Getting to Know You: Linda MacDonald

Today I have my lovely Twitter friend, author Linda MacDonald telling us about the inspiration behind her book ‘Meeting Lydia’. You can follow Linda on Twitter as @LindaMac1.

Vic x

My Inspiration for Meeting Lydia

By Linda McDonald

I was watching The Who on television this weekend and was reminded of something that Pete Townsend said: ‘The drama of pain is very valuable to an artist.’

If inspiration could be bottled, we writers would be first in line for a case or two. Where does it come from, how can we capture it, how can we make it work for us? I write best when I’m happy or sad; during the ups and downs, not the in-betweens when life is unspectacularly fine. The in-betweens are for redrafting, editing, procrastinating, marketing, tweeting … During those bland days when all is calm and tranquil, what I write might be well-crafted narrative, but there is little of the wild originality that excites me when I re-read it; little that makes me wonder how I wrote such things.

Meeting Lydia began when I was in a hormonal whirl and started experiencing almost teenage emotions again; feelings that I believe were responsible for some of the most inspired passages I have ever written. Many of the scenes and emails in the novel were the result of inspiration striking, often late at night after a hard day of teaching. When I wrote about ‘Love’, described Friends Reunited, drafted the chapters, ‘Anticipation’, and ‘2000 Years Hence’, the words poured from the keyboard in an effortless stream. The style was quirky, different and impossible for me to create during the workhorse days. To over-edit those pages would have been to lose something magical that makes the book unique. I couldn’t write them now.

After many thousands of words I thought, I may have a novel here. I may have the vehicle for telling the story of how bullying can affect later life; a story that I have always wanted to tell. It was then that the crafting began; the craft that can be learned.

If going menopausal seems too high a price to pay, or too long a wait for inspiration, then I would recommend becoming aware of your own triggers to sadness and joy. It may be Brief Encounter or Sleepless in Seattle; or a walk among bluebells, a date with a lover. It may come from unexpected moments of sorrow or joy, but when it comes, notice it and act on it; feed these emotions, nurture them, wallow in them, for they are precious gifts as transient as dragonflies. Then boot up the computer and let the words flow.

Download ‘Meeting Lydia’ here:

Order your copy of ‘Meeting Lydia’ here:


One response to “Getting to Know You: Linda MacDonald

  1. Angel of The Heart

    An inspirational read about an inspirational book. I am a huge fan of ‘Meeting Lydia’ and have told all my friends about it and will continue to promote it on my Twitter timeline. Very much looking forward to reading the sequel. We need more books like ‘Meeting Lydia’ in the shops!

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