Getting to Know the Author: Linda Acaster

hand-shake-love9TorcofMoonlight2x3Welcome, Linda. Let’s get to know more about you:

 

 

What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

 

I don’t write in a single genre. Years before I started writing novels I wrote short fiction, anything from romance to horror, whatever genre the targeted market was publishing. It was a great apprenticeship as I learned a lot about using tone and register, as well as all the other tools of the author’s trade.

 

When I moved to novels I dipped about in the same manner. ‘Beneath The Shining Mountains’ is a Native American historical with no Europeans in its cast list. The ‘Torc of Moonlight’ paranormal trilogy is contemporary, each with a different historical thread. Who wants to write the same thing all the time?

 

Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

 

I need to focus on one creative project at a time, though that doesn’t mean that I’m not writing one, promoting the last, and researching the next. Writers have to juggle a bit, even when focused.

 

Do you work with a writing/critique group?

 

I’m a member of Hornsea Writers which meets weekly to group critique work-in-progress. We are nearly all professional writers and so there’s an incisiveness brought to bear that can be both daunting and highly useful.

 

Can you remember your first reading book?

 

No, but I can recall the first book read to me, even if I have no idea of the title. It was of a group of boys having adventures in a school environment. It was a bedtime treat for me and my siblings and I can still recall our emotional reactions, and it was those that stick in my mind more than the story. It was the seed that made me want to write fiction.

 

Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?

 

Oh gosh, confessions. Dark chocolate digestives. It’s never something super healthy like carrot & celery sticks, is it? Maybe I need the sugar hit. Or maybe I’m just addicted.

OOh, yum! Dark chocolate!

 

Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.

 

Bombsite. And that’s the entire room, not just the desk. I work on a laptop with a printer to my right and a map laid across a good two inches of research papers to my left. Further left is another workspace adorned in similar fashion. On the wall behind me are shelves of research books, and on the floor… You get the idea. There’s always a clear up between novels; you’ve just caught me at the end of one so the office is due a major tidy.

 

RWM 2x3 100dpiAre you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.

 

The short fiction and articles were published in journals and magazines, mostly in the UK, but some in Europe and the USA. Three novels have been traditionally published, and the first of the ‘Torc of Moonlight’ trilogy was taken by a small press as a standalone. By the time I had my rights reverted the digital explosion was just starting in the UK. Having followed its flight in the USA I decided to dip my toes. Best thing I ever did, as the original novels have had a new lease of life. Having taught creative writing, and been a reader for a London literary consultancy, I brought out a writers’ resource, ‘Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction – First Thought to Finished Story’ which covers all the things I wished someone had pointed out to me when I was first starting.

 

Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?

 

Alistair MacLean – drowning in the Classics in my early teens at school, his novels relit the excitement I recalled from earlier bedtime reading, and his novels led me on to writers like John Trenhaile, Desmond Bagley, Len Deighton, John Le Carré and Helen McInnes. No wonder my novels always have a thriller element.

Rosemary Sutcliff – for instilling a love of readable history.

Stephen King – for showing that atmosphere and good pacing out-strips gore and the superhero every time.

 

What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?

 

Take your time and do it right. There is masses of help on the internet, so make use of it and learn to use the language and its punctuation. Accept that what comes boiling from your mind onto the page is a first draft that will need a lot of work, not just a slight tweak.

 

If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?

 

Oh no. In that direction waits only madness and regret. I’d sign the contract, take the money and leave them to it. If it turns out to be brilliant, then it’s from my brilliant book. If it doesn’t, I’d just keep my head down. My name will be lost among the plethora of credits anyway. If I was credited at all.

 

Ha ha, wise woman!

I was on my way to the supermarket, when… Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?

 

I was walking along a bridlepath with two friends when we came upon “the man with the gun”. He was a gamekeeper and had a shotgun broken over his forearm, but he couldn’t have exuded more menace if he’d been a tattooed gangster toting an Uzi. He thought we were up to no good and took some talking round. I never said a word, but drank in aspects of the entire scenario for future (literary) use. Wonderful research!

Lol, notes and more notes! Great story, thanks for sharing.

 

BSM 200x320px 100dpiBio:

Linda Acaster has always had a love of history. She has been a member of a Native American living history group, and spent many a UK holiday dragging the family round Iron Age hillforts, Roman museums, Viking festivals, and Mediaeval architecture. There is always something to see and learn. It was while on a guided walk around York that the idea emerged for the second in the paranormal trilogy, ‘The Bull At The Gate’, due for imminent release.

 

Website: http://www.lindaacaster.com / http://www.hornseawriters.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LindaAcaster

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindaacasterUK

Amazon:        http://Author.to/LindaAcaster

All e-formats: http://bit.ly/LindaAcastersw

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About Glynis Smy

I live in the UK, in the seaside town of, Dovercourt~Harwich, where I enjoy writing novels. I've written historical romance/suspense, Medical romance and my latest WIP is in the crime genre. The Victorian era fascinates me and the best part of writing a novel is often the research. Proud writing moments in my life: Shortlisted for Festival of Romance Fiction 2014 New Talent Award Reaching second round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 Maggie's Child: reached #1 Amazon best-seller: Historical Romance Victorian /February 2014/ebook & book paid list. May 2014 #3 Historical Romance Victorian, and #25 in Historical Romance paid top 100 best-seller list. Top 100 in three categories on Amazon UK best-seller listings in 2015. Seeing my books in a Suffolk (UK), library. Over the years I've written short stories in a variety of genres. I've also won a few poetry contests, my first was at the age of twelve, (a poem about the Bangladeshi war). I also won a children's short story competition where the prize was a first-aid box, I was so proud but my husband found it amusing because we owned two pharmacies. My articles have been published in magazines both in the UK and Cyprus. I am also featured in various places on-line. When I am not writing, I enjoy making greetings cards, Cross Stitch, fishing and the company of my little granddaughters.
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14 Responses to Getting to Know the Author: Linda Acaster

  1. Glynis – Thanks for introducing us to Linda.

    Linda – I think you and I have some things in common. I nibble on dark chocolate too. And like you, I prefer to focus on just one creative project at a time even if I’m working with others at different stages. As you say, it’s a bit of a juggling game isn’t it? I admire you for trying different genres too. Wishing you much success.

    • Margot, thanks for dropping by. It’s good to meet you, too. I enjoy the different genres as it makes me stretch. But oh – shock horror! – I’ve run out of cholate and am nibbling tortilla chips. Mmm, could get used to these. Must check which are the most fattening – doh!

      Thanks, too, for your good wishes for ‘The Bull At The Gate’. I’d better get back to the editing. I hope your mysteries do well for you.

    • Glynis Smy says:

      Dark chocolate fans are always welcome, Margo!

  2. Glynis, thank you for inviting me on to your blog today. It’s great to be here.

    I seem to have said masses more than I intended – can you ever keep a good girl down? – but if anyone has any questions or comments I shall be dropping in to chat.
    I’m on the second edit, up to Chapter 14, of the current novel – which I refer to as BatGate. Does anyone else use mad epithets for their w-i-p?

  3. lkhunsaker says:

    Oh but dark chocolate IS healthy! Great point about movie credits. I sigh when I see an advertisement for a movie “from the novel” and they never give the author’s name! Well, unless it’s Nicholas Sparks. Very sad.

    Great interview. 🙂

    • Hey, thanks LK! So dark chocolate DOES count as part of my five-a-day vegetables?? Great news! LOL!

      I actually met a novelist whose book had been optioned and it was a tale of woe. I’ve never forgotten that. And no, I don’t kiss & tell. Or even kiss (if my Dearest is reading this… head down, slinks off stage left).

  4. Penny Grubb says:

    Fascinating insights. And what a good answer to the film rights question!

  5. Linda, terrific answers. I rather like that we’ve got Alastair MacLean in common… I must re-read some of his work soon. It’s been much too long.

    • Hello William – ah the Alistair MacLean factor. I haven’t read one for ages either, though most of them have come through my life with me. I particularly liked Where Eagles Dare and still recall laughing at the pilot’s reasoning for taking the route he did. The movie from the book stood well, which isn’t something that can be said for all of them – see notes above!

  6. Great interview, with some interesting insights to an author who turns out some really good fiction. Linda’s writing is always very good; imagination, pace and living characters lift her work well above the average. Can’t wait for the next in the ‘Torc’ series.

  7. Glynis Smy says:

    Thank you all for your comments and supporting the post.

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