Recently, I interviewed the author Lindsay Betz about herself and her novel Who Killed Queen Julia?
Thank you to Lindsay for allowing me this chance to interview her!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have been writing since the age of thirteen and have not stopped since. Not even in class or at work. I have taken countless creative writing classes throughout middle school, high school, college, and outside of college. I love it!
What inspired you to write Who Killed Queen Julia? I had a developing interest in royalty and their lavish lifestyle. Adding to this inspiration was the story of “the princes in the tower,” which is an interesting story in history. I remembered an inspiring story on MakesMeThink.com about a brother left to raise his baby sister when their mother died. Then, at long last, I stood outside with my friends’ dogs one night, waiting for them to poop, and I took that time to start piecing the story together. I kid you not.
What is the genre?
Young adult and adventure.
What draws you to this genre?
You know, I really just wrote the story that was welling up inside me and then decided which genre it best fit into.
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
Well, you already know more than you probably ever wanted to about how I developed the plot. Characters are fun. I have a document of character surveys where I recorded how they look, what they like, their strengths and weaknesses, their birthdays, what music and foods they like, and all the little things that make them who they are. I refer back to this document while I write. Eventually, I get into the characters’ minds and do not have to refer back much.
What inspired your protagonist?
I took some of the traits I like about myself (primarily the love of helping people and the colorfulness), took away some of my own inhibitions (such as fear), and just added to her as I deemed fit. She is way cooler than I am, though. I love Julia. I love writing about her and revisiting her adventures. She is super fun.
How did you get in touch with your inner villain?
There were a lot of suspects in this one. The motives for certain suspects included some of the oldest motives in the book, such as power and money. Some were desperate and scared. So I suppose I drew inspiration from human nature and history.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Really, the editing. I was so excited to finish it as my first novel that it was hard to not just chuck it into the world without going back over it again and again. I had to make myself do it.
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
I loved writing ‘Who Killed Queen Julia?’ After the detailed prologue, I really got into it and just wrote pages and pages almost every day. I could sit down and just let it flow. I absolutely loved it. I was productive and creative and having fun!
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Well, I write full time, but not for money. Not yet, anyway. I am a student, but I keep myself from getting too busy to give myself time to try and claw my way into the industry. I spend a lot of time writing, submitting to publishers, self-publishing, and advertising what is currently published.
What are you currently reading?
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and The Martian by Andy Weir. I also have been playing The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis on CD.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
I have a complicated answer for that: I love George MacDonald for his surrealist descriptions, Agatha Christie for her dialogue, L.M. Montgomery for her visual descriptions and colorful characters, Arthur Conan Doyle for his mysteries, and Suzanne Collins for her characters, world building, and pace. And, of course, there is the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay!
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
The Bible, The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (primarily the first in the trilogy).
What are your future projects, if any?
Oh, Lord. I literally am working on so many projects right now that I cannot even count them. The problem is that spending time with each of them means that they are all coming along slowly!
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
I am working toward getting a site, but right now, I have a page for Julia and her book: Who Killed Queen Julia? Facebook Thank you!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes! If you love it, do not give up. Love for writing has driven me to take many classes, create many stories, write ideas in the margins of my notebook during class, and constantly try and share it with the world. Keep improving and keep sharing! P.S. And for the love of humanity, become proficient in your use of punctuation and grammar! Your chances of being published will greatly increase.