From Write Away, Mommy: Interview with a Mother

Interview with a Mother: Autumn Lindsey

I thought I was alone.

Of course, I knew there were other moms who wrote just like me out there typing out there hearts while a child sat in her lap. But I didn’t there was another mother trying to help writing moms. Not only that, but we had a proper name.

Writer Moms.

She changed my mind with this. Helped me realize that writer moms are not alone, not even in the area of helping them. She has a Facebook group, like mine and will soon open her own site dedicated to writer moms.

And we collaborated by starting a publication on Medium called Writer Mom. I am glad to have met her, not only because of her dreams but because of who she is, a kind, encouraging, and beautiful writer mom.

As you will see, too.

1. Please, tell us about your family.

I have three kiddos. My older son is eight and everyday I am blown away by his sweet little creative imagination. He builds amazing worlds of his own at his Lego table and constantly talks about all the movies and inventions he wishes to make someday. I can’t wait to see what he grows up to do.

My daughter is about turn seven but I can already see the amazing young woman she is growing up into. Already we sit together over coffee (for her hot cocoa) and talk about life. She’s just taken an interest in script writing and I couldn’t be more proud!

My youngest boy is five and a half. He’s a ham with a soft side for his mama. Even though he is in Kindergarten he still finds time to come snuggle up to me. They say your youngest will always be your baby and I’m finding how true this is. My husband is my greatest support, my biggest cheerleader, and (this might sound sappy) my best friend.

2. You’ve written a book. We’d love to hear about it. Where did the idea come from?

I did write a book! Which still feels so strange to say, especially since writing was never something I had on my radar. It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties that my husband and I started writing some little screenplays together when the bug to write bit me.

So my book is titled REMAINING AILEEN. In short, it’s about a mom who becomes a vampire. The long version is its about motherhood and all its messy, joyous, terrifying glory. Becoming a mom changed me, as I’m sure it’s changed many of us, and I think we often come to a point where we as moms realize we are no longer the same person we were before. Some moms take that in stride and wear it proud, others deeply struggle through those changes, and I’m sure some most of us have a little bit of both that we deal with. In my own life this struggle didn’t become apparent to me until my youngest turned 2. I suddenly felt lost and unsure where the person I was before ran off to… I wasn’t even sure when she ran off in the first place.

This is where REMAINING AILEEN comes in. Here is my little book pitch:

 

Aileen knew motherhood would change her. She never expected those changes to come with a taste for blood, dangerous secrets, and a handsome yet unpredictable stranger. 


Aileen is a mom of two, who (like me) had her kids young and (also like me) had trouble ever letting go of the idea that she could still live a life outside of being just a mom. She is at this point of feeling lost, seeing the toll motherhood has taken on her physically and mentally, and she needs a break. Lucky for Aileen, her sweet mother-in-law gifts her a trip to Miami to visit her childhood friend for her 30th birthday. Unlucky for Aileen, her plan crashes soon after take off. She survives, but is the only one. As the story progresses and Aileen begins a decline in both physical and mental health after the crash, the truth of her survival is soon revealed: she didn’t ever survive the crash in the first place. Dun dun dunnnn…
Here is my little book pitch:

Aileen knew motherhood would change her. She never expected those changes to come with a taste for blood, dangerous secrets, and a handsome yet unpredictable stranger.

3. What’s your favorite social media tool and why?

It’s a tie between Twitter and Facebook really. They both play sort of hand in hand with each other. I love the dynamic writing communities Twitter has to offer which often leads to more personal community groups on Facebook.

4. What does being a writer mom mean to you?

To me, being a writer mom is pretty special. Not that any other type of writer isn’t, but as a writer mom I have the opportunity to not only share my passion of story with the world, but also with my children. I want them to know that any dream they have, is possible if they try and I want to teach them that by example. Maybe they won’t reach the outcome they originally thought, but I know they will learn something amazing about themselves in the process of trying.

To me, being a writer mom is pretty special. I have the opportunity to not only share my passion of story with the world, but also with my children.

5. Writers are readers. What’s your favorite genre and book that started your love of it?

Oh wow, I’m not sure I have just one favorite genre, but I love anything that isn’t quite set in our reality. So maybe fantasy/speculative/science/paranormal fiction? Anything with magic, things unexplained, creatures with pretty faces and pointy teeth, *wink wink*.

The books that really started me down this path of reading these genres as well as writing was The Twilight Saga. Why? I don’t know exactly, but there was something in the last book, when Bella becomes a mom AND a vampire that I started thinking, “wow, what an interesting concept.” I have trouble sitting still through true to life fiction no matter how great of a story it is, I can’t help but hope they turn into some magical creature at some point.

My current favorite read right now is A DISCOVER OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness. It’s fun!

6. You’re querying now. What’s the best tip you’ve learned from this process?

The best advice I can give you from the short six months I’ve been querying is:

-Be super prepared. As in your book is ready to be published, done. You should already have had many, many revisions, beta readers, critique partners, maybe even hire a professional editor before you even think of sending out that first query (not to mention you need a killer query letter). The more ready your book is to sell, the better your chances of catching the eye of an agent.

-Have an immense amount of patience. It might take you a few weeks to get an agent’s attention, it might be months, or possibly even years. There are thousands of agents out there and it might take time to find them, but having said that, even if your book is perfect, and agents like it, there is still a chance the overall publishing market won’t be interested. Just know it’s not always a reflection on you as a writer or person, it’s business. You are offering a product that publishers only want if it will pay off for them in the end. So, as I’m finding right now for myself, the market for vampire novels just isn’t there right now and I’m still thinking through what my next move might be with that.

-You need to have a good grasp on the fact you will face a lot of rejection. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. In the six months I have been querying I have received over 60 rejections, either in the form of an actual (usually form) rejection letter, or by no response at all. Very little feedback will come your way, and with that lots of doubt will find its way in, hold tight and keep going. If you truly believe in your story and want to see your book published (in one form or another) then stay strong, you got this! Fun fact, I have acquired a large collection of plants over the last few months and I realized after a bit that each time I got a rejection email, I was buying plants not too long after. My house is literally turning into a jungle.

-My last piece of advice is don’t do this alone. Find a community of writers you connect with, either online or in person, who are going through the trenches with you. I promise the rejections will sting a little less knowing you aren’t the only one receiving them.

The best advice I can give you from the short six months I’ve been querying is be super prepared, be patient, and don’t do it alone.

7. What do you wish someone would ask but no one ever does?

Hmm, I’ve never really thought about this actually!

I do have this crazy idea for a show where a couple dog-naps rich peoples dogs and waits till they post a reward poster, in which their alter-ego as “so and so’s doggy detective service” goes and “finds their dogs” to collect the rewards with 100% success… anyways no one ever asks me about my odd TV series ideas, haha.

Thank you for letting me interview you, Autumn.

From Logos & Mythos: Chat with a Writer Mom

Chat with a Writer Mom

Joy E. Rancatore

October 19, 2017

 

Today rounds out my series on writing community. And, I’m joined by a fellow writer mom, Autumn Lindsey! She is part of my writing community and started an even larger part of that community, Writer Moms Inc.! This group amazes me with the warmth and genuine care and concern the members share with one another and the interest they show each other’s writing. I just can’t wait to show you more!

 

So, let’s hop right in and get to know all about the lovely and talented Autumn!

 

Joy: Please share with us a little about your family, hobbies and writing. What makes you get up and GO? (After a mama-sized cup of coffee, of course!)

 

Autumn: I’ll start with the basics: I am a 32-year-old mom of three. My kids are ages 5, 6, and 7. This is the first year they are ALL in school; and, honestly, I feel like I have reached the promised land for SAH/WAH (stay at home, write at home) moms.

 

My husband has a fun job, he’s a Director of Photography for commercial/corporate video work in the San Fransisco/ Bay Area. (However, if you are reading this blog and you happen to be Steven Spielberg or any other big-time Hollywood director, he would gladly shoot narrative!)

 

I live in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in California, not far from South Lake Tahoe and only inches away from Historic Gold Country. I love that I live near such beauty and history—I really like history stuff.

 

I haven’t always been a writer. I began writing about 3 years ago after my husband and I wrote a short screenplay together for fun. I realized I really enjoyed it and began writing my first novel, which I am currently querying!

 

What makes me get up and go? Well, coffee of course! But really—and here is the sappy version—it is my family; they are my life and the reason for everything I do.

 

Joy: So much WOW in your story!! I may have gotten a little teary when you shared how your writing got started. So sweet!! My hubby and I have talked about writing together, too; so you may have tossed a little inspiration my way to make that happen. Sidenote: If any big-time directors are reading this, please comment on this post! I might cry! And, if they hire your hubby, I’ll be looking for my invitation to the premiere.

 

Obviously, your family is a huge part of your writing community; just like mine is for me! When you think of a “writing community,” what comes to mind?

 

Autumn: I feel there are a lot of different things “writing community” can be. Anywhere from your immediate circle of family and friends, to an actual, physical writer/critique group, to online communities like Twitter and Facebook. I think as long as you are finding support and community with your writing from something, you are on the right track.

 

Writing might be a solo thing to do; however, I know for myself how much the support of others is SO necessary for me to push forward. Writing is too long a journey to travel alone.

 

Joy: You are so right about that!! It can be an incredibly long trek for sure!

 

Who is your writing community?

 

Autumn: Aside from the vast community I have found through Writer Moms Inc. and social media and my husband/family, I meet once a month with a wonderful group of women writers where we share and critique our works (in a cute little tea shoppe by the way). I also meet with some amazing ladies that happen to be a part of Writer Moms Inc. as well from time to time.

 

Joy: I want to meet other writers in a cute little tea shoppe!!! (I LOVE tea and definitely think Americans should have daily tea time!)

 

What led you to start Writer Moms Inc. on Facebook and when did you launch?

 

Autumn: What led me to start Writer Moms Inc. was when myself and a few other writing mamas were looking for something a little different. There are many, MANY amazing writing groups and communities out there but we wanted something that catered to BOTH our writer side and our mom side. So I took this idea and launched Writer Moms Inc. on Facebook, March 18, 2016. It wasn’t until May 2017 that Everly Reed and I set out to expand our community to Twitter and began #WM_Chat (Writer Mom Chat) Mondays at 8 p.m. (pst).

 

Joy: I, for one, am SO THANKFUL you did!! I actually found you guys while randomly scrolling through Twitter on Monday evening! And, just a little plug in here—Everly Reed is an amazing writer and encourager with a simply gorgeous name…and website. Definitely check it out!

 

For my readers who haven’t experienced the awesomeness that is Writer Moms, what’s it all about? And, is it only on Facebook?

 

It really is full of awesomeness! The writer moms that make up Writer Moms Inc. are incredible! They are talented, kind, bursting with creativity and support for one another. I am honored to be a part of it all! Here is a little bit about the group itself I stole from one of my sappy, “I love you all” posts I sometimes do in the Facebook group:

 

Being a writer is often an isolating journey, so can being a mom (no matter what stage of motherhood you’re in). I wanted a place where moms who write can find solace, support, a place to share victories and troubles and most of all, discuss writing.

 

We are on Facebook but also Twitter and Instagram (although I am falling short in the Instagram department). I am also hoping to launch www.writermomsinc.com come January 2018! My hope is to make it a bit of an online, writer mom-oriented, contributor-based e-zine of sorts. I’m still working out all the logistics.

 

Joy: I am so excited about that and can’t wait to see what you cook up!!

 

Take us behind the scenes of the first few weeks or months after you launched? What lessons did you learn?

 

At first, Writer Moms Inc. started off as simply a group of a few amazing writer moms. Then as that first year went on and more and more women started joining I realized how thankful I am to have a place where writing moms can find the friendship and support they are searching for with their writing and mom-ing lives. After launching into the Twittersphere I was deeply humbled and pleased to see Writer Moms Inc. taking on a life of its own. The positive and loving support that I see in our little community makes my heart soar! Goodness, now I just want to take a world tour and hug each and every one of our members thinking of how amazing they all are!

 

Joy: There you go again! Having me reaching around for the tissues!! *sending air hugs in your direction*

 

I’m always so interested in how projects—writing, community, life—evolve as a person grows and as others become involved. Have you changed anything major or shifted your focus since you started out as a writer? If so, give us all the details!

 

Autumn: I haven’t been writing long, its only been about 3 years now, but I would say much has changed since I’m constantly learning! My first book, Remaining Aileen, actually started out as an idea for a screen play. Overall I think this process of writing a novel has given me a good lesson in patience, which is still a hard one for me! I’ve learned this life path of being a writer is a marathon.

 

Much like parenting, writing takes time. You will make mistakes; things will get messy; you will go through every single emotion possible (even ones you never even knew existed); but the joy it brings in creating something from a piece of you makes it all worthwhile.

 

Joy: That is a perfect comparison and I love it!

 

What are your over-the-rainbow dreams for Writer Moms Inc.?

 

Autumn: What are my long-term, big, “over-the-rainbow” dreams for Writer Moms Inc.? I have a few that I would LOVE to see happen someday. The first is to be able to offer “scholarships” of sorts to writer moms that they can put towards reaching their writing dreams. Things like manuscript evaluations, editors, query services, self publishing costs—stuff like that. Not everyone has the money or the family support to follow their writing dreams, and I would hate for money to be the thing stopping a writer mom from following her dreams. Now where will I find this money? Good question—I’m working on that! Another is to someday hold a Writer Moms Inc. conference! I would LOVE to be able to have a place where moms who write can come together in person!

 

Joy: Oh. My. Word. I have goosebumps; great, big, bumpy goosebumps! Your dreams are beautiful and I believe in them 100%!

 

Back to community, what’s been the most beneficial thing for you about having a writing community?

 

Autumn: Now, I speak for myself when I say this, but writing makes me feel a complete weirdo MOST of the time. I get lost in my own head, spout out random ideas about my WsIP (works in progress) that no one else would understand. I would feel SO alone (aside from my amazingly creative-minded-as-well husband, of course) if I didn’t have the writing circles (online or otherwise) that I have. They are a great way to refuel, check in, see that others have also sent out typos in their queries—I did do that actually, but that’s another story for another day! My point is you don’t feel alone; and to me that is everything.

 

Joy: I don’t know anything about feeling weird or talking to myself. *whistles while nonchalantly looking around*

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to know how to be a good member of a writing community?

 

Autumn: In my opinion, a “good” member is someone who offers support as much as they ask. However I do know sometimes we need to take more than we can give, so being understanding is also key.

 

Joy: Word!

 

Inquiring minds want to know: Give us the scoop on your WsIP!!

 

Autumn: I mentioned before I am querying, which is a whole new game that might take me a bit to get a handle on. My book is called Remaining Aileen.

 

It intimately follows a mom, Aileen, as she struggles amidst the changes motherhood brings. However, she never expected those changes would come with a taste for blood. This is part one of a three-part series. I wanted each part to deal with a specific aspect of how becoming a mom has changed me, but put allegorically into Aileen changing into a vampire.

 

In book one, Remaining Aileen, Aileen feels like she’s losing herself. She gives everything to her kids and family; but, when the woman she sees in the mirror literally becomes a monster, she fears who she was might be lost forever. Book two—which I’m outlining now—Remain with Me, shows how the secrecy of Aileen’s new “life” ends up affecting her marriage. And book three, All that Remains, is how all her internal struggles and outward marital struggles affect Aileen’s family as a whole.

 

Joy: I’m not typically a huge fan of vampire tales; but, y’all, I’m anxious to read Autumn’s!

 

Two more questions for you, just for splits and giggles:

 

Do you have any pets? Give us all the details!

 

Autumn: I do! So I have an all black, full bred, long coat, German Shepherd. (Not many people seem to know they come in all sorts of colors and coat lengths.) She is amazing. Her name is Bones. My oldest, when he was 4, really, really wanted a dog named Bones; so we did just that! But since she is such a pretty girl, and “Bones” sounds like some tough dog, she is actually registered as “Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennen”… you know, from the show Bones. Some day I would love to add a “Seely Booth” to the mix, but I think one dog is plenty for now! I also have 5 chickens that lay beautiful eggs, some are olive green to green to blue!

 

Joy: I love your fur baby already!! And how cool are those eggs?!?!

 

What is your favorite book or what are you currently reading (or BOTH!)?

 

Autumn: One of my most vivid book memories as a kid was reading The Secret Garden. There was something so magical, yet dark, about that book. I still long to find (or in reality, make) a secret garden of my own thanks to that book. As far as what I’m currently reading, well, I have about 3 or 4 books that I have started and am trying to read through before starting on my next WIP. A few of them are from members of Writer Moms Inc. (I have a goal to try and acquire and read all the books written by members!)

 

Joy: Okay, that is the most awesome goal ever! See what I told you guys about this being an incredibly supportive group? Love it! We share that book memory and the desire it planted, too! Curse these two black thumbs of mine!

 

Thank you so very much, Autumn, for agreeing to chat it up here on my blog! You are incredible! Thank you, also, for being part of my writing community. I just can’t wait to see where the road leads you and Writer Moms Inc.!

Every Women’s Hour with Kat Everitt

Every Woman’s Hour

Kat Everitt

May 24, 2017

KQBM 90.7 FM | BLUE MOUNTAIN RADIO

KQBM 103.7 LP-FM & 90.7 FM | West Point, CA

This show is about women who make a “difference in the Mother Load”. We are ‘on the air’ Wed. from 12-1pm PST.  Sat. 11 to 12 PM.

 

 


We are “Everywoman’s Hour”, Broadcast at Blue Mountain Radio KQBM-lp103.7 FM West Point, KQBM 90.7FM San Andreas / www.kqbm.org with Live Stream Options!