By Rick Reed
DECEIVED introduces Gabrielle aka/Elle Smith, a senior and a new student at Francine Francis, an Ohio private school. Ever since she could remember, Elle has had to hop from town to town to keep up with her dad’s demanding career as a corporate insurance agent. Each time, a recurring nightmare followed her wherever she went–until the day that the frightening figures haunting her at night became all too real.
When news of a serial killer spreads throughout her new school, Elle worries that the Reaper has been leaving her his calling card in the form of cigarette butts on her doormat and an unusual ribbon in her locker.
With the help of Brian, a boy she meets at a flea market, she discovers that this isn’t her first encounter with the murderer and that her father has been concealing her true identity for the past twelve years. But despite her father’s desperate attempts to protect her, Elle comes face to face with the darkness she has been running from her whole life. Trapped in the woods and with help hundreds of miles away, will Elle be able to confront the Reaper and reclaim the life that has so long been denied her?
F+W Media will release DECEIVED in September2013. In addition to DECEIVED, Julie will see the release of four other books in 2013: DECEIVED, two romances, and two other mysteries.
The mother of three, she’s a self-proclaimed nerd and caffeine addict with a special fondness for Pop Tarts, but she would rather read than do anything else. She is definitely a force in social media, online around the clock, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. She lives in Ohio with her family.
“Ms. Lindsey crafts an exquisite tale that kicked my adrenaline up with every turn of the page. DECEIVED is stunning and more than a little scary. From the first page, I had to know what happens next, while at the same time, I had to know what happened before. As Elle’s life unravels, the reader will feel just as raw and betrayed as she does.”
–Gwen Hayes, author of FALLING UNDER
Your September release, DECEIVED, is one of five new releases this year.Your bio says you are married with three children. Where did you find time to write five novels?
That does sound like a lot of writing, doesn’t it? It’s a little deceiving because I didn’t write all those manuscripts in one year. Some took more than a year to sell. Last year seemed to be my big year for signing contracts. I signed with three different publishers and when my stories were assigned release dates in the course of about nine months, I was shocked. I still am.
As for finding time to write? I learned to write in the midst of chaos aka: three young energetic children. I comb, sort and revise the words later, during quiet moments. This translates roughly to: I don’t sleep. I exist on willpower and coffee. I know that sounds insane, but I do it because I want to write. I also want to be with my children while they’re young and still like me, so I make time for both. When you’re passionate about something, you find the time. I pull frequent all-nighters because the only thing I enjoy more than writing is my family, and they always come first. Flexibility and determination are a powerful combination.
You obviously have been writing long before this year. How long have you been writing, and what prompted you to publish?
I started writing after the birth of my third child. I read a book that captivated me. I needed the escape so severely and was so thankful for the time in another world, I decided I wanted to do that, too. I wanted to give someone else an escape, a break, a smile. It took two years before I found a small press willing to publish my sweet romance stories and another two years before I signed the contract for DECEIVED. All in all, I’ve been writing for five years. In those years, I’ve written more than a million words. I have thirteen completed novels, three short stories, three novellas, and countless words edited into oblivion, deleted, tossed and long since buried. I’m proud of the ones that survived.
Are all of your books in the Young Adult genre? If so, can you tell us why you chose YA? Are you considering writing in other genres?
DECEIVED is a young adult suspense, but I’ve written in other genres, too. My October release is the first in a traditional cozy mystery series. I had a young adult mystery release in April and two sweet romances this year as well. Since I was bitten by the mystery bug, I don’t plan on writing any more romance. I feel I’ve found myself right here in the mystery/suspense genre. I’ll definitely continue writing mystery and suspense for both teens and adults.
For decades I’ve cursed my timid temperament and irrational fear of everything from ponies to Oompa Loompas, but now fear is on my side. I know what it’s like to panic, flee and fear for my life. I do those things every day, so suspense is a good fit for me. Writing about other people in deadly situations is strangely therapeutic. I connect with my characters on a very personal level and I pour all my stress and anxiety into these stories. Fear is my wheelhouse.
What did you do before you became a writer?
Before writing, I was a stay at home mom. I home schooled a first grader, while potty training a toddler and nursing a newborn. It wasn’t pretty. Before kids, I got a degree in psychology. (As you can see I’m putting those tuition dollars to good use). People intrigued me in college, and I didn’t want to study as much as I wanted to people watch. Psychology seemed as close to a career in people watching as I could get, so I went with that. After graduation, I worked a variety of stressful jobs from psychiatric social work to public relations.I took a little something from each experience, but my craziest job so far is motherhood.
Did your previous career help you develop ideas and characters?
No. I thank my parents for my writing career because they refused to have more children. I’m the face of only child syndrome. Thanks to a lonely and boring adolescence, my ability to entertain myself knows no bounds. I’ve made up stories for myself, my friends, my kids and strangers for as long as I can remember. It’s a skill I value more than ever when one of my three children has an hour without their siblings and has no clue what to do with themselves. Their inability to function alone is staggering.
You have already written three mystery novels and two romance novels. Do any of these share the same character(s) or are part of a series? If not, do you plan on making any of these books into a series?
My October release. MURDER BY THE SEASIDE is the first in a new cozy mystery series.The stories are set on Chincoteague, a small island off the coast of Virginia. I left Chincoteague four years ago after a one week visit, but Chincoteague has never really left me. It inspired my YA mystery, REINVENTING CHLOE, which released in April, and the cozy series. I’m writing the final installment now and have enjoyed getting to know the characters through three adventures. I’m finally ready to say goodbye to the island. Chincoteague induced its share of nightmares, too. They have wild ponies. Wild. Ponies. I can’t even.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most—romance or mystery? Why?
I won’t tell you how long I stared at this question. It was tough, but as much as I enjoy a good swoon, mystery is the genre for me. I love creating humorous cozy style mysteries with heroines I can relate to because it’s a fun escape from the doldrums of grown up life. I like the idea I can open a book, escape somewhere fun and laugh my way through an otherwise tough day. I equally enjoy writing high intensity mysteries for teens because teens are open to anything. The possibilities are endless, and I also like the idea I could potentially write the story that draws in a teen reader and hooks them on books for life.
What advice would you care to share with beginning writers, or writers who haven’t tried to publish?
I think the best advice for people contemplating anything is to just do it. Go for it. Stop mulling it over and get busy. Don’t worry about failing or getting rejected. That’s part of the experience. Being a writer isn’t easy, and it’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, then embrace it. All of it. Good and bad. Claim it. What are you waiting for? Finish that manuscript and send those queries. Get out of the closet and tell people you’re a writer. Keep your chin up when you do. This is your dream. Go get it, and I don’t mean chase it, I mean hunt it down by whatever means possible and mount that novel on your bookcase beside your first royalty statement and a list of people who said you couldn’t do it. Email me if you start to wimp out. I’ll be your cheerleader. You can do this.
What’s next for Julie Anne Lindsey?
Now that DECEIVED is out in the world, I’m preparing for the release of my very first cozy mystery titled MURDER BY THE SEASIDE, the first in my new Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press. It’s very different from DECEIVED. My cozies are fun and upbeat, they leave you giggling and ready for anything. It’s fun to change things up like that.
After that? I don’t know. Definitely more suspense writing. Hopefully more cozies. I’d love to visit schools and incite a book riot where teens discover the hidden power of books to change their days, change their lives, change the world! Who’s with me?
In 2013, Julie Anne Lindsey will see the release of five new books: DECEIVED, two romances, and two other mysteries. Mother of three, she’s a self-proclaimed nerd and caffeine addict with a special fondness for Pop Tarts, but she would rather read than do anything else. A force in social media, she’s online around the clock, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. She lives in Ohio with her family.