This week I’d like to welcome Lin Treadgold to the floor of the Thursday Throng home. Lin studied creative writing with the University of Leeds on Teesside, now lives in the Netherlands and her book, Goodbye Henrietta Street is set in Whitby and the Scilly Isles – evidence of her comfort with travel I’d say.
The most important elements of a captivating story are setting and characters – both have to be equally believable to the reader to make them want to continue reading right to the end. Lin’s characterisation is excellent and she weaves the nuances we find with real people into a story setting which is utterly familiar to almost everyone at some level. On top of these great basics she has placed an intricately woven plot that twists, weaves and turns its way through a very satisfying and poignant array of experiences with love, as it should, triumphing at the very end.
The Lin Treadgold Interview
What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?
I am glad you asked me this question because a couple of weeks ago I had the most lovely review from someone who attended one of my book parties and purchased a copy of my novel ‘Goodbye, Henrietta Street. He kindly wrote to me after reading the book. His wife is seriously ill and I am happy he enjoyed it so much. He is Dutch, (I live in Holland) and here is what he said:
‘I must say, in a book shop I would never have bought a novel like yours. (Please read on, it’s positive …) I would have thought that it’s only a novel for women, romantic, and a love story. But, I was very wrong. I read your novel and I was every day anxious to read it further. First of all: the way you described the Isles of Scilly makes me want to travel to that place immediately. The weather, the birds, the beaches, the smell, you did a great job in putting those impressions on paper. The people there must be very glad to have your book in store. It reminded me of our journey to Jersey and Guernsey and the small islands there: Herm and Sark some two years ago. We loved it there. So, my compliments. The story, a kind of story I almost never read (except perhaps for the romantic novels of Hermann Hesse) made me want to read further, and I enjoyed it very much. Reading it was a holiday for me. I think more women than man will read it, but does it matter? So, I wish you very much success in writing. I admire the work you did. Yours, Dirk’
I was very happy to receive this and it said a lot to me. My book is for everyone who enjoys a book that makes you feel warm and cosy after reading it. Most people said they had never been to the islands and I had made them want to visit there.
How did you choose a title for your book?
I started with a working title ‘First and Last Outpost’ which sounded rather military although it was not meant to be. After a while, I searched the key points in the story and during a visit to Whitby in Yorkshire, I was sat on the famous 199 steps leading to Whitby Abbey when I happened to look up at a street name. I had already envisaged my character, Pippa Lambton, living in a street in the town and the story leads her to leave her home in Whitby, for the beautiful Isles of Scilly in Cornwall, the last outpost in Britain, before reaching America. The name of the street is Henrietta Street and I felt inspired to rename the book Goodbye, Henrietta Street. Lots of people liked it, including my publisher, Safkhet Publishing, and the name seemed to a perfect fit for the new title.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
I think you really do have to get out and walk! Sitting by the computer all day caused my son to become obese and he recently had a very successful operation to deal with his weight problem. As much as I tried to tell him, he became addicted to the computer and this had made him ill. This is an extreme case, I know, but now he is back to normal again he advises me these days to exercise. If you are writer there is a tendency to sit and write all day and become engrossed in your story so much that you forget there is a life outside the office. I take frequent breaks and walk the dog. Sitting by the computer too long can cause all kinds of health hazards and it is advisable to be aware of how long you have been working. I try to cycle if I can.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I have travelled the world by sea about eight times since 1972 and visited places the average person never sees. I have loads of life experiences and my inspiration is never dries up for a story or novel. Give me one word and I will find a story to add to it. I never get writer’s block.
Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?
Going back to the previous question, regarding health and writing. I think that keeping a bottle of water beside your work station is important to keep you healthy. Water is pure and good for the body. My doctor has advised me to drink at least a liter of water per day. I have to admit since I have been doing this, I feel much better. I have never been good at drinking water, but when you keep it beside you in an easy-drink container, and then there is no excuse to forget to drink it.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
Besides travelling the world which had to be the best experience, I have to mention the recent book launch I had on The Isles of Scilly in Cornwall in July this year. I spent six months planning it and threw a party for all the residents on the islands with an invitation for a buffet at the local pub ‘The Mermaid’ on St Mary’s. I wanted to give something back to the people for all their kindness and support over the years I have visited there. It was an amazing event. The sea shanty group ‘Bone Idol’ sang for our entertainment and I was interviewed on Radio Scilly. We raised £150 for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and the evening was so overwhelming and marvellous with lots of people wanting to buy a copy of my book. It was a night to remember. I love those people, they are always so happy!
Where can I find out more about Lin and buy her book?
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/