Author Interview: Linda Gillard
I would like to introduce Author Linda Gillard, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.
Read the entire interview at:
Linda, please tell us about your book, Untying the Knot.
If the ebook had a back cover, this is what it would say…
“Everyone makes mistakes, but I sometimes think I’ve made more than most. Marrying Magnus was one of them. But the biggest mistake I ever made was divorcing him.”
A wife is meant to stand by her man. Especially an army wife. But Fay didn’t. She walked away – from Magnus, her traumatised war-hero husband and from the home he was restoring: Tullibardine Tower, a ruinous 16th century tower house on a Perthshire hillside.
Now their daughter Emily is marrying someone she shouldn’t. And so is Magnus…”
UNTYING THE KNOT was my fifth novel. I wanted to follow up the success of STAR GAZING which had been short-listed for Romantic Novel of the Year, but I didn’t want to repeat myself. My aim was to write another unusual love story that would make readers laugh and cry, but I needed a new angle.
I’d written about all kinds of love over the years but I hadn’t written much about marriage and I’d never written about divorce, so I decided my hero and heroine would be a divorced couple. The twist would be, they never should have divorced because five years later, they’re still in love with each other and can’t move on. The book asks, “Will they get back together again? And if so, how?”
What was your inspiration for writing this story?
Sometimes these things just fall into your lap. Driving through the Glasgow suburbs one day, I saw a white van parked on the drive of an ordinary house. The lettering on the side of the van said “Bomb Disposal Unit”. Questions started to form in my mind. Was this where a bomb disposal technician lived?… What sort of a man does that kind of job?… Then my novelist’s brain kicked in with more questions. What sort of boy grows up to become a man who’ll dedicate his life to the most dangerous job in the world? What sort of woman would marry a man like that? And what would that marriage be like?…
The answers to those questions became UNTYING THE KNOT. None of my novels has ever come together as a concept more quickly or easily, but strangely, none has taken longer or been more difficult to write!
Was there any research involved? If so, please explain.
I did more research for this novel than any of my others. I had to research bomb disposal – not how the job’s done now, but how it was done many years ago. My hero, Magnus had served as a very young soldier in the Falklands War in 1982 and later in Northern Ireland in the ’90s, so that entailed historical research.
I also needed to know what it’s like to be “married to the army” and learned about the pressures of being an army wife. But my main topic of research was post-traumatic stress disorder. Magnus suffers from this illness as a consequence of his terrible experience in Northern Ireland, where his career was ended when a bomb he was disarming exploded.
On the lighter side, I had to research the architectural restoration of a 16thC tower house, a type of small castle, common in Scotland.
Very little of this research made it into the novel, but I don’t think I could have written the book unless I’d done it. I tried to keep the book free of “information dumps”, but I hope there’s a depth to the novel as a result of the research I did.