Today on my month-long Romantic Novelists Association feature. Each day in February I will have a different author on the blog, talking to me about their books. It is to help celebrate the sixtieth birthday of the RNA and to raise awareness of how it might be a great fit for you if you are an author. I hope you enjoy the features over the next few weeks. Be sure to give the authors a follow on social media and add the books you fancy from the selection of great authors to your own TBR.
❤️Romantic Novelists Association
The Romantic Novelists’ Association was founded in 1960 to both celebrate, and demand respect for, romantic fiction. Founder members included Denise Robins, Barbara Cartland, Elizabeth Goudge, Netta Muskett, Catherine Cookson and Rosamunde Pilcher. The first President of the Association, Denise Robins, noted that although romantic fiction gave great pleasure to many readers, the writers almost felt they had to apologise for what they did. The RNA was going to put a stop to those apologies and, instead, celebrate and promote romantic authorship.
In 1966, an early Vice President of the association, Elizabeth Goudge, commented that ‘As this world becomes increasingly ugly, callous and materialistic it needs to be reminded that the old fairy stories are rooted in truth, that imagination is of value, that happy endings do, in fact, occur, and that the blue spring mist that makes and ugly street look beautiful is just as real a thing as the street itself.’
Today, the RNA continues to support and champion the authorship of romantic fiction that shows the value of imagination and the possibility of a happy ending and also celebrates the broader spectrum of romantic fiction that explores the more challenging aspects of relationships and human experience.
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire and went to both Bentley New Village School, and Don Valley High School.
She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage.
Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.
Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.
Come and find me at http://www.lyndastacey.co.uk to hear my latest news. You could follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor or watch out for my tweets @Lyndastacey
Come say hello. I’d love to hear from you. Oh and if you love the book, I’d be really grateful if you’d take the time to leave me a review.
❤️Keeper of Secrets
Should some secrets stay buried?
For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below their feet, in the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House. The story is what inspired Cassie to become an archaeologist.
But Aggie has a secret that she’s buried as deep as the tunnels and when excavation work begins on the site, Cassie is the only one who can help her keep it. With the assistance of her old university friend, Noah Flanagan, she puts into action a plan to honour Aggie’s wishes.
It seems the deeper Noah and Cassie dig, the more shocking the secrets uncovered – and danger is never far away, both above and below the ground …
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
It still feels like a dream to me that I ever got published. I grew up in a mining village. My school life wasn’t that great, I didn’t attend sixth form, nor did I go to a college or university. I simply left school, aged 15, in 1984 and worked. I’ve always worked full time. And quite often, I’ve worked two jobs. I like to be busy which was a good job, because my first husband built up a lot of debt and after his death, it was apparently up to me to pay it back. So, I got used to working a lot of hours at a very young age.
As well as being a Sales Director, I became a qualified PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. I set up my own school, along with a school that taught Emergency First Response. However, after a bad car accident my shoulders were both badly damaged and I had no choice but to sell my schools. This meant that I had a lot of time on my hands and I was bored. Very bored. One day while sitting, feeling sorry for myself. I started messing on the laptop. I worked out that I might not be able to lift my arms above the height of my waist, but I could move my fingers and it was at this time that I began writing. I just thought that I’d ‘have a go’ and ‘see what happened’ and here I am, a published author of five books and I’m now in the middle of writing my sixth.
Can you tell us how you became involved with the Romantic Novelists Association and what it means for you to be part of it?
I was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award in 2014.
It was at that point that I took writing seriously. Not only did I want to write, I wanted to be an author and at that point, I’d have done just about anything to see my name on the front of a book.
I began searching the forums. Connecting with authors. I spoke to a few, who advised me to join the Romantic Novelist’s Association. I’ve been a member ever since. I’d happily say that I’ve found my tribe. The author community is amazing. It’s like suddenly acquiring a couple hundred siblings, overnight. Everyone helps you, everyone gives you advice and alternatively, they all kick your backside when you need it.
What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
The inspiration behind Keeper of Secrets was ‘The Sand House’, a Victorian property that had stood within a sandstone quarry during the 1850’s. The whole house had been carved from sandstone and the owner; William Senior carved a series of catacombs beyond it. Within the catacombs were the most impressive carvings, the most famous of which was the ‘Elephant and Mahout’.
Even though I’d lived in Doncaster my whole life, I’d never heard of the Sand House until around four years ago and was completely devastated when I found out that this Victorian marvel had been completely destroyed, the tunnels filled with concrete and the ugliest of high rise flats built above them. I knew then that the tunnels could never again be opened… unless of course through the magic of fiction.
Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
I love my characters, I really do. However, once my characters come to the end of their journey and the book is complete, I feel quite happy to let them loose in the world to make their own way. Obviously, I keep an eye on them… I watch their progress, but from a distance, a little like a parent whose child got married and moved away.
What was your favourite read of 2019?
Oh no…. do I have to choose just one.? I can’t… I really can’t… I’m really picky about what I read because I really don’t have too much ‘personal time’
So, in no particular order… I loved The Cornish Retribution by Amanda James, but also My Lovely Wife, Samantha Downing and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.
Do you read other romance authors and who would you recommend?
I read everything that’s written by Annemarie Brear. I really love saga’s, because they’re very different to what I write and prefer not to read in my own genre when I’m writing.
Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, if so which one?
I try not to compare my own life with those of my heroines. I’ve had a complex life and obviously there are little pieces of information that I use, however I try to steer away from the subjects that I find too close to home.
Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
So many people. I have many author friends who have all given me the most amazing snippets of advice. Victoria Howard, Milly Johnson, Amanda James, Annemarie Brear and Jean Fullerton.
However, I’d really like to thank Jane Lovering who in the early days picked me up when I really needed it. She fed me coffee and cake and spent hours critiquing my work. If it hadn’t been for Jane grabbing hold of me and dragging me (kicking and screaming) back to my laptop, I would have probably quit writing and would have never been published. So yes, I’d like to thank Jane.
If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
A dictionary, I see so many Facebook posts that have terrible spelling mistakes.!!
What are you working on now?
I’m writing my sixth book… Winter’s Storm. A romantic suspense, with a dark, intriguing storyline.
This book is probably much darker than any of my others and follows the journey of Molly Winter and her teenage sister, Beth. Whose lives are torn apart, after their mother is murdered. Molly and Beth buy a house that clings to the cliff of Hunmanby, it’s a move that’s supposed to be a lovely new start. However, unexplained happenings begin the moment they move in… and when Beth disappears, Molly fears for her life. Will she find Beth before it’s too late, or will her new and lovely life turn into the perfect storm?
Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
Does the location matter to you? And if so, where in the world do you prefer your books to be set.?
❤️ Buy Link
❤️ Follow the Tour
❤️ Connect with Me
Here is a handy link tree with all my social media. Why not follow me on Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram.
❤️ Final Thoughts
Thank you to Lynda for taking part in my special feature.
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).