from mine and although I share some of her anxieties, she often deals with situations differently from how I would.
What do you hope readers get from your books?
Primarily, I hope readers come away feeling that they’ve read something worthwhile and perhaps armed with strategies that will help them navigate some of the difficulties of relationships.
When did you first start writing?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. But I began my first novel when I finished university and it took me seven years to complete. It was all long-hand drafting in those days – and then typing up on a portable typewriter. I completed a second ‘practice’ novel when I was in my thirties. However, the published ‘Lydia’ series only began in 2001, after the chance meeting on the internet gave me an idea of how to create a work of fiction inspired by my experiences of school bullying. It was a theme that had bubbled quietly in the background all of my adult life, but I didn’t have a plot until I met ‘Lydia’ again.
Have you got plans to write anymore books?
What began as a single book has now become a series of four – although each also stands independently. The teenagers in Meeting Lydia are now young adults and I’m currently writing snippets about the life of one of them – and considering whether to develop them into a novella. And there is also a secret from my second book – A Meeting of a Different Kind – that only 3 people know. If the truth is discovered, there will be potentially dire repercussions. This may form the basis of a full-length novel but is as yet in embryonic form.
All in all what has the publishing process been like?
A rollercoaster of highs and lows, hopes and dreams, toil, persistence, determination and some wonderful people who’ve helped me along the way, in particular those I’ve met via social media.
Who designed the wonderful covers?
Three out of four of my covers were designed by the amazing young artist Matthew Fall McKenzie.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to write their first novel?
Be passionate about the subject matter and write because you want to write, not because you have expectations of sales and fortune. It is increasingly difficult to make money as a writer – so don’t give up the day job. Think ‘North Pole’: one step after another and you will eventually get there. Turn off the rubbish on TV and write a hundred words. Very often, once you do that, you will write a hundred more.
About Linda MacDonald
Linda MacDonald is the author of four independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. They are all contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.
After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’ London, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in south east London.
Linda MacDonald’s books can be purchased from:-
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2I7We6j
Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2IjHNLD
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LindaMac1