This week, I’m happy to welcome Linda Huber to the blog to talk about herself and her latest novel, The Attic Room. Linda is one of the first people I met when I joined Twitter and she is also the first thriller writer to guest on this blog, so I had lots of questions to ask – but first, the cover and the blurb . . .
An unexpected phone call – and Nina’s life takes a disturbing twist. Who is John Moore? And how does he know her name?
Nina travels south to see the house she inherited, but sinister letters arrive and she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation. With her identity called into question, Nina uncovers a shocking crime. But what, exactly, happened in the attic room, all those years ago? The answer could lie close to home.
The arrival of her ten-year-old daughter compounds Nina’s problems, but her tormentor strikes before she can react. Searching for the truth about the Moore family puts both Nina and her child into grave danger…
and you can see the trailer here: https://youtu.be/l6Q0zpOhFLg
And onto the questions . . .
The Attic Room sounds exciting. Tell me, Linda, what draws you to write thrillers rather than other genres?
I’ve always loved crime fiction – thrillers, suspense novels, police procedurals. As a youngster I started out reading Agatha Christie novels and went from there to Ruth Rendell and Ngaio Marsh, but it was when I discovered Mary Higgins Clark that I really found ‘my’ genre. She writes gripping stories about normal people and I think that’s the attraction. Most, if not all of her protagonists are ordinary women who face devastating events in their lives, yet emerge at the end of the story stronger people.
I love that kind of thriller – ordinary people caught up in something outside of their control. What was the initial idea that set you off writing The Attic Room?
That’s an interesting question because the original idea didn’t survive the editing process! As a physiotherapist I worked mostly with people suffering from various neurological diseases, and I wanted to write about a family coping with Huntington’s Disease, a horrible genetic illness which means ever-increasing movement and behavioural problems, and early death. So in the first version of The Attic Room, as well as all the events around the attic, one of the main characters had Huntington’s, and we saw her life from diagnosis to death. However, my editor advised me that I had two books in one here and both would be better alone, so I removed the Huntington’s element from The Attic Room. It’s part of another book I’m working on now.
You obviously enjoy a strong female protagonist. What are your heroine Nina’s strengths and weaknesses?
As a single mother she is able to cope alone and make her own decisions. She knows what she wants and goes for it, and she can stand up for herself. She’s a people person; she works best in a team and enjoys being with family and friends.
However, at the start of The Attic Room we learn that Nina’s mother Claire was killed three weeks beforehand, in a tragic accident. This throws Nina completely and in her grief she makes some poor choices. Her search for family – and people to love – makes her vulnerable, and ultimately this puts both her own life and her young daughter’s into danger.
Have you started your next book yet?
The next book is being edited at the moment, and I hope to have it out next spring. It’s about a family who want to adopt a child… but something goes horribly wrong. The idea for this one came from chance conversation at a wedding. It was one of those ‘eureka’ moments when someone said something, and the book idea exploded into my head.
As well as this book I have another almost finished, plus the Huntington’s novel which is just started. I like to have several projects on the go, then when I get stuck with one I can carry on with something else.
You’re certainly busy! Your bio says you live in lovely Switzerland. Could you tell us a little about it?
I came to Switzerland aged twenty-two, to work and see a bit of Europe – for a year! And I’m still here. It’s a fabulous place to live and bring up your children. We live in the top right hand corner, on the banks of Lake Constance. From my flat I can see Germany and Austria – it’s a very international area! On the German side of the lake is Friedreichshafen, home to the Zeppelin, and in summer we see them every day. I’ve never been on a Zeppelin-trip, but it’s on my bucket list!
Where do you do your writing?
Usually at my desk, on my laptop. In April we moved to a new flat on the edge of a wood, and my desk overlooks this – trees as far as you can see. I have a standing desk and a sitting one, and I alternate between them.
Overlooking the woods sounds peaceful and inspiring. The standing desk intrigues me – I read your blog post about it a while ago with interest. I have such appalling posture when I sit at my computer and my neck and back are never in a happy state!
Thanks for visiting, Linda – it’s been lovely getting to know you better 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist. She spent the next ten years working with neurological patients, and during this time she learned that people have different ways of dealing with stressful events in their lives, and this knowledge still helps her today, in her writing. Linda now lives in Arbon, Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher at a school in a medieval castle on the banks of Lake Constance.
Her debut thriller, The Paradise Trees, came out in 2013 and was followed by The Cold Cold Sea in 2014 and The Attic Room in 2015. Over the years she has also had over fifty short stories and articles published in women’s magazines.
You can find Linda at the links below: