August is a big month this year for fellow writer and Legend Press author, Linda Huber. Her second novel, The Cold Cold Sea, was published on 1st August. A few weeks ago, I asked Linda some questions…
How did you come to write thrillers?
I think it was probably because I’ve always loved reading them! One of my favourite writers is Mary Higgins Clark. I like the way that her books are so character-based – you really get to know – and care about – her main characters. I try to give my own paper people the same quality.
Where did the idea for writing The Cold Cold Sea come from?
Way back in the 1990s I was investigating my family tree, and I came across a distant cousin I’d never heard of, a girl called Agnes who drowned aged 11. Around the same time I saw a sad little paragraph in a newspaper about a child who had drowned, and I started to think about these families – how do people cope with a loss like that? That was when the idea for The Cold Cold Sea came. It’s taken a while to get it finished – at one point I had to go through the whole text and update everyone’s technology, give them smartphones and the like – but we’ve made it!
Why did you set the story in Cornwall?
The story needs a seaside location, and I’d spent several childhood family holidays in Newquay. It’s such an amazing place, with those dark cliffs, crashing waves and the unique ‘holiday’ feeling you get in Cornwall. Location plays an important part in this story. I did consider setting it on a Scottish island, but that would have been just a bit too remote for the plot to work believably.
How do you write, do you edit as you go or have a specific routine?
I don’t have hard and fast rules. Usually I just sit down and start – if it’s going well, I carry on with the new section, if not, I edit what I did the previous day. If I get completely stuck with one project I leave it for a week or two (or longer!) and go on with something else. I always have several projects on the go at once, which is why it takes me such ages to get any one of them finished. But – it’s enormous fun!
How important is research?
Very. I never write about places I’ve never been to. My books and stories tend to follow my friends around the UK! And then Google maps and Street View are amazing – I once ‘drove’ most of the way from Glasgow to Stranraer on Street View to help the characters in my newest project. The Internet provides general answers, and for the rest – police procedure for instance – I have a small team of unfortunate friends who regularly receive ‘help!’ emails…
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The way you can get lost in your story. When it’s going well I can sit down at nine to write, and five minutes later I look at the clock and it’s quarter to twelve. And then there are the characters I create – it’s fascinating, working out who they are and what makes them tick. I always do that before starting the book, and then I watch them develop as the story unfolds.
How do you relax?
I go jogging, or walking, three times a week – I live on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance, and the lake path is perfect for this. And then, in a way, writing is my relaxation! And there’s nothing to beat a nice blob in front of the telly with a glass of wine!
At the moment I’m working on three different projects – two adult novels and one for children. All three are within a few weeks of being finished, so – watch this space!
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist.
Linda now lives in Arbon, on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance in Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher at a school in a medieval castle.
Over the years Linda has had in excess of fifty short stories and articles printed in women’s magazines. On 1st September 2013, her debut thriller, The Paradise Trees was published by Legend Press. Her second book, The Cold Cold Sea, also a thriller, was published on 1st August 2014 and is available to buy on Amazon in paperback and kindle now.