Author Interview: Lindsay Below, Author of Letters to Alice
Joining us today is Lindsay Below, author of Letters to Alice. Lindsay lives in Iqaluit, Canada with her supportive boyfriend and fat cat, where she writes young adult and middle grade novels. Under L. K. Below, she publishes romance and speculative fiction.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Lindsay. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I think the word “writer” more or less says everything about me. I spend most of my time either reading or writing, although I love to get creative in other ways (such as making my own book trailers). I’m a voracious learner, and love to immerse myself in a factual book or website. Historical manuscripts, especially the classics, draw me in like bears to honey. I’m a total nerd that way.
When did you begin writing?
A short story project when I was in Grade Three sparked my love for crafting my own worlds, though I first remember writing novels when I was thirteen.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I’d say “whenever I can sneak a few moments” but those who knew me would laugh. I write all the time. I’m lucky to be able to have time to devote to writing during the day, during the night, whenever I please. Because apparently human contact is something to be embraced, I usually get in about 60 hours a week while my boyfriend is at work.
What is this book about?
Letters to Alice is the tragic story of two teen girls who are shut away in their father’s basement each summer, and forced to communicate secretly through a hole in the wall.
Here’s the blurb:
Separated from her sister, Liz prepares for another mind-numbing summer shut indoors. But little does their father know that she and Alice have a secret. Their basement rooms are connected by one small hole in the wall, just large enough to stick their hands into. While they may be trapped in there, they won’t be alone.
But when Liz flunks her ninth grade English class and is forced into summer school to make up the credit, she realizes that their forced isolation isn’t normal. And then she’s determined to break herself and her sister free…
What inspired you to write it?
The characters popped into my head one night and wouldn’t leave until I started to write their story. It was very compelling for me to write, and they swept me away.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
I have two very important people who provide feedback on my work. My boyfriend, Travis, is always eager to read and give his honest opinion. And my good friend and critique partner, Gina Gordon, is a godsend.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many authors that I simply adore. My favorites in young adult fiction include Terry Pratchett, Lemony Snicket, and Tamora Pierce. I also enjoy Clive Barker, Jane Austen, Edmond Rostand, Julia Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe, and my wonderful critique partner Gina Gordon.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Don’t give up. Writing courses, workshops, and revisions will only take you so far. The rest is all persistence. Research your market and eventually you’ll find the perfect place for your novel.
What is up next for you?
I have a young adult science fiction novel, Lurkers, which will be released in July 2011. In the meantime, I’ll be writing the story for whichever characters grip me the most. Who knows, maybe there will be another free read in my future.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Happy holidays and thanks for having me, Cheryl!
Thanks Lindsay. It was wonderful to have you with us. Wishing you a happy holiday and continued success.