From an early age, Lindsay Below devoured books. Books offered new worlds, new possibilities for her young mind to comprehend. Some of her fondest memories include reading back and forth with her father at night or sitting beneath a tree at recess with a Tamora Pierce book. As she grew up, her love of the written word didn’t diminish. Rather, it grew to span an even greater range of genre and subject.
Lindsay is fascinated by other cultures, particularly those of the past. Her favorite time period changes with the wind, but her love of history remains solid. Science and technology might not have been the subject she most excelled at in school, but she maintains an active interest in unfolding discoveries in the field. She adores learning, whatever the topic may be. More of than not, she’ll inundate you with little-known facts discovered during her latest learning obsession.
Both those loves combined to ensure that Lindsay. would go on to weave little-known facts into worlds of her own making. She follows where the characters lead, no matter how bizarre. The best books provide an escape. If she can create a story a fraction as engrossing as that of her favorite authors, she considers her weeks well spent.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why did you decide to become an author?
A: Books have always been my escape. I remember fondly quite a few recesses spent huddled under a tree, whisked away on an adventure by Tamora Pierce. And when ideas of my own came to me…well, I started writing them down. By the time I graduated from high school, books were my life, and writing as integral to it as any other part. Truthfully, I could think of no other occupation which would satisfy me. So I pursued my writing career with a single-minded obsession and found myself published by the age of 20.
What inspired you to write young adult?
A: I’ve been writing young adult stories since I was the age of my protagonists. My very first writing attempts featured heroines the same age as I was. Sure, I’ve grown up since then, but I still love where my younger characters can take me.
Where do you get your inspiration?
A: Inspiration, to me, can strike in many different ways. Something as simple as a fact or saying can unravel an entire plot. I garner ideas from news stories, song lyrics, photographs, strangers I observe on the street, and so on. Sometimes I just start with one line and see where it leads me. The most annoying ideas come while I’m writing another book, because I have to fight the urge to follow them right off the bat. But the single most likely place I’ll get an idea from?
Let me assure you, I have the most vivid, alluring, oftentimes-disturbing dreams. I don’t know how my unconscious mind dredges up half the things it does, but I’m more than willing to accept the gift. Some dreams have potential. Some are just plain weird. Either way, a night I’m awoken from an intense dream is a happy night for me…even if it does mean I have to drag myself out of bed to write it down.
How do you find the time to write?
A: Finding the time can sometimes be a challenge. I can go days or weeks without touching a pen or laptop. But if I take too long away, I start to get antsy. I want to write. It’s burrowed under my skin. So, most often, I make the time. It can come in ten-minute stints if I’m strapped for time, or I can sit and write away for hours if I get on a roll. The important part is following where my inspiration leads me, when it leads me. If the need is there, I make the time.
What is the hardest part of writing?
A: The hardest part in the actual writing process is finding the discipline to finish a book. I’m bombarded by new ideas constantly, ideas which I itch to follow. Most of the time, I have three or four books in various stages of completion which I hop back and forth to while trying to resist the write-something-new bug. It’s most difficult when I approach the end of a book. I love the characters so much, this is the time when I start to drag my feet. Writing the last chapter can sometimes take as long as writing the rest of the book! I don’t like to let my characters go.
Do you model your characters after people in real life?
A: Not at all, with one exception — the Spenta Michos, from the urban fantasy series The Order, is a blatant cameo of my high school English teacher. Otherwise, my characters are their own people. They have their own hopes and dreams, hobbies and pet peeves. Their opinions don’t always coincide with my own. That’s life. My characters are as much their own people as my real-life friends.
Do you have any advice for a budding author?
A: I’ve discovered several things during my first few years of being published. One – never give up. If writing is for you, it doesn’t matter how many rejections a certain book receives. You only break through with perserverence. Two – always carve out time to do what you do best. Promotion can take up a big chunk of your time, sometimes with very little reward. Three – don’t force it. Writing is art. And like any art, it will only come out when it wants to. Trying to force it will only cause you more headaches. Four – be careful what you jump into. Being offered a contract can be exciting, but take the time to research the publisher and have someone knowledgable look over that contract. Sometimes publishers are willing to reword anything that comes up as a red flag. If they don’t — run like mad. Better the disappointment than being stung over it later.