Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Hippo Hangs Out . . . . with Linda Huber

I think most readers have 'go-to' authors, ones who, when you hear they have a new book coming out you immediately get excited. You don't need to read the blurb as you know from reading their other books that you're going to buy it. Well the author I'm hanging out with today is one of my 'go-to' authors and I'm delighted to welcome Linda Huber to The Hippo.

Photo courtesy of Linda Huber

Linda 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 being a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.

Linda’s writing career began in the nineties, and since then she’s had over fifty short stories and articles published, as well as seven psychological suspense novels and a collection of feel-good short stories.
After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, she has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, where she’s working on another suspense novel and a series of feel-good novellas.


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Linda's latest book is Death Wish and it's sitting patiently on the toppling mountain that is my TBR. I'm really looking forward to reading it and I'm hoping to squeeze it into my busy schedule in the not too distant future.

Here's what it's all about.


Secrets. Lies. Murder.

When Leo decides to go into business with his mother-in-law he soon realises his mistake. Eleanor is the mother-in-law from hell and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Her daughter, Ashley, has her own reasons for hating her mother. The atmosphere is toxic and old wounds refuse to heal.
Next door, eight-year-old Joya has a difficult life.

Her parents argue constantly and her grandmother, who lives with them, is approaching death.

Soon these two families will collide and the consequences might just be fatal…

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Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I’ve had a pseudonym in the past – I was Rosalind Farr for my first twenty or so short stories in magazines, back in the day – and I’m about to have another. I’m writing a series of feel-good novellas for Fabrian Books, and the first (A Lake in Switzerland) will be published later this winter. I’ll be Melinda Huber for these books. I wanted it to be obvious that while I’m still me, the novellas are quite different to my psych. suspense stuff. 

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry so much about what people think. I’d have saved myself a whole lot of grey hairs and teeth-grinding if I’d done that.

What did you edit out of your last book?
Topsy-turvy answer - Death Wish, my last suspense novel, actually is something we edited out of a previous book. The first version of The Attic Room contained, as well as the main plot about Nina’s father’s terrible crimes, a subplot about Huntington’s Disease. Nina’s mother and grandmother were sufferers, which meant Nina had to take the test to find out if she and her daughter had inherited the gene.
However, my editor thought that the father’s crimes plus Huntington’s was too much drama for one book, so we removed the Huntington’s. But the theme had always fascinated me – would you want to know, if you would develop a deadly disease, in two or ten or twenty years? Then there’s the whole assisted suicide issue. So in Death Wish, I made my ex-subplot the main plot, with a new set of characters, and a subplot all of its own…

If you could spend time with a character from your book who would it be and why? What would you get up to?
I would spend time with Ashley and Leo, next door neighbours to the Huntington’s family in Death Wish. They live in Glasgow where I grew up, and they know all the good restaurants and bars – I think they’d be great company! They could show me round everything I’ve missed in the past couple of decades. 

According to the Stop By Scotland website this might be a place to check out Linda!

Merchant City - Glasgow

You get a brilliant idea/thought/phrase at an inappropriate moment (eg in the shower or driving) what do you do?
Write it down asap. I’ve leapt out of the shower a couple of times to do that. Driving, I would keep repeating the phrase or idea to myself, and pull over as soon as I could. If you don’t write things down, they have a habit of vanishing into space. 

What’s your favourite under-appreciated writer/book?
Richard Hughes’s A High Wind in Jamaica is one you seldom hear about nowadays. It’s an oldie, but it’s such a great book, and the ending is the most chilling I’ve ever read. It was a home reader when I was at school, and I’ve been recommending it ever since.

Do you often hear from your readers and what do they say?
Social media is the main place for messages from readers now. I get one or two private messages a week on my author page on Facebook, or on Twitter, plus the odd ‘real’ letter. They’re mostly complimentary, and since one of my books came out in French a couple of years ago, they’re sometimes in French, too. I have blessed Google Translate several times!

What is your guilty pleasure?
*whispers* - salt and vinegar crisps. (And cheese and onion, but we don’t get these here in Switzerland!)

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You can find out more about Linda, her books and connect with her using the links below:

I'd like to thank Linda for taking the time to stop by today, it's been wonderful chatting to you 😘


  1. Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog, Neats!

    1. It's always a pleasure to host you Linda! 😘

  2. Replies
    1. I agree Rosie, it's certainly very eye-catching!