Linda MacDonald had always wanted to write a book about bullying, but wanted to write a fictional account. She particularly wanted to explore how being bullied at school could have an impact later in life. The book was put on hold until Linda could think of an appropriate storyline to weave the issue in to. What better time to place her character than at midlife and at a particularly vulnerable crossroad?
Linda had already written a couple of novels with unrelated themes alongside her career as a teacher – what Linda likes to refer to as her ‘practice’ books- neither of which were published.
Linda was herself bullied when she was young. The advent of the social network ‘Friends Reunited’ offered an opportunity for Linda to make contact with old school friends- and made her wonder what had happened to the old school bullies who had made life difficult for her. Contact with an old school friend who had been supportive via the website led to a greater understanding an acceptance of the bullying Linda had been a victim of, and also helped Linda create the framework for the plot of her ‘bullying’ novel.
Drawing on her own experience at the hand of school bullies
Unlike her first two books, Linda really felt that this one was a book which should be read. Using her own experiences at the hands of school bullies, and knowing the impact this had had on her own life, Linda created the character of Marianne, a women experiencing a midlife crisis, and facing her demons from childhood. The book Meeting Lydia, took 5 years to write. Her sample chapters failed to attract a publisher, but with absolute faith in the book, Linda decided to self publish . The book tackles lots of issues: midlife crisis, bullying, finding lost loves, chasing childhood demons, and vulnerability during the menopause. So far the feedback has all been positive.
With a sequel in the works, Linda has found her writing stride. Will Marianne overcome her demons? You’ll have to read Meeting Lydia to find out!