Today I have Linda Macdonald, author of Meeting Lydia. Available in eBook, hardcopy and audio book.
About the Book
When Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in the kitchen, insecurities resurface from a time when she was bullied at school. Jealousy rears its head and her marriage begins to fall apart. Desperate for a solution, she finds herself trying to track down her first schoolgirl crush: Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.
Meeting Lydia is a book about childhood bullying, midlife crises, obsession, jealousy and the ever-growing trend of Internet relationships. It will appeal to fans of adult fiction and those interested in the dynamics and psychology of relationships. Author Linda is inspired by Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon and David Lodge.
Buy the eBook, Paperback and Audio Book ~ AMAZON UK
My Q&A with Linda
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your writing journey?
I am a retired psychology teacher, originally from Cumbria and now living in Beckenham in south-east London. I’ve always loved to write as a sideline and completed two full-length novels over a period of twenty years during my early working life. I call these my practice novels. In the back of my mind, I’d always wanted to write a book about the long-term effects of childhood bullying. But I didn’t have a plot until 2001 (see below for the inspiration!) I was still teaching at the time and Meeting Lydia took 5 years to complete during snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. When I finished it, I believed it was publishable, but it wasn’t until a fateful event in 2009 that I decided to launch an independent publishing career.
One lunchtime, while teaching, I tripped over the leg of a classroom chair, dislocated my elbow and smashed my wrist so badly I had to have a metal plate put in it. My operation was delayed for a week because of a spate of traffic accidents and falls due to the onset of icy weather. I was struck by the fragility of life and decided there was no time to waste. Meeting Lydia was published in 2011 and I have written three further stand-alone novels in the series – two published and one on the way. Adapting Meeting Lydia as an audiobook has been like going full circle. I’m delighted by the result and if it is successful, I would love to do the same with my other novels.
All my novels have underlying themes of relationships psychology. They are multi-layered and thought-provoking. A recent reviewer from USA comments that Meeting Lydia continues to make you think and to reassess your life after you have finished it. I like that.
Describe yourself using three words
Loyal, indecisive, quirky
What inspired you to write your first novel?
I began writing Meeting Lydia in 2001 after an encounter with a former classmate via the internet. He was in the same class as me when we were 10. I was the only girl in the class and I was bullied. He was the only boy who was never horrible to me. Reconnecting with him somehow laid the ghosts of the past to rest: ghosts that had haunted most of my adult life. Soon after, I was struck with the idea for Meeting Lydia. I thought, if I spice up the reality, I may have a novel here; a novel about childhood bullying, midlife crises and internet relationships.
What time of day do you like to write?
Late evenings and mornings. I am more inspired in the evenings but prefer to do the graft of writing and editing in the mornings. Useless in the afternoons. Snoozetime!
What is your favourite book and why?
Paradise News by David Lodge is one of several I could choose. It has a delightful balance between humour and pathos. It’s thought-provoking too. I aspire to write like this.
How did you pick the title of your book?
Meeting Lydia came to me as soon as I had the idea for the book before I started to write it. People say to me: ‘I’ve read your blurb and there’s no mention of Lydia. Who is she?’ Lydia is one of the surprises. You have to read or listen to find out why!
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
The childhood story is inspired by real children but out of respect for individuals, the bullies are an amalgamation of characters. Some of the bullying that happened to Marianne, happened to me. And there was a real Edward Harvey. The adults and their stories are fictional apart from Marianne finding Edward on the internet.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
Both. But I like to know what the end will be before I start to write. And also a few key happenings along the way that will make it an interesting plot. However, my characters have so far been very willful and sometimes take the lead in the direction they wish to go
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Eustacia Vye in Hardy’s Return of the Native. She is a villain of a sort who comes to a very unhappy end. But she is an interesting character who, I feel, is misunderstood.
Are you working on a new project?
The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is the fourth novel of the Lydia series. It also stands alone and is about psychological abuse, emotional infidelity and the difficulty of leaving a long-term destructive relationship. It is due out in May although the ebook will probably be released before that.
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
I will be at Petts Wood Library on the afternoon of 28th April, talking about The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. If your members are able to listen to Radio Scilly on 22nd June, I shall be appearing on their Book Show to talk about my writing.
Contact Linda ~
Twitter – @LindaMac1
Facebook Author Page –Click
Your Author Website – Click Here
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