Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Author Interview: Linda Mitchelmore

In the interview seat today is the lovely Linda Mitchelmore. Linda was born in coastal south Devon where she still lives. Her golden wedding anniversary is fast approaching (and she is rather hoping her husband, Roger, will fork out for a fortnight touring Italy to celebrate it!) and she has a son and a daughter, and two grandchildren, Alex and Emily. She has had just over 300 short stories published worldwide as well as a dozen or so serials. Choc Lit have published six of Linda’s titles – four full length and two novellas – and she has a contract on another full length novel and is waiting for edits. Two of her titles have been translated into Norwegian and Swedish. Journalism is another writing form that Linda enjoys and she has had 60 or so features, mostly on the arts, published in newspapers and glossy magazines. Living by the sea, Linda is never short of somewhere with stunning views to walk, and Dartmoor with all its wilderness beauty isn’t far away either. She is very pleased to say she still rides pillion on her husband’s vintage motorbikes. Any time left over from writing, walking, motorcycling, and being with family and friends, is spent gardening.
Twitter @lindamitchelmor 

Hello Linda and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start our journey of being an author?

When I was in my early thirties I became very ill with what is now thought to have been meningitis - but which went un-diagnosed at the time – and I lost most of my hearing. I retreated into a silent world of magazine stories and books. I also began to write down how I was feeling, what I had seen, who I had been with, because even if I had said these things to others I wouldn’t have been able to hear their respoinses. I think writing fiction was born out of that experience.

What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book?
Without a doubt, for me, it’s the wait between when a book (or a short story) is written and sent out into the literary jungle and when it is accepted for publication. It is a really tenterhooks time. Is all that time and effort going to be for nought? Should I be writing something new, or should I take up macramé or something instead? I check my emails a thousand times a day for news, and every time the phone goes (and my husband has to answer it because I, alas, can’t) I almost stop breathing!

If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
BREAD ALONE by Judi Hendricks – it takes me on a wonderfully romantic American journey
ICE CREAM (a collection of short stories) by Helen Dunmore – to remind myself that although I might have had a lot of short stories published I still have a long way to go.
PERFUME by Patrick Suskind – I read this in translation (from the original German) and the mastery of words is mind-blowing.
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell – winter reading by the fire; is there anything else that fits the bill?

Do you or your main characters share any personality traits?
I would say tenacity – I didn’t give up on life when my hearing went and my characters go through all sorts of hoops but come out the other side.

If you could live in any book, what would it be?
It is very hard to choose just one but something that’s set in Italy will do nicely!

Where do your ideas come from? Dreams? Music?
Life – mine, my forebears’, my friends (although I like to think they are so heavily disguised they’d never recognise themselves), people in the news, on television. A chance remark, a picture, a feeling.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
If a more experienced writer (or agent or publisher) offers you advice (and I’ve found some of the biggest names around today very generous with their advice and help) then take it on board. More than a few new writers think they can twiddle with genres, or that the book they have written entirely to please themselves will be devoured by the reading public – it could be, but I doubt it will because publishing is a business, not a charity, and agents/editors/publishers all want to earn from your work. And, of course, you will too!

Emma and her Daughter

Can ‘second love’ be true love?
 It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back. But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down. Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

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