10 Questions with James and Marc Lindsay
Author of the highly anticipated 'Plato Wyngard' series, James Lindsay is currently a primary school teacher and father to two amazing sons. He has been writing screenplays and novels in his head since he was ten and on paper almost as long.
James grew up loving characters like Han Solo, James Bond and Batman. Good guys with a dark edge. He tackles life in the same way—too bad he looks more like Chewbacca than Han.
Born in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Marc Linday served in the Australian Defence Force for nearly twenty years as well as overseas in Rwanda and East Timor with the United Nations. He was also a security contractor in Afghanistan and an Emergency Response Team Commander for Queensland Corrective Services for nearly a decade.
Marc started writing his first novel, Perigord, in 2014 and self-published it in 2015. Since then he's completed the Perigord series, co-written four Plato Wyngard books with his brother James Lindsay as well as two novels in The Raven's Prophecy series. He currently has six completed novels, which he hope to start getting out to readers next year.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you call home and what do you write?
J: I'm a grade 5 primary school teacher in Brisbane. I've co-written an action adventure series and a middle fantasy series with my brother Marc. About 10-15 years ago I was writing screenplays but became very jaded when productions would fall apart due to location issues, actors pulling out, hell I had a zombie short film kiboshed due to a hurricane in New Jersey. After Marc released his first book, Perigold, I decided that I'd throw my hat in the ring of writing novels. No location issues, no wet weather dampening the production. Just write, edit, rewrite, re-edit, rewrite, format and publish, simple.
M: My name is Marc Lindsay, I live in Townsville, far North Queensland. I write fantasy, action-adventure and have just started horror and supernatural.
2. What drew you to that particular genre and/or age group?
J: I've always read action adventure novels and started there because I knew what I liked in the genre and what I hated to read. I basically wrote a story that I would have been excited to pick up off the bookstore shelf.
I also really enjoy reading middle grade and fantasy books. As a teacher and father of primary aged kids, I like to have a finger on the pulse of what they are reading. I was knee deep into The Ranger's Apprentice series when I wondered why there are so many books like this with a boy as a main character. That's where Astrid, the main character in The Raven's Prophecy series was born. A female character who can kick butt when needed and be pragmatic when needed.
M: I have always been drawn to the strange and unusual. I don't believe that I write for a specific age group, however I think that younger readers will always love stories that have a hidden world away from what we think is real.
3. What’s your best known work or what are you currently working on?
J: Marc and myself are currently preparing to launch Plato Wyngard 4 into the world. This action adventure series is set in the late 70's and follows ex-SAS operative Plato Wyngard on some intense adventures.
M: My first series is Perigord, which is now complete, however I do try to set all my works in this universe.
4. What inspired you to write it?
J: Plato Wyngard is a character in Marc's YA series Perigold. He's missing but talked about in the first book but I saw him as an Indiana Jones type character and asked Marc if I could write a story about him in his younger years. Two days later we were co-writers and plotting book one in the series. So I guess I can grudgingly say Marc inspired me.
M: I've always loved to write, however, it was my current occupation that allowed me the time to properly pursue it.
5. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between? How do you research?
J: I can't write without something of a plan but can't be beholden to a complete plan and unable to let the story take me where it decides to go. The best way to explain my process would be signposts. Once I have an idea I usually know where it starts, where it ends and some signposts/significant beats I want to hit along the way. As the story is written more little signposts pop up and they in turn create more signposts and before I know it I have a finished first draft (yay!) that needs a lot of tidying up (boo!).
M: I'm a pantser at heart, but I do believe that there has to be a level of plotting conducted to make the story flow. Research is conducted right throughout the book, Google is a Godsend, having information at the touch of your fingers, day or night really helps.
6. What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
J: I once called a tour company that does cruises in the Bay of Hanoi in Vietnam. I wanted to know what local fish they served. I then used that info to create a trawler that Plato and his buddy Luther holed up in so it sounded authentic to anyone familiar with the region.
M: The lesser keys of Solomon, in essence its the ancient wiki on all things demon.
7. What’s the most personal story/scene you’ve written and why?
In Sins of Perigord, I had to write a scene that concerns the death of a major character, a personal favorite of mine. Getting into the characters mind and how hard the situation would have been emotionally was a rather unique experience.
8. Who are your literary influences? In what way?
J: Matthew Reilly—I've loved his books for years and when people read the Plato Wyngard series they can definitely see the influence from his writing. One reviewer stated that Plato Wyngard was an Indiana Jones/James Bond hybrid as if written by Matthew Reilly. Funny story, at a Brisbane Supanova event Matthew Reilly stopped at our stall and commented that he had heard our books were likened to his and asked for the first two Plato Wyngards. Still a magic moment for me.
Marc and myself have been extremely fortunate to be official guests at Supanova events over the last 5 years including Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast. During those events we were exposed to new readers but also just as importantly we have been exposed to many talented Aussie authors who have been so generous with their time, advice and encouragement. Many of whom we call friends. Keri Arthur is ALWAYS there for us and we owe her so much we named a character after her in our middle grade fantasy series, The Raven's Prophecy. Also legends like Lynette Noni, Maria Lewis, Alan Baxter, Will Kostakis, Kate Forsyth, Amanda Bridgeman, Jodi McAlister, Luke Arnold, Ian Irvine, Dr Karl, Kass Morgan (The 100) and Raymond E Feist have helped and continue to help our process.
M: Oh, that's easy. Stephen King, Matthew Reilly, Raymond E Feist, Keri Arthur, Jim Butcher, and HP Lovecraft.
9. What books are on your bedside table right now?
J: Billy Summers by Stephen King, Majak by Majak Daw, Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jess Townsend.
M: Raymond E Feist's The Magician, Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing, Matthew Reilly's The Two Lost Mountains and Jim Butcher's Peace Talks.
10. Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
J: All ten titles we have published are available as eBooks on Amazon, KOBO and Barnes & Noble.
As for paperbacks, Dymocks Indooroopilly have supported us from day one by stocking our books. QBD have also supported us throughout many Supanova events and we are in talks right now to be stocked in all SE Queensland QBD stores and the two Townsville stores.
M: Amazon online, select stores throughout Brisbane and very soon QBD.
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