interview with author lindsay ferguson

a brief background

Lindsay has been immersing herself in stories since her childhood days of sneaking a flashlight into her room14290813 and staying up reading The Babysitters Club series way past her bedtime, writing spinoffs of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and imagining herself in fascinating, far-off places. She still dreams of traveling the world one day, and finds getting lost in a good book almost as absorbing as penning her own stories and experiencing them unfold. A Communication graduate from the University of Utah, she worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years and has contributed feature lifestyle articles to various media outlets. When she felt the itch to attempt novel writing a fascination with history created a natural inclination toward historical fiction, with a romantic flare, of course. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel.

Source: Goodreads

the interview

1. What is your most favourite book?
Tough question! I have a hard time picking a very favorite book. There are many genres I enjoy so it’s hard to compare and I find my favorite books vary during different phases of my life. So, to help narrow it down, I’ll go with my favorite book I’ve read in the past year – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Such an excellent read! 

2. What advice can you give to those who are just beginning writing? 

I would say don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the end when you’re at the beginning. If you have an idea just start getting the words down on paper. Take it one step at a time, one chapter at a time, and you will slowly get further into your project. I do think it’s wise to have an outline to guide you, but from there just let yourself write and see where it takes you, and sooner than you think you’ll have a good chunk of your book complete. Also, enjoy the process! Writing is the fun part. Don’t try to rush to the end too quickly because soon you’ll be wishing you could go back to that fun creative stage again :).

3. If you could rewrite one book, what would it be? 

This is also a tricky question. A book just popped into my head, so I’m going to go with it. The Giver by Lois Lowry. I loved this book growing up. Looking back, I think it was probably the first book I ever read that really made me think. I’m not saying I’d rewrite this book because it needs to be rewritten – I think it’s brilliant! I’m saying this book because I would love to go back and experience the creative process the author went through when she wrote it. So, I guess I’m saying I’d like to be placed in her shoes while she wrote it :). 

4. Where did you get the inspiration or idea of writing By the Stars? 

The idea for By the Stars came about because of a visit I had with the man the book is inspired by. I had always wanted to write a novel and had a fascination with history, especially the WWII era, and I am always a sucker for a good love story. I was lucky enough to visit with this man and hear his incredible story of love, war and hope, and instantly fell in love with it. On my drive home that day the thought entered my mind that his story could make a great basis for a novel. I was a bit intimidated by the idea in the beginning because my goal to write a novel was more of a far-off one, but I felt so compelled by the story and couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I began working on it. 

5. Writing is a path of hardships. Describe one time where you reached the lowest point of your journey and how you overcame it. 
I’d say probably when I finished the manuscript and I began looking into what to do next. I started sending out query letters about my novel to agents. I had no connections, knowing literally no one on the publishing industry or book agent world, and was getting zero responses. I began getting pretty discouraged that nothing would come of the novel. But then I started hearing about how some of the local publishers in my area had good reputations, and that I could try sending them a manuscript without an agent. I decided to give it a try. I was pregnant with my twins at the time and ended up having a crazy pregnancy with the babies coming early soon after I submitted the manuscript. I got an offer email from Cedar Fort when my twins were a few months old and it almost felt surreal, like it came out of nowhere and from a different life! I had almost given up on my book, or at least decided to shelf it for awhile and revisit it later because I didn’t feel I had the time or energy to continue grasping at straws toward getting published. I’m so glad that email came and that I’m able to see By the Stars published and share it with others now!

6. What do you do in your spare time? 

Honestly, spare time is hard to come by these days! My twins are one years old and I have two school-aged children, so most of my spare time lately has been spent toward this book. But, in the rare moments that I do have some down time, I do the cliche thing most authors will probably give for the answer to this question – I like to read! I also like to watch TV and movies (if I can stay awake for them), and I like to bake cupcakes with my six year old daughter.

6. What part in By the Stars you hated and loved the most? 

I’ve really had to think on this one! Can I give two parts I hated? (Maybe a weird request from the author, haha). Although I really enjoyed writing this scene, I hated having to have Cal and Kate separate when he left for the war. Not only because he was leaving, but because of the way they parted. It was hard to experience them being pulled apart and to write about poor Cal’s heart breaking. He’s just such a good guy! But, it was also kind of fun to write the drama of that scene, so although a part of me hated it, a part of me really enjoyed it as well! There are a few things I wrote about during Cal’s time serving in the war that were really hard to put to paper. The hardest thing about this was that all of the experiences he had while serving in the war actually happened, so that made it all the more difficult to experience through writing. I don’t want to give anything away, but what happens to one of Cal’s closest friends in the last battle scene was really sad, and I hated having to write it. On a lighter note, as for the part of the book I loved the most – I really enjoyed writing the scene where Kate teaches Cal to dance at the Coconut Grove ballroom in Salt Lake. It was such fun to write!  I could just feel his clumsiness trying to learn, Kate’s confidence and personality seeping through, while also having so much chemistry between the two of them. And, their banter through it all. I love banter! 

by the stars

By the Stars is a historical fiction book with romance. Based on a true story, it is, as one reader stated, full of emotion, miracles, love and hope. The summary in Goodreads goes:

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her – possibly for good. After he’s gone, what Kate does next changes everything.

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. With Kate’s memory willing him on, Cal must put his trust in God to survive if he hopes to ever return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars is a romance that stands the test of time and the most intense obstacles. 

If you are into stories of love blossoming even during periods of pain and struggle, check this book out. 

thank you for reading and um, bye!

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