Dreamstrider is the book that forced me to admit that I need to outline! I loved working from very loose sets of plot points beforehand. But I found—especially with high fantasy, quick-paced, twisty books like Dreamstrider, and really, like everything I write, it just makes the revision process too soul-crushing. For my fourth book, A Darkly Beating Heart, I worked from a much more detailed outline, and it made for both a much cleaner rough draft and a far quicker revision process because all the hard work of untangling plot points had already been done before I wrote a single word.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I’ve become a morning writer, even though I’m a life-long night owl. After reading Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K book on increasing your writing pace, I started tracking when and where I was getting my most productive writing done. For me, the act of waking up and going through early-morning routines like showering and walking the dog turned out to be just the thing I needed to get into a writing mindset, and I can quickly crank out a couple thousand words before heading off to work. Plus, no matter how grueling the work day or any of my other obligations are, it’s always a comfort to know I already have those words done. Anything more I’m able to do is just a bonus.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing revisions on A Darkly Beating Heart, which will be out in Fall 2016 from Roaring Brook Press. It’s an angry bisexual Japanese time travel revenge fantasy. I’m also working on a really cool serialized fiction project from Serial Box that’ll debut early next year. And I have a short story in the fantastic US history anthology A Tyranny of Petticoats that launches in March 2016!
ABOUT THE BOOKDreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
Roaring Brook Press
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORLindsay Smith is the author of YA historical thrillers SEKRET and SKANDAL and the newly released YA fantasy DREAMSTRIDER (all from Macmillan Children's). Lindsay Smith's love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She lives in Washington, DC, where she writes on foreign affairs.
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Erin, Lisa, Susan, Sam, Lindsey, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa