Sci-Fi Exploration with Lindsey Kinsella
1) Hello! Let’s start off with a basic question. What is your Author name?
2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?
My current book is sci-fi, and it was the “science” portion of that which really drew me to the genre. For as long as I can remember I have been a huge paleontology nerd, and so when the time came to write a novel it was only natural that I would explore this fascinating topic.
3) Which character of yours is your favorite and why?
I find it really hard to chose, they sort of feel like children to me! I think I like Jean the best, he is a man with a good heart, but a dark past and an overwhelming desire to find retribution. He has a relatively minor role in The Lazarus Taxa, but I have bigger plans for him in the future.
4) Which character of yours was the most challenging to write and why?
I would say the main protagonist Sid is the one I struggled with the most. He had to be flawed, the story revolves at times around his arrogance and poor decision making, yet, as the main character, he had to be likeable to the reader. I tried to do this by giving him a sympathetic backstory; he still has all of the distasteful qualities I needed from him, but the reader has some understanding as to why.
5) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action or other scenes?
Probably dialogue, I think believable and insightful speech is something that comes quite naturally to me. Action and tense, 'horror-esque' sequences are also a lot of fun to write.
6) How did you come up with your cover design?
I agonized over the cover for a long time! The front cover has to communicate so much, so it’s really important. I needed to convey that it was a pretty tense, dark story—so a dark background with fire and lava did that well. As for the foreground, I wanted to show that this was a modern, scientific take on dinosaurs, but I didn’t have the budget to go for a full paleo-art piece. As such, I opted for a part of a dinosaur that most people would recognize—the sickle-shaped “killing claw” on the foot of a raptor—and then cover it in feathers to show the progressive nature of the imagery.
7) What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I love building characters. There’s something so satisfying about starting out, first draft, with a fairly one-dimensional cast who float through the plot with little agency, and then adding layer upon layer of complexity to the with every draft. I love how the story itself morphs and changes tack as the characters almost gain their own self-determination due to the personalities, desires and fear which you have installed in them as a writer.
8) Pick five books that are must-reads in your mind.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams is probably the most a book can make you smile—it still makes me laugh out loud.
Pet Sematary, by Stephen King is quite the opposite of the above, this will make you wince and probably cry. People think of it as a horror, and it is in a sense, but it’s really a personal story of one man’s grief and his inability to deal with it. The movies didn’t do it justice, I love this book.
I am Legend, by Richard Matheson. This is a masterclass in character development—and there is effectively only one character. You really buy into the loneliness and hardship of being the only person left in the world, and it is possibly my favourite ending of any book.
On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin—bear with me on this one. Yes, it’s very old and, yes, due to the outdated language, it can be a bit of a slog to read at times. However, it is fascinating and an incredibly important book by one of the greatest minds in human history. Most people don’t really understand how evolution works, but this book will absolutely rectify that (albeit without the genetics aspect, which came after Darwin’s time).
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is a book I used to dislike thanks to being forced to overanalyze it for three months straight in high school English. The school system really does know how to suck all of the pleasure out of reading! But, after reading again in my own time, I began to truly appreciate what a powerful book it is
9) What book protagonist would you love to talk to if he/she/they were real?
I think graphic novels are often unfairly looked down upon by readers, but my selection would be Doctor Manhattan from Watchman. He knows everything; literally. He sees all of time and space simultaneously. I could ask any question and get an answer. Is there life elsewhere in the universe? What caused the bronze age collapse? What will the lottery numbers be next week? It would be the most valuable conversation anyone could ever have.
10) What was your favorite childhood book?
That’s a tricky one, one that stands out is Christine by Stephen King. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t entirely suitable for a 10-year-old, but I loved it anyway! It was my first taste of horror and I lapped it up. I think it was the first book I read more than once—and even to this day that’s something I rarely do.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman and The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams are honourable mentions.
11) What is your best book memory?
Probably collecting my copy of The Deathly Hallows. I know Harry Potter is a little played out these days, but I grew up with those books. I was nine-years-old when I first read a Harry potter book (I got a box-set of the first three for my ninth birthday) and from then it felt as though a grew up with Harry—I matured as he did. The conclusion felt like a really important moment in my life.
12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
My book is called The Lazarus Taxa. It’s set in the present day and follows the first scientific expedition through time. Time travel, being a new technology, is rugged and imperfect and large stretched of time are required between time jumps; as such out protagonists are isolated in the Late Cretaceous, some 68 million years ago, for a whole six months.
The book follows how this group of characters who, for the most part, don’t know one another—and often don’t especially like one another—manage to rely on one another to survive. It’s a story of mystery with a dark conspiracy slowly revealing itself over the course of the book. Of course, dinosaurs are a prominent feature and I have tried to present a modern take on some famous animals while also introducing he reader to all new ones.
13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
I don’ have a website, but you can find me on Goodreads:
14) For the final question, I want to know where can we find and follow you?
I mostly interact with my readers on Facebook: