Interview with YA adventure author Lindsey Bakken!
Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s featured author! I have had the great pleasure of getting to know YA author, Lindsey Bakken!
After an extensive and expensive college experience, Lindsey Bakken graduated with marketing and creative writing degrees from the University of Minnesota. With those, she works as a creative consultant, which mostly involves doing what she loves: writing.
She has published three books: When the Sun Goes Down, The Promise of Stars, and Abaddon Illusion. When she’s not brainstorming new ideas, Lindsey spends time with her friends and talks to her cat.
Lindsey finds beauty in the human experience and loves to think of her journey overlapping with those of her readers.
To start my interview with author Lindsey Bakken my first question was - of course – what first sparked her interest in writing?! Here is what Lindsey had to say!
“I’ve been writing forever—literally, as soon as I learned how, I was jotting down book ideas and transposing existing children’s novels (illegal, yes, but a great way to learn pacing). As I got older, I never lost that childlike wonderment with stories. They challenge us, teach us, and take us far away from our normal realities.
At first, I just wrote the books I wanted to read in between sports or hanging out with friends. Around age 10, I got serious about it. I sent novels to agents and publishing companies, but, unfortunately, I needed to further develop my skillset before I’d publish anything—that’s hard to understand as a kid! Truthfully, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t have stopped writing if I’d wanted to, so I kept going. And that’s how I got around to publishing my first novel in 2014 (rereleased in 2017). Since then, my laptop has been a revolving door of idea outlines, incomplete manuscripts, and final drafts.”
That’s absolutely wonderful! A true writer right from the start, I love it! And I think it’s safe to say you’re not alone when it comes to having a computer full of ideas! LOL
Next in my interview with author Lindsey Bakken I asked her what steered her in the direction of the YA genre! Here is Lindsey’s answer!
“I’ve always been drawn to YA. Originally, because I was young and wanted to learn about the next stage in life. “Sixteen” used to be a far-off age full of maturity and boys and tons of things I couldn’t wait to explore. When I reached 16, I wrote YA because I related to it. The characters were like me, only stronger, smarter, more interesting. As an adult, I’ve chosen to stay in the genre because that sense of magic has never left. I vividly remember how taken into worlds I was at a young age, and how susceptible I was to a great plotline. Reading changes people for the better, and I continue to write in this genre to (hopefully) help another generation of young adults remain readers for life.”
I know I gush over the romance a lot LOL but I’m actually a fan of YA adventure myself, and I completely agree with keeping that type of childhood magic alive! Next in my interview with author Lindsey Bakken, I asked her to tell everyone a bit about her journey publishing her very first novel! Here is what Lindsey says!
“All throughout high school, I worked on a set of companion novels that I’m really proud of. On a positive and negative note, that was also around the boom of self-publishing, so it was harder than ever to get a book picked up by a traditional publishing house. My dad showed me articles about writers doing it all themselves—from cover design to formatting—and I knew I had to take the leap. With my parents’ encouragement and editing help from various loved ones, I packaged and published my first two novels, When the Sun Goes Down and The Promise of Stars.
Being able to tackle the challenges of writing, publishing, and marketing a book grew my confidence to keep doing it. If I could do it before, I could do it again! Another favorite mantra: I don’t know how to do this, but I know I can figure it out. As life does tends to do, it got in the way for a while when I went to college. I kept writing, kept dreaming, but it’d be years before I published anything again.”
I absolutely love those two statements! Every writer should keep those above their desk! Life definitely gets in the way sometimes, especially for authors, which led me to my next question for Lindsey Bakken: Even when life is busy, where does she get her fantastic story ideas?! Here's Lindsey’s reply!
“Oooooh good question. Normally through daydreams. Like, just picturing a scenario I find interesting or want to happen in real life. I call these my “mental movies” because I can create anything in my mind, it’s just TBD if there’s enough passion to create a real book out of it.
Occasionally I’ll also get an idea from someone I see in line at the grocery store—what are they doing that they need five gallons of milk? And what type of lifestyle would someone like that live? And what if those gallons of milk spilled and they crossed paths with a woman who’s lactose-intolerant and they fall in love?
My thoughts get carried away, and the ones that stick with me most are the ones I move forward with.”
I too like to daydream up my scenes, like a movie playing out in my head! I love how author Lindsey Bakken explained how she can bring life to a story by observing regular everyday life around her! “Abaddon Illusion” is a YA, suspenseful adventure, with a unique and intriguing plot! So my next question for author Lindsey Bakken was how long it took her to write that adventure, and to tell us a little about that journey!
“About five years! But that sounds longer than it felt at the time. I’m the kind of writer who needs a lot of time and silence to work, so the dorms and campus apartments weren’t conducive to creativity. I wrote the first draft over summer break, let it sit for a while, and then proceeded to edit and re-write it for years at various intervals. You know when you just can’t get your book quite how it looks in your mind? That happened to me. I just couldn’t let Abaddon Illusion sit. I’d get it to a good spot—good being relative—and then experience new inspiration or something emotional I wanted to work through, so I’d dive back into it, reworking the structure and plot. Finally, when I’d put my entire heart into it, I let it go so it could sink or swim on its own in the hands of readers.”
Next in our interview, I asked author Lindsey Bakken to tell everyone a bit about herself!
“I’m a Midwest girl—I grew up in ND and moved to MN for college, where I’ve stayed since. My degree is in marketing and I use it to work as a creative consultant, which mostly involves writing. I feel really blessed that I fell into a career centered around words because in business school I felt suffocated and bored and thought I’d have to live that way my whole life if I ever wanted to make money. Then I stumbled upon copywriting and content strategy and a professional love interest bloomed. My dearest grey cat Franklin and I have lived in a nice one-bedroom for the past four years. We love hosting parties and chatting with one another, but mostly I talk his ear off. I’m lucky that most of my friends have stayed in the area after college, so the support system I have is hugely helpful for my sanity.
Last summer, I met the love of my life. So Franklin now has a father and I have an amazing partner. We’re going to move in together at the end of the month and will enjoy being goofy together for the rest of time.”
Lastly in my interview with author Lindsey Bakken, I asked her if she had anything new coming out soon, or if she was working on something she might give us a sneak peek at! LOL 😉
I wish you and Franklin all the best, Lindsey, and I can’t wait to check out your new release when the time comes! Thank you so much for a great interview! Here is author Lindsey Bakken’s up- coming news!
“I do have something new coming! It’s still in the works because I want to get everything done right before I officially announce it, but I am working on a magical realism trilogy that will be in the young adult genre again! Book 1 is completely finished and with BETA readers, and Book 2 is very much in progress. Once I have Book 3 plotted, I’ll be jazzed to share it with people!”
“Hang out with me online and let’s get to know each other! I’m always looking to connect with other writers and readers. Those are my people. I spend the most time on TikTok but also update my Instagram and Goodreads with what I’m reading. On my website, you’ll find a sign-up for my monthly newsletter, so you can be updated when the next book comes out!”
You can find YA author Lindsey Bakken at the links above! Thank you to all the readers out there! Without you, there wouldn’t be us! 😉
Join me again next Sunday for another up-close-and- personal interview with author Marlena Frank!