Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Author Spotlight:
I found author Lindsey Black through her debut novel Fishy Riot, published at Dreamspinner Press. I laughed, sniffled, and fell totally in love with the Jameson clan and this author’s writing. And then as it happens..nothing …until I heard from the Australian publishing house Hot Tree Publishing and found that Lindsey Black had written a sequel.
Rhino Ash, the second story in Lindsey Black’s Saturday Barbie series, just deepened my love for this series and author. It also made me want to know more about her, and the inspiration behind this family and series. Reading her answers to my questions has just made me appreciate the characters and storylines even more. She has a gift in the way she mixes humor and pathos, romance with the grittiness of a policeman’s or fireman’s reality, and then finally brings it all together with the craziness and warmth of a large family’s love and support. How I adore this series and it’s only at two books at the moment. That I feel that way is due to the talent of this amazing writer.
If you haven’t found this series yet and love contemporary romance with a hint of suspense, humor, and action thrown in, then this author and series is the one for you.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lindsey Black
- That marvelous Jameson family: How did you come up with them? The idea of the names of the kids, their professions? Where did the inspiration come from?
Big families are a very old school Australian thing. My father is one of five children and my mother is one of six. I only have two siblings, but my husband has six. I don’t think you can write about Australian life and values without including a huge family—we’re all about big family gatherings. But the Jameson’s in particular are a payout (def. To insult, to knock, to slather with insults. In common usage, at least in Australia.) of both my family and my husband’s. More his, really.
Among his siblings there is a 6 foot something tall riot squad officer, a nurse, my husband who is ex-military, and then the younger siblings who are far less over-achieving. But I thought it was funny that they were all public service jobs, especially since I’m a teacher. Oh and the nurse’s partner is also a teacher. My husband’s family are also rather bogan**, which is pretty hilarious and very un-Jameson. I didn’t want to write about bogan Australia, that’s boring and overdone and too easy, really. I wanted to explore the fine line between middle class Australia and the upper echelons; that space where you have money but don’t throw it away. So while I took the occupational amusement from my husband’s family, the overall feel of the family was taken from my own.
Chloe is basically my mum after a few glasses of wine (she should really only ever be given one, but after that it’s a fun ride!). My Mum was an English teacher, and my Dad is a writer so I sort of combined their idiosyncrasies for Chloe. She’s nuts, in the best way! My Dad actually studied law when he was younger but dropped out when he realised he didn’t like it much and went into teaching later, but I thought it a nice little homage to make Daniel a lawyer.
The occupations were also a bit of a piss-take on contemporary pop culture and the way we seem to fetishise particular jobs.
The rhyming names was an accident; I’d named four of the characters before I realised I’d done it and then I left it because I thought it was funny.
- Do you know how many books this series will have?
Saturday Barbies has four planned books. A few readers have asked about some other side stories but I would have to really look at them to even consider going there. In the end I think they would be funnier cameos in the four books I have planned.
They aren’t really standalone; you can read Rhino Ash without reading Fishy Riot, but the next two start mingling the plots pretty savagely and while I’m doing my best to make them separate entities, they are a series, so … We shall see, I suppose?
- Where did the name of the series come from?
When I first heard that Dreamspinner was going to publish Fishy Riot I had to tell my husband, and he wanted to know what it was about. I was stumped for a minute before I blurted out ‘Saturday Barbies’. And it’s true. At it’s very core the series is about family, and the ways we come together and support one another. Unfortunately, he still thinks it’s about drinking beer with the mates, eating a sausage sandwich and kicking a footy around with the occasional weird porn scene.
- Taylor got a book, will his other twin get one as well even though he has a boyfriend?
This was actually one of those ‘other stories’ I mentioned people had asked about (Taylor would hate/love to know how popular Clay apparently is). I could go back and tell Clay and Joels’ story, and might one day, but at the moment I’m focussing on moving forward in the timeline.
The remaining two books don’t focus on new characters, or even new relationships, but rather continue the plots and romances already established.
Book three is Sietta’s book. A few eagle-eyed readers noticed Rhino Ash mentioned Taylor had linked something in the illegal immigrants storyline to Sietta, and book three picks up from there to begin tying up the loose ends from Fishy Riot.
- I love the mixture of humor and pain here, it works so well. It was hard to believe that Fishy Riot was a debut novel. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for a long time. Many, many years ago I wrote several epic fantasy novels but I fear I was a tad before the times. My books all had female leads when it was very uncool to do so, and in the tiny Aussie publishing market that was ‘never going to happen’. It’s great to see that changing.
Fishy Riot was an interesting book to write, mostly because it is a serious book that is not to be taken seriously. It’s also one of those books that readers either really love, or hate with a passion that terrifies me and that has a lot to do with it refusing to follow the developed idea of what constitutes a romance. Fishy Riot doesn’t let you wallow, because life doesn’t let you do that. It moves fast, things constantly change, and if in the middle of all the chaos you happen to find a slice of magic then isn’t that all the more amazing?
- What do you love yourself about this series? And the crazy Jameson family?
There are a lot of very subtle jokes in this series that a small handful of people have understood. They are usually related to the finer details of Australian life, be that politics, family, friendships, workplace policy, you name it there is very likely a joke about it somewhere in there. I love that on the surface they are a ridiculous series of books (I mean, ultimately they are a satire of sorts), but the issues are current and meaningful to the society I live in and approached in a very Aussie way.
Another really fun thing is that most of the really crazy, over the top incidents are actually based on real world events. The drug bust, the drive by shooting, the illegal immigration forced indenture, someone being lit on fire on a bus … they were all based on real events. So that’s cool, and another ‘inside joke’ for Aussies who pay attention to the news.
- What new stories are you working on?
My next book ‘Barricade’ comes out on December 15th. It’s a dystopian sci-fi romance set in the not so distant future. On the surface it probably seems a very serious book, but as with most things I write it began as a piss-take of Trump’s wall. Sorry, not sorry. It’s another book I expect to be loved and hated in equal measure, for a lot of the same reasons as Saturday Barbies—you have to think outside the borders to really understand the bones of it.
Then in February ‘North’ is being released. It’s a cute little contemporary Aussie folklore/fantasy romance set near my home city of Darwin. This is probably the most ‘traditional’ romance book I’ve written, but it’s still on the far side of quirky. New genre? ’Aus-quirk’!
And of course I’m working on book three of Saturday Barbies.
- How can people find you?
I have a blog – www.lindseyblack.net where I also have a mailing list if you like to be reminded of what’s coming, and I’m on Facebook and Twitter.
- What do you want people to know about Lindsey Black and why she writes?
I think it’s important to challenge our ideas about the world. I try to write meaningful stories that subtly (or not so subtly) question how we do things, and why. Stories link emotions to ideas, and I hope people finish one of my books feeling lighter, but also more determined to do something good in the world. Usually I suspect they finish a book and toss it across the room … whatever works for you.
**So that was our interview…but as I read it over I realized I had no idea what “bogan” meant and thought some of our other American readers wouldn’t either. Back to Lindsey I went and here’s her answer….
Oh geez! I guess a bogan is sort of like trailer trash, but more aussie?
Bogan (/ˈboʊɡən/BOHG-ən) is Australian and New Zealandslang for a person whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour are considered unrefined or unsophisticated. Depending on the context, the term can be pejorative or self-deprecating.
Since the 1980s, the bogan has become a very well-recognised subculture, often as an example of bad taste.
About the Author
LINDSEY BLACK lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ She enjoys martial arts, music, and mayhem, which explains the untidy state of her home where she attempts to write while splitting her minimal amounts of spare time between her incredulous husband, lazy Chinchilla cat, and crazed Siberian husky. If you expect her to sit and have a chat, it’s best to have a matcha green tea latte with almond milk on hand and your hiking boots within reach. Oh, and be sure to bring a guitar for impromptu jam sessions.
- Saturday Barbie Series (add to Goodreads):
- Standalone Books: