Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My full name is Lindsey Ann Jennings (hence the L.A.), and I have been telling stories since I could talk. I told so many stories that my parents taught me how to read just to shut me up! I grew up an only child and home-schooled in the mountains around the Shenandoah Valley, giving me plenty of time to focus on writing and reading. As of now I have only published one book, but there are plenty more on the way.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I just published “The Case Files of Al Na’ir: An Untimely Affair,” a post-apocalyptic science-fiction mystery, late last year. I came up with the idea about four years ago while watching Star Trek; I wondered what would happen if the perspective of the show were from the societies they visited, rather than from the utopian galactic force that beamed down. That idea spiraled out over several years to include my love of mystery novels, my enthusiasm for writing action scenes, and my interest in the post-apocalyptic genre. Ultimately I ended up with the book I have now, them sum of everything I’ve been interested in over the past few years.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I’m really stuck on what to write, I open up a voice recorder app and record myself speaking whatever parts of the scene comes to my head. I talk until I run out of things to say, and then I transcribe it onto paper and work from there. This stream of consciousness results in a lot of confusing run-on sentences initially, but it’s better than not having anything!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have always enjoyed mysteries, and Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were formative figures of my childhood. The puzzle-like aspect of mysteries, the use of the detective character, and the nature of the villains they used helped me to develop my own skills. In addition to these, there are literary works that have helped me to see just what that medium is capable of, such as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel “The Brothers Karamazov,” Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”
What are you working on now?
I am currently writing the sequel to “The Case Files of Al Na’ir: An Untimely Affair,” which goes further into the galaxy the characters live in, as well as further into the characters’ pasts. I am also working on several short stories and poems.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The best method I’ve found, whether online or offline, is to generate a group that is passionate about your work and willing to tell others about it. There is no better marketing tool than to see someone who is genuinely enthusiastic about a book.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read critically, write extensively, learn enthusiastically. Can’t go wrong with that!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Someone once told me that writing is like soup: the ingredients themselves aren’t original, but the way that they’re put together is. Don’t worry about having original ideas, just focus on being an original you.
What are you reading now?
Right now I’m making my way through “The Martian” by Andy Weir, as well as a few nonfiction books about writing.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Writing, writing, writing!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Including the Bible, I’d probably also go for the complete set of Sherlock Holmes stories (that counts as one, right?), “Jane Eyre,” and one of my literature anthologies. Sure, I’d never figure out how to get off the island, but at least I’d be entertained.
Author Websites and Profiles
L.A. Jennings Website
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