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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friday finds // historical fiction is the best


this meme is hosted by the lovely jenn at a daily rhythm

it’s time for a friday finds.

i have SO MUCH more books to show you since i updated my to-read shelf in Goodreads but for now, i’ll only be showing three books. let us do this.

I Shall Be Near You
Erin McCabe
Historical Fiction

long story short: it’s the civil war and rosetta doesn’t want her husband to join the military, but he does. so she dresses up as a man and goes with him.

Goodreads Summary:

An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier’s letters home.

Rosetta doesn’t want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they’ll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she’s always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she’s told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over two hundred and fifty documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

The Last Pilot
Benjamin Johncock
Historical Fiction, Space

long story short: SPACE

Goodreads Summary:

“Harrison sat very still. On the screen was the surface of the moon.”

Jim Harrison is a test pilot in the United States Air Force, one of the exalted few. He spends his days cheating death in the skies above the Mojave Desert and his nights at his friend Pancho’s bar, often with his wife, Grace. She and Harrison are secretly desperate for a child-and when, against all odds, Grace learns that she is pregnant, the two are overcome with joy.

While America becomes swept up in the fervor of the Space Race, Harrison turns his attention home, passing up the chance to become an astronaut to welcome his daughter, Florence, into the world. Together, he and Grace confront the thrills and challenges of raising a child head-on. Fatherhood is different than flying planes-less controlled, more anxious-however the pleasures of watching Florence grow are incomparable. But when his family is faced with a sudden and inexplicable tragedy, Harrison’s instincts as a father and a pilot are put to test. As a pilot, he feels compelled to lead them through it-and as a father, he fears that he has fallen short.

The aftermath will haunt the Harrisons and strain their marriage as Jim struggles under the weight of his decisions. Beginning when the dust of the Second World War has only just begun to settle and rushing onward into the Sixties, Benjamin Johncock traces the path of this young couple as they are uprooted by events much larger than themselves. The turns the Harrisons take together are at once astonishing and recognizable; their journey, both frightening and full of hope. Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot is a mesmerizing debut novel of loss and finding courage in the face of it from an extraordinary new talent. 

anywayi’m a huge space person, if that’s what we’re called. i love space, the solar system, exoplanets, BASICALLY ASTRONOMY. i’m so fascinated by planets and stars and dark matter and whatever. Interstellar is one of my favourite movies, i hope this becomes one of my favourite books.

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Ella Sanders

long story short: a bunch of words from other languages that don’t have a counterpart in the English language.

Goodreads Summary:

An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English. 

Did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there’s a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?

Lost in Translation brings to life more than fifty words that don’t have direct English translations with charming illustrations of their tender, poignant, and humorous definitions. Often these words provide insight into the cultures they come from, such as the Brazilian Portuguese word for running your fingers through a lover’s hair, the Italian word for being moved to tears by a story, or the Swedish word for a third cup of coffee.

In this clever and beautifully rendered exploration of the subtleties of communication, you’ll find new ways to express yourself while getting lost in the artistry of imperfect translation.

i’m a Filipino which means i’m bilingual. there are tons of words in our language that can’t be translated in English. gigil, kilig and more. fellow filipinos, u know what im talking ’bout.

 anyway, i hope you enjoyed my posts! be sure to check out these books too! thank you for reading and um, bye!

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