Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Linda Huber, Author of Pact of Silence

17 February 2022

Special Guest Interview with Linda Huber, Author of Pact of Silence

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A fresh start for a new life. Newly pregnant, Emma is startled when her husband Luke announces they’re swapping homes with his parents, but the rural idyll where Luke grew up is a great place to start their family. Yet Luke’s manner suggests something odd is afoot, something that Emma can’t quite fathom.

I'm pleased to welcome one of my favourite authors, Lind Huber, to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

Pact of Silence is about family secrets. In the prologue, sixteen-year-old Marie leaves her beloved home on the Isle of Skye to run away with her boyfriend Euan, taking a secret with her (and it’s not what you think!). Chapter one starts a generation later in York, with Luke, Marie and Euan’s son, telling his wife Emma that they’re going to swap houses with his parents, who live in a nearby village. He doesn’t give a reason, and that’s because of another secret. Emma agrees to move but also starts to investigate – and discovers something terrible.

As well as worrying about Luke’s past, city-girl Emma has to come to terms with life in a small country village. This isn’t made easier when she realises theirs isn’t the only family with a secret; in fact, half the village seem to have a share in it. And nobody’s talking.

What is your preferred writing routine?

I always write at my desk, and the best way for me is to clear a couple of hours at a time to concentrate fully on my text. I’ll never be one of those writers who can bash the keyboard in trains and cafés – too distracting! Generally, I mix bouts of writing with social media and all the other things that have to be fitted into the day, and I try to be away from the pc by seven in the evening. My day job – teaching English - is only a few hours a week now, so I’m lucky to have plenty of time to write in.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

When your book is finished and you’ve done all you can to improve it, invest in a good editor. For a first book, this can really improve your chances of it being successful. After that, be open to all publishing options. There are so many out there nowadays, so do some research about them all. Also important is to get a good start on social media before your first book is published. That’s the bit I didn’t do, and I regretted it when my book came out.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

I like Twitter – tweets and retweets about the books all help to spread the word and get my book covers seen by as many people as possible. It’s all about creating awareness. Local book events are good too. Some of my books are self-published, and for them I run paid advertising three or four times a month. The hardest part is striking a balance between writing and social media.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

I “drove” on Google Street View all the way from Dunvegan in the north of the Isle of Skye to the ferry port at Kyleakin. (The prologue took place before the bridge was built.) I’ve been to Skye, but I’d forgotten how lovely it is. “Seeing” it again like that made me more sympathetic towards Marie and her predicament in leaving her island home. 

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

That’s not easy to answer without giving too much away! It was when Emma discovered what the terrible secret was. I’ve had my share of ups and downs in life, but it was almost impossible to work out how a young woman would feel when she realised that the family she married into, most especially her own husband, had kept her in the dark about something so huge. A mixture of grief, horror, pity, betrayal… and what I would have done in her place, I have no idea. Of all my books, Pact of Silence was far and away the toughest to write. I didn’t set out to write the story it became, but stories develop their own dynamic, and this one took a very dark turn. I still look at it there on my bookshelf and think, wow – how did that happen?

What are you planning to write next?

I’m working on another suspense novel, now finished at first draft so I have lots of lovely editing ahead of me. I also have a feel-good fiction project. A few years ago, I wrote a series of feel-good novellas, and I’m now expanding them into full-length novels. They’re set here in Switzerland, and are centred round a hotel on the banks of Lake Constance. They’re not rom-com, just books about people and relationships and problems and travelling – writing them makes a lovely contrast to writing suspense.

Linda Huber
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About the Author

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. Linda’s writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty feel-good short stories published in women’s magazines. Today, she has eleven psychological suspense novels published, the latest two by Hobeck Books. Her newest project is a series of feel-good novels set in her home area on the banks of Lake Constance in N.E. Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views admired by her characters right on her own doorstep! Find out more at Linda's website and find her on Facebook and Twitter @LindaHuber19


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