This attitude is not only galling to writers, but patronising towards readers, as if the poor dears can't cope with too many elements at once. Readers, actually, are often bored out of their minds by the same-old same-old on the tables in bookshops. Readers want to be startled, refreshed, amazed, enraptured. Readers want writers they've fallen in love with to write books which have the capacity to take them by surprise. They want to be gripped: they don't want a rushed pot-boiler written to order, following the same jaded recipe as the previous three, ten or twenty books that novelist has written.
So what have I enjoyed in Linda's writing? Heart, first of all. She has a warm and vibrant interest in what makes men and women tick. Her heroines are challenged by being outcast or ill, by being middle-aged in a youth-dominated culture. They are highly individual, creative and frequently troubled. They are scarred by memory. They fear but they also risk. They have children, grown up, with whom they conduct a loving war of the generations. They love the colours and tactile joys of textiles: they express imagination and feeling through shape and texture, finding creativity soothing and affirming when life knocks them off their feet. They commune with nature, are uplifted and healed by it in a way that any Romantic poet would relate to. They have men: and I mean it, dear reader - they have men. Linda's heroines are full of passion and longing, yet they fear to trust, because the men who awake that burning lust in them are imperfect. Her men are sexy, they talk a lot, they are strong and weak, they carry baggage from the past and they don't always handle that baggage - or the baggage they fancy - all that well.
Calum for me, by the way ...
So far ...
Linda's website(with gorgeous photographs) is here.
If you're a writer and you're considering going indie, The Alliance of Independent Authors is officially launching at the London Book Fair on Wednesday 18th April (check the link button on the sidebar of this blog). I'm going to be there because I'm going to republish my previously traditionally-published novel The Chase in the summer as an ebook and I'm very excited about taking control of my own publishing destiny. Watch this space!
If you want to write and sell your own work, you might also be interested in these upcoming day courses: I'd love it if you could join us!
Do you want to tell a tale? Unlock your writing potential at my upcoming series of four Fictionfire day courses at Trinity College, Oxford in May.
Write It! will cover all the elements of composing your story, from finding ideas to finishing your first draft.
Edit It! will teach you crucial techniques for polishing and presenting your work effectively.
Full details of these courses are on the Course Dates and Details page of my website: www.fictionfire.co.uk and there are discounts if you wish to book more than one course!