Guest Fox: Lindsay Downs

By Jeff Salter

            I’m delighted to welcome, as today’s Guest Fox, author Lindsay Downs.
I no longer recall precisely when or how I met Lindsay, other than we ended up in the FB group for Astraea Press Authors.  There we’ve exchanged comments.  I’ve read, enjoyed, and reviewed one of her books.
Just as Lindsay reveals here, I’m fascinated by words.  Heck, even syllables.  And it stuns me to see the many wonderful poems, stories, or novels we can craft from them.  Hard to grasp that a 100,000 word novel can be created from a mere 26 letters of our alphabet [and a few punctuation marks].  So words are important.
Our topic this week is “writing prompts”.  Read on to see what Lindsay says about word prompts.

Writing To A Word Prompt
By Lindsay Downs
As authors we get to write what and how we choose. We get to choose the words, the scenes, everything about the story. Even when the story takes place as in the case of my contemporary series, Emily Dahill, CID or my regency series The House of Somerset starting with A Christmas Surprise.
Now imagine your publisher asking you to write a scene in one of your books but the word “bridge” has to be included. That’s where the fun begins. You sit in front of your computer, typewriter or stare at a blank sheet of paper wonder how to work that word into the story.
Or, as in some cases you start a whole new book because of it, this I’ve done twice first with Ice Queen and now with Red Queen. In each case the word prompt was “ice” and “red” which triggered the new book.

Back To “Bridge”
            But, let’s go back to “bridge”. An interesting word that has several possibilities but you have to look beyond the ordinary. For most of us this word conjures up images of a structure spanning a river, a gorge or a body of water. But what about the “bridge of the nose”? Or “bridge the gap” but not referring to any of the aforementioned.
I belong to a group of authors called Tuesday Tales. Here, each week those who choose write to the prompt for that week. In many cases we have started a book through this group, as I have with Ice Queen and Red Queen.
What I love about writing to a prompt word is it helps to guide me when I’m writing the story. Several times, to maintain consistency in the story I’ve had to write an entire chapter before getting to the prompt.
In the case of the word prompt “bridge” to preserve the integrity of the story I had to write 1,000 words before I could use the prompt.

Shortened Version
            Here is the shortened version of the scene I wrote around “bridge”, oh and cleaned up because I know Jeff blushes easily.

            “Yeah, barely. He’s just sitting there watching us come close to xxxxxxxxxx here in public. Which would be fun if it wasn’t illegal. Only distinguishing thing about him is an old scar across the bridge of his nose. Other than that he looks like your average man on the street hanging with a killer,” she whispered. Then added, “any sign of Toby and Martina.”

If you are interested in reading the weekly post go to the link I have above. We usually post the links Monday night after 9pm EST.
I should warn you that you might find everything from sweet romance to erotica to Sci-Fi to M/M but each link has the genre and opening sentences, so you can choose which ones you want to read. Hopefully all because they, and I’m being modest, all are superb.
And in many cases the scenes are part of a WIP so there might be mistakes etc.

A Collie Rescue
            Former Army Sergeant Sandi Charleston, diagnosed with PTSD and homeless barely survives day to day. By a miracle of fate she meets Taz, a uniquely special collie, who helps turn her life around.
Only through him does she find the courage to go head to head with her worst enemy-terrorist bent on mass destruction.
Bound by a special love to help and protect each other, side by side these two unlikely partners willingly march forward into battle. A fight to the death neither is sure can be won but fighting as one they will try to.
Kidnapped and forced to reveal what she knows Sandi realizes there is only one individual who can save her from certain death. It’s not the government but her new best buddy.
Together they defeat the enemy proving once again that battle buddies come in all shapes and breeds.
Rescued, Sandi finally realizes that there is a new and better life for her as long as Taz is part of it.
Astraea Press

Bio Blurb:
It was from my parents that I developed a love for books. My father, a medieval scholar, collected the works of Sir Walter Scott with The Lady of the Lake, then and now my favorite. My mother collect Thomas Hardy. No comment on him.
When I was in high school I use to infuriate my English teachers by wanting to write my way, not the way they taught the class. Needless to say, I didn’t quietly rebel and usually won my argument.
Later when I started writing, with a focus toward being published, I remembered what I’d learned in school. All, that is, except for commas which I still can’t figure out.
After much trial and a lot of errors I developed my own, I sincerely hope, unique style or voice. Of course, my style now includes writing parts of my books in a POV which threw my editor for a loop until she realized that a collie was the hero of the stories.
Where you can find me:
Murders and Mysteries

            What kind of notion do YOU have from the prompt word: bridge?

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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26 Responses to Guest Fox: Lindsay Downs

  1. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for having me here as a guest Jeff.


  2. jeff salter says:

    Pleased to have another GUEST FOX on Hound Thursday.
    I had not had any guests all year until the end of August and I remembered how much I enjoyed it. Lindsay will be my 6th guest since I renewed the practice.
    I hope y’all will make her feel welcome.


  3. jeff salter says:

    By the way, I’ll go ahead and toss in my reactions to the word ‘bridge’ —
    To me a bridge signifies stability, structure, strength; it reaches and connects; it allows direct approach rather than a circuitous route; it also gives a feeling of comfort and safety.


  4. crbwrites says:

    Just so happens that my current WIP opens on a bridge. Literally and symbolically, the character is crossing into unfamiliar territory and a new beginning.


  5. I love, love, love the idea of a writing prompt being a single word. Imagine the possibilities! Usually I find a whole set up and you are supposed to take it from there. This is good, but to just state a word and let you run with it is brilliant! You’re a lucky girl to be a part of such a group. I like it so much, I think I’m going to steal the idea and create the One Word Twister game! Thanks for sharing!!


    • jeff salter says:

      Welcome back, Stacey. I’ve been missing you in the past couple of weeks.
      The only thing about Lindsay’s description of that one-word prompt exercise which I did not like (or maybe didn’t understand) was the requirement to write a certain number of pages or words before hitting the word itself.


    • Lindsay says:

      Writing weekly this was does allow the mind to look at things differently and approach a scene in a different way. Both books in the A Jessica Sales Novel are written to word prompts. There are chapters though that I add in to blend the story.


  6. tonettejoyce says:

    Well, Jeff, you always bring us someone to meet, but don’t go slipping out on us too often!We miss you.(Maybe you’ll have time to work on that guest blog-job.OK! I’ll let it rest for a while…but I couldn’t resist!)

    Hi, Lindsey,I had to laugh; when I answered a prompt the other day,I told Jeff to leave the room! We try to protect him, with his being the only Hound with we Foxes;he’s outnumbered!
    he first thought that came to mind when I read bridge was a musical bridge, since my first true attempts at writing(and my first award!) was for lyrics.The second, immediately after was: “You shall not pass!”from Lord of the Rings.There is ‘Bridge Over the river Kwai’, the bridge in the ‘Story of the Three Brothers’ from Beedle the Bard,to bridging the gap between old and new, people, ideas…and moving on, from one part of one’s life to another.Sometimes things trudge along, often they change gradually,but sometimes, things change rapidly. You find that you have been propelled across and you have to build a bridge backwards to some parts of your life that are now, seemingly, behind you.
    I hope you have a good visit with us.


  7. A very creative “interview” and a lot of fun to read!


  8. Lisa Orchard says:

    Great post Lindsay! It’s so interesting to here how other authors’ stories start and evolve! 🙂


  9. Lindsay says:

    Each week we have anywhere from 10-15 authors all writing to the same word and it’s interesting how each of us uses the word.


  10. jeff salter says:

    Thanks, Lindsay, for being my guest on 4F1H.


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