I teach psychology in a sixth-form college. I’ve one daughter, Holly, who’s at university, and I live in Beckenham, south-east London, with my husband Johnny. I enjoy reading what Johnny calls ‘trashy fiction’ – so I do so in secret and keep the books hidden under cushions or under the sofa. I also like classics and modern contemporary fiction so I read this when we’re in bed. I like to play tennis with my friend Taryn and I enjoy cooking – but panic if I have to feed more than four people. I am also interested in science and environmental issues.
How did you end up looking for friends online? What pushed you that far?
When Friends Reunited hit the headlines last year, I was very excited. It was the first real opportunity to find people from the past. My daughter introduced me to it and it gives me something to do now she’s left the nest during term times. My generation has become quite obsessed with writing to classmates to find out what they are up to.
How does it feel to be talking to another man who isn’t your husband? Does he give you something in your life you feel like you’re missing?
I had been happily married for twenty-odd years but last year my husband became ‘close’ – shall we say – to a colleague at work. ‘Charmaine’, she’s called. All blonde hair and curves. And she’s a lot younger than me. He says there’s nothing going on, but I’m suspicious of her motives and I get jealous. Emailing Edward distracts me from my worries. I had a crush on him when we were about ten – but I wouldn’t dream of telling him!
What are your deepest fears about your relationship?
That Johnny and I will never get back to where we were before Charmaine came into our lives. Or that there really is something going on between them and he will leave me. I never used to feel this way. It’s an age thing. Peri-menopause has made me feel vulnerable.
If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?
I wouldn’t want to swap with anyone. Not even the rich and famous. No one has a perfect life. We all have issues and difficult people to deal with. But I understand my issues and I can’t imagine having to start again with those belonging to someone else. If I could swap for a day only, I’d like to see what it’s like to be a man – to try to understand better what really goes on in their heads. My husband Johnny would be an interesting subject!
What do you believe your main purpose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?
When I was young, I wanted to change the world. As a teacher, you have a chance to do that via others. And psychology is a subject very relevant to people’s lives. I’d like to write a novel about the long-term effects of school bullying – but I’m not sure if I have the staying power to complete it.
Could you describe your husband in three words?
Intelligent, charming, sexy.
If you could have one wish right now what would it be and how would it help your current situation?
I wish I could wave a wand and cause Charmaine to disappear. Take her out of Johnny’s life and I’m sure we would find a way to resolve our problems.
Thank you, Marianne, for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.
Linda MacDonald is the author of four independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. They are all contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.
After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham, Kent.
Meeting Lydia – Audiobook – Blurb
Marianne Hayward is having a midlife wobble. When she finds her charming husband has befriended the glamorous Charmaine, she is seized by jealousy. Her once-happy marriage begins to slide.
Insecurities resurface from when she was bullied at a boys’ prep school. Only one boy was never horrible to her, the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey; her first crush.
Daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited where she searches for Edward convinced he may be the answer to all her problems. But she is unprepared for the power of email relationships.
Narrated by the talented voice actress Harriet Carmichael, Meeting Lydia is a book about childhood bullying, midlife crises, obsession and jealousy and will appeal to anyone interested in relationship dynamics.
‘…Has immense depth and touches the soul…’
Buy linksAmazon and Audible