Lindsay Baldassano’s debut novel, The Chronicle of the Hymns: Book 1 The Quest of the Amyx Amulet, is coming out soon! Here’s the skinny from Lindsay about what it was like to work on this series.
What was your inspiration for writing this book:
I can’t say I had one source for the inspiration. I had been interested in the fantasy, urban fantasy genres and really enjoyed how many authors have been meshing the two. I didn’t want to write the Hobbit or even the Mallorean, where the characters, while they suffered, as people tend to do in story, were mostly wholesome or pristine. The villains or antagonists were the ones who truly suffered some kind of defeat. I wanted to break that mold in the fantasy genre. I wanted to write a story with characters who came a world that more real. Magick and the paranormal aside, I consider those parts of reality a matter of perspective.
What was challenging to me was write the feelings and the dialogue behind the choices that were made. In a story where the characters really have to dig deep to find any sort of truth, personal or external to them, the emotions and state of mind had to be true. Few of us begin any journey setting out to be a hero of any sort. But our choices along the way, might get us that end result.
My inspiration for any story comes from the characters. I will dream up characters and expand upon them and what kind of world they would live in. I might like a plot device, but it’s always the characters that will define how well any plot device will work. So this story evolved around Krii and what her fears were, what twists her life took. And now it’s evolving around the notion that Krii could be happy, and be in love, and not lose focus on herself and her life.
What are your upcoming projects:
I’ve already started the second book of Krii’s story. The working title is the Rise of the Order of the Raven, but I expect that to change, since this is really become a story of a transformation of two people.
But, I’m an author at heart, there are so many stories that have to be told. I would imagine I will start a few projects on the side the this series. I even one book in backlog that needs to be revisioned a bit. I started it long before any story about Krii, but it began to take a direction I didn’t like, I couldn’t feel the internal truth of. I might revisit that soon.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the second book?
Ummmm…Well it’s still being written. The characters still have a lot to decide. But in the second book, of course Krii and Xander come back together. But the tone of the story is turning out to be quite different, and Krii is being pushed in different ways and being asked to use her talents and creativity in ways she never really tried before. The end of book on put her in the clutches of one her worst fears…no spoilers here! But in the beginning of book two the reader will begin to understand why it was necessary. There was no way she could have gained the experience she did and needed if she hadn’t gone through it. She’s going to be more open to the things that come at her, because she is beginning to sense that she has to meet things head on. There isn’t anymore room for hiding. She has to find a way to be a leader.
Why you chose to self-publish?
I honestly didn’t think to choose any other type of publishing. When I began and finished writing the first book, it was for love of story. Not just the tales of Krii and songs, but because I love stories and strong characters. I wasn’t in the place to invest into the process of writing novels as a profession. All I knew was that I needed to write, and this story is what was coming out from my fingers, mind, and heart.
I probably could have died without publishing anything and had been content with myself. But with the way the industry opened up to amateurs, it seemed like a silly choice not to consider at all.
Who are your favorite writers?
I hate those kinds of questions. I remember characters more than I remember author’s names or where I might have read the character. I do the same thing with songs. That and I read about as much as I write, I have pretty much read my way through all the free books (and more, much more) on Kindle’s fantasy section. But I have had a long readership with Koontz. I enjoyed Eddings. I enjoyed the Incarnations of Immortality. But I also really like the wordsmithery of Mixhial Bulgakov and Douglas Adams. But what would probably be more pertinent to this series is that I love love love the Allie’s War series by JC Adrijeski and All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Those last two series probably had the most impact on Krii and her story.
What’s your process? How do you get into a project or sitting down to write?
I have time set aside in my working days to work on different things. But really, I’m writing all of the time. I’m running characters and scenarios through my mind to see how they feel, where they would go. About half time, I write longhand on an abused and well used mead nylon covered portfolio I carry around with me. I keep loose leaf paper in it, and then just file away the papers in the right binders for later analysis or transcription. When I’m in story mode, if I feel I’m on to something, I will finish writing out the scene and then shape it better in editing. I use Scrivener for writing and organizing, so once pieces are transcribed I can move things around as I need to.
I do use a reaction-action-recovery kind of cycle in the writing. That mostly comes out in the editing process, rather than the writing process. When I write, I immerse myself in the emotion of the scene and the character. I try to think and feel like they would, or vice versa. If I am feeling a certain way, I ask myself how I can translate that into something one my characters might go through. I end up with more material than I need for one book, but I keep it all. It might get re-used somehow.
Lindsay’s first book, The Quest of the Amyx Amulet: The Chronicle of the Hymns, is debuting soon!
Get on the mailing list to stay in touch: