Ask the Author: Autumn Lindsey
What would you like readers to know about you?
A little about me. I am a mom of three, a hairstylist, a writer, a plant hoarder, and a lover of yoga. Coffee is what fuels my day to day. I am a huge fan of The Office and Parks and Recreation, New Girl, and (obviously) all things vampire.
What is REMAINING AILEEN about for those who haven’t read it? In short, Remaining Aileen is about a mom who becomes a vampire and follows her inner journey to reconcile her new life with her old life.
Back cover blip:
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.
If you could live forever, would you?
What has been your inspiration for writing REMAINING AILEEN?
My biggest inspiration for writing Remaining Aileen has been my children. They are all very close in age, which sort of made life a whirlwind of diapers, pregnancies, breastfeeding, very little sleep for a while all accompanied by this constant feeling I was living in a fog. It wasn’t until my kids were 2 and a half, 4 and 5 that this fogginess began to lift. At this point I was done having babies, my oldest was about to start kindergarten and I was feeling this void in my life. For so long I was creating life through my children, and now that they were growing up I was missing creativity. This is where writing came in, which ultimately lead to Aileen. This young mom, much like myself who was just trying to figure it all out. Needless to say motherhood is a HUGE theme throughout this story. The changes that happen mentally, physically, emotionally when becoming a mom are explored through Aileen and her changing into a vampire.
What was your favorite scene or part of REMAINING AILEEN to write?
One of my favorite scenes to write was this one I’ll share below. It is right after Aileen finds out she has been changed into a vampire. Just a few chapters before, she survives a plane crash and home was the place she longed to be most as her plane fell from the sky. Now she is on her way home, after finding out she’s become a creature she never knew existed in reality, and questions is she can still be Aileen, the mother and wife she was before and if she even should go home. Is she safe? Or will her lust for blood destroy everything she loves most.
Everything is darker without the moon, yet despite the lack of light I can see almost as well as in the daytime. The nightlife shifts and stirs all around me, yet I fear nothing. If anything I’d be the predator now, I guess. It wasn’t until I had already spent hours wandering aimlessly down the old country highway I remembered I have no keys, no purse, all of which are lying on the ground in the market’s parking lot. There’s a good chance it’s all been stolen by now. Maybe it’s a sign I’m not meant to go back home. Maybe they will think the crash was too much for me and I just kept driving. Or maybe it’s my only excuse for my tardy entrance when or if I ever find my way home.
But in all reality, what kind of mom can I be now anyway? I’m a monster. And not just any monster. I’m a monster that might easily trade the ones she loves most for one more hit of her new addiction. The thought of turning my family into nothing more than a meal sickens me but still, my throat flares up at the mere thought of blood regardless of who it belongs to. I disgust myself.
“I. AM. A MONSTER!” I scream into the darkness.
The words scratch through my dry, burning throat and up into the star-filled sky. I fall down hard to my knees, like the tears falling fast down my face, waiting to feel the sting of the hard blacktop as it tears through the knees of my jeans. One day in and already I’m longing for a simple reminder of my humanity, only I feel nothing. I lie down across the double yellow line and shut my eyes tight, hoping any minute now I’ll wake from this nightmare.
– from Chapter 8 Remaining Aileen
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
I have two authors actually that have been a big inspiration to me. I’d love to be able to meet them, share a cup of tea and chat about writing and life. The first is Anne Rice, because well, she’s Anne Rice! I really feel like her vampire stories were the precursor to many of the vampire fiction/movies/tv I love to watch.
I would also love to meet Stephenie Meyer. My whole inspiration for becoming a writer was because of reading Twilight, so I would love to have the chance to meet her in person and gush all about how amazing she is and how grateful I am that she put her stories out into the world.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
The best advice I can give is to NEVER give up if you truly believe in your story, and to do that, be sure you write a story you believe in! A story that has your blood, sweat, and tears written across the pages. The publishing world is TOUGH. Rejection is real my friends. I know, I received over 122 rejections while querying Remaining Aileen. Did it hurt? YES! But I know deep within my bones that I had to keep going. So write from your heart and never stop believing in your story.