author of Someday, Somwhere, out April 3, 2018
Author, I Never is a new segment in which I interview fellow authors about the writing process, breaking into the industry, and breaking rules. I ask some hopefully novel questions along with some old standards, and finish it up with a round of I Never to find out what cardinal writing rules we've broken.
Question the first: Lindsay, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I was a creative kid, always working on a bunch of projects at once (please, please, please don’t let those tapes of my living radio show surface). At first, I thought theater was my thing, but I always had a notebook that I’d fill with ideas for stories and plays. It wasn’t until I took a writing workshop in college that I realized writing was my true love, and it’s even more fun when I’m writing about music and theater and art and all the other stuff I love.
Please, please let those tapes surface! Question the second: What has been your proudest or most exciting moment as an author so far?
Writing the acknowledgements page for my first book, Someday, Somewhere was the most thrilling thing ever. It’s like giving your own personal Oscars speech. No, it’s like going on a long, difficult hike, and then standing up at the top of the mountain and looking back at the gorgeous view, and seeing all of your friends and family standing along the trail, waving at you and smiling. I DID IT, GUYS.
Question the third: At what point did you think to yourself "I've made it" or at what point do you think you'll feel that way?
Ha, probably never. I’ve trained myself to stop focusing on goals (like publishing a book) and start loving the process of writing instead. Otherwise, it’s a lot of waiting around for stuff to happen. No matter how many doors I unlock, there’s still going to be another closed door waiting behind it, and I’m completely at peace with that. If I spend the day doing good work and fall into bed totally exhausted at the end of the day, that’s good enough for me.
Question the fourth: Did any experienced authors or industry people mentor or give you helpful guidance on your journey to publication?
My editor Kate Egan and my agent Sarah Davies are two badass, veteran publishing gurus and they’ve helped me so much along the way. My mom, Joyce Champion, was also a children’s book author, and watching her journey from first draft to a series of published picture books was so incredibly inspiring.
Question the fifth: Have you ever had a time when you've felt like giving up?
I wrote Someday, Somewhere while working full-time as an editor for a digital media company, so I carved out writing time between the hours of 5 and 8 a.m. And every morning, I’m not kidding, every damn morning, I would consider giving up. Sleep is comfy and enticing and easy. Writing is not. But I taught myself to enjoy picking the hard thing. The hard thing—continuing to write even though I’m tired and cranky and got 30 rejection letters this week—is always more rewarding than the easy thing. Promise.
Question the sixth: What was the most inconvenient time or place you were struck by inspiration?
The shower. Always the shower. Cliché but true. Someone buy me one of those shower notepads for my birthday?
Question the seventh: Can you give us hint to help us find an "easter egg" or hidden item to look for in one of your books? Maybe an obscure clue if there's a mystery thread, or a reference you threw in to a favorite book or song?
Pay attention to the orchestra roster at the end of the book. There’s a tribute to one of my favorite YA novels hidden inside.
I will! Okay, on to the...
I Never Round
The basic rules of I Never, the kid friendly version- I state a generally established writing rule (or at least a norm). If you've broken that rule, state your guilt for the record.
I never made up a word in my manuscript, and stood by it during copyediting.
I never had an amazing idea right before bed, and decided sleep was more important.
Guilty. (Did this last night. Still trying to remember what the genius idea was.)
I never started a story with a character waking up, looking in the mirror, or in a bathtub.
I never worked on two manuscripts at once.
What about 4? (Still guilty.)
I think you've set the record for the game. So far. I never went several days or even weeks without writing.
Guilty. Although I always regret it.
I never wrote "for a long moment."
Never! (I always listen to Stephen King.)
I never cheated during NaNoWriMo.
Never got past day 7, but at least I’m honest about it.
Thank you so much for appearing in Author, I Never! When and where can we look for, preorder, or buy your next or most recent book, and where can we follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for having me! My YA contemporary Someday, Somewhere is in stores and online April 3, 2018. Follow me on Twitter at @lindsaychampion.
You are so welcome! Bonus question: If Someday, Somewhere had a theme song, what would it be?
The entire book is about music, and it's impossible to pick just one song, but I'll go with the obvious: Somewhere from West Side Story.
I love that one! DJ Spotify, is there a place for us?