Interview with Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue, Author of After the Ending
Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled illustrations and collages as a teenager, and as an adult, she expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey is wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man. Lindsey can be found online at her blog (http://lindseypogue.wordpress.com) and on Pinterest (Lindsey Pogue). Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats. Lindsey can be found online at her blog (http://lindseyfairleigh.blogspot.com) and on Facebook and Pinterest (Lindsey Fairleigh).
LF: I grew up in the Seattle area, first in Renton, and then in Bellevue.
LP: I’m a Napkin. Actually, we’re technically called “Napans” I think. Anyway, I was born and bred in the Napa Valley.
When did you begin writing?
LP: I’ve always been a writer in some way, shape, or form. I’ve written for the newspaper, medical journals, grant reports, and so on. But my passion has always been researching and writing fiction. Although I have a plethora of stories, ideas, and outlines I’ve started over the years, this is my first completed and published novel.
LF: I’m sort of the inverse to LP. I’ve been reading my whole life--always fantasy or science fiction of some sort. Luckily the people who matter the most--my mom and my husband--have found it in their hearts to support my...quirks. Eventually, I realized there were stories stored in my head that I wanted to read, but the only way they would find their way to paper (virtual or otherwise) would be if I wrote them down (typed...honestly, I hate writing by hand, and yes, I know that’s practically heretical for a writer to admit...).
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
LF: When the muse strikes--and by that I mean when my characters pound the inside of my skull in an attempt to get their story out--I write. I have no choice
LP: I‘m generally inspired at night when my mind is winding down. I work during the day, so I can’t write whenever I feel like it, and I have to rely on really good notes that I jot down throughout the day when I’m feeling inspired, hoping that I’ll be able to draw upon the excitement I had in that moment and remember all the tidbits floating around in my mind by the time I actually get to sit down and write.
What is this book about?
LP: There are a few non-conventional aspects to our book that we feel make it not only unique, but enjoyable to a wide variety of people. For starters, After The Ending is a post-apocalyptic story told in first person, but the catch is that it’s from two different perspectives, Zoe and Dani. I write for Zoe and LF writes for Dani. The story begins with a universally contagious, deadly virus that infects everyone, including our characters and their loved ones. After the virus wipes out most of the human population, Dani and Zoe (best friends, mid-twenties) learn they are among the few who survived the pandemic. Although adult life has sent Zoe to the East Coast and Dani’s settled on the West Coast, their friendship is one of the few remaining things they have in the virus-ravaged world...so they embark on separate journeys to meet each other at a supposed safe haven, the Colony. It’s through their individual journeys that the reader can experience what our heroines see and feel as they discover what the world after The Ending is like and, in turn, discover more about themselves as survivors.
LF: Something that we aimed to do from the get-go when writing After The Ending was to make sure the focus wasn’t entirely on the hardcore survival aspects of the post-apocalypse, but on the characters, specifically their personal struggles and relationships. The story highlights the undeniable power of friendship, love, and hope, and how they can make life worth living even when everything else is lost. There is romance, but there are also some definite science fiction elements, such as the spontaneous genetic mutations caused by the virus, leading to extraordinary abilities in survivors...or to insanity. We’ll be the first to admit After The Ending was written with a female audience in mind, as it’s very character-driven and the romance storylines aren’t negligible, but we have heard from male readers who enjoyed the book as well.
What inspired you to write it?
LP: I promised someone very important to me that I would publish one of my many stories, so when that person passed and LF and I got more serious about The Ending project, I knew this was my time to go for the gold and it feels amazing. I probably never would have taken the leap if it wasn’t for LF and our combined enthusiasm to follow our dreams.
LF: For me, a lot of what inspired me was LP. I mean, I never considered really going for it with writing until I met her. We were driving home from a book conference--this was while we still worked at Copperfield’s Books together--and we started talking about a story idea. I’d been thinking about writing something entirely epistolary that chronicled an adult woman’s post-apocalyptic experience. During the two-hour drive we toyed with the premise, tossing ideas back and forth, and by the time we arrived at LP’s house, we had characters, a rough backstory, and very general outline.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
LF: Niether. It was twisty, with lots of forks and backtracking. We went back and forth (and back and forth) on whether to pursue traditional publishing or go completely independent. We went the independent route, and since we published, we haven’t looked back. That’s not to say that we haven’t learned or that there aren’t thing’s we’ll do differently with the second book, Into The Fire, just that we’re exceptionally pleased with the results of After The Ending.
LP: Well put my friend. Twisty is a great word to describe it :)
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
LP: I’ll just say that I would’ve listened to my gut more. I’ve learned that there is a reason your conscious is trying to get your attention, so you need to take a step back and ask yourself “why?”.
LF: Hired a cover designer. For sure. I mean, I love our cover, but it took a long time. I’d rather pay someone who can do it way faster (and probably better), so I can just write.
LP: I think the process of coming up with the cover design was really fun though. There’s something to be said for seeing the entire process through--being the masterminds behind it all, being proud of all we’ve accomplished. While I know LF didn’t like doing the formatting and all the headache that comes with it, I think we can both agree the brainstorming process was SO much fun.
LF: This is true.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
LP: The book is available in three different formats: Kindle, hardcover and paperback. All are available at Amazon.com and you can also purchase the hard and paperback version at Copperfields Books and through Barnes and Nobel online.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
LF: I know a lot of indie authors are questioning the merits of KDP Select right now, but I honestly think it’s one of two things that have brought us to readers' attention, the other being Goodreads giveaways. Being an unknown, never-before-published, independent author is scary, and those two services helped our “discoverability” immensely. We think.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
LF: Write for you...the only way you’ll know if other people like (or hate) your words is if you write them down. And yes, no matter what, some people will hate them.
LP: Figure out what inspires you. For me, it’s observing nature or people. My boyfriend calls my people-watching skills “nosey”, but I call it research.
What is up next for you?
LP: I work for a non-profit as well as write, so book two in The Ending Series is my main focus right now. When I’m not at work, I’m writing my Zoe chapters for Into The Fire.
LF: I’m working on two projects right now. First, finishing up book two of The Ending Series, Into The Fire. And second, my solo debut, Echo Prophecy, the first in a PNR/historical mystery trilogy, is entering into the final editing process. I’m aiming for a late summer or early fall release with that one. Is there anything you would like to add?