Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. Lindsey writes about heart-stopping romance, rule-breaking heroes, and everyday magic. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel. Lindsey is represented by Naomi Davis of Inklings Literary Agency.
Your book HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is your debut novel. In the book Audra walks in the footsteps of Emily who died too young. I feel like a lot of us wind up knowing someone who died too young. Did any personal experiences inspire the story?
Actually, no. There was no personal experience that inspired the story, though I have known a few who’ve sadly died too young. The story was actually inspired by a news article about a fifty-something-year-old woman who received a twenty-one-year-old’s heart after she died in a car wreck. Afterwards, the older woman set out to complete the young girl’s bucket list so at least her heart could experience all the things she’d wanted to do.
You have a BFA in Photography and Graphic Design. Do those areas provide you with a different creative outlet than writing? And did you use any of your photograph knowledge in HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS?
Definitely! To both questions. I do freelance photography and graphic design (and sometimes even paint). When I feel stuck with writing I’ll utilize my degree to create anything– because I often feel lost without an outlet. In THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS, Jake is a photographer, so I “gifted” him all my various technical knowledge as well as the creativity that comes with being a photographer.
Your next book TO WHATEVER END is slated for release in 2018. It’s about a woman named Quinn who with one touch can see the end to all her romantic encounters. Yikes! If you had the same curse, would you handle it the same way as Quinn?
If I had the same curse, yes, I would probably handle it the same way as Quinn does. I’d stay away from boys, avoid touching people, all the while hoping I can still find my happily ever after.
You’ve been writing since you were nine. What was the first story you remember writing about?
Aside from fanfiction? Haha. My first story was about fallen angels. (Before the fallen angel books exploded in the bookstores.) It was filled with everything you shouldn’t do in a first chapter: character wakes up, looks at herself in the mirror, contemplates her life, and has no dialogue. It was bad. But the real reason I stopped writing it was because it fell into the NA category, which wasn’t a thing at the time. (Too bad I couldn’t see the future, huh?) 😉All in all, it was a learning experience!
You write young adult and new adult fiction. What’s the biggest difference between writing YA and NA?
I find that YA and NA honestly overlap more than agents and publishers believe. You don’t turn eighteen and go off to college as someone totally different. At least I sure didn’t. But YA characters are generally finding themselves or finding love for the first time while NA characters are often trying to find their place in the world. YA allows me to write characters who might do something a bit more…crazy (for lack of a better word). Teens are more dramatic and think they’re invincible. (I know I was that way!) NA gives me the chance to leave parents out of the equation—not always, but I tend to enjoy using a character’s upbringing as angsty, tortured backstory. I don’t care for the YA books with “absent parents” for no other reason than to allow the characters to get away with murder. 😉
You were a 2016 Pitch Wars mentee with Judi Lauren as your mentor. Any advice to other mentees on how to prepare for the agent round?
Take a deep breath. Know that you’ve done so much work in two months. And now you have a polished MS miles better than the one you had before! The agent round is truly just a bonus. The real success is in editing your ass off and learning so many things. I only got one request in the agent round last year, while others got handfuls. Then I proceeded to get fifty rejections until I finally found my agent six months later. Pitch Wars might not land you an agent, but you’ll come out of it a better writer. (And by the way, Judi Lauren was amazing!)
After the excitement of Pitch Wars and all the time spent revising, were you sad when it was all over or was it a relief to have a revision break?
I was pretty sad for a while, though Judi and I continued our friendship and are now CPs. I made a few good friends out of it, too, so it didn’t take long for my sadness to fade. Then Judi somehow convinced me to do NaNoWriMo, and it felt so weird, yet freeing, to draft without care. And that novel actually ended up becoming TO WHATEVER END. 😊
How did you wind up getting published through Entangled and what made you decide to work with them?
After querying THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS and getting a ton of agent interest, I thought this is the one, but all those agents turned me down because they “didn’t know if they could sell NA”. I participated in #PitMad for the second time with that MS (because why not?) and got a like from an editor at Entangled which eventually led to their offer. Since they’re one of the biggest romance publishers with authors I adore (Jus Accardo, Brenda Drake, and Jennifer L. Armentrout) I knew I’d be in good hands with them. Everyone’s path to publication is different, and you don’t need an agent. I eventually found an amazing one, and I’m SO happy to have her, but I wanted THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS to be “real”, so there was no way I was going to shelve it simply because no agents wanted it.
Finally, do you have a specific writing routine or do you just get some writing done whenever you can find the time?
I don’t have any routine whatsoever. Haha. I try sometimes, but I mostly write whenever I can. It’s usually late at night, since I’m a night owl. Throughout the day, I might jot down ideas I have so I can use them later. Sprinting with a friend is the easiest way for me to write. Setting a timer and writing all the words I can forces me to work through my creative blocks. 😊
Want to know more bout Lindsey? Visit her website.
Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.
Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.
Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.
But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.
And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.