As part of the ongoing celebration of upcoming debut novels, I’ll be running highlights of interviews from a number of my fellow debuts through the end of 2019. The full interviews are available on DebutAuthors19.com.
Today, we’re continuing the series with a conversation with Autumn Lindsey , author of Remaining Aileen, a work of speculative women’s fiction releasing from Magnolia Press on May 7th, 2019.
About the Book
Aileen was dead. At least she was supposed to be.
When Aileen wakes up in the hospital after her plane crashes during a storm, everyone says it’s a miracle. All Aileen cares about is seeing her husband and children again. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for Aileen to realize her survival wasn’t random. Her mind and body are changing in ways she can’t explain. As Aileen grows desperate for answers, a man assumed dead from her flight appears to reveal a dark truth about her survival.
Drowning in the reality of her new life Aileen is forced to make a choice: live forever, or once again face death. Except living might cost her everything she wanted to remain alive for.
Where did you get the idea?
Before Remaining Aileen was, Remaining Aileen the novel, she was an idea I had for a screenplay. A few years back, around 2014 I had this super vivid vision of a young mom, who was on a plane that was falling from the sky. All hope is lost. Her thoughts revolve around never seeing her children, or husband again, and the devastating reality that she is going to die. Until she wakes up, alive, completely unharmed- or so it appears.
This scene became the inciting incident that would propel Aileen along her journey, as well as what started me down my path of becoming a writer.
At the suggestion of my amazing husband, Aileen became a novel instead of a screenplay, and now she is about to be released into the world and I truly still, cannot believe it. Fun fact, my very first title idea was Vampire Mom, and it was going to be this light-hearted story of a mom who becomes a vampire, until I realized just how HARD it would be to actually try and be a mom and a vampire. While I do keep some light-heartedness in the story, it did end up taking a bit of a darker/ more emotional turn (which I am so excited about) than I originally was planning. But if there is one thing I have learned about writing stories, is that they seem to tell you what they want to be regardless of your original intentions. It's best to just see where it takes you sometimes!
How long did you take to write this book?
I first conceived the idea of Aileen back in 2014, she was ready to query in September of 2017, and then she queried until I signed with Magnolia Press in October of 2018! So it has taken quite a few years to get her from conception to publishing and wow what a journey that has been.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did quite a bit of research, first into how many “vampire mom” books there are (not too many really) and then a did a lot of research into vampire lore and the history of the superstitions. I also read as many vampire novels and watched as many vampire shows/movies as I could find time for.
What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
So much. This was my very first attempt at writing a novel, so there have been MANY darlings killed, many words laid to rest in the “coffin” file, needless to say, much as has been learned during this process.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am more of a “plantser” I do outline, but it’s a very bare outline, I work out the details while writing my first draft.
What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
My most favorite part is of the process is that initial idea. The spark. That single immeasurable moment where what did not exist now exists and it’s such a great feeling. My next favorite moment is writing the words “The End”. I’ve never felt more accomplished then writing those two words at the end of my first finished draft.
What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
What challenges me the most is getting myself to actually sit down and focus. Once I’m settled into a story I can write for hours, but often getting to that point takes a little creativeness on my part. Bribing myself with Netflix binges usually works to get done what I need to get done.
Can you share your writing routine?
Most of my writing time happens at night when the world is sleeping. I find I’m able to focus so much better when there are less distractions. If I have deadlines to reach I do everything I can to make myself sit down and focus during the daylight hours when my kids are in school. But mostly I try to use the late hours to get most of my writing and editing done.
About the Author
Autumn lives with her husband and three kids in a deep, dark, magical forest. Fluent in typo and fueled by caffeine, she writes Women’s Fiction with characters that bite. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or lost somewhere in her jungle of a house due to her massive collection of houseplants.
She is also the founder Writer Moms Inc. so, if you happen to be a Writer Mom in search of community and support, check it out! She’d love to have you join!