Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview with Mary Lindsey

Hey guys, I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls. Here is what she had to say!

Question: SHATTERED SOULS is an interesting story. Where did you come up with
the idea for Lenzi to be a sort of "mediator" for souls?

Answer: It certainly isn’t a new idea. It’s been done loads of times, but communing with the dead is one of those things that resonates with many people. To me, hearing disembodied voices would be terrifying, which is why I limited the main character's ability to see them. The soul-sharing aspect of the premise came about from the millions of times I’ve wished I could show someone a memory or see what it is like to view the world through someone else’s eyes.

Q: Is Lenzi's name a play off of your last name, Lindsey?

A: No. Lenzi is the name of one of my students who asked me to use her name. The character even looks like her.

I felt pretty silly when someone first asked me this question. In fact, the work was already on submission with publishers before it came to my attention. (Duh). By that time, the name had stuck and I wasn’t comfortable changing it.

Q: Will there be a sequel, or is this the end of Lenzi's story?

A: Shattered Souls was written as a standalone novel, but another book set in the same world is not out of the question.

Q: Lenzi's schizophrenic father added a twist to the story, and I spent half of the book wondering whether or not he was like or if she was like him. Did the idea for his schizophrenia come before or after you decided what Lenzi's power would be?

A: Long after. He was a dead-beat dad until very late in the revision process. I decided it would amplify her fear if he had suffered mental illness. 

Q: Does Lenzi ever encounter animal souls who need help or only human souls?

A: I toyed with the idea of adding animal souls, but nixed it because communication without seeing them would be hard and require Dr. Doolittle-type skills. As much as I love animals, I had to add them somehow, so I put my dog, Fig (Spook) in the book. Shattered Souls is dedicated to Fig, who died at seventeen years old the week before it sold to Penguin.

Q: What projects are you currently working on/planning to work on in the future?

A: I’m currently working on a dark young adult gothic novel based on Edgar Allan Poe’s last poem, “Annabel Lee.” It will be published by Philomel/Penguin in 2013. 

Q: Do Lenzi, Alden, and the others get paid for their services? They should be paid well with the jobs they have!

A: Yes, it would be a “real” job for them with income based on the points system. I had some information about that in the earlier drafts, but cut it for simplicity.

Q: Do you watch/read a lot of ghost stories?

A: No. Ghost stories scare the crap out of me. Fortunately, I’ve never seen, heard, or had any encounters with ghosts. I’d be a terrible Speaker. Ghosts hide from me—and that’s totally okay.

Q: If you could sit down and have coffee with any of the characters in your book, who would you pick and why?

A: Of all the characters in the book, I’d most like to hang out with my dog, Fig (Spook). I miss her terribly. If I had to limit it to humans, I’d pick Alden. With his memories of his past lives, he’d be fascinating—and not hard on the eyes, either.

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process? Do you outline or write freely?

A: Souls was totally "pantsed." No outline—nothing. Because of this, the revision process was difficult (that's an understatement). I created a detailed outline for my current project due to the complexity of the plot. Working from an outline makes the first draft more time consuming, but cuts way down on my revision time. Even with an outline, though, the story occasionally spins off in unexpected and exciting directions.

Thank you Mary for taking the time to answer these questions!

Buy your copy of Shattered Souls today! 


  1. That was an enjoyable interview. I loved Shattered Souls (in fact, I still think it's my favorite paranormal romance up to date!) and it's interesting to read Mary's thoughts on it.

    I would pick Alden to talk to too, I absolutely adored his character. :)

    Thank you so much for the interview!

    Agnieszka @ Nook of Books

  2. Wonderful interview for an absolutely outstanding book.


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