I am joined by Linda Huber for a Q and A, her new novel published by Bloodhound Books is out today, called Baby Dear, and is a thought provoking read on many levels.
Where did you get the inspiration for your latest story?
My novels are all character based, so the original inspiration always comes from ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. With Baby Dear, the idea came from a news report – a woman had abducted a baby from a maternity ward, because she was unable to have one of her own. That started me thinking – who was she, this woman? How did she feel, knowing she would never have a child of her own? Did she have a partner? How did he feel? Who were the other people in their lives? And of course, the mother of the baby – what a terrible experience this was for her. How did she cope? Slowly, my cast of characters in Baby Dear took shape
How much involvement do you have in the cover design, and how important do you think book covers are?
My involvement depends a lot on how the book is published. In traditional publishing, the publisher has a big say in the cover, although with Baby Dear the idea for the cover image came from me – I was really happy about that. With my self-published books, I make the end decision. I always work closely with the cover designer to create the best possible image for the story, because it’s often the cover that entices a reader into the book. So covers are vital. To date, my best-selling book is one of my self-published titles, Chosen Child, and I’ve lost count of the people who’ve said, ‘I saw your lovely cover and just had to have a look…’
Can you tell us about your work in progress/next book idea?
My work in progress is still untitled, but it’s another psychological suspense novel. It’s set in Glasgow, and tells the story of two neighbouring families. In one, the grandmother is suffering from an incurable disease and wants help to die. In the other, the grandmother has moved in with the couple, and they can’t wait to get rid of her… It isn’t a ‘Strangers on a Train’ plot, but the interaction between these two families eventually brings about the denouement – but I’m not quite at that bit yet!
How important is social media to you?
I live in Switzerland, so social media is very important – it’s often the only contact I have with other book people for weeks on end. My main platform is Twitter, but I’m on Facebook and Pinterest too. I’m always amazed at the goodwill between strangers on social media. I’ve ‘met’ so many people, some of whom have now turned into friends in real life too.
Which of your books have you enjoyed writing to date and why?
The one I’ve enjoyed most is The Attic Room, because part of it is set on the lovely Isle of Arran in Scotland. I spent all my teenage summers there, with family friends whose home is on the island. It’s an amazing place, and I have so many happy memories of that time – summer jobs, discos (it was the swinging seventies), beachcombing, hikes, that magical scenery… I could go on and on!
Linda, your last job was based in a castle, did you have any feeling of history from the building itself?
Oh, yes – it was the best job ever, and although I was thrilled to be able to give it up to concentrate on my writing, I was gutted at leaving the castle. It’s Arbon Castle, and parts of it date from the 12th Century. Approaching the front door you go up a little hill into the courtyard, and you’re wondering just how many feet have walked on these cobblestones over the centuries – who were these people, and what was their story? Inside, our classrooms (I taught English in Adult Education) were more modern, but the antiquity of the place shone though everywhere. It was a privilege to work there.