Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Interview with author Randy Lindsay

I reviewed a book a couple of weeks ago called The Gathering - Ends Beginning (to read my review click here.) 

Today I'm excited to have author Randy Lindsay on my blog to answer a few questions. As a refresher,The Gathering is about an LDS missionary that gets called home early to help prepare for the prophesied end of times (although, he doesn't know that's why he's coming home.) Not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but I am fascinated by the book of Revelations and any study I can find on the subject. That, and the quality of the story made this a great read for me. With that in mind, here's my fun interview with Randy:

Q - I have a son currently serving a mission for the LDS church so when I saw the premise of your book I was both intrigued and a bit nervous to pick it up. Us missionary mom’s get quite protective and emotional about our boys (and girls), so the idea of a missionary getting called home early hit close to home. It’s a different approach to an “end of times” story and it really brought things into perspective for me. How did you come up with the whole concept? Not just for having Robert come home early, but for the story as a whole? 

A - A lot of research. I read several books that have what (LDS) Church leaders have had to say on the topic. I went through dozens of Conference talks to get as much of an idea of what could really happen as possible. At some point, it is very clear that the Missionaries will be called home. The spooky part of it is that just last week the Church called home missionaries from the Ukraine. That is fairly similar to the events I have in The Gathering. In the book, the Missionaries are starting to be called home and Russia invades the Ukraine.

Q - It’s clear that you’ve done a lot of research on the “signs of the times,” is this something you’ve always been interested in or just a topic you decided to research for your book? 

A – I like end-of-the-world stories to begin with, so it’s no surprise that I take a heightened interest in this topic. However, I did much more intensive research when I decided to write The Gathering. 

Q - I’ve read a lot of stories that speculate about the end of the world, yours is one of the most believable ones that I’ve found. What did your writing process look like? Do you outline or just wing it? 

A – Oh, I always outline. I took the information I had gathered from Church leaders and separated that into types of events, like humbling the people and erosion of the government. Then I tried to put it all together in a way that would make sense. I really worked hard to write a story that was very believable.

Q – You’ve got a couple stories running parallel to each other. How did you decide where to place your DC insider, Calvin McCord? 

A – Function. I wanted a character in the story that could give the readers a top-down view of the events that are taking place in the story. That meant he had to be close to the top. The actual office of Secretary of State was chosen because it dealt with foreign affairs and had easy access to the President. But that sounds soooooo very much less magical when you put it in those terms. However, for me that is how it works. I determine what functions are needed in a story and then turn those into characters that I hope my readers will enjoy.

Q - Is there a character in the book that you relate to or that perhaps was based on yourself? 

A – I love Calvin. He’s my favorite character in The Gathering. In one manner that makes him the character I relate to best. He is a fish out of water and has a few rough edges about him. However, Robert is the most natural character for me to write. Not that I’m like Robert, but his manner of speaking is me.

Q – This is your first published novel but not your first work of fiction. What kinds of things to you typically write? 

A – I write a lot of science fiction, some fantasy, but my main interest is in speculative fiction with angelic themes. My writing to-do-list has several stories that involve angels in one manner or another. The first novel I wrote (and hope to self-publish later this year) takes place in all of the five planes: Heaven, Paradise, Earth, Limbo, and Hell. 

Q – Can you tell me more about that story?

A – Yes, I can. It is a grittier story than The Gathering. I like to describe it as “a dead man’s race.” I plan to publish it under the pen name of Crawford McCord because it contains a good deal more action and violence than the stories I plan to write under my own name.

Q – What’s been the best or most unexpected part of becoming a published author? 

A - The most unexpected part of being a published author is the amount of time and effort that goes into marketing my book. That is especially true for what it is taking to learn that skill set.

The best part of being a published author is meeting the people who have read my book. I love it when they ask me questions about the characters or why I wrote a part of it the way I did.

Q – The Gathering is clearly the beginning of a series. How many books will the series entail?

A – There are five books total. The last one will end with the arrival of the Savior and the beginning of the Millennium.

Q – What’s your next project? (after the series is finished, of course! You can’t leave us hanging!)

A – That’s the good news. For those readers who get to the end of this series and want more, I have another series planned that I think they will really love. I don’t want to give too much away, but my working title for it is “Unchained.”

However, between the time I finish the next book in the End’s Beginning series and when it goes to print, I am hoping to write another novel. My wife wants me to finish Last Dispensation: Space, which is about Mormons in space. But my best friend wants me to finish Down and Out on Earth, which deals with an angel that has been cast down from Heaven because he has found a flaw in creation. Right now, I’m leaning towards writing what my wife tells me to write, but I could definitely be influenced by comments from my readers as to which one they would like see.

Thanks Randy. It sounds like you are going to be very busy with your writing projects. Best of luck to you! And I can't wait for the next 4 books in the series. 

Readers who'd like to know more about Randy and his writing can visit his blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...