Monday 22 June 2015

My guest on the blog is the author Linda Holeman....

Photo by kind permission

Linda Holeman is the author of The Devil on Her Tongue and The Lost Souls of Angelkov, 
as well as the internationally bestselling historical novels 
The Linnet Bird, The Moonlit Cage, In a Far Country and The Saffron Gate, 
and eight other works of fiction and short fiction.  
Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.  A world traveler, she grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently lives in Toronto. 

Published by Traverse Press
18 June 2015

Linda ~ welcome back to Jaffareadstoo. It is lovely to see you again.

Can you tell us where you got the inspiration for your latest novel, The Devil on Her Tongue?

I was on an adventure in Portugal, exploring the glorious southern coast of the Algarve, and came upon the town of Sagres, where Henry the Navigator started the first nautical school in the 15th century.  Six kilomentres from there I found Cabo de Sao Vicente, the most south-western point of Europe, and a landmark once known as the “End of the World” to sailors leaving from Sagres.  That day the sea was calm as a silver plate under the sun. It was a place of peace and wonder, with on the smell of the ocean, the soft taste of the salty wind on my lips, and the evocative sound of seabirds circling restlessly overhead.  I felt a kind of reverence as I stared at the sea…and in those moments, nudging images came to me.

That night I scribbled my first thoughts for what would become a novel, picturing the life of an 18th century sailor accused of a crime at sea.  And within a few days I was writing about this young sailor washed up on a remote beach on a tiny island in the Madeira archipelago. I took that idea and played with it, imagining his backstory – where he’d come from and how he came to be adrift in the ocean, and the new life he would create on the island. But unexpectedly, a woman walked onto that beach and into the story, a character I wasn’t expecting, and I then had to find out who she was.  From there the initial idea changed shape, and, almost against my wishes, it was no longer the sailor’s story. It morphed into the story of the daughter of a disgraced Dutch sailor and a woman condemned for witchery in her North African home. Born to these heathen parents on the very religious, isolated Portuguese island of Porto Santo, the girl’s only possibilities were wife or nun, and she could be neither because of the circumstances of her birth.  She had to create a new path for herself - and her choices and the conflicts they caused came the heart line of the story.

©Linda Holeman
June 20, 2015

You can find Linda on her website
Twitter @LindaHoleman

Published by Traverse Press is now available in the UK as an e-book.

Linda, thank you so much for sharing your writing inspiration with us.

 Jaffa and I wish you continued success with your writing.


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