Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. In 2013, Julie welcomes five new releases in three genres including her newest title, DECEIVED, a YA suspense from Merit Press, two sweet romance titles for Honey Creek books, her debut YA mystery, REINVENTING CHLOE, and her first cozy mystery, MURDER BY THE SEASIDE, book one in the Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press (a digital imprint of Harlequin). Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.
Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book.
Julie is a self-proclaimed word nerd who would rather read than almost anything else. She started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.
What inspires you to write?
I write to reach the world. I live a small life in rural Ohio. It’s a nice life, but it’s small. When I think of all the teens out there who could use a friend, a laugh or an understanding nod, I want to lift them up somehow. Writing creates an avenue for me to impact people I will never meet, give them hope, create friends for them to trust in and a safe place to let go. Books are the safe haven of many young people today. I’d really like to be a part of that amazing network.
Tell us about your writing process
I am a former pantser turned plotter. Once I signed a few contracts and time became essential, I needed a way to produce predictable volumes of work in high quality. My answer to this was outlining. I find outlining especially helpful in mystery writing where I can be plotting an event in chapter twelve and quickly scroll up t my notes for chapter two and drop some foreshadowing. My novel writing works like this.
1. I get an idea and work through the possible story arcs until I’m certain I have enough meat to make a novel.
2. I know the magic word count is 85K words. In other words, 85K words is acceptable and sufficient in any publisher’s eyes for a full length novel in YA or mystery. Based on this number and the fact I like short chapters more than long ones, I establish an outline for twenty-eight to thirty chapters. Then I brainstorm and fill in a detailed summary of what I envision happening in each chapter, working backwards and forwards to fill in as many details as possible, key scenes, clues, etc. I spend about two or three days doing this.
3. I write one chapter per day. When I finish, I reread it and clean it up. Then I send it to a writer friend of mine to read.
This continues every day for about a month. At that point, voila! A novel is written.
I reread the manuscript from start to finish over the course of the next few days and then send it to my agent.
I write all the time, as much as possible, whenever I can. That includes in the car waiting to pick up my children from school, sports and play dates or late into the night sitting crisscross applesauce on my couch. I write notes on scraps of paper if necessary, sometimes napkins or my arm as needed.
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
I write for teens, so I don’t think it’s much different than writing for adults. The biggest difference in writing teen characters is their lack of time on this planet. Many teens have had to grown up fast to deal with their life, but the result is different from simply living a long time. Teens’ experiences are limited, and that impacts their perceptions. Also, something about getting older slows down our fight, tampers our temper and enables us to see past the moment. I try to forget about all that old lady stuff when I write YA. I try to put my characters in the moment, let them feel things fully and on occasion, to the point of combustion. It makes the process exhilarating and often times heartbreaking, too.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters. I like to try out different ways to create chaos and listening to their responses helps me choose the best method for inciting the greatest upheaval. I spend time with my characters by thinking through the different scenarios and outcomes, then weighing their reactions and responses to find the most authentic and organic ways to tell their story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I knew when I started writing I wanted to publish traditionally. I’ve read plenty about self publishing and have some dear friends who consistently choose self pub, even after spending years with large presses. I see all methods of publication as valid and I embrace the expanding options available for writers to get their words in front of readers. I think publishing, like writing, is a very personal decision and the debate that often surrounds it is as silly as caring what car I drive or whether I build a new home or move into an existing one. Publishing traditionally has been my goal from the start and I’m happy with taking the slow, dogged steps to get there.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think technology changes everything and this industry isn’t exempt. I’m excited to see the big publishers opening themselves up to new digital imprints and embracing the change they cannot stop. I think more options is always good and in this case benefits authors. We have more control now than ever before. We should embrace this new season of publishing and be excited for the new opportunities it brings.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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