Interview by Tehani Wessely.
An independent publisher and writer, Lindy is author of the Kit O’Malley PI trilogy Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water; the archaeological mystery Golden Relic; the action thriller, Redback; and the sf-crime novella Feedback. She is currently working on mosaic series of historical-adventure novellas.
She’s also co-author of the true crime collections Killer in the Family & Murder in the Family (with her sister Fin J Ross); and Women Who Kill (with Ruth Wykes).
Lindy is a founding member and National Co-Convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia, and the Publisher of Clan Destine Press.
I’m looking forward to the (now two volume) anthology And Then… The Great Big Book of Awesome Adventure Tales– what can you tell us about the publication journey for this project?
The publication of And Then… has turned into an epic adventure of its own. As an author I wanted to write more adventure stories – you know, with time travel and archaeologists and Amazons and cliffhangers.
As a Publisher I thought how awesome would a collection of multi-genre adventure tales be. So I invited a multitude of Aussie writers (and a Kiwi or two) to come play in my sandpit. A host of them said yes. I also gave them the opportunity to spread their wings by asking for long short stories: 5k to 15k words. So, what was one volume became two, until my Editors told me I couldn’t count! And Then… is now three volumes of awesome.
Production is therefore taking a wee bit longer than planned – but the three-book anthology featuring 31 authors is due early October.
You publish quite a range of genres and for a variety of audiences – what challenges and opportunities are afforded by this diversity of focus?
Clan Destine Press is a genre publisher – which means any, and all, genre fiction (with a bit of true crime thrown in for good measure). It was always my goal to provide an opportunity for established Australian authors to be published in genres other than what their ‘big’ Publisher might want to contain them to; and to take on mid-list authors (and their back lists) who might have been dropped in favour of the latest international blockbusting import.
Our prime directive, however, is to uncover and nurture new talent, and provide another independent option for Aussie genre writers writing for all ages – kids, YA and adults.
What are you working on at the moment that we might see in the next year or so?
Another bonus of being a multi-genre publisher is demonstrated in our most recent and next publications. The Adult Colouring Bazaar is, yes, a colouring book but not simply a thing to get us on that bandwagon. It was a desire to share the artwork of one of the young illustrators (Ashlea Bechaz) Clan Destine uses for cover work.
Our next book is a journal for writers and other creators. The Journal of Infinite Possibility is 140 pages of lined and blank pages with fabulous original illustrations, writing prompts, inspirational quotes, space to draw, doodle, make lists or begin your next novel. It will be available in a couple of weeks.
And then, of course, comes And Then… The Great Big Book of Adventure Tales.
What Australian work have you loved recently?
I am currently thoroughly immersed in Angela Slatter’s wonderful Vigil; I loved The Adventure of the Colonial Boy by Narrelle M Harris; and am envious of Twelfth Planet’s excellent Defying Doomsday anthology.
Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?
Tom Robbins. The man has a way with words I can only dream about; and a mind bent in so many wonderful directions that hours on a plane with him would feel like forever – in the best possible way. He’s been on my ‘list’ since I discovered Still Life With Woodpecker (a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes) in the 80s; and I often turn to his paragraph about his quest to write the perfect sentence as a reminder I’ve yet to write any even half as good as most of his.