Linda Huber 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. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.
Ideas for her books come from Linda’s daily life. The Paradise Trees (2013) was inspired by her father-in-law’s struggle with dementia, and she started writing The Cold Cold Sea (2014) shortly after learning that a child in her extended family drowned in the 1940s, aged eleven. The Attic Room (2015) begins in one of her most-loved places, the Isle of Arran on the west coast of Scotland.
Chosen Child, her fourth psychological thriller, was inspired by a chance conversation in the queue for the bar at a wedding, and will be available on February 15th.
A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.
Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy
1. How did you get started writing?
The first story I wrote was for my Writer’s badge in the Brownies. That was when I realised how good it felt to create my own worlds and inhabit them with paper-people. I’ve never really stopped – as a child I wrote stories for children, then I moved on to short stories and articles for adults, and finally psychological suspense novels.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel?
I love reading them. When a crime of any kind is committed, the world changes for the people involved, whether they’re victims or criminals or the friends and families of either. It’s how these people react in their new, strange world that fascinates me.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
My absolute favourite writer is Mary Higgins Clark. I love her style; I have all her books and still reread them. Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine is another, and Val McDermid and Elizabeth George.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher’s interest?
I started by trying to find an agent, which everyone assures me is harder than finding a publisher. And I’ve proved that because I have a publisher but still no agent! Once you have your book as perfect as you can make it, it really is down to dumb luck. If your ms lands on the right desk, you’re in. ‘All’ you need to do is find that desk…
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
Phillip in The Cold Cold Sea. He’s such a nice guy, yet he does such a terrible thing. He’s forced into a situation where he has no chance of winning, and it haunts him.
Another favourite is the child Soraya in my new book Chosen Child. She’s in a difficult situation too, through no fault of her own, and as a child she’s at the mercy of the adults around her.
6. What kind of research do you have to undertake for your novels?
Location, for one thing. I always set my books in a place I’ve been to. But as I live in Switzerland it’s not so easy to go and sniff around to make sure everything’s as I remember it. Fortunately, Google maps is great for this, especially Street View.
Each book also has its own research area. Chosen Child is about an adoption, and fortunately for me a distant relative works in child welfare so she gave me some tips. Twitter is a great source of experts in every possible field, and I often find good websites or even personal help there.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
No. First of all I get the plot straight in my head, maybe jot down a timeline and a chapter sequence. Then I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters – who they are, what they do, how they might react. Their reactions within the plot have to be realistic, or the book won’t work. But of course, as soon as you start writing, things change…
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Crime Fiction Novels out there?
I don’t know if they do; there are so many great crime novels out there. I try to make the reader care about what happens to my characters, even the bad ones, and identify with at least some of the conflict they’re going through.
9. Do you see any of your character’s personality in yourself and vice versa?
I guess the characters who’re in roles I have or had myself have bits of me in them – mother, teacher. On the other hand, my paper people also do things I’d never do – drive long distances, run into the sea without a second thought, keep terrible secrets…
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
Chosen Child is out on February 15th. It’s about a couple who are adopting a child – but it doesn’t go quite to plan.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEVbY7H0Cko&feature=youtu.be (link to video trailer)
The one I’m writing now is set in a hospital, very exciting as I used to be a physiotherapist. I’m enjoying the medical atmosphere!
11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
The Cold Cold Sea. It’s set in Cornwall, and I have such happy memories of childhood holidays there. I’ve never forgotten those waves crashing up the beach. And all the time of writing, I was back there in my head. Chosen Child is set in Cornwall too, but the sea doesn’t play such a big part in the story, so it was quite a different feeling.
12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share.
Three – never give up. It took me years to get published, but now I have two traditionally published books and, with Chosen Child, two self-published ones. There are advantages to both ways; today we can decide which is best for us at any particular time. The only other thing I’d say here is – if you’re self-publishing, hire an editor and a proof reader. You’re too close to your work to be able to do either job yourself.
Amazon Author Page