Author Spotlight: E.M. Lindsey
August 24, 2022 • News
CJC: How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?
EM: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Back in 2006 I started my first novel while working on my undergraduate degree, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go anywhere with it because there wasn’t much of a market for queer romance, and at the time, self-publishing wasn’t much of a thing. In 2011 I began working for a small-press publishing house and I realized that I wanted to keep going with my book. I eventually finished the final draft of Verismo in 2013, but it took me a few more years to finally put it out there. It wasn’t until 2018 that I realized that there was an indie market for MM romance, and that I could make a living off being a writer. I started with my series Irons and Works, I quit my day job, and I haven’t looked back since!
CJC: What do you find to be the most rewarding and challenging part of being an author and what hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?
EM: The most rewarding part for me is getting emails from readers who don’t often see themselves in romances telling me how excited they are to read their story or their journey in my books. I’ve made some amazing friends that way. The most challenging part was honestly convincing myself that I had stories people wanted to read. I was warned off writing characters with disabilities early on in my career because it wasn’t “relatable for most people”, but I’m glad I didn’t take that advice.
CJC: Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?
EM: That’s a tough one because I feel that way about every book I write haha. I get very attached to my characters and my story-lines and it’s hard to let go, even after I type The End. The one most important to me is probably Verismo because it was the book that started it all, and it was the one that took the longest to finish because it was a story I couldn’t hurry along. The series for that book is called Magnum Opus, and I will say that’s what that book feels like to me.
CJC: For first time readers of your work, which book would you recommend?
EM: I have a pretty diverse backlist, so I’d say if they like contemporary romance, I’d start with Free Hand. If they like sports, then I’d go with Switch Hitter, and if they like something a little darker and grittier, then Shades of Lust.
CJC: If one of your books were made into a movie, which would you select and who would you like to star in it?
EM: I rarely ever consider this to be honest, but I’d pretty much give anything to have Henry Cavill or Tyler Hoechlin star in a book I’ve written lol! I also think that Nyle DiMarco would make an amazing Rocco in my book Love Him Free because Rocco is a Deaf adult film star, and I can’t think of anyone prettier to fill that role!
CJC: For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?
EM: To remember a few things: One, that writing is a skill that needs a lot of practice and education (even if it’s self-education). People will try to treat writing like it’s some side-hobby and I think that makes people forget that storytelling is an artform that requires honing your craft. I wrote millions and millions of words in unpublished work and even fanfic before I ever put a book up on amazon. Secondly, that being an author is half writing and half running your own business. You can’t have one without the other and be successful. The market is hard, and it’s ever changing, and you have to constantly study what’s up and coming if you want to keep up with it. That means reading top selling books in your genre, it means listening to book bloggers and readers on what they’re enjoying and what they’re looking for, and it means constantly paying attention to what your core audience is searching for.
CJC: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be and why?
EM: My absolute dream co-write? Would probably be with CS Pacat or Madeline Miller. I’m a classical historian and those two have written ancient historical/inspired fiction in a way that I have never read before and I would die if I ever got the chance. But my other one is my current co-author, Kiki Clark. Working with her has been the best experience of my writing career.
CJC: Favorite motto?
EM: Laugh all you want, but it’s a quote from Derry Girls from Sister Michael. “You will go far in life, but you will not be well liked.” When you go against the “norm”, that tends to happen, and learning to embrace that has allowed me to accept that I don’t need to fit myself into shapes just to make other people happy.
CJC: What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
EM: I write very self-indulgent stories, even if it’s something I’ll never publish. And if my writer’s block is from burn-out, I tend to take breaks and crochet, knit, swim, or sit and stare at the ocean for a long afternoon.
CJC: In one word, how would you describe your writing style?
CJC: Which do you find harder to do… writing the blurb for your story or selecting the cover?
EM: Most people will say blurb, but for me, it’s the cover. I’m very picky and fussy about them, so it takes me forever to find the right model and style for my books. But I have some amazing cover artists now that I’ve been working with for a while and they “get me” so it’s gotten easier. But it’s still harder than the blurb!
CJC: Do you have authors who inspire you? And if so, who and why?
EM: Honestly I have a ton, and there’s no way I could name them all here because so many authors inspire me in different ways- from writing style to storytelling to career success. If I have to name some, I’ll say CS Pacat, Madeline Miller, Adriana Herrera, Natasha Bowen, Tal Bauer, Courtney Milan, AJ Demas, Alexis Hall, Sebastian Nothwell, Stacy Reid, Cat Sebastian, Ellis James, Mia West…and I should stop there because otherwise we’ll be here all day.
CJC: What is your writing process like?
EM: I do my best to treat writing like a full-time job, so I get up in the morning and make tea and have breakfast, then I work on a few admin things before sitting down to write. I take breaks once an hour for lunch or to do laps in the pool, and I set myself a maximum word-count goal (no more than 10k a day to avoid burning out). I “clock out” at 5 p.m. I also don’t work weekends unless I’m super behind on a deadline which happens more than I like to think about.
CJC: What new projects are you currently working on and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?
EM: I’m currently working on a new genre, whychoose MFMMM dark romance. It’s something I’ve been reading a lot lately and the bug bit me really hard. The one I have going right now is a modern day fractured fairy tale Mafia romance about four men who kidnap the daughter of their mafia rival. It’s going to be a trilogy and I will be typing The End on book one today!
As for the rest of the year, I have all my 2022 books up on pre-order and most of those are just getting books to editing and formatting and planning out my marketing for them as their deadlines come closer. I have another hockey book coming out in September, then I’m finishing up a series in October, and getting ready to release a holiday duet in December. I try to make sure I’m at least 5 months ahead in my publishing schedule, so right now my work in progress books are the ones coming out in January.
CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
EM: Nothing except thanks for hanging out this long with me!
CJC: “Breakaway” is now available!
Stay up to date with all of E.M. Lindsey’s latest releases here!
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