I am on week two of Spring Break, and I swear it took this long for me to figure out I was actually on break! So, to celebrate, I thought I’d invite the fabulous Mary Lindsey to stop by and give us all a chance to get to know her better! As you may know from her interview with sisters Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins over at the Shooting Stars blog, Mary sold her book recently.
Here’s the deal description from Publisher’s Marketplace:
Mary Lindsey’s SHATTERED SOULS, a dark and dangerous forbidden love story about a Speaker who helps lingering ghosts pass to the spirit world and the Protector who has pledged to serve her, to Jill Santopolo at Philomel, by Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency (world).
Mary was actually the very first friend I made online, way back in July 2008. I met her on the QT forum. Her advice during those initial months was invaluable, and probably the reason I didn’t give up.
CF: Why did you begin writing?
ML: I began writing almost three years ago when my daughter complained that all the heroes in young adult fantasy/paranormal literature were vampires, demons, or some dark, undesirable creature. She wished there were a YA with a male protagonist with magic who was edgy but decent. On a whim, I wrote a book for her one chapter a day as a gift. It was a 170,000-word monstrosity with ghastly writing and a fun story line. I then wrote an equally awful sequel. After that I got serious and wrote SHATTERED SOULS.
CF: Tell me a little about your personal writing process?
ML: I’m an immersion writer, so I do best writing in huge chunks. You could call it binge writing, I guess. I knock out an entire novel in less than a month and then edit until I want to scream. I often will write 12-14 hours at a time without stopping except to get coffee or other things necessary to sustain life. 🙂
CF: What is the hardest part aspect of being a writer?
ML: For lots of folks, it’s the rejection. Writers experience a lot of rejection on the path to (and even after) publication. Since I grew up in theatre, rejection doesn’t faze me a bit. It’s part of growth.
For me, the hardest part is maintaining the focus on improvement and keeping it FUN. That’s why I started and why I keep doing it. Writing is fun for me and I get better every page I write. Parts of the process are more tedious than others, of course, but when I find myself groaning when I sit down at the keyboard, I consciously reframe my outlook and get back to the basic kernel of my motivation: It’s fun.
CF: How do you manage to balance writing with other real-life things (like relationships, etc)?
ML: I think of my writing as productive obsession (term stolen from a creativity coach friend). I’m fortunate to have a loving, supportive family that considers my writing a talent and occupation and not an obstacle. It’s a group effort around my house. What keeps it all in balance is I have assigned my relationships a hierarchy: God, Country, Family, Friends and last, Writing. Yep, it’s a relationship of sorts. As long as writing doesn’t creep up a rung or two on the ladder, all is well. Writing is very greedy, though, and I often find it sneaking up ahead of family. When that happens, I slap it right back down to the bottom rung where it belongs.
CF: Where do you find your inspiration?
ML: It’s everywhere. Internet, memories, shopping mall, kids playing. The only place it’s not is in my dreams. I don’t dream (or at least I don’t remember dreaming), which is a bummer because so many writers are inspired by their dreams. I’m kinda jealous.
CF: What inspired SHATTERED SOULS?
ML: A song. Two, actually: “Death Came and Got Me” by Rosie Thomas and “Fix You” by Coldplay. Out of the lyrics came the characters. I added some themes I liked, an historical villain, a century-old natural disaster and voila!
CF: Are any of the characters in that story like you?
ML: All of them have a part of me somewhere in the mix. My female protagonist became much closer to who I am during my rewrite (I rewrote my entire novel from third-person point of view to first person point of view at the request of my agent after a small round of submissions). I see a lot more of myself in her now than I did in the original version, but we are very different. No one who knows me would ever read the book and think she was modeled after me.
CF: What can you share about some of your future projects?
ML: I’ve some exciting things going on. I’m working on a middle grade adventure I should finish in April, a Gothic YA, a children’s non-fiction and two adult projects.
CF: Tell us about QT blogging buddies who contribute to the QT blog – how did you guys get started? Do you have goals for the site? Anything you think we should know.
ML: Oh wow. Where do I begin? I LOVE my QT blog mates. Suzette Saxton, Elana Johnson, Heather Dyer, Carolyn Kaufman and I were critique buddies and good online friends before we began blogging together. I went away at Christmas to New Orleans and while I was there, they cooked up a plan to revive the very dead blog that Patrick McDonald had created as a companion to the main QueryTracker site. He was happy to have us take it over and I was thrilled to be included. Every one of them is amazing. Our goals for the site are pretty simple and are defined in the header: Helping Writers become Authors. We want to help demystify the publication process and make the journey easier for our fellow writers. I’m not much of a blogger as anyone can tell by my monthly posts on my personal blog, but I love blogging for QT.
CF: Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about you or your books?
ML: I’m so grateful for all the folks who have beta read and been so supportive of me through this first part of my journey. I am especially grateful for my agent, Joan Paquette, for believing in me and my project sometimes even more than I did.
Thanks, Christine, for inviting me to participate in this interview. And congrats on your own upcoming release. 🙂
And thank you, Mary, for stopping by.
Now, it’s your turn readers. Mary has generously offered to come by again and answer some of your questions. So, leave a comment or a question and I’ll make sure she comes back!
Want to find Mary online? Here are her fantastic links: