Interview with P.D.R. Lindsay

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was reading before I went to school and so I cannot remember the first story I ever read because I was always reading. Reading allowed me to escape from the difficulties of being part of my family.

I do remember how the Grimms brothers fairy tales terrified and yet attracted me. I do remember how 'Black Beauty' made me cry when I was six and showed me how words written down could affect people. Every story I read affects me in some way.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design I leave to my expert artist friend. She's great. When I have an idea for a cover and fiddle about it usually turns into a mess. I've learnt to let Dawn take my few disjointed ideas and produce something marvellous.

The important thing for a cover is that it looks good in the small display size you see on the website and also is as appealing full size. Paying for a good design from an artist who understands the limits and expectations of a book cover is well worth it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh dear! I cannot be limited to five books. Some books make a huge impression. 'Lord of the Rings' stunned me, as did 'The RiddleMaster of Hed' but then passages of the King James Bible are stunning too.

I can recite oodles of Shakespeare's speeches and would hate to live without his plays. I reread most of Charles Dicken's novels and Jane Austen's every year. I keep finding new books in the library by authors you won't have heard of yet which affect me greatly.

Where would we be without Terry Pratchett's satire, Eliot Pattison's social conscience, Kerry Greenwood''s humour or EllisPeter's version of history?

Then there's poetry - e.e.cummings and Robert Frost, the Romantics and the moderns.

No, five books is far too few.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My blackberry which my grandson kindly gave me, with thanks to his generous parents!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth has sold more books than anything else so far. I am finding my way round social media and using that a little as well as the ebook newsletters.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Northern Ireland but I remember most growing up in Yorkshire, my mother's home county. It's a literary place, with the Bronte sisters and their wild moors, modern writers like Alan Bennett, and so many more. I Ioved my grandmother's Dales stories and her farm house cooking of traditional recipes people rarely use today.
What's the story behind your latest book?
'Bittersweet' took some time to incubate. I couldn't see how to tell the story in a way which readers might enjoy. But a similar modern incident spurred me on. Attitudes to rape have improved but some young men still seem to acquire a belief that there is nothing wrong with rape. If they want sex women should give them it. Also I wanted to show the effects rape has on everyone around the victim, and setting the story in 1872 in Britain and India meant I could really bring home those effects.

It took time for a good character to 'appear' in my head. I needed an angry young man who was also a thinker, and an observer. Bryce Ackerman slowly emerged and he became a young man with a dry wit and a sharp eye for detail. He was also a man in love. The story finally took shape.

Without making the story become too 'heavy' I hoped to show the difference between controlling impulses and indulging them. Bryce controlled his passionate feelings, the rapists did not.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A very kind 'big' name agent who had my first manuscript told me that:
1. Agents and publishers needed 10 books from an author to make money. I was possibly too old to write 10 books. 'Writers over fifty have difficulty getting agents,' he said.
2. They preferred authors living in the same country not far off New Zealand.
3 He and most of his colleagues received up to 8,000 queries a year. 'Of course,' he went on to explain 'only 3 or 4 hundred of those would be publishable and had possibilities to make them marketable, but he and his fellow agents might not even choose one.'
4.Ergo if I wanted my novels read I would have to become an Indie author.

I hesitated for a year because the NZ attitude to Indie authors is to treat them like vanity published authors. It's getting better but there is a strong prejudice against self publishing. However I had the agent's comments. My novel was publishable and marketable but not what he wanted. Should I struggle on for another year or two seeking agents and editors or go indie.

In the end I gathered support from a group of writers in the same boat and we formed Writer's Choice, edited, beta read, designed, proof read and sent our books out in to the world. We feel vindicated as 5 of our 6 novels are prize winners or short listers in reputable competitions and one was a roaring best seller.

We've sold a decent number of books between us and yes, being an indie is more profitable than being on a traditional publisher's list.
Published 2016-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Knitwits
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,170. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Anna Edding is persuaded by the twins to help them save their pet lambs by teaching them to knit the wool. Their dad is not so keen but as the twins' mother died when they were babies he really has his hands full and reluctantly agrees. It's a tough task but everyone ends up smiling.
Heartwood
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,230. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
What is it about this pear wood which is demanding release? Can Josh find a way to fulfill the promise made many years ago?
For the Woman He loved
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,490. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
Dan moves heaven and earth, and their old first home, the romantic Kowhai Gully Cottage, into town for his beloved Maye.
Heart of the Matter
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,300. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Captain Martin Langley has set himself up during his service in Japan with a young Japanese wife and has enjoyed her sexual favours without the danger of brothel diseases. Now he plans to return home to England and his fiancée, but his meek little 'wife' has other ideas.
A Flax Rope
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,210. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Spooky Maori ghost story involving the guardian warriors and the ghost waka (canoe.)
Bittersweet
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,350. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
(5.00 from 1 review)
In 1872, Bryce Ackerman leaves England for India to chase two groups of officers now returned to India. These officers have spent their leave competing to see which group could rape the most young ladies. Bryce's own fiancée was raped and he is after vengeance. Can he find the officers and bring some sort of justice and satisfaction for the young women and their families?
Writer's Choice Shorts: I Wish I Could Remember His Name
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,820. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: January 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
'I Wish I could Remember His Name' is a contemporary fantasy short story based on New Zealand mythology.. Maori mythology includes a god of the forest and guardians of the trees. A heart broken young wife, trying to establish her eco-tourist business finds her life improves when a mysterious stranger lends a hand.
Writer's Choice Shorts: The Ballad of the Moon Lady
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,350. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The children remember old tales and dreams. They remember the moon lady and the sun lord.
Tizzie
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 107,900. Language: British English. Published: April 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
There's no slavery in the Yorkshire Dales, not in 1887, not ever. But loving families use artful schemes to enslave the innocent. Twenty nine year old Tizzie is such an innocent.
Christmas Spirits
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,350. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: January 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
'Christmas Spirits' is an SF short story. Set in the near future it is about a Maori Tohunga, (wiseman) head of his family's unusual business, who has to take on the task of ridding a deep space cruiser of some unwanted guests. It's Christmas Eve and he hates travelling into space. He just wants to go home, but do those unwelcome guests?
When I Come Again
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,060. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Classical Greece & Rome
Becan, returning home after four years of trading with the Romans, looks forward to meeting his sweetheart and to their marriage. He knows she will be waiting for him. He's sent her messages every year and is certain that she has kept her word and waited for him. But there have been other things happening he doesn't know about. So will Laila the Fair be there for Becan?
Jacob's Justice
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 107,920. Language: British English. Published: March 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
It’s 1642 and England is in an economic and political melt down, a situation similar to today’s economic and political mess. The King won’t bend, Parliament won’t break, it’s an explosive deadlock. During those few chaotic months before King Charles declared war on his subjects there was, for those who dared to take it, the opportunity to get away with murder, in return for impressive rewards.
'Women Waking Up'
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,580. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: November 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Facing their problems with humour, courage, or cheerful ignorance, cunning, guile or sheer women's cheek, these women are determined to make changes in their lives. 'Women Waking Up' is an anthology of eight short stories about eight different women who have a chance to make a choice or make a decision which might affect their lives in a major way.
'Blokes Muddling Through'
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 16,230. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: October 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Did Fred really see Romans? Who took the garden gnome? Do the French have any redeeming features? How far will you go to save your land? When you're not good with words how do you find ways to talk? Find the answers in these stories and be entertained by how these six men cope with their worlds.