Never Stop Singing to Me

Catch our latest interview with author Linden Thorp, an English Writer living in Japan who has penned an emotional book about love, titled, "Never Stop Singing To ME." She tells us why she wrote the book and what it means to her.

We are glad to have a chance to work with Linden Thorp. She is the author of multiple books and today we will discuss them and get to know her better.  

  Linden, what got you involved in this lonely and often unrewarding profession of writing? 
I’m never looking for a reward. I write because I love it. Also, I am never lonely. I find my inner world absolutely fascinating and am very happy when someone wants to take a peep, too. But nothing would stop me from writing even if no one ever read my words. I feel as if I am communicating with the Universe.

 How long have you been writing, or when did you start? 
I’ve been scribbling all my life, really. As a child, I dealt with my emotions by writing them down and illustrating them. This continued into adulthood, and even today if I want to sort out my mind, I write a journal which often leads to a piece of writing or an article, etc.

  What did you do before becoming an author?
I have spent most of my life as an educator. First, in the field of Music (I started out as a classical musician and was professional for a while), then following my fascination with communication, in English as a Foreign/Second/Academic language working with foreign performers. I am also an alternative practitioner: I use the Alexander Technique and other methods and am invested in the relationship between body, mind, and spirit. I’ve moved around the world teaching at universities mostly which has satisfied my desire to experience different cultures.

  How many books have you written, and what are they about? 

  • Temple of the Phoenix – about encountering Japanese Buddhism in Japan, and faith.
  • Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day – a modern-day fable about how Australian Aboriginals view the world.
  • Never Stop Singing to Me – my experience of living in the French High Pyrenees in a remote medieval village – see more below.
  • The Training – the Earth is close to destruction but developed nations cannot save it. First Nations – loyal custodians of the Earth – step in to rescue their beloved home which so-called ‘civilised’ people have turned their back on.
  • Satan’s Action: an autobiography of the Piano –  the invention of the piano in 18th century Florence changed the course of music in Europe from sacred, ie dominated by the Christian Church, to secular, ie. for the common people. But little is known about the inventor, Cristofori, so I explore the idea that he is an anonymous woman hidden from history.

Do you use your author’s platform to to bring attention to social issues?
Yes, very much so, as you can see from my book descriptions. I also write many articles for my own websites and guest websites, LinkedIn, Medium, and other writer’s platforms, regularly. I’m presently involved in a discussion about ‘work’ and ‘post-work’ as the internet takes over our lives.

 Do you find it therapeutic writing?
Yes, totally. If I have a problem or inspiration/insights into something happening in my life, I write. I have a stack of notebooks that capture my various interests, so I’m always planning to write something based on my urge to record this precious relationship with my subconscious.

  What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
If I have plenty of time, I love promoting and publishing what I have written. I’m still seeking a traditional agent to represent me, but in the meantime, I have enjoyed self-publishing. My least favorite part is juggling actual composing and writing with everything else that needs to be done to promote myself. My dream is having a publicist to deal with all that so I can devote myself more to writing.

 Let’s talk a bit about your book “Never Stop Singing to Me.”  What is it about? 
Never Stop Singing to Me is about my life in a tiny village in the French High Pyrenees. I escaped there with my partner from our overly busy lives as professional medieval musicians to find the truth about how music sounded 1000 years ago, especially the voice. We were determined to live a medieval life free from media, opening ourselves to the ancient energies of the troubadour (wandering poet-minstrels) and the Cathars (spiritual Christians branded heretics by the Church of Rome) who had roamed the mountains nearby. However, there was an accident and no hope of getting medical aid, which led us both very close to death. Then, something magical happened to link us irrefutably to the Troubadour and Cathars. It is a love story and a medieval mystery.

 What inspired the idea for your book?
The actual accident. At first, it was terrifying to come so close to death, but then we experienced what the Cathar taught – that death is simply a veil separating the visible and invisible worlds. And there was a very happy ending to the story.

  How did you come up with the title for your book? 
At first, it was called ‘The Veil’ for the reasons above. But then, as the relationship between the two protagonists, Sasha and Gabrielle, developed, I adopted Never Stop Singing to Me. Gabrielle is a quite famous medieval vocalist, so Sasha says these words to her as they fall deeply in love. There were several books using the title ‘Veil,’ so I decided to choose something unique instead.

  What was your hardest scene to write, and why? 
The accident or fall because I had to relive it to write it. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life.

 What part of the book was the most fun to write? 
The backstory. This is a medieval story that Gabrielle suddenly starts to narrate as she floats in and out of consciousness due to her head injury. It’s about a famous trobiaritz (female version of troubadour), Fabrisse de Caramany, who finds she has two new gods in her life: one, a prominent Cathar – August; the other – a young girl Mistress Reeve who is to become her successor. It’s a story of stories, of loyal retainers, of unconventional love and mystery, and ultimately tragedy.

 What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
This book has evolved from notes and notions over a twenty-year period. It started as a short story about scorpions, which are common in the Pyrenees. Then the characters came to life, and the back story appeared. It took me about three months to write out the whole thing from scribblings and short bursts of writing.

What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work?
Many. The Medieval way of life. The lives of those who had no choice about their faith in God. The vocal methods of the time. Self-esteem or self-confidence – Gabrielle does not believe in herself or the invisible world, whereas Sasha just lives them naturally. The mystery of Death and lessons to be learned from coming close to it. The importance of being here and now, not living in the past or the future. Living one’s life fully, first-hand: not sacrificing and living through others.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Someone interested in love and death, the Middle Ages in Europe, Christianity, Medieval Music (especially Voice), the way music is taught, troubadour and noble platonic love, the Cathars, the essence of life.

  What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Characterization is something I am still working on. Making characters act in a plot. But in general, the process is not difficult. I’m never short of something to write because of my long relationship with my subconscious.

  How long did it take you to write this book?
As I mentioned above, the ideas started assembling 20 years ago when I left the Pyrenees. To bring all the different parts together took about 3 months for the first full draft.

  What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover? 
Use original art. This will ensure you have something eye-catching and different. Team up with an artist or use AI to create your own vision.

 At what stage (or Stages) of your life have you done most of your writing, and why is that?
I have written all my life but in the last 10-12 years, I have written more purposefully. I still have so much to write and am lucky now that I have much more time to devote to it. I’m never happier than when I’m writing. It only stops flowing when I’m sick. It’s like having a very special friend I can always call on and reveal my true nature to.

 What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Really decide in detail about your plot or theme. Then think carefully about the characters, their every thought and action, and interaction. Write a journal every day devoted to your book idea before you start to put it all together. Don’t think about the audience. You are writing for yourself within your inner universe. That comes first. Then, if people want to read you when you’re ready, that’s a bonus.

  What other advice do you have for new writers?
Never aim to make a living from creative writing: it is presently not valued enough. But you can earn quite a lot from copywriting if you want to spend all your time writing. Make sure what you write benefits you and you enjoy it fully. Have periods when you don’t read anything else so that you are not unconsciously influenced.

  Is there anything else you would like to add to the Interview? 
In living life first-hand, writing is the perfect way to enhance your self-esteem and self-confidence.  If you write regularly, you will be able to balance your body, mind and spirit. Reflection is a powerful meditation that brings you to now and here, absolutely present. I like to communicate with myself with pen and paper because handwriting is a beautiful art that connects your heart through your arm and fingers with your canvas.


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