Best selling, and award winning author Lana Lindemann, is a loving Nebraskan mother living in the suburbs. Married, with two children, Lana enjoys writing having been writing since she was a child, and playing online video games with her husband and friends.
Lindemann was inspired to write by her grandparents, having been told a mix of dark fairy tales and make-believe that she grew to love and admire. Her dark, twisted but sometimes crudely humored stories reflect that. There are no white picket fences in Lindemann's world, but most love that about her work.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
"What inspired you to get into the minds of serial killers, of all things?"
I think would be an interesting question for me to answer. It all started when I was five years old, and stumbled across a movie called Henry. I was told not to watch it by my uncle who was viewing the movie at the time, so, like a good child, I hide behind the couch and secretly watched it instead. I was enthralled by it for some reason, instead of scared. Everything about it was interesting, and as I got older and had access to the library and eventually a computer, I started researching more about Henry Lee Lucas, and others such as Ed Gein, and the Night Stalker. I, hopelessly, fell in love with them, but most importantly their minds. They're interesting places. Dark places, and one never knows what you may find delving into the dark if you're brave enough.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I "try" to have a regular writing routine, but being that I have two children that usually can't always be kept. So, I just find it best to write at night, when everyone has gone to bed, usually at 1 or 2am. I keep a cup of tea handy, and some sort of snack, and plow on through! But waking up in the morning to take care of said children after that is hectic when I've only had 2 hours of sleep after a good night of writing, it's worth it, and I can usually get a solid nap in once they've taken off for school or if it's the weekend, hopped on the Xbox to play Minecraft together. The life of a writer will always be an interesting one when you're juggling children in the mix.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, and, like every author, I'm sure, I hate it. I usually spend my time in those moments researching my latest project by reading books on the subject, watching movies, or just spending time with the family. They're usually very interested in what I write, (thankfully) and I can usually ask them about what they'd like to see from the novel so far, or what they think of the characters, or particular scenes to get my brain back into writing mode. Hearing their thoughts, their feedback, and love for what I'm doing really, really helps me. Possibly more than they know.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
"Aller Anfang ist schwer," as my opa always told me. He was an aspiring writer too, but it means, "Every beginning is difficult."
I've always carried that close to my heart. Those that know me know my opa was my guiding light, and the very person that taught me how to write and gave me my gift, so his words always humble me. But the road to success is going to be hard, slow, and sometimes painful. But with hard work, dedication and love, you will make a name for yourself in time. Don't fret when things don't come to you quickly, or don't pan out the way you want them to, in the end you've worked hard in your craft and those that see it, appreciate it, and enjoy it will surface. Writing a book takes time, and finding your audience even longer, but don't worry, you will. If anything take solace in knowing that I believe in you, and send you all my deepest love.
What are your current/future projects?
Right now I'm writing a series called, "The Calling."
It is my first Fantasy/Occult Thriller. It's set back during the first years of WW2, with characters stemming from Himmler's witch division. They've stumbled across old records from a ruined village that state a witch, turned vampire from her choice of death, was living among them and taking revenge before they fled and could still be possibly alive. Thinking this could help their "cause," and thinking she could be their best link to what a true Aryan is supposed to be, they set out to look for it. Only.. things are not what they seem. They find her, yes, and slaughtering one of the main character's team, leaving only him to her mercy, he finds out that not only is she a powerful vampire and witch, but... she is not the Aryan they hoped for. She is Nordic, but of Afro-German descent. Things spiral, and, well, lets just say things get interesting and an entire plot to dismantle the entirety of Nazi Germany is formed by her hand alone. So far my beta readers are in love with it, so I'm hoping for good things once it's finished.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I've always been in love with the concept of the mind, and how to tug the strings of emotions and play on the psychological. It's hard work, but I love it and seeing/hearing the responses from people that have read what I've published so far has been beyond exciting. I love hearing feedback. How else are you supposed to grow as a person; how else are you to grow as an author without it?
I also write historical fiction, as I've always been a fan of history. Especially anything to do with WW2. My first novel titled, "Angel's Grove," will be submitted to my publisher soon, so, wish me luck!
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
My process, I feel like, for me at least, was painless, though perhaps anxiety ridden. I had to submit my manuscript to my publisher and wait for them to view it. It's the wait that kills you. After that long process of waiting, knowing they're judging every aspect of your book, you either get a call or email telling you you've either been accepted or rejected. So far, no rejections. I've been the lucky duck in that, but I'm sure one day I'll get that email or phone call. Not every book can be worth publishing, even if I think it's wonderful.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
My first book Lying with the Devil was originally called Laying with the Devil, and had it's entire cover changed and title when it became traditionally published. It was pretty easy. They simply suggested the title change for grammar reasons, as at the time, I had always heard it as "laying" with the devil. But I prefer it this way. The cover change was beautifully done, so I have issues with it. It was taken in by my publisher's design team and thoroughly overhauled into what it is today, and I can say I'm completely satisfied. It took little over a month to do, but it was worth it.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
I've made a lot of new author friends, ones very dear to my heart, and seeing them grow and prosper has been a glorious adventure on its own. Seeing and hearing from fans of my work has also been an amazing experience, I can say I'm honestly thrilled whenever someone comes up to me and asks questions or simply wants me to sign something. My life has changed so much with my writing, things I never thought I'd experience, and I'm always thankful for it.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Again, I've always been attracted to the depths and darkness of the mind. Pulling the strings, seeing what makes people tick and getting under their skin to see responses, and just watching their faces when they reach those pivotal turns in the stories really, really make my day. It's an amazing feeling; so enthralling and raw.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I usually keep notes on my phone, or record them on my camera in my phone and sort of explain to myself the scene in which what was happening in my mind. If I don't have that, I pray I keep it locked in my head long enough to get to a computer. Most of my inspiration though, comes from nightmares I've experienced, so they're hard not to forget.
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
I try not to aim for words or set amount of pages. I tell the story as it's meant to be told, and when I think the chapter or story is finished, then it's finished. Putting in unnecessary filler just seems like an idiotic concept to me, and serves no purpose other than to add more pages and word count. I want to be enthralled while reading your book, not know how marble smells. (Yes, this was a real thing I read in someone's book. I wasn't aware that marble had a smell?)
How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
I've come out of my shell more, and feel more open and confident in approaching people. Speaking, and handling situations I would've been lost in before, now that I'm more in the public eye.
I was told Lying with the Devil is being used by a therapist in their studies with fellow peers, to show a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome and how it affects the mind and person, as well as the people around them. So, I'm hoping that will help others in the future. Out of any awards I've won, that to me is my greatest achievement. I hope one day more will be so accepting of mental health.
Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?
I've had press releases done, and I think there is some value to it. It has directed flow to my books, and for that I'm thankful, but I haven't seen a huge impact. However, flow is flow, so I can't be picky.
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, overrated, or don’t matter at all?
I love reviews. Whether negative, positive or just straight meh. Either way it's great to hear feedback or just get recognition as an author for your hard work. It's a wonderful feeling.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
I don't see the point. I think if you've honestly enjoyed the book, then review it! But why pay for it? Why swap for it? That just doesn't seem genuine to me.
Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?
Yes. I've had such an experience. I had gotten into a fight with a friend, and his sister who wasn't even a part of the fight got mad that her brother apologized to me in the end. Being petty, she wrote a 1 star review, twice, on my book and tried to lower my score. She attacked it without ever reading it, and people noticed and were quick to point it out. People started honestly reviewing it, and now my book sits at a 4 star, rather than 1 on the site. I'm thankful, but sometimes it makes me still angry.
Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?
My sister's roommate came to see me, and promptly freaked out. She said she had never met a "celebrity" before and never knew I lived in the same town as her. She kept complimenting me, hugging me, telling me I was beautiful, gasping for air, near tears, and all I could do was nod my head, smile and tell her I was just a normal goof of a person, that happened to love writing books. It was interesting, for sure, and one I'll never forget.
What is the intended audience for you book?
Adults, honestly. That love anything scary and morbid, and have a love for things twisted and not so "rainbows and sunshine," as most books are nowadays. I like to base things in reality, and as things go in reality, you don't always get your way. Sometimes my stories end with happy endings, sometimes their bittersweet, or sometimes they leave you sobbing or distressed. It all depends.
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
Most of my female characters have the middle name, "Rose." This is a homage to my oma, Rosemary.
Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?
I have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
But I prefer Instagram. The writing community is wonderful, as are the readers, and I seem to connect with them much better. Seeing their everyday lives, loves and joys is also a wonderful experience.
What makes a good story, why?
Character development. Seeing these characters go through changes, experiences, and seeing them grow is something worthwhile and wonderful. Keeping them staked in their shells with nothing evolving is boring.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I read my reviews, but I don't usually respond. I do post about them on my social media from time to time, especially if I find them endearing or flat out funny. Handling the bad is as easy as taking what they say with a grain of salt, or seeing if their criticism can help you in some way. If not, ignore it and move on. It stings, I know. Your book is your work of art, your baby. But a few bad words shouldn't deter you from doing what you honestly love.
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
Controversial scenes are good ones. As are morbid scenes. I do like playing around with love scenes. Really, anything with great depth and emotional depth I can usually tap into with ease. Conversation pieces I seem to flow into as well. What's hard sometimes is moving onto the next one or the in-between.
What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?
Western, believe it or not.
I loved movies like Tombstone as a kid. I've always wondered what it would be like to write something like that.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
Yes, plenty of times. A lot of my books are based on nightmares I've had, including the Lying with the Devil series. They're some of my favorites to write.
What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?
My opa was my biggest inspiration in writing. He taught me, at the age of two, how to write. He put a pencil in my hand and taught me my first word, it was apple, both in English and German. From the on he would give me lessons and also tell me Germanic fairy tales, which were often dark, but had many good morals attached. I loved them, and they helped shape me into the writer I am today. He'll also be my guiding light, wherever he is resting now.
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
Career. This is what I've always dreamed about doing, and though it's hard to make money at times, and can be stressful, I can't think of anything else I love doing more. This is my dream, my love, and my life.
Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?
I'm much too embarrassed to put myself out like that, but I applaud those that do. With as many family members and friends that read my books, I just can't imagine them reading something so intimate from me. I already feel awkward with what sex scenes I do include from time to time.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
My family. My brother, especially. Hearing him, an avid reader himself, talk about me so highly to anyone that will listen just warms my heart. I've always looked up to him as a person, as a friend, as a sibling. So, to know he's proud of me always inspires me.
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
Me and my brother usually come up with the concepts for my covers, but afterward we send them to my publisher for the final design. We love going over the ideas and coming up with stories behind the art, and staying true to what lurks inside the pages.
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
Editing. I think every author knows why.