Auntie M is on her second leg of a book tour for DEATH UNSCRIPTED, winging it from NC all the way to Maine and back, with a stop for New England Crimebake and class with Elizabeth George. More on that in the November 18th review of her newest. In her absence, please heartily welcome guest blogger multi-talented author Linda Huber:

Writing The Cold Cold Sea and The Attic Room – Location, Location, Location.

Nowhere in Scotland is far from the sea, so until I came to lovely Switzerland, I’d always lived less than an hour’s drive from the ocean. The Atlantic, to be precise.

And it was the Atlantic I had in mind when I was writing my second book, The Cold Cold Sea. The setting’s Cornwall, where I spent happy summer holidays as a child. I’ve never forgotten those waves crashing up the beach, or the damp, musty smell of the caves along the coastline. Or how the colour of the ocean is always changing, from blue to grey to green, white-tipped waves providing a contrast nearer the shore. Writing that book was such a pleasure – who wouldn’t enjoy spending the day (in their head) in the picturesque south-west tip of the UK?cornwall-540443_1280

The Attic Room was different. TheAtticRoom
Although the book starts on the lovely Isle of Arran in Scotland, the main setting is Bedfordshire, in the middle of England, well away from fresh sea breezes.

Not only that, as the title suggests, a large part of the book centres round a spooky old house with an attic. And something bad happened up there, long ago when Nina, my main character, was just too young to remember. Nina’s search for the truth about the attic means she has to leave her island home and travel to an unfamiliar urban environment. And there’s no way of knowing if the people she meets mean well – or not.

In The Cold Cold Sea, the action is in the present. A young child disappears without trace –did she go into the sea and drown? Did she wander off and fall into a crevice? Or – the worst thought – did someone take her?

The drama in The Attic Room, however, is in the past. So to make the story live for my readers, part of the book is flashback chapters telling what happened to Nina’s mother, Claire, in the Bedfordshire house. Claire took that secret to her grave before the story starts, so the reader has knowledge that Nina doesn’t have. On the other hand, not everything Claire tells us is the truth…

In the end, the two books have a common theme – a mother trying to protect her child. There are four mothers in my books – Jennifer, Maggie, Claire and Nina. And the mother-daughter relationship is different for each of them – just like in real life.

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 Swiss castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.

Writing has always been her hobby, and over the years she’s had around fifty short stories and articles published in women’s magazines. Her debut novel The Paradise Trees was published in 2013, and was followed by The Cold Cold Sea in 2014 and The Attic Room in 2015.

Book ideas come from Linda’s daily life. The Paradise Trees was inspired by her father-in-law’s struggle with dementia, and The Cold Cold Sea began shortly after she learned that a child in her extended family drowned in the 1940s, aged eleven. The Attic Room begins in one of her most-loved places, the Isle of Arran on the west coast of Scotland.

At the moment she’s working on a further standalone psychological thriller, this one inspired by a chance conversation in the queue for the bar at a wedding.

Trailer for The Attic Room:
Trailer for The Cold Cold Sea:
Amazon UK:
Amazon US: