Mandy's Musings

Mandy's Musings

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Lynda Stacey tells all about her debut - House of Secrets!

Today I am chatting to Lynda Stacey about her debut released this week - House of Secrets. Great to have you here, Lynda! Make yourself comfortable and can I interest you in a Cornish Cream Tea?




Cream Tea?? Now you’re talking, of course you can.

The blurb for The House of Secrets is very intriguing. Can you tell me who discovers the main secret, or will that give the game away?

The secrets are hidden within a diary that’s found by Madeleine and the hero of the story Bandit. The diary belonged to the former owner of the house. The diary of Emily Ennis begins when she’s just a young lady, and takes you through her life, during which you find out the secrets that have been hidden for many years.


Ooh, sounds intriguing! Can I ask who is your favourite character and why?

My favourite character, Wow, that’s a hard question. I love them all. But, if I had to choose one, it would have to be Nomsa. She’s a lovely, happy-go-lucky Caribbean lady, with a huge personality. She works at the hotel and becomes a mother figure to Madeleine. She’s certainly someone I’d love to sit at the kitchen table with, drinking gallons of tea.
Talking of which…. Do pass a scone..!

Of course, more cream too? Now, which character do you like least and why?

Well… that really isn’t a hard question. I’d have to dislike Liam O’Grady. He’s Madeleine’s ex-partner. He’s cruel, nasty and terrifies poor Poppy, Madeleine’s young daughter.


But they do say that children are intuitive and Poppy is terrified for a reason. She’s managed to work Liam out very quickly and he knows it.

I see. Not sure I like the sound of him either. So which scene did you enjoy writing the most and which did you find the most difficult?

Gosh… I don’t think any of them were easy. It’s like asking me to climb Everest and then asking which step hurt the least lol.
If I really had to choose. I’d say that the most enjoyable, would probably be the one where Madeleine first see’s Wrea Head Hall.


It brought back all the feelings I had when I went to Wrea Head Hall for the very first time. My husband took me for my birthday, which is Christmas week. I remember driving towards it and seeing it towering up before me, gargoyles and all. I loved the way the amber lighting, along with the huge twenty foot Christmas tree shone back at me through the grand window and the way the log fires brought a feeling on ambience to each room. I remember the first moment I walked in through the huge, gothic, arched front door, I could feel the history seeping out of the walls. It was as thought the ghosts of the past were still there, but in a nice way and I knew right then that the house needed a great story.

The most difficult scene. That’s an easy one to answer, but I can’t. It would give away the story. But, I will reveal that I was sat one night, tapping away on my lap top, writing this scene, I almost threw it off of my knee. My husband looked at me in shock and asked what was wrong, and all I could say was, “I have no idea where all that came from, but if I don’t stop writing that scene now, I’ll give myself nightmares.”

Oh, I felt a shiver then... More tea? Okay, you have a dual time-frame in your novel. Which time period would you most like to live in, the present or the past?

I’d just like to live in a time when everyone got along. There’s so much hate in the world right now, it’s awful and to be honest. I don’t get it. There’s absolutely no need for it, everyone should be nice to one another. In my mind, it really wouldn’t and shouldn’t be that difficult.

Totally agree there! Can you tell me a little of what your WiP is about?
I’ve just finished writing my 3rd novel and I’m researching my 4th.  I was born a miner’s daughter, lived through the miners strikes and left school at an early age to find employment, so our family could eat. I thought it would be a good idea to write a time-slip, going back to the miners strikes, to the times when communities looked after each other and then, in the present day part of the novel, show how things have changed. I guess you could say that I‘m kind of going back to my roots.
Oh, and of course, there will be romance, and suspense, and probably murder…. But you’ll have to wait and see.

Can't wait!  Where do you find your inspiration? Is it always easy for you to come up with new writing ideas?

My problem is that I have too many ideas. I think I have some kind of ADHD, my brain never stops. I’m a very active person, which is why I work full time, run a home and write books. Just watching television on a night would drive me insane. I think I drive my husband mad by waking up in the middle of the night, thinking up and writing down future plots. Or I get up at stupid o’clock on a Saturday or Sunday morning to write. You’ll often see me logging onto Facebook or checking Twitter before six in the morning.
At the moment, I have a possible 7 different books that I could start.

My inspiration comes from life. I believe in romance, and in love, but I know from very personal experience that life isn’t always that simple. I’ve had a very diverse life and was married very young. My first husband was a narcissist, a very controlling man who also suffered with autism. Nothing had a grey area with him and unless you did things his way, he wasn’t happy and yes… I saw sense and eventually left. But I did live through it for 3 years.
  
I am similar to you regarding ideas - my brain won't switch off either!  And yes, life experience good and bad brings great inspiration. Which writers influenced you the most?

Again, so many. I’ve always loved so many genres and I think I’d miss someone out if I were to choose. But I can say that I loved all of your books, especially the Stitch in Time and the Cross Stitch, you can’t beat a bit of time travel. And what’s more, I’m really looking forward to reading your new book, Summer in Tintagel.

Oh that's so kind. Thank you! Did you have a dream to become a writer when you were little as I did?

I wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. My father was a strict man and I would have to sit quietly for hours. Which is when I sat and wrote stories. At the age of 14, my English teacher advised that I look for a job in journalism, or followed my dream of being an author. But, just before leaving school, I went to my careers advice officer and he asked me what I wanted to do. I very proudly told him my ambitions and he rubbed his chin and said, “Have you ever thought of being a shop assistant, I hear they’re taking on at Boots the Chemist.” Hence to say, if I were to ever meet him again… I think I’d have a word or two to say to him.

Indeed. And where do you see yourself in two years in terms of your writing career?

Well… I’d like to still be sat here eating Cornish Cream Tea with you, but other than that, I’d like to think that I could do something good. It would be amazing to win an award and to be called an ‘award winning author’ or to sell so many books that I’d be able to put ‘best-selling author’ on the covers.

I’m very ambitious and if nothing else, I already have my sights set on completing another couple of books in that time.

And I'm sure you will achieve your aims too. Thanks so much for stopping by today and eating all the scones ... I mean sharing my Cream Tea! It has been lovely to chat! :)


Find out more about House of Secrets and Lynda below:

HOUSE OF SECRETS

Short Synopsis

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.

Author Bio
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.


Link to Choc Lit

Link to Amazon

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@Lyndastacey

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