General InformationAuthor biography and publication history:
I am a recently retired educator and live with my husband in Quesnel, BC. My journey through life has taken me from England, Africa and throughout Canada. My hobbies include kayaking, wilderness camping, photography, reading and writing.
Writing has taken me by surprise and consumes my days. Strength of an Eagle was inspired by the disappearance of women along the ‘Highway of Tears’ and the drug smuggling problems in Northern BC. In creating my second book, Half Truths, Total Lies, I drew upon my experiences as a teacher in both urban and rural settings. Alone, is a psychological suspense, set on Canada’s West Coast.
I have had articles published in Our Canada and BCRTA, Postscript. Several photographic essays have been included in the Royal Photographic Society (Canada) 0n-line magazine.
Some frequently asked questions: Note: SOE refers to Strength of an Eagle HTTL refers to Half-Truths, Total Lies
Why would local readers be interested in these novels?
The books are set in Northern BC and illustrate the social fabric, problems and resilience of the people who live there.
SOE was inspired by the drug problems in the north and the Highway of Tears murders.
HTTL draws its characters from those who might inhabit a rural school. People often find isolated communities attractive for the privacy offered and the chance to escape from public scrutiny.
Alone highlights the plight of sisters left in the wilderness.
What type of readers will be attracted to your books?
My readers will be those who are looking for realistic suspense with strong characters and twisting diabolical plots.
SOE will attract readers that:
-are adventurous types that enjoy the outdoor activities such as kayaking, deep sea fishing and exploring the ocean environment
-enjoy strong woman characters and intricately woven plots
-are interested in drug smuggling, kidnapping and serial killers
HTTL will attract readers that:
-wonder about the world of a rural school
-enjoy reading a novel written from the perspective of the protagonist
-are interested in the challenges faced by gays, alcoholics, gamblers, and accused child molesters trying to fit into a conservative society
Alone will attract readers that:
-are fascinated by the idea of being self-sufficient and living off the land
-are interested in the psychological effects of trauma….anxiety related illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
-are familiar with the environment of the west coast of Canada.
What sets these books apart from others in the same genre?
My novels are different in that they are very realistic. The reader feels as though they are “living” the story. While there is sex and violence in the prose, it is not graphic and over the top. In other words the stories are believable.
Why self-publish rather than go through the traditional publishers?
Since traditional publishers are now using their limited resources on published authors, very few new authors are able to obtain representation. Surveys are showing the new reality is self-publishing with Print on Demand and e-book formats.
How long did it take to write the books?
It takes about a year for me to write, edit and publish a novel.
Why did you publish SOE and HTTL at the same time?
They were both ready when I decided to go the self-publishing route.
What would success look like?
Success to me would be having my books read and enjoyed by many readers and making enough money to publish my next novel.
I look forward to shaking off the teacher mantle and becoming a recognized author of thrilling, suspenseful, dark stories that surprise readers with their depth and the twisted plots.
Who inspires you as an author?
I enjoy reading the works of many different authors but a couple of authors inspire me with their attitude towards life. Ivan Coyote has such a confident take me or leave me attitude. Jack Whyte impresses me with his clear vision, entertaining manner and very personable way with new authors.
Why did you write the books?
SOE was written because the plot came to me as I was travelling to Prince Rupert. I noticed and was chilled by this sign on the highway, warning girls not to hitchhike. Then, while on a mothership kayaking tour on the Anvil Cove out of the Haida Gwaii, the captain, Keith Rowsell told many stories about the area. My imagination took over.
HTTL was written because I had a dream. The plot was there and I wanted to see if I could write another book.
Alone was a conscious effort. I wanted to see if I could accurately portray a troubled individual reacting to traumatic circumstances. A small germ of this novel was in one of Keith’s stories that described the reaction of two young boys, raised in isolation, to the deaths of their parents.
How much research and your own background experiences are reflected in your books?
I am an avid kayaker, enjoy outdoor activities and wilderness experiences. I have also taught for many years in rural schools and have access to lots of “stories”. That being said, there was a lot of research done for my novels. The police, veterinarians and Keith were good sources for SOE. I interviewed several people for HTTL. Alone required me to research anxiety disorders, casinos, Beaver aircraft, pre-emptions and the many aspects of becoming self-sufficient and living off the land.
How much of the plots are based on personal experience?
Not much, I tend to grab a small tidbit and embroider and embellish. I think most authors of fiction do that.
How much of the characters are based on people you have known or met?
Everyone is fodder for the writer’s imagination. No one is safe. Most of my characters are a combination of different peoples’ personalities and traits.
Is there much of you in your characters?
I consider myself to be a very strong woman. Some of the characteristics of Maya (SOE) and Ann and Betty in (HTTL) reflect this. The bond between Sara and Mary in Alone reminds me of my strong connection with my sisters.
Are the locations real?
Most of the locations in the books are composites. The environments are real.
Are the books part of a series and do they have similar themes?
No the books are definitely not part of a series. The books are not similar in any way. That being said, I am considering a sequel to SOE…so many people want to know what happens to Maya.
How do readers purchase your books?
There are several ways to buy my books:
Friesen Press bookstore
E-book sources including Amazon, Kobo and lots of others
From the author website linweich.com
Locally from Cariboo Keepsakes and Carryall Books