Lindy’s first published novel was the archaeological adventure Golden Relic. Her second novel, Blood Guilt, and its two sequels, featuring Melbourne PI Kit O’Malley – Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water – are published by Bywater Books.
Her latest novel is the espionage adventure thriller Redback featuring the very cool Bryn Gideon and her team of retrieval agents.
Lindy also dabbles in true crime. She is the contributing editor of Meaner Than Fiction and Outside the Law 2; and editor of Outside the Law 3. With her sister, Fin J. Ross, she co-wrote Killer in the Family (not her own!); and she is also co-author, with Ruth Wykes, of Women Who Kill (again, no one she knows!)
Lindy much prefers to make things up, however, and is currently working on the sequel to Redback; and a YA urban fantasy time-travelling adventure.
She started her own publishing company in 2010. Clan Destine Press specialises in genre fiction. And cats. And true crime. And…
Lindy is a founding member and National Co-Convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia; and currently Chair of the SinC Programming Committee for SheKilda Melbourne 2011 – Women Crime Writers’ Convention being held October 7-9.
Sally : Wow, a protagonist that Val McDermid calls “Smart-mouthed, sharp-witted, and sexy.”
Lindy : I know! I couldn’t have got a better recommendation for my first novel.
Sally : Will your readers be hearing more from PI, Kit O’Malley?
Lindy : Never say never – and all that, but it’s unlikely I’ll be returning to Kit. Her three books Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water represent a time for her – and a time in my writing. I didn’t leave her dangling with any mess to follow up on, which – when I think about it – is actually odd for Kit herself.
I set out to createAustralia’s first angst-free lesbian private investigator. I also wanted to put my home town – the city ofMelbourne– on the crime fiction map of the universe. At first it was just Australians who noticed, and then along came Bywater Books to introduce Kit O’Malley and her friends to the rest of the world.
Sally : Do you see recurring themes in your work?
Lindy : Only if strong, capable, believable and funny women are a theme.
Sally: What inspires you to write?
Lindy : Niggling ideas swimming around in my mind – sometimes for years – that just nag-nag-nag until I turn them into stories. Although, when I really think about it, it hasn’t so much been ideas as imaginary people who want to get out of my head. Can’t blame them really; it’s awfully confusing in there.
Sally : Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
Lindy : I grab my stories from the news headlines! Hmm. Actually way too often something I’ve just written decides to happen in real life. So I’m never sure if I’m channelling art or life – but something is clearly being imitated.
Sally : What authors or books have inspired you?
Lindy : Val McDermid and everything she’s ever written. Tom Robbins because I adore his way with words. Douglas Adams because he was a genius. Alison Goodman for her inspired world-building.
Sally : What is your wildest, skies-the-limit, dream for your work?
Lindy : That my latest book Redback – an international adventure thriller starring Bryn Gideon (who of course is a strong, capable, believable and kick-arse woman) – will be made into a kickarse action movie. With sequels.
Sally : What do you like most or least about the writing process?
Lindy : I love getting lost in the world I’m creating; spending time with people I’ve invented but who seem as real as, you know, real people; and discovering that sometimes they get themselves out of the mess I’ve written them into.
I do not like a blank page.
Sally : What, in your writing life, are you most proud of?
Lindy : Actually being published. Each time. It never ceases to amaze me that someone other than me – and my loving partner – thinks that I can string a sentence or two together.
Sally : Greatest writing achievement – bragging encouraged.
Lindy : Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water both won the Readers’ Vote in the Davitt Awards (presented by Sisters in Crime Australia to the best published women’s crime of the year). And Bleeding Hearts also won the Ned Kelly Award Readers’ Vote.
My greatest publishing achievement is/was becoming a publisher myself. I launched my own publishing house – Clan Destine Press – late last year with three books. And this year I am publishing seven novels and a true crime book. Four of the books will be paperback and eBooks; and four just eBooks. I’m collecting a wonderful Clan of very talented writers – some previously published and some debut authors.
Sally : Any advice about the craft/art of writing?
Lindy : Sit down and write – every day. EVERY day. And read, read, read. Immerse yourself in the genre you have chose to dabble in so that you know what works and what doesn’t.
Sally : How do keep your butt in the chair? Or, equally appreciated, any avoidance techniques?
Lindy : Hmm. Being the Queen of Procrastination, I suspect the only thing that keeps my butt in the chair is either when I’m so lost in what I’m writing that I forget to get up; or one of my cats has decided to pin me to the desk.
I am truly skilled in avoidance: clothes washing, food shopping, dinner cooking (these are the perfect excuses as they’re legitimate chores); getting my butt up and down a hundred times an hour to let the dogs out; then back in again; then out. Housework is the only thing I don’t class as avoidance – because there can never be a good reason to choose housework over writing. Ever.
Sally : Any other advice for the newly published?
Lindy : Self promote. Tell everyone. Use social networks – but avoid overkill (it’s a delicate balance) Blog about your novel and where it’s been seen and how it’s going. Blog about other things so people read your blog and accidentally find out about your novel. Sell yourself because, really, no one else will.
Sally : Tell us something you haven’t yet revealed in writing?
Lindy : I have no secrets.
Sally : What differentiates good and exceptional writing?
Talent, imagination and a damn good Editor. Never underestimate your Editor.
Sally : Who are your heroes?
Lindy : Xena Warrior Princess, Buffy, Ripley, Sam Carter, Captain Janeway, Helen Magnus – is this a trend or a theme. And it matters not to me that some people say they’re not real!
Sally : Do you have any favorite books or websites or anything else you’d like to share?
Lindy : My most favourite books of the last three years is the duology Eon and Eona by the fabulous Aussie writer Alison Goodman.
I love ancient history and one of my all-time-favourite books is Medea by Kerry Greenwood. And it just so happens that Kerry – who is one of Australia’s most prolific and beloved crime writers – has given me the great honour of republishing her Delphic Women trilogy, which has been out of print for a decade.
Medea will be published by Clan Destine Press in late July; and the other two – Cassandra and Electra – will be out in 2012.
You can visit me at Clan Destine Press
or on my blog
And please come to Melbournein October this year to help Sisters in Crime Australiacelebrate our 20th anniversary with the SheKilda Women Crime Writers’ Convention.