Today we're excited to chat with Lyndsay Ely,
author of Gunslinger Girl.
Read on for more about Lyndsay and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Lyndsay Ely!
Lyndsay Ely is a writer and creative professional who currently calls Boston home. She is a geek, a foodie, and has never met an antique shop she didn't like. Gunslinger Girl is her debut novel.
Meet Gunslinger Girl!
James Patterson presents a genre-bending, action-packed debut -- and introduces YA's new favorite, kick-ass heroine: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow's West.
Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. When her father attempts to marry her off to a stranger, she runs away from their humble farming commune and ends up in the most dangerous, decadent city on the continent: Cessation (a lawless Las Vegas). Pity becomes the star of the Theater Vespertine as a trick sharpshooter like Annie Oakley, and there she finds fame, friendship and--what she most wanted--belonging.
But there's a darker side to the Theater...The Finale. Every so often the fighting factions of Cessation have to be kept in line with a little demonstration, a nightmarish public execution. And Pity has a starring role...
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
In general, growing up with a love for action and adventure stories, but so rarely finding them with female protagonists and/or significant female characters who actually did important stuff. It’s getting better these days, but I still remember watching the first episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and what a big deal it was to my teen self that a girl my age was the one saving the day over and over. I never got the Western heroine I wanted though. So that’s a book I decided to write.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I feel like I get this question a lot and my answer changes every time. Today I’ll say Selene, because I love her self-control, ruthlessness, and slightly twisted sense of kindness.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel, by leaps and bounds! It actually had a couple of other working titles before GUNSLINGER GIRL came along.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
This is a little hard to answer without spoiling anything, but there is a scene where Pity is putting on a performance she doesn’t really want to be doing. I love writing any scene full of action, but this one has a particular emotional intensity to it that was really exciting to write.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
To get comfortable with making revisions, changing course, and killing my darlings. It’s really easy to latch onto the idea that something in your book—a character, a plot point—is the way it is and there’s no other way it could be. But the more I write the more I’m forced to admit that’s rarely true.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Can I say everything? Getting your cover is one of the scariest moments in a debut author’s journey, but from first comp until the final design, I loved it. My day job is graphic designer, so of course I had an idea in my head of what I wanted. GG’s cover is surprisingly close to that, but much, MUCH better than what I would have done.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I’m going to cheat a little and say a comic book, Strangers in Paradise. It’s actual the return of the series, which initially concluded in 2007. It was such a formative read for me growing up (I mean, one of the characters in GG was heavily inspired by a SiP character) that the fact that it’s returning in the same month that my debut is publishing gets me a little choked up.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017?
How can I pick only one? If pushed, I’d have to say Six of Crows, because I am such a sucker for anti-heroes and heist stories. (I’ve even been putting off reading Crooked Kingdom so that the story isn’t over for me yet.)
Other books that have really stuck with me since reading them this year are The Hate U Give, The Fifth Season, and An Unkindness of Ghosts.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
My gateway genre was fantasy, so I’d really like to do something there, with a whole bunch of magic and adventure. And darkness. I really love dark books that sink their claws into you and won’t let go, and I aspire to reach that level in my own writing.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Sure! How about the playlist for Gunslinger Girl? It can be found on Spotify here.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I always feel like I’m stumbling through the romance scenes, especially those of the blush-y variety. (Which is kind of funny, because I’m not shy about reading other people’s romantic scenes, no matter how steamy.)
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
I’d say Pity, simply because she is the character the story is closest to. One reason I love Westerns is because they allow characters to have a certain level of gray morality. But that made her hard to write at times, because when right and wrong aren’t clear, the decisions a character makes become more complicated.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Definitely revising. (Until it gets to the point where I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve revised the same material. Then I like drafting.)
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I’m really into antiques and collectibles, so probably finding that one valuable or really cool thing in a box full of junk. (Though I haven’t found any magical artifacts or spell books yet, which is a little disappointing.)
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Anything that supports animals, whether endangered wildlife or domestic pets in need. I have a hard time not donating to every “my pet needs a surgery” fundraiser I see because, well, animals are really just the best.
Author: Lyndsay Ely
Publishing Date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
Five winners will each receive a copy of Gunslinger Girl (Lyndsay Ely) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*