Author Spotlight: Lyndsay Ely talks Gunslinger Girl
Lyndsay Ely is on the blog today! Her debut, Gunslinger Girl, hit shelves on Tuesday and I've been in a constant state of excitement over this book ever since I first heard the MC is a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley! Check out the mini synopsis here:
Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great…
The West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity’s struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.
The Wild West meets the future sounds pretty amazing, right?! Read my Q&A with Lyndsay below!
Hi, Lyndsay! Welcome and congrats on your debut, Gunslinger Girl. Can you tell us a little about the story and what inspired it?
Thank you! And thanks for having me on your blog!
GUNSLINGER GIRL is the story of Serendipity “Pity” Jones, a gunslinger who runs away from her dead-end life only to end up in the most decadent, dangerous city around: Cessation. There, she becomes a performing sharpshooter in a theater show, only to learn that the price for her new-found freedom is higher than she expects.
GG was inspired by my love for Western and Western-themed media, and my disappointment at how rarely it featured women in lead roles.
Gunslinger Girl has been called a ‘genre-bending Western set in the future’ and I’m so interested in your world-building process! Do you have any tips specifically geared toward writers looking to mesh genres?
To be honest, I feel like I’m still figuring it out myself! Westerns seem to lend themselves somewhat readily to genre meshing. Maybe it’s because many of the tropes are pretty set (if not entirely historically accurate!) and their scope is more limited than, say, in fantasy. I think being aware of a genre’s tropes is always a good start, because then you can start figuring out where to mix and twist them.
Gunslinger Girl has a pretty big cast of characters. Who was your favorite to write, and who gave you the most trouble?
This might be like picking a favorite child. I really enjoyed writing Pity’s somewhat prickly interactions with Beau, who is probably the closest to the classic cowboy trope character in the book. And I’d say Pity gave me the most trouble; it was tricky to write a character who was both determined and capable, while at the same time inexperienced and a little naïve.
What part of the writing process do you find most challenging and how do you tackle it?
Drafting is definitely the hardest for me; I usually need to write through a scene to figure out exactly what’s going on. And then, more often than not, I’ll scrap 75% of it.
Do you listen to music for inspiration or while writing? What songs would we find on the Gunslinger Girl soundtrack?
I definitely listen to music while I work, usually something that goes along with the scene I’m working on. And there’s actually a Spotify playlist I put together for GUNSLINGER GIRL. You can check it out here.
What has been your most rewarding experience as an author so far?
Being able to see friends’ books on the bookstore shelves. I get excited every time. I don’t know how I’m going to manage seeing my book there.
What are you reading, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
My TBR pile is honestly obscene. I’ve been trying to keep up on YA in general, but there are so many good books to read and so little time! I’m still a little bowled over by SIX OF CROWS, to the point where I’ve put off reading CROOKED KINGDOM because I don’t want the story to be over! I’m also itching to finally get to the second two books in the Broken Earth trilogy. THE FIFTH SEASON was SO GOOD.
And finally, what’s one steadfast piece of advice you’d like to share with other writers?
I think it will forever and always be to be persistent. Keep writing, keep researching, be open to criticism, and don’t be afraid if your first, fifth, or even tenth project doesn’t work out. It might be the eleventh that does!
Many thanks go out to Lyndsay for taking the time to talk more about Gunslinger Girl, meshing genres, and the power of persistence in a writing career. Be sure to add Lyndsay's debut to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy RIGHT NOW from Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or through your local independent bookstore.
And, as always,