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Debbi Mack interviews mystery writer Lindsey Richardson on the Crime Cafe podcast.
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Debbi (00:02): Hi everyone. Our guest today describes herself as a fantasy author, or at least she started as a fantasy author. She’s written a four-book series, the Magician Series, and has started another series. One that combines mystery and fantasy, which I think is really cool. Her latest book in that series, Clara and Daphne is set to release on December 6th, which means by the time you hear this, it should be out. So go out and get ready to buy. A fellow Marylander and cat lover, it’s my pleasure to introduce our guest, Lindsey Richardson. It’s so great to have you on. Thank you.
Lindsey (01:39): Thank you so much for having me.
Debbi (01:41): It’s my pleasure. I think it’s interesting that despite being a Nancy Drew fan as a child, you ended up writing fantasy.
Lindsey (01:51): Yeah.
Debbi (01:52): At first. What inspired you to write the Magician Series?
Lindsey (01:56): Well, I would say growing up, I was reading a lot of mystery and fantasy books. Like Tamora Pierce. She was a huge inspiration for me. I read so many of her books and I just found that I was always writing stories. And I was reading a lot of fantasy series as well. So I guess that kind of sparked this idea that, Hey, I could, you know, write a fantasy series of my own and see how that goes.
Debbi (02:26): Wow. When I think of fantasy, I think of world-building, you know, and it’s like, you have to create this whole world. And what, what do you do exactly? How do you go about creating that world? Do you come up with the whole thing before you start writing or do you find yourself developing the world as you write?
Lindsey (02:51): I think I figure it out as I go. I’m not exactly very good at planning ahead. Especially at the beginning of my series, like my current series right now the one that’s fantasy and mystery, that one, I kind of just figured out, because the entire world is fantasy. So I kind of just figured out as I went along building, you know, these islands that had magic in them and figuring out how their world was going to work with the characters.
I think I figure it out as I go. I’m not exactly very good at planning ahead. Especially at the beginning of my series, like my current series right now the one that’s fantasy and mystery, that one, I kind of just figured out, because the entire world is fantasy.
Debbi (03:26): Can you tell me a little bit about the series? Let’s, let’s start with the magician series. You’ve got this series of books. There are four of them, correct? And each one has a different protagonist, but it’s the same world and the same event taking place, correct? Yes. Yeah. White versus Black magician type thing or Dark magician.
Lindsey (03:50): Yeah. Yeah. So the Magician Series is fantasy with a little bit of historic fiction mixed in It’s set back in Transylvania in the 1500s and each book has a different point of view from one of the five Dark magicians. And I kind of wanted to do a thing where we could see both the point of view from the Dark magicians, as well as what the White magicians were looking at to see it wasn’t just black and white. Good versus evil. Like everyone had their own reason for being against the other.
So the Magician Series is fantasy with a little bit of historic fiction mixed in It’s set back in Transylvania in the 1500s and each book has a different point of view from one of the five Dark magicians. And I kind of wanted to do a thing where we could see both the point of view from the Dark magicians, as well as what the White magicians were looking at to see it wasn’t just black and white. Good versus evil.
Debbi (04:29): Yes. So there’s a war taking place between the White and the Dark magicians, though?
Lindsey (04:35): Yes. Yeah. So the White magicians are mainly the ones that are accepted in society. They’re considered to be the good magicians and then the Dark magicians kind of have this darker, less acceptable magic. And actually at the start of this series, their magic is deemed illegal by the King. And there’s only five of them left alive. So their survival becomes very difficult as they figure out, you know how they’re going to outlive everyone in this world.
Debbi (05:10): Yeah. Well, the way you, the way you describe it, I simply have to ask, have you ever read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett?
Lindsey (05:22): I don’t think I have. No.
Debbi (05:25): Oh, my God. You should read that book. I love that book. I loved it so much. And your description of Dark magicians versus Light magicians made me think of it. Read everything you can by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I’m just going to say that.
Lindsey (05:44): I’ll have to check that one out.
Debbi (05:45): They’re brilliant. Both of them. Ah, may Terry Pratchett rest in peace. He was a wonderful writer. Let’s see. So your new series then combines magic and mystery and you have one protagonist throughout that one, correct?
Lindsey (06:03): Yes. Well with the exception of this new book, Claire and Daphne, that’s coming out. That one, I actually did split up into two point of views. So it actually starts with Daphne and then it switches over back to Clara, who’s been the main character, the last two books.
Debbi (06:22): Hmm. Interesting. Tell us a little about the protagonists in the books and how you see their story arc developing over the series.
Lindsey (06:33): So I guess for my current series right now, Clara is like I said, that series was heavily inspired by like Nancy Drew. I liked the idea of every book kind of having a different mystery that she’s forced to solve. And I would say, I probably have at least, well, I know I have at least one more book planned, possibly two. Just because, like I said, I didn’t plan that far ahead. Originally it was just going to be a one and done kind of deal. And then at the end of the first book I realized, Oh wow, I have this whole world and all these characters that I could go so much further in depth with. So here we are three books later and I’m in another series, but it’s been a lot of fun writing it.
So I guess for my current series right now, Clara is like I said, that series was heavily inspired by like Nancy Drew. I liked the idea of every book kind of having a different mystery that she’s forced to solve.
Debbi (07:24): That’s fantastic. What made you decide to take on a new series?
Lindsey (07:31): Well, I guess at the end of the Magician Series, you know, I wrote that for about four years and I, I had the idea for Clara and Claire and I knew I wanted to do something a little different from fantasy, but I didn’t want to entirely jump away from that genre. So then I kind of mixed the two fantasy and mystery together and I was like, let’s see how this goes. You know, I love detectives with like, or I’m sorry, I love stories with like women detectives and, and that sort of thing. So that kind of sparked the idea of what Clara would be doing in each book.
I had the idea for Clara and Claire and I knew I wanted to do something a little different from fantasy, but I didn’t want to entirely jump away from that genre. So then I kind of mixed the two fantasy and mystery together and I was like, let’s see how this goes.
Debbi (08:13): I see. How many books do you plan to write for that series? Or do you have a plan for how many books to write?
Lindsey (08:21): This one has at least one more. I just, so the third one’s coming out this Sunday and then the fourth book I’m going to start in January and I still have to kind of figure out where I want Book Four to go, to see if there’s going to be a fifth book or not. I guess there’s just so many characters and so much going on in the series that I kind of don’t want to stop writing it, but at the same time, I don’t want to drag it along. So we’ll see what happens, but at least one more book for right now.
Debbi (08:54): Well, that’s great. I like your approach, you know, kind of taking things as they come in a way. There’s a plan, but you can kind of adjust your plan depending.
Lindsey (09:05): Yeah.
Debbi (09:06): That’s kind of the way I work a little bit. I tend to be a plotter by nature, but at the same time, I’m always thinking, where is this going to go? What writers have most inspired your work?
Lindsey (09:23): I would say again like Tamora Pierce and Caroline B. Cooney was another author I read a lot growing up. She does like fantasy and mystery books. And I remember reading so many of her books that I just really loved especially the mystery ones, because I thought it was so interesting. And I guess that kind of sparked you know, my interest in that genre, but and I would say John Green as well. I don’t really write exactly like how he does, but I do really admire the way he writes. I just think it’s so different than everybody else.
Debbi (10:05): Hmm. Yeah. I keep hearing about him and I keep wanting to read his books and let’s see, what are you working on right now?
Lindsey (10:16): So I just finished NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I finished that at 50,000 words, so I, I won, but it was a rough month. So right now, I’m taking a break since I have my book coming out this Sunday, but then in January I’m going to be starting Book Four in my series and I have another book kind of, that’s been on the side, that’s solely in the mystery genre, but I’ve been playing around with it and it hasn’t been my main focus, but I do want that one, I think once I’m done with this series to be my next, you know, big project.
So I just finished NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I finished that at 50,000 words, so I, I won, but it was a rough month. So right now, I’m taking a break since I have my book coming out this Sunday, but then in January I’m going to be starting Book Four in my series and I have another book kind of, that’s been on the side, that’s solely in the mystery genre …
Debbi (10:59): And what books do you like to read?
Lindsey (11:04): I will read like anything I can get my hands on. Right now, I’m reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I started reading that or, well, I’m going to start now that NaNoWriMo’s over. And, other than that, I have a whole bunch of books I got to catch up on. My list is ridiculous.
Debbi (11:31): Oh, same here. I know the feeling. Totally. Let’s see. Do you have any thoughts about new series?
Lindsey (11:40): I don’t know that I have any other new series. Like I said, I don’t really plan ahead a lot, which kind of backfires sometimes on me, but I always have like a bunch of different ideas for different stories, like written down in my notes app. So I definitely have a couple of different ideas of where I want to go once I’m done with this one. I just can’t be doing multiple projects at once. Otherwise I get myself all confused, so I’m just taking it one book at a time.
Debbi (12:15): Understandable. What advice would you give to somebody who would like to write books like yours?
Lindsey (12:25): I would say to just, you know, start writing. Don’t let other people’s doubts stop you. I know like when I started writing at a very young age, people always told me you’re too young, you’re too young. And my first book was published when I was 18, like right after I got out of high school. So I considered that you know, a huge accomplishment just because everyone told me that I wasn’t going to be able to do that. And I just kept trying, I didn’t let you know other people’s thoughts get in the way of what I knew I wanted to do
I would say to just, you know, start writing. Don’t let other people’s doubts stop you. I know like when I started writing at a very young age, people always told me you’re too young, you’re too young. And my first book was published when I was 18, like right after I got out of high school.
Debbi (13:01): Good for you. And that is awesome. That is an awesome achievement.
Lindsey (13:06): It was crazy.
Debbi (13:07): It’s no small achievement. Believe me. I’m impressed. Let’s see, what else can I ask you? What would you like to tell people who aren’t familiar with your books? What would you say to them in terms of how would you describe your work to them, to somebody who might be interested who has not read your book? Or books.
Lindsey (13:31): I guess I would say, you know, right now I have two different series going on. So the magician series has fantasy, historical fiction, and some romance in it. A lot of action as well, since there’s like a war going on in that book. And then my current series right now A Rose with Thorns, that focuses more on the mystery aspect for people that maybe aren’t huge fans of the fantasy genre, but there’s still like this fantasy world with magic. There’s romance in that one as well. And there’s a lot of twists and turns in my current series, I would say there’s a lot going on, so.
So the magician series has fantasy, historical fiction, and some romance in it. A lot of action as well, since there’s like a war going on in that book. And then my current series right now A Rose with Thorns, that focuses more on the mystery aspect for people that maybe aren’t huge fans of the fantasy genre, but there’s still like this fantasy world with magic.
Debbi (14:17): Well, I’m intrigued. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about that I haven’t covered with you?
Lindsey (14:32): I don’t know, offhand. I mostly post a lot on Instagram with like my writing updates. So if anybody wants to check that out, that’s where I’m most active. I do like big updates on my website as well, but Instagram, I kind of go more behind the scenes and show, you know, how I’m coming along in each book that I’m working on or talk about what I’ve been struggling with. And what’s been working out for me. I’m constantly like trying out all these different writing apps and software to see which one works or doesn’t work. Oh, I got you covered on that front.
Debbi (15:12): I hear all of this, man. I’ll have to follow you on Instagram. That’s fantastic. Do you have a favorite movie? I love movies.
Lindsey (15:25): Geez. I can’t even think of a movie right now and I know well there was La La Land. That was a musical. I don’t know if you’ve seen that one. That was very good. I loved the music they did in that movie. And there was a Hallmark movie I just watched recently that I can’t think of the title of The Magic of Ordinary Days. That was a romance on Hallmark. So most of their movies are romance movies. I love that movie. That’s a very good one that I can recommend as well.
Debbi (16:06): Wow. Well before I say anything else, I’m going to talk about your bookshelf there in the background. If you’re listening on the podcast, you should check out my YouTube channel because then you can see her little bookshelf in the background where she has all these books lined up so neatly, I’m just jealous because my shelves are a mess. Are those Nancy Drew books with the yellow spine?
Lindsey (16:30): Yes. Yeah, the yellow.
Debbi (16:32): Oh, my gosh.
Lindsey (16:34): We don’t have all of them. I remember at one point, me and my mom really wanted to get the whole collection of the original set of books. But I do have, I guess, like 15 over there that I just have lined up. I’m like one day I’ll get them all in order, but yeah, those are all over there.
Debbi (16:56): That’s really cool. That’s great. Well I will just say then thank you so much for being here. And if that if that pretty much sums it up, I think I will just say thank you again for being here, Lindsay. It was really nice talking to you and good luck with all of, with your books and with your writing. I mean, my gosh. To have published a novel so young is a really impressive feat. Oh, I should ask you this. Are you on Wattpad?
Lindsey (17:31): Yes. I don’t really go on there as much anymore, but before my first book Cursed With Power was published, that’s where I was primarily you know, having people read it and give me critiques and that sort of thing. So I would say that’s a great place, especially for people that are just starting writing or just need like feedback. I thought it was excellent as far as like the community there.
Debbi (18:00): Yeah, actually I’m there also. I just …
Lindsey (18:03): Yeah, yeah. I haven’t uploaded anything in forever, but now, and then I check in on it and see how it’s doing.
Debbi (18:11): I try to do my best to keep things updated.
Lindsey (18:14): Yeah.
Debbi (18:15): You know how it goes.
Lindsey (18:17): It’s a lot.
Debbi (18:18): It is an awful lot. Well, thank you again so much. I really appreciate it.
Lindsey (18:23): Thank you for having me.
Debbi (18:25): It was my pleasure, honestly, and for everyone out there listening, don’t forget that we have a Patreon page. Be the first to hear the podcast, if you support the podcast on Patreon. Along with that, you can get access to bonus interviews and, coming soon, samples of my audiobooks. I give shout-outs and credits to supporters at all levels, I believe. And so you can check out Patreon by going to my website, DebbiMack[dot]com, and clicking on Crime Cafe. Our next guest will be the thriller author Avanti Centrae. I hope I’m saying that right. So, in the meantime, I will see you in two weeks, take care and happy reading.
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