Our chat with Lindsay…
When I was nine, I sat down with a jotter and wrote my first book. It was 56 pages long – but I can remember the words got very large towards the end so they’d fill the pages. It was My Cousin Nora and the Adventures She brought With Her. I remember being interrupted by a friend of my brothers asking me what I was doing and I pretty precociously told him I was writing a novel. That’s probably when I started saying I wanted to be a writer. My mother steered me towards journalism – as a way of making a living from words, because it really didn’t seem feasible to have a career as a writer back then. But I kept writing books, stage plays and for TV on the side until I could do it full time.
When they turned it down, I ended up developing it in a different medium, but knowing that I really wanted to do it in book form. It was only after I had gone on to self publish a few novels, that I went back to Wulfie in 2018. I completely rewrote it, a different story and this time I gave it to lots of young readers for feedback before I wrote to Siobhán again to see if she might be interested in another version. Fortunately, she was. She loved it and I haven’t looked back. It is such a lovely experience working with a team of people all of whom love your work and want the best for it!
More recently, I’ve had some amazing feedback from kids who read early drafts of Wulfie for me – their feedback is always invaluable! A nine year-old wrote me a lovely ‘report’ saying it was “...one of those books that when Mum says, ‘Put the book down, go to bed,’ you say, ‘Just one minute. YOU CAN’T PUT IT DOWN!” As a child who read under her covers with a torch all through my childhood, that really resonated.
The only Roald Dahl book I had was The Magic Finger but I discovered The Twits and BFG with my own child and I’d love to entrance kids the way he does. My mother also read Pilgrim’s Progress to me as a child, which seems an odd choice now but I’ve never forgotten The Slough of Despond! I was a bit of a voracious reader and loved trips to the library to load up!
I generally juggle a number of writing projects at once and it’s often four in the afternoon when I remember I’ve forgotten to eat lunch. Offers of coffee from friends do tend to take precedence when the work isn’t going as smoothly but I think your mind is working things out while you’re doing other stuff and something that seemed impossible to resolve can also be solved after a 30 minute lie down or swim.