Linda Burgess was born in Pahiatua on December 2, 1948, the third of four children, and the daughter of a bank accountant.
'One of the main things I remember about my childhood was that we were always anticipating a shift. One came about every five years. I was the consummate schoolgirl lead in the school play, editor of the magazine, third speaker in the school's debating team, deputy head girl. No wonder I became a teacher.'
It was while at university that Linda met Robert. 'We went out with each other off and on for the next three years, got married in 1971 and still are.' Six weeks after they got married Robert became an All Black. Linda got a job teaching English at the local high school. 'I was 22, had long blonde hair, wore hippie Indian dresses and some of the local rugby administrators thought I was a feminist which I was of course.' Robert wasn't typical in the rugby world either, being a student, with long hair and having refused to play against South Africa.
After two stints living in France, one of which is remembered in her latest book Allons Enfants, and bringing up three children, Linda had turned 40 and was feeling very restless. 'I'd written a lot of letters home and everyone said how much they loved them. I could see that rather than continually saying I wanted to write, I had to either do something about it or just shut up. So I sat down and wrote a short story. I couldn't believe I actually finished it. That story was short-listed in the Sunday Times short story competition and published in Next magazine. Not long after that Metro accepted another story. It became one of the chapters of my first novel, Between Friends.'
Since then she has had three books published On the Grapevine (1996), Remember Me (1997) and Safe Sex: an email romance (1997), co-authored with Stephen Stratford. Linda Burgess has written for television, reviews books and teaches creative writing.