I am absolutely thrilled to welcome another fabulous author to damppebbles today. There are certain names that as soon as you see them on amazon, you sit up and you take notice. That is definitely the case when it comes to Linda Huber. Linda is the author of four novels; The Paradise Trees (currently part of the Kindle Summer Sale on Amazon UK and is 99p until the end of August), The Cold Cold Sea, The Attic Room and her latest release, Chosen Child. Here is the blurb for Chosen Child:
“A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.
Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…”
If you would like to view the YouTube trailer for Chosen Child, please click here: https://youtu.be/vEVbY7H0Cko
Chosen Child is only 99p from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July on Amazon UK/US/Eurozones. Make sure you get a copy!
Linda has very kindly offered to share her book memories with us today. I have to say that I can’t remember what I was reading a couple of months ago, let alone what I read as a child!
What’s the first book you remember reading?
My first book memory is a Noddy book. I must have been three or four, and I was lying on the floor, squeezed into the space between my mum’s chair and the wall, with this Noddy book – and in the picture, Noddy was crying. (Something had happened to his car…) My mum laughed at me – I don’t remember what she said, but the gist was, I was an odd child to enjoy a picture of poor Noddy crying.
Looking back now (hindsight is a wonderful thing), I know why I ‘liked’ this picture. It was the emotion. Noddy’s car was broken and he was crying, and I could empathise with that – most kids my age cried when things got broken. And although I couldn’t read the story, I could ‘read’ the pictures. A picture paints a thousand words, they say. I guess this is why so many people cry over films, too. In a film, the emotion is right in front of you, often with music to strengthen it.
But I think books are even better. If you can lose yourself in a book, you can imagine a whole new world. It’s gobsmacking to think that every single person who reads a book will have their own mental picture of the characters and the setting, and all these pictures will be different. A reader can get right into the soul of well-written characters, feel what they’re feeling, and it doesn’t matter if that reader is four, fourteen or forty-plus.
As an older child, I devoured Noel Streatfield’s books. Her characters jump off the pages. In my head I would wander through London with Polly, Petrova and Posy Fossil (Ballet Shoes), and run along an Irish beach with the children in The Growing Summer.
One book from my teenage years stands out – A High Wind in Jamaica, by Richard Hughes. It was a school reader one year. A family of children are en route from Jamaica to England when they land in a pirate ship. Most of what happens is seen through the eyes of ten-year-old Emily, and it’s simply amazing writing – you can feel Emily’s wonder at the world, her non-comprehension of the adults’ actions, her growing self-awareness. The ending is one of the most shocking I’ve ever read – and yet it isn’t an ‘unhappy end’.
Nowadays I’m into crime fiction, and there are so many great writers in this genre I wouldn’t know where to start talking about favourites. But we’ll give an honourable mention to the late great Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine. She was expert at making her readers feel with the characters, even when her characters weren’t likeable people.
The biggest compliment I’ve ever received for my books was – ‘You made me cry!’ Wow. Someone cared enough about my paper people to cry when it all came right. So then I cried because they’d cried; it was all very emotional… And in the same way, it’s the emotion that makes me remember that picture of poor Noddy crying, even after all these years. Or maybe my mum was right and I was just an odd child…
Thank you so much Linda. I still haven’t managed to remember the first book I read. There are vague memories of Topsy and Tim, then the Worst Witch when I was approaching my teens but that’s about all I can remember! How about you? Can you remember the first book you read? Let us know in the comments.
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.
Linda’s books are psychological thrillers. The Paradise Trees (2013) was inspired by her father-in-law’s struggle with dementia, and she started writing The Cold Cold Sea (2014) after learning that a child in her extended family drowned in the 1940s, aged eleven. The Attic Room (2015) begins in one of her most-loved places, the Isle of Arran on the west coast of Scotland, and the idea for her latest book Chosen Child came during a chance conversation at a wedding.