Debut author Lindsay Cummings talks about her novel, The Murder Complex, her journey to becoming an author and what the toughest criticism has been. The Murder Complex releases June 10.
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself
1- I’m literally the worst dancer ever. The first dance at my wedding was like a horror movie
2- I played on the boys’ ice hockey team in high school!
3- My favorite thing to do is nap
4- I always wear two different colored socks
5- I have an intense obsession with Ellen DeGeneres, J-Law, and now Shailene Woodley
Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer
I grew up loving books. I always wrote little short stories, but I never thought I’d write a real novel. When I graduated high school in 2009, I got really sick with Chronic Fatigue. Doctors didn’t know what to do with me, and I had to stop going to college. It was during that time, when my health was gone, that I turned to writing. It took me to another world – one without boundaries, and writing became a major part of my journey back to health. When it became a career, I was ecstatic and eternally grateful. I get to live my dream… and I’m thankful for the wild journey, however difficult, that got me to this point!
Describe your novel, ‘The Murder Complex,’ in five words!
Two teens kill… a lot.
Where did the idea for ‘The Murder Complex’ come from?
It was a random news article that I saw a few years back, about a small town plagued with murders, but no one knew who was behind it. I wanted to put my own futuristic twist on that story, with a female Bad-A as a lead character. It was SO much fun to write!
At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?
When I get a new idea, which is frequently, I always write it down. It’s usually just a tiny wisp of a detail, like a character or setting. When I start working on that idea, sometimes it clicks within a few chapters. Other times, the magic just isn’t there. The books that work are the ones that keep me up at night, lying awake, frustrated and excited at the same time. It’s usually about halfway through when that happens!
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Bad reviews. Those are hard to take. Every author gets them, even the big names. They’re crucial to a book’s success, surprisingly, but they’re hard to swallow. I don’t read reviews anymore!
What has been the best compliment?
It’s sappy, but when my dad texted me after I gave him an ARC of one of my books… and it said “so proud of you.” That just made me smile. My dad is the reason why I write!
Do you have things you need in order to write (i.e. coffee, cupcakes, music)?
I’m pretty easy, as long as I have a comfy chair or couch. I can’t write to music unless it’s instrumental only!
Where’s your favorite place to write?
I have a chaise lounge chair in my apartment, and I feel so fancy when I write there. Like a “grown-up author”. I love it!
What character do you relate most to?
Probably Katniss. I’m feisty like she is, and not very great at making friends. I’m also fiercely protective of the people that I love (animals included).
What is easier to write: The first line or the last line?
It depends on the story! Lately it’s been the last line, because that moment is SO sweet.
What one YA novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?
Legend by Marie Lu. That book is just so… I can’t even… (fangirl explosion).
What are you working on now?
Editing the sequel to The Murder Complex, and drafting the sequel to Balance Keepers #1, and on the side, cleaning up a futuristic fantasy that I wrote last summer!
About Lindsay Cummings
Lindsay Cummings is a 22-year-old author of The Murder Complex series coming June 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, as well as it’s prequel novella, The Fear Trials, coming May 2014, and the MG trilogy, The Balance Keepers, coming Fall 2014 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.
When Lindsay graduated from highschool in 2009, she became sick with Chronic Fatigue. She was constantly tired from several surgeries, couldn’t get out of bed most days, failed her college classes, and had to drop out. Because of Chronic Fatigue, Lindsay took up writing. At first, it was a hobby and a way to escape. But after a while, Lindsay became obsessed with writing stories… it turned into a career, and she wouldn’t have it any other way! Unless she could teach Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Then she’d have it that way.
You can pre-order The Murder Complex now.