Interview with Rod Lindsey

Rod Lindsey

Interview Date: 8/01/2012


Pacific Northwest crime fiction author Rod Lindsey launched his literary career following more than 30 years in the field in construction and a dozen years in construction sales. His debut novel, Troubleshooter, chronicles U.S. Marshal Ezra Hooten's career-spanning pursuit of his boyhood best friend, a scalp-collecting psychopath on the lam. Influenced by a variety of contemporary writers including Elmore Leonard, Ken Follett, Stephen King and Annie Porulx, Rod's writing style has been described as 'tension-filled crime/suspense tales featuring deeply flawed,larger-than-life characters.' Rod has been a photographer, a painter, a carpenter, a stunt-kite flyer, and gave it all up to write crime fiction rife with salacious sex, illicit drugs, and other graphic scenes of lewd, unwholesome, and lascivious behavior - and he's a loving grandpa!

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing seriously in 1966 after a felonious high-school lark landed me in jail in New Orleans.

Kev's response: Well, that makes for an intriguing start!

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonbly powerful.)


Kev's response: Now there's one I don't see often. It could have a huge benefit, I suppose. (And it makes me wonder if you don't have designs on politics?)

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

There are several, but Mighty Mouse was among the first.

Kev's response: I haven't thought of that cartoon in a long, long time.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

My inspiration tends to be ordinary folks living extraordinary lives. Inner demons motivate me.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I detest outlines and usually develop timelines as the story evolves. Plots and characters (essentially the same thing) are constantly germinating in my imagination – I may step in at any time when a notion starts to get interesting to me. After that the whole process is very organic.

Kev's response: I've found that approach leads to a very nice flow to a story, although for me personally, it limits the overall complexity of my storyline.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I write daily – usually starting very early (4:00-4:30AM), prettymuch all day, 7 days a week, juggling Real Life into the mix as necessary. I write for the satisfaction of seeing the story develop – not to achieve a pre-determined word count!

Kev's response: What IS this real life you speak of? Hmm.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I like to write quasi-literary crime fiction rife with salacious sex, illicit drugs, & lowbrow manly humor. I read without bounds – from Elmore Leonard to Ken Follett, Stephen King and Annie Porulx to JK Rowling, Douglas Adams, and Cormac McCarthy.

Kev's response: Rod, I believe you are the first person I've ever heard of who is doing literary lowbrow humor. I love it!

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The feeling of satisfaction I get from a reader connecting with something I wrote.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

The mountains of self-doubt and rejection (and, ultimately, the drudgery of self-marketing) that must be scaled to connect with readers.

Kev's response: Ah, marketing. It's a lot like walking on hot coals.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I’m from a long line of witches and warlocks and I can hex off warts, bless births, etc.

Kev's response: Very cool! Now, if you could just develop a magical marketing spell...<

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I concentrate on one story at a time, but also have several simmering on back burners. Sometimes I knock out a quick character sketch or short story to break up the strain of a full-length novel.

I'm looking to advertise for evil minions for my plot to take over the world, any suggestions?

Bushtits…millions of bushtits!

Kev's response: But those aren't even evil-looking birds!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

There is no doubt that paper book publishing is on the endangered business list, but E-books need to get much better in order to fully step up to the plate.

What are your current projects?

My wit currently sweats buckets daily over marketing Troubleshooter, winner of the 2009 PNWA Zola Award, and finishing the sequel, Skyshooter.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Edit! Edit! Edit! Then hire an honest-to-God editor and do it again. And…try not to fool yourself into believing any idiot (including you!) can easily convert the manuscript for publication without formatting issues.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

I tweet. See my blog at for more about my writing. Facebook at for personal stuff. Or see Troubleshooter at Amazon - sample, and let me know what you think!

Kev's response: Rod, thank you much for joining me! Good fortune on Troubleshooter, and (soon?) on Skyshooter!

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