Linda Green is the bestselling author of nine novels, which have sold more than one million copies and been translated into 12 languages. Her latest emotional thriller, The Last Thing She Told Me, tells the story of three generations of women and the secrets they keep.
Linda has lived in West Yorkshire for the past 18 years but was born in North London in 1970 and brought up in Hertfordshire. She wrote her first novella, the Time Machine, aged nine, but unfortunately the pony-based time travel thriller genre never took off.
Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?
The Last Thing She Told Me is a story about three generations of women and the secrets they are keeping. When Nicola’s grandmother Betty tells her ‘there are babies at the bottom of the garden’, moments before she dies, Nicola must decide whether to uncover the truth about what happened – even if it risks tearing her family apart. It’s a heartbreaking tale full of dark secrets and intrigue and is making readers cry (which I’m taking as a good thing!).
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .
I had 102 rejections from agents before I was finally taken on and got my first book deal. Any sane person would have given up at 100 but as my nine novels have now sold more than one million copies, I’m very glad I didn’t!
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
Rather than a direct question, I would probably say it’s the theories some people come up with in Amazon reviews, such as the reader who explained at great length why I’d chosen to write some scenes in a certain way. She was entirely wrong but absolutely convinced she was right.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
Margaret Atwood. I read her novel Bodily Harm for my English Literature ‘A’ Level and I’ve been in awe of what she can do with words ever since.
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
I spent much of my childhood ‘learning to ride’ on a plank placed between two pairs of step-ladders in my back garden (we couldn’t afford riding lessons so it was the best I could come up with). I had a learning to ride book open at one end and read it as I sat on my ‘saddle’, made out of a cushion and two belts. This is what happens when you have an over-active imagination!
Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
I’ve been on deadline lockdown for months (so not reading much) but three books I read last year and thoroughly enjoyed were:
The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly are utterly endearing and their take on the goings-on in their avenue during the long-hot summer of 1976 makes for an entertaining read.
My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal. A tender portrayal of life in foster care for a nine-year-old boy growing up in the Midlands during the early eighties. Powerfully evocative of the era.
The Companion by Sarah Dunnakey. In the 1930s young Billy Shaw has to leave the pleasure palace where he lives with his family to become the companion for a boy in a house shared by two writers. If you thought the Brontes were Yorkshire’s most fascinating literary family, wait until you meet the Harpers!
THE LAST THING SHE TOLD ME by Linda Green is published by Quercus on 7th March.