About Lyndsey Hall:
I'm a YA fantasy author from a little town on the edge of Sherwood Forest, England. I've always loved reading, anything with animals was my go to as a child, but I really got into fantasy when I was a teenager and I discovered Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl. My first story was a school project when I was ten where we had to write a poem in the style of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes. I wrote a retelling of Red Riding Hood, and it ended up being shown around all the primary schools in the area. But I started writing seriously in 2016 and published my debut novel, The Fair Queen in August 2020.
What inspires you to write?
Nature is a huge inspiration for me, a lot of my ideas come to me while out walking my dogs in my local woodlands. I like to be as accurate with my settings as possible, so getting the flora and fauna right for the topography is really important for grounding myself in a story. Having Sherwood Forest on my doorstep is obviously a brilliant source of inspiration! But I also love people watching and observing the little details of people's interactions and relationships. I think you can find that tiny spark of inspiration anywhere if you keep your eyes open and jot down in a notebook anything that catches your eye. You never know what little word or phrase will be the core of your next story.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I love so many authors, Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo are two of my favourite writers, Strange the Dreamer is as close to perfection as a book can get. Maggie Stiefvater and Melinda Salisbury are big favourites of mine too. I love Sarah J. Maas as well, and Samantha Shannon. There are so many incredible fantasy writers to choose from, it's hard to pick just one!
Tell us about your writing process.
I'm a plantser (a mixture of plotter and pantser), but I definitely lean more towards being a plotter. I need a good outline to keep me on track and keep out the writer's block, so I tend to create a list of scenes and moments needed to move the story along, sometimes in a spreadsheet so I can move them around easily. Then I take my notes on each scene and paste them at the top of the chapter so I can refer back as often as I need to and make sure the scene plays out as I planned, but I do leave room for some discovery writing, because I find that when I try to force my stories to stay within the lines I've created, that's when the writer's block hits. I also create a bible for each series so I can save all the important details, like character profiles (normal stuff like eye and hair colour, height, etc. but also their personality archetype, what their name means – names are really significant to me so I always put a lot of thought into their meaning), and anything to help me keep my world building and magic system consistent.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I love getting into the heads of my characters, I write close third person POV, so it's important to know my characters inside out. I put character profiles together with all the details that I might need to know, and some of it doesn't make it into the book, but it helps inform my writing and give the character a strong voice.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing. Focus on your own journey, don't compare yourself to anyone else. We're all on different paths, and at different stages of our careers, and you never know what someone else might be going through in private. The most important thing is to keep putting words on the page, you never know when your next book might be the one that becomes someones favourite book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self publish because I loved the thought of being in control of everything from the title to the cover to the publishing date. I wanted to have the final say on what I write and when, not to be forced by what the market is looking for or a publishing house's schedule. Ultimately, I wanted to be the one to say yes to my stories, not to hand that power over to someone else. There are definite pros and cons to both traditional publishing and self publishing, but for me, the benefits of self publishing made it worth all the hard work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love that there are so many options nowadays, I just released a hardcover version of my debut novel, The Fair Queen, and an audio book is also in the works. All through self publishing. So I hope that trend continues and indie authors have more access to resources that allow us to publish our way. There will always be a place for publishing houses and agents, but to me the future of self publishing is really exciting.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, YA, fairy tales
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.