Lindsay Detwiler is an author and high school English teacher. She has published five novels, including: Voice of Innocence, Without You, Then Comes Love, Where Love Went, and To Say Goodbye. Lindsay lives in her hometown with her husband Chad, their five cats, and their mastiff Henry. She is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?
I’ve always loved writing. As a child, I would write poems and stories all of the time. I didn’t get serious about writing a novel, though, until college. I took a class called “The Literature of Health and Healing.” The class was about bucket lists and how little time we all have. I got inspired to achieve my bucket list, which included publishing a novel. I started writing Voice of Innocence that summer, which would become my first published novel.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I am an English teacher, so I do my writing in the evenings. I don’t write every single day because of my schedule. I do a lot more writing over winter break and over the summer. Sundays are also a “writing” day for me; I will spend a few hours in the afternoon on my laptop drafting my work in progress.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?I definitely get writer’s block. I usually just take a few days or even a few weeks off if I need to. I find going for a walk also helps me come up with ideas for some reason.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?Pantser, which is interesting because I am a major planner in my regular life. I think this may be why I don’t like to plot too much out with my books. I’ll make a general outline, but I pretty much go with it in my books. I think I just like the freedom and the unstructured writing because it gives me a break from my regimented life.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published?Traditionally published.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?I never expected to get published—it was a huge dream for me, but something I never thought would happen. My husband is the one who encouraged me to send out my first manuscript. When I got a contract on it, I was completely stunned and unprepared. I didn’t really have any social media or a website set up. I had to learn so much on the fly. Every book that comes out has been easier, but I still find I’m learning so much about the industry. My advice for aspiring authors is to start building your platform now. Don’t wait until you have the contract in your hand to build a website—trust me, it’s really stressful if you wait.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?I’ve had several book signings at Barnes & Noble, which was a dream come true. I always dreamed of seeing my name on the sign there and seeing my book in the store. To have that dream come true is such a surreal honor.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? My Then Comes Love series is a humorous chick lit series about three women in the same family. Charlotte, the grandma, has just moved to an Assisted Living Community called Wildflower Meadows. She’s struggling to adjust to the new stage of life. In the meantime, her daughter Annie, 50, just got divorced and is trying to rediscover her own identity. Amelia, the granddaughter, is engaged to Neville but isn’t sure if it’s the life she actually wants. All three women are navigating new stages of life and second-chance romances. All three find out that sometimes family is just want you need when your life is crumbling. Both Then Comes Love and the sequel, Where Love Went, are about finding love at every stage of life. There are plenty of humorous moments including dance aerobics fights, Bingo game fights, and a catnapping. These books are perfect for any age because there is a character to represent every stage of life. I also recently released a contemporary romance/military romance called To Say Goodbye. It follows the story of Sophia and Jackson, two thirty-somethings brought together by an immense tragedy. It’s a story about redemption and about how love can help us reclaim our lives.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)I think a lot of it is about being genuine and about being patient. You have to build a social media presence that is based on who you really are and not some fake identity created to sell books. People want to connect with you, not be given constant pitches and sales schemes. It’s really tempting at the beginning to shout “buy my book” to everyone. You have to realize it’s personality that sells books, not sales gimmicks. Be true to who you are, and the fans will come.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?Typically, it takes a few months. However, I was so passionate about To Say Goodbye that I drafted it in a little over a week.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. I am so fortunate to have had amazing artists design all of my covers. I never have an idea of how to portray my story with a cover. My covers for Then Comes Love and Where Love Went are probably my favorite. They were designed by the amazing Claire Smith.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time?I love shopping and spending time with my mastiff Henry. I’m also a Netflix addict. I am addicted to Orange is the New Black, Reign, Jane the Virgin, and Nashville.