You Asked, Author Lindsay Cummings Answered!
Recently, the expressive and bubbly YA author Lindsay Cummings, whose much anticipated dystopian novel in the Murder Complex series is due out in stores on June 10th, along with its prequel on June 3, took part in our new endeavor and answered your questions. Described on her Web site as “an action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate,” this book is sure to be a page-turner that will keep most readers up at night, if not for the chilling plot, then definitely for the thrill of reading.
With already three novels under her belt at just 22-years-old (the third due out in September), one can only imagine the stories this Texas-based animal lover — together with her husband Josh, she owns two German Shepherds, Hurley and Kair; Kimber, the wolf cub; and a hedgehog named Hedwig — has up her sleeve!
In-between her ongoing promotions and book tour, Cummings answered your queries about the upcoming novel, including the inspiration for it and the names of its characters, as well as why she knows the ending of her stories before she even writes the beginning. Read on to find out what she had to say!
Alexis from Canada: How do you figure out what to write about and how do you stay on topic?
Lindsay Cummings: I am usually just inspired by a certain image, setting, or idea of a character that pops into my head. For me, I stay on topic because I become SO obsessed and excited about each idea that it’s hard for me to stray away!
Andrea from Pennsylvania: What was your inspiration for the Murder Complex?
LC: I once read this super creepy article about a small town that was plagued by all these murders in a short span of time. I decided to write a futuristic spin on that story!
Camila from the Dominican Republic: Why did you pick the names “Meadow” and “Zephyr” for the main characters?
LC: I wanted soft names for strong characters! I felt like that would be a fun way to make them a little bit unique!
Emily from Ohio: How many other story ideas did you go through before you started The Murder Complex?
LC: Before TMC, I wrote another YA book. I tried to get an agent for that one, for several months, but it never quite got all the way! I hadn’t learned the value of editing yet, which is probably why that book never made it.
Claudia from Massachusetts: Which phrase or sentence in the book are you most proud of and why?
LC: I really love the sentence that’s on the back of the book: “I will be fearless.” To me, that’s how I’ve been trying to look at life. As I was writing TMC, I really had to face a lot of fears and doubts in my own life. Now, looking back, I’m so proud of that sentence, and I’m even more stoked that it made it onto the back cover!
Kate from California: Your novel is considered to be of the dystopian genre. Have you read anything (could be a book, article, etc.) that made you think differently of this genre, or perhaps of fiction in general?
LC: I tried to set it apart by making it more about futuristic things, more about technology than an oppressive government.
Anne from Ohio: When you wrote this book, did you have an idea of how it would end at the beginning? Did that change?
LC: I actually knew EXACTLY how it would end! It’s strange; I usually know how my books will end before I even begin writing them. I think it helps give me an end goal, something to work toward while I’m struggling to get the words on the page.
Sandra from Oregon: Would you like to be friends with the main character(s)? What is something you can picture the two of you doing together?
LC: I would LOVE to be friends with Meadow and Zephyr. I could picture Meadow teaching me how to fight, and Zephyr just making me laugh with his goofy, cute self!
Janet from New York: As a writer, you’re bound to get both positive and negative reviews from readers and reviewers. Can you give an example of a negative comment that you turned into a positive?
LC: I think just getting negative reviews in general sort of fuels me forward. I want to prove to people that someday I can and will impress them!
Emma from Texas: Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like being a secretary or being an accountant?
LC: Not at all! Since becoming a full-time author, I’ve discovered that this is TOTALLY what I was always meant to do. I wake up, most days, feeling pretty grateful for what I’m able to do as a career. It’s not every day that you find a job where you get to do what you love AND get paid for it! (And get to work at home all day with your dogs!)