Today it’s the turn of Linda Gillard to share #TenThings she’d like her readers to know about her. Linda’s latest novel is The Trysting Tree which was published in May 2016. She explains below one of the reasons why her writing output has slowed down recently – and a lovely reason it is!
#TEN THINGS – Linda Gillard
- I was 53 when my first novel was published and that was the start of my fourth career. Remember: you’re never too old and it’s never too late.
- I have a thing about islands. I attribute this to my consumption at an impressionable age of the complete works of Enid Blyton. I’ve lived on several islands (Skye, Harris, Arran) and visited many more. I’ve even written novels set on islands (Skye and North Uist). Coincidentally, when I moved to mainland Scotland I lived in an area known as The Black Isle, though it isn’t actually an island.
- I also have a thing about castles. (Thanks again, Enid.) We have a lot of castles and tower houses in Scotland, most in ruinous condition. These have also featured in my fiction (CAULDSTANE and UNTYING THE KNOT). I’m yet to write a book about a castle on an island, but there are castles on Scottish islands (Skye, Mull, Arran, Barra) so I hope one day to score this fictional double whammy.
- I’ve survived breast cancer and I’ve survived severe depression. Believe me, depression is worse. No one suggests you could be faking cancer, nor do people ever nag you to snap out of it and pull yourself together.
- Someone in a book club described my second novel, A LIFETIME BURNING as the worst book she’d ever read. It was one of those blood-on-the-carpet discussions but fortunately I wasn’t there. I call A LIFETIME BURNING my Marmite book because the subject matter has upset a lot of people. Personally I think it’s my best novel and I don’t expect to write anything better – which just goes to show how very personal reading is. It also illustrates why I write for myself, not readers. Writing is such a silly thing to do and rarely pays, so you might as well say what you want to say in the way you want to say it. At least that way you’ll have one happy reader.
- My son describes what I do as “talking to my imaginary friends”. I think that sums up novel-writing pretty well.
- I read Drama at university, then went on to train at drama school. I acted professionally for some years, then gave it up to pursue careers in journalism and then teaching. My novels include a good deal of dialogue and I usually have actors in mind when I’m creating the characters. I fear I’m not so much a novelist, more a failed screenwriter.
- I’ve sold screen rights to my first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY. Who knows if the film will ever be made, but if I had any say in the casting, the romantic leads would be played by Helen McCrory and David Tennant. But sadly I won’t. I’m only the author.
- My fictional output has slowed down since 2015, the year I became a granny. Now instead of talking to my imaginary friends, I talk to my grandson’s. I’m now quite knowledgeable about dinosaurs and can sing the theme tune to many CBeebies programmes.
- I think of my books as friends. I’ve twice had to downsize drastically and my book collection took a big hit. It was very painful. My oldest book is also one of my favourites. When I was about 12 I bought a hardback copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, illustrated by Ronald Searle, the St Trinians cartoonist. It cost me one guinea (£1.05). That was a lot of pocket money in the 1960s. I used to read the book every Christmas, so I know it very well. If there’s a more gripping, brilliantly written opening paragraph in the whole of English literature, I’m sure I don’t know what it is.
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/NB1ZSB
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/AJC98D
HOUSE OF SILENCE Selected for Amazon UK’s Top Ten Best of 2011 in the Indie Author category.
STAR GAZING Shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year 2009 & the Robin Jenkins Literary Award