AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS::
- Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself: Hi! My name is Lyndsey Harper, and I write dark fantasy. I love stories with magic and grit. I’m a wife, a mom, and I work in a theatre when I’m not writing.
- Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.): My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorlyndseyharper My Twitter: @lyndseyiswrite
- How many books have you written? Officially, “The Fell” is my first piece, but I’ve written six other fan fiction novels unofficially.
- Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it: My debut, “The Fell,” comes out on January 18th! You can purchase at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCHQ1DR
- If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future? I am fortunate enough to have a publishing contract through Crimson Edge Press. For quite a while beforehand, I was convinced I would self-publish because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the traditional route or not. I know me, though – I work better with deadlines made by people other than myself, so I think traditional publishing was meant to be.
- How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author? I have been writing ever since I can remember. It started with a newsletter I wrote each month for my next-door neighbor about my pet rabbit, and then turned into poetry, fan fiction, songs, and eventually original work. I didn’t always want to write, though, despite my natural inclination toward it. My mother saw my future in writing well before I did. When I was younger, writing wasn’t glamorous enough for me. I thought it would be a boring career choice. Can you imagine, writing as a boring occupation? (LOL) It wasn’t really until high school that I embraced writing fully.
- What would you say motivates you to keep writing? The first is my daughter. Plenty of times, she’s actually a writing “hindrance,” so to speak. Still, my writing as an adult started full-swing when she was first born, and I keep going to show her that she, too, can achieve her dreams with hard work. Secondly, the characters themselves keep me going. If it’s not a character I’m familiar with that’s bugging me, it’s a new one waiting to be written. There are people in my head, and they won’t be quiet. 😉 The last thing is caffeine – caffeine most definitely motivates me.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)? C.S. Lewis is a long-time favorite. I adore his work. I love Dan Brown’s writing style and his pacing. Right now, I’ve got quite a few books started. “Unclaimed” by Laurie Wetzel, “Crimson Bayou” by Alizabeth Lynn, and “The Shadow Revolution” by Clay and Susan Griffith.
- What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why? I prefer paperbacks (a tried and true presentation) or Kindle (my favorite electronic source). Hardbacks aren’t quite as comfortable for me to read.
- Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why? Mainly I write in third person, using past tense. Though, for the right story, I would consider using first person, past tense. Third person always spoke more to me than first. Still, I’m careful to minimize the number of POVs because I don’t like a cluttered story.
- Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books? Goodness, no. I wish I always read, but for as much as I love reading, I have to force myself to take time to do it. Life is very chaotic, so books weren’t always on the top of my list. However, I am a more productive writer when I am a more productive reader, so I try to make the time. It truly helps to spark my creativity when I read other works.
- How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time? I can handle about three books at one time. I prefer to read one at a time, though, but sometimes (like currently), my impatience wins out. Lately, I average about ten per year.
- What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed? My debut novel is entitled, “The Fell.” It’s the first installment of The Naetan Lance Saga.
- What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre? My book falls into the dark fantasy genre, with a sword and sorcery feel to it. I think what sets “The Fell” apart is how it uses concepts from dystopian and sci-fi works and weaves it into a medieval fantasy setting. And that’s pretty much all I can say without spoiling it. ;
- What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed? There were a few inspiration sources for “The Fell,” namely “The X-Files” for its grit and mystery, and the conflict of defining truth. I also drew inspiration from “Star Wars,” and ancient Greek tragedies for character interactions, some themes, and backgrounds. I looked a lot to Scandinavian and Nordic geographies and cultural elements while writing, and that is reflected a lot in the story.
- What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.? I would venture to say equally males and females, 18 and up.
- Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story? Sure. Here’s the blurb: After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.
- How often do you write? I just committed to a personal 1k A Day goal for writing in 2017, so if I keep on track, the answer should be every day. I’m sure life will happen, and days will be missed, though.
- Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting? I typically average anywhere between 500-1,000 per sitting, but I’m aiming for the later, since I made the commitment above. 😉
- Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else? A combination. I couldn’t imagine sending something off to the CEP editor without at least giving it a few serious looks for changes.
- What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?) I write the story in order. I can’t skip around and write scenes, then fit them together. My style is very linear in that sense. I’ll re-read what I write and tweak small things, but mainly it’s my habit to write the story in its entirety, then go back and fix it. I treat chapter breaks as different scene breaks in a movie. Sometimes things move around as necessary after the fact, but for the most part, the chapters happen naturally as I’m writing.
- Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you? There are a lot of people in my life that act as mini muses for me. There is something about them that speaks to me – their look, their voice, or their hobbies or habits. When I can, I also people watch; studying the way people conduct themselves in various situations fuels my inspiration.
- How long does it take you to write a full manuscript? “The Fell” took two months to complete the first draft. However, it took two years after that to get it ready for publication.
- Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate. Before I was contracted, I wrote whenever the inspiration “struck,” which wasn’t regulated by any means. However, I’m now on a narrower road, so I have self-imposed quotas and deadlines to meet.
- How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names? Naming comes from a combination of research and browsing. I pick names that speak to me, either for what they remind me of, or for what they mean. About 90% of the time, I used a slightly different method for naming the creatures in my story: I would look at what animal or insect was the closest to what I saw in my mind, and see the number of syllables each name had. Then, I would base the new name off of a characteristic of the “real” animal or insect, using however many syllables I had. If I didn’t apply that method, then the names derived from just a characteristic, or from completely unrelated “nonsensical” words that stuck with me for whatever odd reason. For locations, I based a lot of the geography off Scandinavian and Nordic landscapes, so I played with consonant and vowel arrangements often seen in those areas.
- How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing? I like to draft an outline, or have a bulleted list of important events or concepts I’m trying to get across in the story. They usually fall somewhere between hardly detailed, and fairly detailed, and they almost always change as I write
- Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.) A full mug of hot coffee. An absolute must. If someone wants to provide me a view of the ocean, though, I would certainly be grateful.
- Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time? Not really. Writing happens whenever I can fit it in, but almost always at night. I’m not fussy about location, as long as I can have earbuds handy
- Does your real life ever get neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that? Yes, and very guilty. I try not to, though; I try to remember that it’s part of my job, and also part of me. I’m grateful for my husband’s help and patience through it all.
30.What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing? I have had my husband stand in and move through physical motions with me, especially for a battle scene. It really helps to make sure the movements are realistic. I also read dialogue aloud a lot, which is a little embarrassing.
- If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why? I’d like to be Astrid. She has a keen eye and lives a rather unconventional life. It could be quite fun!
- If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters? If we’re basing it off looks, I’d choose Penn Badgley to play Leer (permitting he changed his hair color, of course), Kaya Scoldelario for Astrid, and Colin O’Donoghue for James. But whoever is able to capture the real essence of each character would be perfect. 😉
- What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books? I think that would have to be the type of underwear, if any, medieval people wore. It certainly brought up a lot of … interesting … results.
- What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why? The rules for the game of tafl, or as it’s formally known, Hnefatafl. It’s an ancient Viking version of chess, and very little regarding rules and gameplay is documented about it. Still, I used a lot of Nordic inspiration for “The Fell,” and when I came across tafl and the mysterious nature of the game, I knew I had to feature it in my books.
Lyndsey is a brilliant author you’ve likely never heard of, Superwife, and award-winning mother living life in leggings in the expensive and overcrowded state of New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanglish and Sarcasm and enjoys watching Arrow, Supernatural, Psych, and The X-Files repeatedly. You can find her either in the grocery store buying laundry detergent, Tylenol, and cat litter, hovering near her Keurig coffee brewer, or shaking her fist at the heavens in front of her computer. Occasionally, you may spot her on the beach or out shopping (when she actually has money to spare). However, you should avoid approaching her at such times as she is likely enjoying a rare moment of relaxation and can become moody if interrupted. If you decide to engage her during any one of these activities, approach with caution and a sizable cup of Starbucks in hand to avoid any ill effects.
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After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.
A hush fell over the inn; the fiddle music screeched to an abrupt halt.
Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?” he asked.
“I said,” Leer repeated, “I wish to know everything you know about the Grimbarror.”
Callous laughter exploded through the men and few barmaids present, ripples of mockery piercing Leer’s ears.
“You well-washed loon,” Bilby cackled, slapping his knee through his amusement. “You wish to hear fairy tales, is that it?”
Leer’s jaw flexed as he clamped his molars together. “I seek the truth.”
“Hah!” Bilby screeched. “Would you like a cup of warm milk to go with your bedtime story, Boy?”
Leer squeezed his eyes shut briefly, trying to push away the reverberating voices around him. “Are you, or are you not, the Marcus Bilby that Finnigan Lance spoke of?” he demanded. “The one whose life he saved?”
Another wave of eerie silence fell over the inn. Bilby leaned in, gripping the table with white knuckles. “What name did you say?” he asked.
“Finnigan Lance,” Leer enunciated.
“Curse you for speaking that name,” Bilby snarled, spitting on the ground.
“Cheating scoundrel, he was,” a man bellowed from the rear of the crowd.
“Nothin’ but a drink bloated habbersnitch.” another agreed.
“You’d better have good reason for speaking that name in this place, Boy,” Bilby warned, leaning forward.
“He wasn’t a cheat,” Leer snapped. “You peddled furs with him. You worked with him, and he saved your life from insurgents. And I do believe you owe him a favor.”
A murmur trickled through the crowd, sending Bilby into visible panic as his peers reacted to the revelation.
“And what?” Bilby retorted with a scoff. “Lance has come back from the dead to claim it?”
Leer’s jaw flexed. Finnigan’s death was still fresh in his mind; it had not been long since he found his bloodied, mauled corpse. “Nay. You’ll pay your debt to him through answering my questions.”
Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “And just who are you to lay claim to any favors?”
Leer held his gaze. “His son.”