All posts filed under: Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday: Excerpt from “Zombie Road,” Chapter 1

By Leslie Lindsay Let’s take it from the top. Here’s an excerpt from chapter one from my WIP. We meet one of several POVs. This is James, an old man in a nursing home. CHAPTER 1 The End 1984 The baby woke James McCullough. He struggled to a sitting position, kicking the pilled institution-issued blanket from his pale, knobby feet and then twisted his frame and sat on the edge of the bed, listening. That goddamned baby wasn’t crying anymore.   He rubbed his eyes and blew out a breath of air. His chest wheezed and rattled. Death’s cough, the nurses around here called it. He wasn’t supposed to have heard them murmuring at the nurse’s station, but his suite was so close, he couldn’t not hear. That was one thing he still had—his sense of hearing, unlike so many of the other old folks around River’s Bluff Retirement Home. In spite of the nightlights plugged into every outlet, he couldn’t see the hand in front of his face, thanks to glaucoma and cataracts; but …

Fiction Friday: Little Sally Water

By Leslie Lindsay I have a senior basset hound named Sally. She has a kidney issue and that means she has some house-training accidents from time to time. Okay, a lot. Was it because little Sally was peeping on the floor that my brain recalled this old nursery rhyme, Little Sally Water or was it the muses at play? In any case, this old childhood game, jingle, rhyme–what have you–has been floating through my head of late. So I got curious, like all good writers do and did a little research. Here’s the rhyme/song:  Little Sally Waters sitting in the sun Trying to find her love The one & only one Rise Sally rise Open up your eyes Look to the east Look to the west Maybe you’ll find the one that you love best The lyrics actually continue and are quite extensive. Seems the rhyme/children’s yard game has something to do with marriage. Little Sally Water is sitting in her saucer. In fact, the real story goes: Sally was on her way to her wedding, when …

Fiction Friday: What’s in a Name

By Leslie Lindsay I read recently a list of things that indicate you’re a writer. It went something like: You know you’re a writer when… Everything you do is considered “research” for your novel (or a future one). You proof-read emails You rush to jot down an idea lest it leave you before you can do anything with it You have a baby name website bookmarked on your computer And so the list went. I found myself nodding and uhuh-ing. But it was the last one–the baby name website–that got me. You see, ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fascintation with names. What they mean, their origins, their conotations, etc. And so it’s no surprise this is one of my most favorite parts of creating a novel. Not that I’ve created that many, mind you but well–you get the idea. Names are easy for me; they just appear. I don’t deliberate, I don’t do much of anything but take what I get. And then I look them up. One of my characters, Melanie is sensitive–like psychic sensitive. …

Fiction Friday: Long, Strange Trip

By Leslie Lindsay My father-in-law lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He reads the newspaper religiously. And actually, today–July 4th–just happens to be not just the birth of our nation, but his birthday, too. Happy birthday, Pop! It only seems appropriate I’d share this article he clipped from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and sent my way (dated Saturday, June 21st 2014). The day it arrived in my mailbox, I needed it. You see, I was thinking of shelving the whole “Zombie Road” book and calling it done. It’s not. Far from it. I just wanted to be ‘normal,’ you know enjoy summer, raise my kids, read a book, go on vacation. I didn’t want to slave work on this nebulous thing called a manuscript. But the article–small that is–stirred the muse within. I showed my hubby when he walked in the door at the end of the day, “Hey, Pop sent this. It’s about Zombie Road.” I waved the clipped article in his face. Eye roll. Mine, not his. Jim grinned over the clipping, “Hon, you’ve gotta write this book. I …

Write On, Wednesday: Introducing Lori Rader-Day and THE BLACK HOUR, her debut literary thriller about a college professor and her return to campus after being shot

By Leslie Lindsay I am thrilled to have debut author Lori Rader-Day with us as we delve into academic life on the fictional campus of Rothbert University, a prestigious Chicago institution. Her first book, THE BLACK HOUR will debut July 8th and it’s fantastic poolside reading. With work appearing in a variety of publications, including the anthology Dia de los Muertos, as well as several review journals and mystery magazines, Rader-Day is quickly on her path to a career as a mystery/thriller writer. Welcome, Lori! L.L.: You write with such deft precision about college life. The smells, the colors, and the overall atmosphere of Dr. Amelia Emmet’s old college office building truly come to life in those opening pages as she lumbers up the stairs. Can you describe your research into the university life? Lori Rader-Day: I’m not sure you can call it research—I work for a university. I’ve worked for three universities in my lifetime, and I borrowed things for lovely, fictional Rothbert from all of them. The building Amelia works in is loosely …

Fiction Friday: What does Grief Feel Like?

By Leslie Lindsay Here’s a little something from my WIP. Working on a novel set in the St. Louis suburbs based on a urban legend. This is a tiny little epitaph that our main charcter, Mel shares on grief: “What does grief feel like? This is the question the ladies at grief group want us to focus on this week. Grief feels like a barbed wire fence being shoved down my throat and pulled out many times over and over. Grief feels numb and barren, like nothing but bad thoughts can grow. It hits me when I least expect it, at the grocery store and in line at the bank. And yes, it strikes when I see a baby, bundled in a car seat toted into Starbucks, her tiny face peeking out from a little hole in the blankets, parents overly doting and cooing. Grief is an evil entity that wants me for itself, like a phantom taking me in, inhabiting my body. If I am not lucky, it will. His ugliness will throw his head …

Fiction Friday: Dark Parts of Motherhood, an excerpt from Novel-in-Progress

By Leslie Lindsay Here’s a little something I’ve been working on this week. It’s from my novel-in-progress, ZOMBIE ROAD and is in the POV of the protagonist, Melanie (Mel) Dunbar. It’s a little dark…but I’m guessing if you’re a mom, you’ve likely had similar dark-ish feelings tainted with a streak of very fresh hormones. “No one ever told me about the dark parts of motherhood. I gave birth and people brought over the sweetest little shoes and pale pink swaddling blankets. They swooped in with tuna noodle casseroles and apple pies just to get a look at you nestled in my arms and they’re left. No one ever came when I was alone and afraid I’d do something wrong. Nor did they offer to rock you at three-in-the-morning when you, my perfect baby wouldn’t sleep and I was awake, grainy-eyed and angry. Then I was alone, my body trying to heal—and daddy was back at the office. He took the university offered paternity leave of two paid weeks, but that’s not nearly long enough. There was a …

Fiction Friday: Children’s Books about Books!

By Leslie Lindsay [this piece originally “aired” on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 over at http://www.speakingofapraxia.com%5D I read a lot. Grown-up fiction? You bet. The backs of cereal boxes? Guilty. Just about anything with written text in a language I understand? Totally. But my absolute favorite part of the day is wrapping my arms around my girls and reading a children’s book. And I got to thinking, there are a lot of books about books. Sounds like a lovely combination, doesn’t it? Here are a few of my favorites in children’s literature: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. By William Joyce. This book, published in 2012 may very well be my favorite. The illustrations are rich, engaging, and offer a slightly vintage nostalgia everyone can appreciate. But the story itself is sweet, touching, and terribly moving. I love it. The book also inspired an academy-award winning short film that will bring the story to life for any reader. [Amazon Prime Members can see the video free, or purchase reasonably here. http://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Flying-Books-Morris-Lessmore/dp/B00EV6YJ9W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396369519&sr=8-2&keywords=Mr.+Morris+Lessmore%5D Miss Dorothy and …

And the Winner is…

By Leslie Lindsay Last week, we were wow-ed with debut author ELIZABETH HEITER and her crime-thriller, HUNTED (Mira, December 2013). Thanks to everyone who shared the interview link &/or commented on their favorite “Crimimal Minds” character.  One lucky winner, gets a signed copy of the book! JULIE McVEY!!

Fiction Friday: Remains

By Leslie Lindsay Working on revisions today as I tackle my second novel, Zombie Road. This one is loosely based on an urban legend in west St. Louis county.  The guys here–Chris and Kevin find themselves near an abandoned river village on a dare from their group “leader,” Jason. Bear in mind, to that this is set in 1984, but I think it reads as if it could be set in any time period. As always, comments and feedback welcomed! Chris began walking, quickly at first, through the bushes and down a well-worn earthen trail as Kevin considered his options. The smell of the river wafted through his nose—wet rocks, slick mud, foamy river weed. The wind hollowed through the trees, rustling leaves, snapping branches. It was eerily quiet and empty. They crossed a small creek, jumping over with reckless abandon. Kevin stuffed his hands into the pockets of his jacket, but still felt a chill that made him hunch his shoulders. In the late afternoon light, faint, stony outlines, solid and eternal stones rose from the …