Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Author Spotlight: Lindsey Black

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Author Spotlight:

Lindsey Black

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?

Um…definition? From it’s wikipedia page hahahahaaa!

Bogan (/ˈbɡən/BOHG-ən[1]) 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.[2]

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.

 

Website

  • Saturday Barbie Series (add to Goodreads):

Fishy Riot (Saturday Barbies, #1)

Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies, #2

  • Standalone Books:

Barricade (scify) coming out December 20

Lindsey Black on Inspiration, Humor, and her release ‘Fishy Riot’ (guest post)

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Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Order at Dreamspinner Press / Amazon / B&N

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lindsey Black here today. Lindsey is the author of one of my new recommended story’s Fishy Riot.  Welcome, Lindsey!

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Thanks for having me today!

I thought I would talk briefly about inspiration. Writers will tell you all sorts of things about inspiration, and where it comes from. A lot of writers will admit to finding inspiration in day to day life, or from their acquaintances. For example, Taylor is a Riot Squad officer because my brother in law is in the squad and I think it’s a pretty cool job, not that I would ever tell him that, his ego’s big enough as is. If it’s true that we draw inspiration from day to day life and acquaintances then it should come as absolutely no surprise that Fishy Riot is a tad on the crazier side of things.

I’m a singing teacher (as in I teach singing, not I sing while teaching because that would be weird), and I work with individuals from 8 years of age to 80 on a weekly basis. Nothing can ever prepare you for the weird things people feel inclined to tell you when you’re their teacher. My students wish they had a twitter account of all the weird things that get said, and I’d have to agree it would be the weirdest daily read in history. So I thought I would share ten of my favourite personal gems from the last few weeks.

  1. Oh, that’s my tyrannosaurus-rex muscle. (Better known as thyro-arytenoid, but ok close enough). It’s in my larynx. I call him Fred, coz he looks like a lil’ Dinosaur, see? (He held up a diagram, complete with arrow and the name Fred. At least he knew what the larynx was.)
  2. When improvising to Summertime one of my students decided to ad-lib between the lines and came up with this gem, which now all of my students insist on singing as if it’s the real words: Oh you’re daddy’s rich, and your ma is good lookin, like a fish…(lalala)…and take to the sky, like an angel who died. (Yes, I told their mother…)
  3. Can I just write the letter ‘b’? It takes too long to write the word. (Be…)
  4. (What does mf mean?) Well, you have to work harder than at mp right, so might fart sounds about right.
  5. When you say black trousers, do you mean I can wear leggings? (No, trousers.) Jeans? (Trousers). What about a skirt with leggings under? (Trousers…please.) Can they be grey? (Black. Trousers.) But I don’t like black or trousers. (And yet, trousers.)
  6. Miss, how come you make singing fun? (Err…would you prefer it was boring?) Nah, then I would quit. (So…) I was just wonderin, geez! Carry on! Can you do something stupid again, it’s awesome when you look stupid!
  7. Student 1: How come you don’t have a stick like the band dude?

Student 2: Don’t give her ideas! She’s clumsy as. It would just fly across the room and hit someone in the eye and you know she sucks at first aid, and I’m not gettin’ you a band-aid. (I confess to breaking the CPR dummy at three separate first aid classes. Student number 2 has a point.)

  1. So, this song, the Mermaid’s Lament. It’s written by a guy, right? But it says he dedicated it to his wife, the mermaid. I’m thinkin’ she’s not really a mermaid, because I don’t think he’s delusional, right? So it’s a metaphorical mermaid? Whatever that means. But his wife… Is she dead? No, wait…is he dead? Is he dying, was he dying when he wrote it? How did he die? Why would he do that? Oh my God, has he no heart? What’s she gonna think every time she hears this song now? (Uh…guys…pretty sure he’s not dead…). Well, I guess not many people are gonna rock up at her house and sing it anyway, that would be way too much excursion paperwork. (They share my hatred of risk assessment, apparently).
  2. What the hell do you think you’re wearing? (Um…clothes? What?) That is hideous. Never wear it again, you’ll make us look bad. (Um…) Wear your Nike’s next time, at least those are cool. Man, we have to help you with everything. ( Those were ten year olds. Savages!)
  3. (I had a message on my phone, it went like this…) MISS! You’re gonna be so proud of me! I remembered to get on the bus to come to choir. That’s right, I’m here on the back seat, the air con is on and I’m sitting peachy and I am gonna be at rehearsal. Hell, I’m gonna be early! Are we going to do that song I like today? You know, the one you haven’t picked a soloist for? I’d really like that solo, I think I’ve asked like a million times noooooow…OMG I missed my stop! Miss! I missed it! What should I do? Ahhh! Sir, Mr bus driver Sir! Yeah, you, can you turn the bus around? I needed to get off back there? No? Why not? How far? Yeah I could get off at the next one. No, there’s no one to pick me up there, what do you mean it’s another ten k’s away? I can’t walk that far, I’ll be late for choir! Oh my god! This is a disaster! Miss! Miss, I missed my stop and the bus driver can’t turn around, I don’t know why I think he’s just a sucky driver or something, and if I get off at the next stop I’m going to have to walk like a million k’s to get to school and choir will be over by then! Oh wait, hey the next after the next stop is my grandma’s…I’m gonna go eat cake. I deserve cake, because this whole thing has been a disaster! I’ll see ya next week, okay? Bye!

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the characters in Fishy Riot are crazy. They probably seem over the top, a tad mentally deranged even, but they’re actually mild compared to reality. I hope you enjoy their shenanigans. Happy reading!

P.S If you’re reading on the bus, please don’t miss your stop. And if you do happen to miss your stop, please don’t call me.

Release date for Fishy Riot: April 24th

 

About Fishy Riots

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

About Lindsey Black:

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.

You can find Lindsey on facebook / twitter / www