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Randy Lindsay has always been a story teller. According to his FAQ page on his blog, his first love was John Carter of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burrows, a wonderful blend of fantasy and science fiction. In a way, post-apocalypse stories are a mix as well. He’s fan of David Brin‘s “Existence,” Roger Zelazny‘s “The Complete Amber Chronicles,” Keith Laumer‘s “Retief,” and Dave Barry‘s and “Peter and The Starcatchers.” By reading this “what-if” authors, he allowed his mind to be opened up to the wonders of imagination. Our married, family man / “catastrophist” enlightens us on the facts and fiction of the end-of-the-world!
CAROL: Why did you choose the End-of-theWorld theme?
RANDY: Two reasons. First, I love apocalyptic stories. I always have. Then second, I write a lot of fantasy and science-fiction stories and wanted to contribute something with a little more importance. I wanted to give people hope when these events eventually come to pass.
CAROL: How did you get started writing?
RANDY: I have always been a storyteller. However, the thing that pushed me to take the next step and attempt to become an author was my reading a book that I didn’t enjoy. I told a friend that “I could write a better book than that.” That turned on a light bulb for me and I have worked on writing a better story ever since.
CAROL: What did you do before you wrote?
RANDY: A whole series of mostly uninteresting jobs, but all of them allowed me to work towards my goal of becoming a professional game designer. I worked several years in what they call the Hobby-Game industry making card games.
CAROL: What do you do in your free time?
RANDY: Mostly, I spend time with my kids. I like to fish, but rarely get a chance to go now that I am attempting to promote my first book and write my second one. I also like to do family history research. By default, I am the genealogy expert of my family and do all the ancestor hunting for the Lyndsays and the Andersons.
CAROL: Briefly describe your latest book?
RANDY: In my latest novel, “The Gathering (End’s Beginning), my hero, Robert Williams didn’t expect an early honorable release from his mission, but upon his return he sees the reason for the surprise decision. Unemployment, rampant violence, and frequent food shortages have put the United States on the brink of another civil war. As the threads of society unravel, the Williams family must adapt to drastic changes as the long-foretold gathering begins to take place.
CAROL: What is the character in your book most like you?
RANDY: The truth is that none of them are like me. I’m a bit of a Nervous Nelly. But if I had to pick one it would be John. I put the least thought into his voice.
CAROL: How long to you generally let a story idea “marinate” in your brain before you start a book?
RANDY: Not too long. When I have an idea that I’m excited about I write it down along with whatever bits that immediately come to mind. Then it sits there until I’m ready to write it. If I have more ideas I add them to the original notes. Once I decide it’s time to write a novel I spend a week plotting it. If I’m having a hard time with the storyline it might take two weeks for the rough outline.
CAROL: Do you have quirks or writing rituals to perform before you can write?
RANDY: I plot best when I drive. I wait until I’m safely at my destination before I write any of it down, but the ideas flow when I’m driving. However, that only applies to when I start a novel or run into a snag in one of the chapters. Walking works too, but not as well.
CAROL: What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve ever had?
RANDY: POW!!! That’s the name of the novel I would like to write that is basically Kung-Fu Theater in book form. I’d have to write it for laughs, because I don’t think I could take it seriously. Oh yeah, lots of action and cheesy dialogue. But fortunately my wife has made me promise to stay focused on what I’m doing now. No new projects until all five of the End’s Beginning novels have been written.
CAROL: If you could have a theme song for your book, what one would it be?
CAROL: Do your friends or enemies ever find themselves in your books?
RANDY: They might find themselves in my books, but not because I wrote them there. All of my characters are products of my over-fertile imagination. As they say, any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
CAROL: How do you feel about book trailers? Do you have one?
RANDY: I love them. I have one in the works. We went the live-action route and I think people will get a real kick out of it when it’s finished. I hope to be able to post it next week.
CAROL: If you could cast your book for a blockbuster movie, who would make up your dream cast?
CAROL: Best advice you ever received as a writer?
RANDY: You are your books best salesperson. No one will put as much passion into marketing it as you will.
CAROL: What did you do to celebrate you being picked up by a publisher?
RANDY: Went out for dinner and had Sushi. It has to be Sushi.
CAROL: What’s on tap for the future? What are you future projects?
RANDY: I am working on the second book in the End’s Beginning series and I am super excited about it. I think it will be even better than the first. I also plan to self-publish my first novel, Hellathon, later this year. Publishers and agents have been hesitant to pick it up, but everyone I tell about it finds the concept interesting. I will be publishing it under a pen name.
Night owl or early bird? Night owl. Which is funny because my wife is an early bird.
TV or movies? Definitely movies.
Vampires or Werewolves? Neither.
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert.
eReader or book? Kill the trees. Give me the book.
Beach cottage or woodsy cabin? A cabin in the woods, please.
Cats or dogs? I like dogs better, but we have cats.
Dancing or singing? Dancing.
Spontaneity or planning ahead? Well, I am a plotter. I like my life planned out.
Writing or reading? Writing.
Sherlock or Elementary? Elementary.
Sports or theater? Sports.
Thank you, Randy, for taking the time to answer my questions and share some silliness with my readers. Congratulations on your books and good luck for the future – that is if we have one!!!
RANDY LINDSAY is a native of Arizona. He lives in Mesa with his wife, five of his nine children, and a hyper-active imagination. His preoccupation with “what if?” has led him to write speculative fiction. Although The Gathering is his first novel, Randy has had short stories published in Penumbra e-zine and several anthologies during 2013. If you want to find out more you can check him out at RandyLindsay.net.
The Gatherling Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Ends-Beginning-Randy-Lindsay/dp/1462113737/