Interview with Linda Talbot

What is your writing process?
I may be prompted by a place, some incident or a strong idea. I will have a vague plot - never too stringent because the story usually takes over at some point. I write fast, leave the story, then re-read a few days later and make adjustments. I've never completely revised a book - I think spontaneity is essential and too much revision depletes this.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
One of the first was called "Clary Coot" - about a coot that gets trapped and then escapes from a fire in a mill. I don't know who wrote it but it was the wonderful illustrations that had an impact.
How do you approach cover design?
I illustrate my own work, which is why the pictures are always a bit odd. But, as I paint and work too with collage, for a cover, I create a combination of images from the stories concerned and with the help of my partner - a skilled graphic designer - we produce a cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Colette's collection "The Rainy Moon and Other Stories" for their intimate sensuality, Emile Zola's "Germinal" where the effects of heredity and environment are compellingly observed, Ray Bradbury's collection "The Golden Apples of the Sun for their sheer invention and his spontaneous feel for fantasy, Roald Dahl's "Someone Like You", rightly described as "stories for those with broad minds and nerves of steel" and the collected poems of Dylan Thomas, whose exploratory instinct and powerful prose are unsurpassed.
I take the liberty of making it six favourite books, adding Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, for its insights, characterisation and sheer poetry.
What do you read for pleasure?
I re-read my favourites and books found in second hand shops ( I live in Hania, Crete and have no English library) so the shop books range from classics I have not previously read to lightweight diversions.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have to admit my personal choice is the printed book but I am delighted books can now be read and distributed online.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In Suffolk, England. Bike rides in the country urged me to write descriptions and verse and I later wrote a book, with anecdotes, bits of history and short stories called "Five Rides by a River."
When did you first start writing?
Around six or seven years old I think. I wrote a short story each week for pocket money.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The difficulty in finding an agent in the UK (no publisher will look at work now without one).
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By being flexible, distributing one's work and having a positive approach. This is encouragement all authors need. I'm so happy e publishing came along before I "kick the bucket"!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Expressing, with a sense of excitement, an idea with a response to atmosphere and offbeat impact.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Living in Crete, it is usually the sunshine, but also what I will do that day - from writing or painting to hand stitching accessories which I sell at local shops and bazaars. Many of my designs on bags and scarves illustrate stories I have written!
What do your fans mean to you?
What are you working on next?
I am working on "The Nivashi" - a futuristic tale for adults involving gipsies who have become demons of magic able to enter and influence humanity. They have discarded money and consumerism and returned to fundamental forces.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
One of the first was about a pig that was for some reason turned into a monument in the town square! That, as usual, was for pocket money.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book for children,is "The Muffkins and the Magic Fernseed" about a family of ill treated toys who seek invisibility through a spell with magic fernseed , after adventures including being washed downstream in a flood and being threatened by a hungry cat! This free book has just been published with Smashwords.
In which other ways have you written?
I decided to be a journalist, as about all I could do was write and I had to earn a living.Having written spontaneously until then, I had a real problem covering a gasworks fete! - one of my first jobs on the Colchester Express in Essex, England. I had to compress the event into a few lines, while hopefully conveying some interest! But I slowly learned the craft and was happier writing the women's and children's pages, devising features and serial stories.My real interest was in the arts and I later had the wonderful job of book, theatre and art reviewer on The Hampstead and Highgate Express in London - a paper renowned for its arts coverage. I covered all the big galleries and exhibitions and professional productions. And art I reviewed often prompted short stories which I wrote on the Underground while travelling to and from work and at weekends.
what is your latest book about?
See below!.
Published 2017-10-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Nivashi and Other Stories for smashword,doc
Price: Free! Words: 27,610. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Is what we see real? Or an illusion? These stories - 13 short tales - deal mainly with transformation. The mundane moves rapidly off the radar. Meet the ghosts of gipsies intent on reforming the remnants of humanity after an earthly catastrophe, a man who visits an eye bank to replace a lost eye, a malevolent fairy replacing a baby with a changeling and a woman who has the habits of a fish.
The Nivashi and Other Stories
Price: Free! Words: 27,610. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Is what we see real? Or mere illusion? In The Nivashi and Other Stories - mostly improbable probes into transformation - the mundane moves rapidly off the radar. Read about what happens in tales about gipsy ghosts,women becoming fish and a child swapped for a fairy changeling.Enjoy numerous illusions to unsettle assertions.
The Muffkins and the Magic Fernseed
Price: Free! Words: 2,670. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
"The Muffkins and the Magic Fernseed" is a tale of ill-treated toys who hear about a magic fernseed that can cause invisibility. After being washed away in a flood, they decide to find it and search for items they need to cast the spell; a pewter plate and a forked hazel branch. After Willie has a hair-raising adventure with a hungry cat, the items are found and the Muffkins gain invisibility.
The Jinni of Dreams
Price: Free! Words: 5,250. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
What would you do if a Jinni from the desert appeared in your back garden declaring he could make your dreams come true? In "The Jinni of Dreams", Lissie and Brin agree to carry out some tricky tasks to realise their dreams - from tackling a destructive giant toad to seeing off a sorceress. They even confront a headless horseman.
On the Island of Fire - Four Tales of Santorini
Price: Free! Words: 5,490. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Fantasies are spawned by the volcanic Greek island of Santorini in this collection "On the Island of Fire" - four fantasies for children - from the dream of Alizides, a donkey who thinks he is Pegasus fighting the Chimaera, to harpies swooping through as they move home - unlikely happenings emerging from the island's black sand and simmering core.
Fifi and the Swiftifoots and how they found the Flowers of Paradise
Price: Free! Words: 12,920. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Fifi and the Swiftifoots and how they found the Flowers of Paradise, tells of Fifi, a lost fairy, who lands in the forest of the Swiftifoots - small people resembling mushrooms - and their search for a new home and the flowers of immortality. They travel back in time, collecting colourful creatures en route, until finally finding the flowers and their extraordinary queen.
The Dipsy Dream House and The Fleeting Fame of Benjamin Sprockett
Price: Free! Words: 6,400. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
In "The Dipsy Dream House", Bobette, tired of her crumbling house, searches with her nephew Scrotty for a house that will look after itself. But, pitched into the past, they meet ghostly orphans and their pets instead. Later restored to life, they happily return home. "The Fleeting Fame of Benjamin Sprockett" tells of Benjie, a boy with wings who joins the circus.
The Bamboozling of Bazalob and The Flying Shoes
Price: Free! Words: 6,930. Language: British English. Published: April 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Pirates, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
In "The Bamboozling of Bazalob", Derry and Jude are carried in a giant travelling pot to rescue their cousin Katie, from Bazalob, a gross mix of beast, bird and fish. In "The Flying Shoes" Sissy and Sam find two giant shoes in a field, in which they fly to the horrible home of Slobsky, a child-eating giant. Will they be able to rescue Milly and Moll, the giant's daughters and prisoner, Wendy?
Clumsilla's Flight Through Time and Taming of the Tokhashi
Price: Free! Words: 8,500. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Pirates, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
"Clumsilla's Flight Through Time" and "Taming of the Tokhashi" are two stories whisking children from their everyday lives to lands of unlikely dangers and delights. Clumsilla time travels with the help of Zigana, a celestial gipsy. In "Taming of the Tokhashi", Topsy and Turvy see the demise of a monster after adventures with exotic creatures and terrifying gods.
Gods and Green Fingers
Price: Free! Words: 31,230. Language: British English. Published: January 22, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home & Garden » Gardening, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
The magic and mythology of plants and how to grow them is explored in Gods and Green Fingers - this anthology for plant lovers. There are insights into familiar flowers, climbers, trees and temperamental oddities. And a selection of perturbing short stories - from the fate of someone lost in a maze, to a fairy figure in a flower border.
A Walk on the Weird Side
Price: Free! Words: 26,350. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Take a step away from the everyday. In A Walk on the Weird Side get steeped in the mysterious, the quirky, the outrageous. This collection of stories veers from a bizarre being related to an orchid and the reforming of a harpy, to a barbaric ritual burning.
Heidi's House and Other Rhymes
Price: Free! Words: 4,790. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse, Fiction » Children’s books » Poetry
A little girl is bewitched by the Fairy Queen - but in "Heidi's House and Other Rhymes", her house is worried enough to grow feet and set out to find her! Strange events surface throughout this collection for children - from a Fish called Fred who turns into a rainbow, to Solomon Tucket, who lives in a bucket. But other poems are simple observations, as in "The Camel" and "The Spider".
The Trial of Green Toby
Price: Free! Words: 2,860. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
(4.00 from 1 review)
Toby is getting ready for school when he notices his feet have turned GREEN! Alarmed and thoroughly mystified, he pulls on his socks and sets off. But he is waylaid by a little man who is green from head to toe! As Toby turns even greener he is whirled away by other little green men, is finally arrested and charged in court with being green in a public place. What will become of him?
Granny Pegg's Great Chase&Granny Grinalot's Day in the Desert
Price: Free! Words: 2,850. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
When a crocodile at the zoo snaps off one of Granny Pegg's legs she is not daunted. She simply gets a wooden one in "Granny Pegg's Great Chase."It proves invaluable in her pluckily offbeat capture of a thief... In "Granny Grinalot's Day in the Desert", a game granny - a keen keeper of pets, favours a camel and, while riding one at the zoo, has a disturbing dream about crossing the desert...
The Starflash Opal
Price: Free! Words: 8,410. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play, Fiction » Children’s books » Visionary & Metaphysical
Swot and Gemma - two unsuspecting schoolchildren - are chosen by enchantress Zophenas, to help her escape from the Underearth. They have to bring her three items that might do the trick; the soul of Waldo the warlock, the magic ointment that enables a witch to fly and a woman who has turned into a two-tailed cat. In return they will receive a starflash opal and six wishes.
In the Eye of the Storm
Price: Free! Words: 3,840. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
"In the Eye of the Storm" is a collection of verse in three sections, from "Demeter's Dance", where aspects of nature are sometimes threatened by neglect or interference and "Breakages" - emotional responses to love and life, to poems prompted by Greece in "Moonbirds and Wild Water." They are hopefully impressions and thoughts of more than merely personal relevance.
Time Trance of the Gods (Book Two)
Price: Free! Words: 55,420. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
In Book Two of Time Trance of the Gods, the past, with its mythical characters and events, is freed to influence the present and future.These stories re-iterate the power of myth created by man and explore its potential for disquieting parallels through the movement of time.
The Soul Shadow and Other Tales of Tomorrow
Price: Free! Words: 17,850. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The Soul Shadow and Other Tales of Tomorrow are stories that fancifully defy the everyday. People are plunged into unpredictable events that amuse, amaze, terrify. They are sometimes the retaliation of man's ingenuity and sometimes the result of baffling outer influences. So don't take your reassuring routines for granted!
Time Trance of the Gods (Book One)
Price: Free! Words: 66,000. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Book One of Time Trance of the Gods is a collection of stories, where ancient Greek gods and mortals mingle as they move through time. The people appearing in plots that often parallel the improbable myths, live in lands and circumstances that are worlds away from those where man was immersed in magic. Yet the past has not perished.
Gift of Green Fire and Other Strange Encounters
Price: Free! Words: 31,230. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Earth has been ravaged by some catastrophe. But strange happenings and communities are emerging in these three tales - Gift of Green Fire, The Water Watchers and The Sun Steps of Shunai. People have fled, been overwhelmed or are reappearing bizarrely transformed. What future will unfold? These are ventures into fantasy, but also food for thought.