Author Crush Friday with Mary Lindsey
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Mary Lindsey, who is the author of the thrilling paranormal YA, Haven (November 7, 2017; Entangled Teen). Thank you for talking to us today, Mary! We’re honored! P.S. It’s one of our favorite reads this year so if you haven’t picked this book up yet or pre-ordered it, you really should!
GLITTER: Tell us five random facts about yourself.
- I live on an island in the middle of a river in the middle of nowhere.
- You can only get to my home by cable car or boat (red cable car in photo below).
- The homeowners on my island put a statue of Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web at the pool because I’m always saving spiders from the skimmers.
- I’m claustrophobic and every book I have has a scene stemming from that. In Haven, it’s the scene in which Rain is closed in the wine fermenting tank.
- Pressurized biscuit dough terrifies me. If nobody is in the house to open it, nothing is going to be “Poppin’ Fresh” around my house.
GLITTER: How would you describe Haven?
MARY: Teen Wolf meets NCIS… But it’s more than that. Haven is the story of hope and loyalty–of battling the oppression and subjugation of those who are perceived as less. It’s a story about standing up for what’s right, and accepting others who are different–even if different means maybe not even human. 🙂
GLITTER: Do you love to create complex characters?
MARY: Characters, like real people, are far more interesting if they’re complex. Also, like real people, complex characters are a bigger pain in the backside. They’re more difficult to understand and get along with, not only for other characters, but for the author.
GLITTER: What do you hope readers will get out of reading Haven?
MARY: A strengthened sense of hope. The overall theme of every book I’ve written for teens has boiled down to hope, and Haven is no different. Self-worth, loyalty and hope are the touchstones of Rain’s existence and what keep him going despite the awful things that have been thrown at him his entire life.
GLITTER: Did you always want to be an author? Did you ever feel like giving up? Did you receive rejection letters in the beginning? How did you get over them?
MARY: I didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, I dreaded creative writing projects and classes during grade school and up through college. I began my writing career later in life. I wrote my first book as a gift for my daughter (honestly, it was more the result of a dare), never envisioning publication, and have been hooked ever since. I majored in English in college because of my love of reading, but had never imagined writing fiction. Literary analysis was one thing. Telling a story? Terrifying.
My road has been easier than most. I signed with an agent and sold my debut (Shattered Souls, Penguin 2011) quickly compared to stories I hear from others. There were rejections, of course, not only from agents, but from publishers. The rejections never end in this business, but coming from a background in acting, I’m accustomed to criticism far more personal than the rejection of a written project.
The way I handle negativity, or criticism (whether in a rejection, editorial suggestion, or reviews) is three pronged: First, who said it? Is the source someone whose credentials or opinion I trust or value? Second, why did they say it? Is it a personal reaction, professional suggestion, or is it the result of something else unrelated to making the work better. Third, is it helpful and do I agree with it as an artist? This was the hardest one for me. This is my tenth book, and it has taken a while to be comfortable with saying no to suggestions. It’s very rare, but sometimes an author has to follow their instincts and take the risk of being wrong.
GLITTER: Do you hope that your books will one day be turned into a movie or on TV?
MARY: I’d love that. 🙂
GLITTER: If you could collaborate on a new book with anyone, who would you collaborate with and why?
MARY: I’m lucky in that I have an editor who is a master brainstormer and wide open to collaboration, so I’m in a great place. Were I going to have a dream co-author, it would be Stephen King (Dream big, I say). The thing is, I love his books and have read his memoir, On Writing, multiple times and know I could learn more from a week working with him… heck, from a week just watching him work, than I could from ten years of writing on my own.
GLITTER: Do you have any particular writing rituals?
MARY: I need complete silence and I must be freshly showered when I sit down at the keyboard. Weird, huh? I envy folks who can roll out of bed and crank out their word count before they even change out of pajamas. Not me. I have to shampoo, dry my hair, and change into a clean pair of pajamas (ha) before I can begin.
GLITTER: What character do you relate most to in your writing?
MARY: In Haven, it’s Freddie. She’s not looking for a hero; she’s looking for an ally. She’s strong and needs to do things on her own, but deep down, like all of us, she longs for acceptance and love. It’s that hard shell over a mushy inside that gets me every time.
GLITTER: Do you have anything that you love to collect?
MARY: Depression glass. I love it. My favorite piece is a milk glass candy dish that’s a chicken on a sleigh. Truly strange and wonderful.
GLITTER: What are you most passionate about in life?
MARY: Protecting nature. I love animals—all animals, no matter how many legs. Yep. I’m a fan of even snakes and spiders. Every neighbor knows me well, calls when they want a critter removed. Got a snake, alligator, or varmint in the way? Give me a call. I’ve installed ramps in our pool skimmers, but still check every morning and clear out any remaining friends. I also raise Monarch butterflies, some seasons helping hundreds reach maturity.
GLITTER: What are you working on right now?
MARY: I’m working on a book related to Haven in addition to an adult romantic comedy and an adult paranormal.
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.