We have with us today Lindsay Cummings, the bestselling author of Zenith: The Androma Saga, The Balance Keepers, and The Murder Complex. As a young-adult author, she enjoys writing creepy novels in fantastic worlds. She was born in North Texas and still lives in the state as she continues to crank out chilling stories.
BubbleLife: Did you always know you wanted to publish a novel?
Cummings: Growing up, I’d always loved telling stories, but I never really considered the fact that writing books was an actual career. I was always into reading books, but not so much writing them. It wasn’t until I graduated high school and got sick with a 3-year bout of Chronic Fatigue that writing became my passion. Once I started, I couldn’t stop, and the dream of publishing consumed me. After that, I set my mind to finding a killer agent and publisher. It took four years to finally land my first book deal from start to finish.
BubbleLife: Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Cummings: Never! My dad is also a writer, and I really wanted him to see his daughter’s name on the front of a book in the bookstore.
BubbleLife: How has writing helped you cope with your chronic illness?
Cummings: Writing, like many creative hobbies, is a major escape for me. When I write, I don’t have to be in my own head or worrying about my own problems. It doesn’t matter where I am, or what is going on around me. When I write, I’m somewhere else, creating problems for someone else, and there is something very therapeutic in that.
BubbleLife: Do you often have to do research when writing your books?
Cummings: It depends on the story and the characters I’m creating, but there’s always some level of research to a book. This past year, I spent a month in Scotland with my co-author (for Zenith, releasing soon) and we explored the gorgeous fantastical setting and filled our brains with creative ideas. I also think reading other books is the best research for an author.
BubbleLife: Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you deal with the positive and negative feedback?
Cummings: No! Never. That’s a rule I don’t break!
BubbleLife: Do you believe in writer's block?
Cummings: Not at all. I do, however, believe that writer’s block is really just a lack of creativity and a lack of drive. I don’t know a single author out there who wakes up EVERY day and says, “Wow, I’m so full of creativity today! I can’t WAIT to write!” It’s a common misconception that writers enjoying writing all the time. For me, and many of my colleagues, writing is a job. More often than not we have to force ourselves to sit down and write a few words, even if we have no ideas or inspiration. Eventually, if you write through the frustration and lack of inspiration, you will break through.
BubbleLife: Do you ever base your characters off of real people?
Cummings: I always place myself into a novel, or at least aspects of myself. It’s another way of releasing stress and allowing myself to explore other worlds that I never could in a physical sense. I also know that there are people in my life who will inevitably inspire characters, maybe sometimes, without me even realizing it.
BubbleLife: What is your favorite horror movie or novel?
Cummings: Lots of people who have read The Murder Complex ask me this question, because there’s lots of bloody action scenes and a few scary moments. What’s funny is that I HATE horror movies and books. They scare me to the point that I lose sleep. So, strangely enough—I don’t have a favorite!
BubbleLife: Name one underrated book you think everyone should read.
Cummings: There’s a beautiful book, The Near Witch, written by Victoria Schwab. It’s lovely and haunting and whimsical, and it changed my writing life long ago.
BubbleLife: What's your favorite part about living and writing in Texas?
Cummings: I live in the country, with a horse and a donkey and lots of dogs, so my favorite part about writing is that I get to work from home. When I need a break, I just go outside (unless it’s summer, and 1,000 degrees out), and recharge my batteries in the outdoors. I also get a lot of inspiration by being outside. When you live in the country, you literally cannot predict the things you may see or hear, so there’s always something interesting going on to inspire me!
To learn more about Lindsay and her novels, visit www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com.