Linda Sole Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a happily married woman who loves to write. I usually write historical romance for HMB but I also do sagas and now cosy crime for Severn House. I have a contemporary "sensual" coming out with Triskelion in May 2007. I live in England and my house is opposite a small wood. I can see some beautiful trees as I sit typing this, and the squirrels have a nest in a tree opposite me. I see them jumping through the trees often. When not working I love feeding the squirrels and birds in my garden. I also love going to Spain for holidays, where we walk, swim and sit watching people walk by in Marbella at our favourite restaurant. It is gorgeous with the sun shining on you, sipping wine and making up stories in my head about all the characters I see walking along the front. I enjoy people watching, as well as reading, watching good films and sport on TV – but most of all I am a writer.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing when my beloved dog was ill. I didn't like leaving him alone for long periods and I was bored with my normal hobbies. I had always wanted to write from an early age, and as a child was forever making up stories in my head. My opportunity came when I had given up working as a hairdresser and moved to Cambridge. Once started, I couldn't stop.

What was your first published work?
The first book I had published was The Witch child/Lynn Granville/Robert Hale. It is set at the time of the Civil War in England and I rewrote it eleven times before submitting it. Although I wrote another three books as Lynn Granville, my second book was Devils Kin/Anne Herries/ Mills & Boon. The Witch Child was published in 1980 and my first M&B was a year or so later. My first mainstream book was published in 1990.

What is your dream as a writer?
I think just to continue getting my books published and be successful. At one time I was being published as Linda Sole by Century (Random House), and I did think I would like to be a best seller. Lovers & Sinners was my first book for them and it was successful, earning me quite a lot of money, but the next books didn't do as well and I got dumped. That was painful, but I fought my way back and started writing Historical Romance again, and then sent a book to Severn House. I have been with both publishers ever since.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I am hoping that my new crime series for SH may do rather well, but I am happy to be writing at least four books a year for HMB and a couple for SH. I shall probably do a few ebooks as well. I do have a book called Too Hot To Handle/Anne Ireland, coming out with Triskelion in May, and I may do another in a similar style: ebooks were something new to me a few months back and I have enjoyed all the new things I've had to learn to keep up with the genre. I may explore this further, though I am happy with my current position. As Anne Herries I sell well and get quite a few translations so that is a certain level of success. I would like to get into the mainstream flow with my crime series in paperback but it is early days, though the first has been well received by reviewers and sales are reasonably good. My publisher wants to crack on with the second so I know they are pleased.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
I consider myself fortunate, because an editor from Mills and Boon took me to lunch early on in my career and talked to me at length. She said I had a lot of potential but at that time I needed to open windows in my mind. She was of great help to me and later she became my agent. It was because of her that I had some success in mainstream writing.

What advice can you offer to Writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
My advice to struggling authors yet to find a publisher would be to take some professional advice. If you can interest an agent it is a good thing because they have a wealth of experience to offer and can steer you in the right direction. Otherwise find a friendly writer who may offer you some advice or pay a consultant to read your book. If you send to a publisher and are accepted your editor will help you, and this is the best of all, but sometimes it is a while before you get that far and it can save heartache if you seek professional advice when you've done that first draft and before you send. Rejection is hard to take, though it is something an author has to live with, because we get them throughout our career. Even top authors still get turned down sometimes. Catherine Cookson apparently had several books that didn't work in her attic. The main thing is do not give up! I have had several rejections, but I just kept going and eventually I made the break through I needed. It depends on what your ambition is, of course. If you want to write romance there are a lot of openings in USA, many more than in UK. If you want to be mainstream you are going to have to work a lot harder, but if the spark is there you will probably get there in the end, providing you keep trying.
I think the most important part of writing is loving what you do. It isn't a get rich quick scheme, except for the rare few, and anyone entering into writing as a career should do it for love. If you get paid for what you do so much the better! If you write because you simply can't help yourself, as I and many others do, it won't be long before an editor somewhere falls for your work.
I am grateful for the opportunity to do this interview, and I hope anyone who reads it will enjoy what I have to say.


  1. Great interview, Linda. I appreciate your honesty for new writers. You're an inspiration.


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