A few weeks ago the wonderful Mariam (from Flying Through Fiction) and I buddy read Eric Lindstom's phenomenal novel, Not If I See You First. Mariam was prepping for exams and I was just beginning the descent into holiday retail madness (as one does as a bookseller), but we both devoured Lindstrom's debut. Today, Mariam are both thrilled to be featuring Lindstrom and Not If I See You First on our blogs. After you read my interview with Eric below, be sure to check out Mariam's post here!
It’s relatively easy to make a character smart, since authors have more time to think about everything than anyone actually does in real time. The trick is not making them too smart or they’ll come off as contrived. Snarky is easy, too, because I just let Parker say things a lot of people would think but don’t say out loud. The decision to have her say these things was less straightforward. It came from this idea that Parker growing up got less negative feedback than average for her speech. Years of disapproving facial expressions encourage people who can see them to be more careful about what they say. This didn’t happen to Parker, so she has less filter than most.Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end?
Not If I See You First is the first story I’ve written without an outline, and it was an unexpectedly wonderful experience. But having no outline doesn’t mean I had no destinations in mind. I always have strong ideas about what conflicts to explore, and how I want them to evolve in high-level ways. The events themselves and the details come as I go. I think this combination of goals and flexibility is important. Characters need to be true to themselves in what they do, but also, a story about a journey that the author knows will end in failure should be written differently than if it will end in success. But once I know the basics, then it’s like building a tower, starting at the bottom and adding floors one at a time. I can never write a later scene out of sequence because everything has to be aware of every aspect of what came before, from the broadest concepts down to word choices. So while I know how things will generally turn out, I write linearly and freely from a starting point. Sometimes I do end up in a different place than I expected, and when that happens I’m usually very glad I did.What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a little kid, but I’ve always understood it might take awhile to do it full time. After high school I got a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but it didn’t take long to see that it didn’t suit me as a career. Then I landed in the computer games industry by accident, writing instruction manuals for games, and later marketing and advertising copy, and I realized it was possible to have a career in writing without being a full-time novelist. Progressing in the video games industry, however, led me to becoming a game designer, which is the role that sets the rules and determines the content of a game, including writing any stories and dialog and descriptions, so my experience in games contributed a lot to my growth as a writer. But few roads are straight or simple; along the way I also got a teaching credential, worked as a substitute elementary school teacher, and a part-time kindergarten teacher. But really, just waking up and walking down the street gives a writer experience and inspiration about what to write.If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
Enigma. Because.My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that provided you with a hiding spot.
That would have to be The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams. They are the only books I will pick up, flip to a random page, and start reading no matter where I landed. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes hours. It always makes me happy and ready to come back to the world and try again.What can readers look forward to next?
I’m just now finishing my second book, a YA novel scheduled to release in the Fall of 2016, announcement to come soon!
About the Book
Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.
Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.
Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter.
Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.
When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
About the Author