I am delighted to welcome Lynda Stacey on the blog today.
Lynda is a wife, step-mother and grandmother, she grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.
She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage.Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.
Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.
Welcome, Lynda. Tell us a little bit about you…
Hello, I’m Lynda. I’m just a normal woman really. I grew up in a mining community, my father worked in the mines and I spent a lot of my childhood with my nose in a book. I really was a little bookworm and can’t even remember learning how to read, it was as though I could always do it.
I left school in 1984, there was a miners strike and I had to leave school, to work. But, before I left I went to see the careers advice officer, he asked me what I wanted to do and I excitedly told him that I’d like to go into journalism, writing for magazines or that I’d like to be an author. I saw the smirk go across his face and he replied with, “Have you ever thought about working in Boots?”, it was obvious that I’d said the wrong thing, girls that came from mining communities obviously had no right to have big expectations when it came to having a career. Well, I proved him wrong, not only did I become an author, I’m also became the Sales Director of a stationery and office furniture company, after working my way up from being a delivery driver, who did a bit of sales.
Your inspiration for House of Secrets?
My inspiration is the Hall. Wrea Head Hall is the most beautiful, gothic, arts and crafts building. It was built in 1881 and the history of the hall, the grounds and the corridors scream at you as you walk through them. There was always a story to be told there, I’m just so pleased that I was the one to tell it.
Your novel won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition. How did that feel?
I was bouncing around for days and really couldn’t believe it. I’d done what I’d set out to do, I’d become an author and I’ll never be able to thank Lyn and the team at Choc Lit enough for giving me this amazing opportunity.
Where and when do you write?
I write early in a morning. I like to put words to paper before the day has filtered its way into my mind. I always feel fresher then, more open to what ideas I might have. I also have the house to myself, before my husband gets up and wants to chat..
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m very much a panster. The story that I begin with is never the story I end up submitting. I love the characters to do their own thing, to come to life almost in my mind as they are developing. However, I do always know how the novel needs to end.
Do you do any research?
Yes, I do research. I spend hours on the internet, going to towns, villages and walking in the shoes of my characters. For House of Secrets, I had to go and stay at Wrea Head Hall on many occasions. I also had to research the second world war, I had to look into rationing, how it had affected the villages and how clothes had been made from curtains, due to the lack of fabric.
Do you read inside your genre or out when writing?
I read widely. While I’m writing I tend to avoid suspense and read police procedural or romance. But, saying that, when I’m not writing, I don’t think I have a favourite genre. I read anything I can.
Your author heroes?
I think it would be unfair to pick one or two, especially now I know how much work goes into the writing process. So… in answer, every author is a hero of mine now. They all deserve so much more than they get.
Thank you, Lynda, for joining us today.
A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …
Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.
Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.
After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.
But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …
Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.