Fantasy author Lindsey Sablowski has always adored reading and has been writing for as long as she can remember. In 2012, when Lindsey was 18 years of age, her first book, Cursed With Power, was released by Old Line Publishing. As the first entry in Lindsey’s Magicians series, Cursed With Power tells the story of Celestria Hale, who learns that she is one of the last living Dark Magicians and embarks on a journey to learn more about what has happened to her kind.
Lindsey, who lives in Maryland with her boyfriend and her two cats, has since self-published two additional entries in the Magicians series — Shadows and Embers and Thicker than Blood — and is currently working on the fourth in the series, which will be released in 2015.
Learn more about Lindsey and her writing at www.lrenees-fictionalwriter.blogspot.com.
As a child I grew up with two older brothers and a younger sister. I always enjoyed being creative; I loved imagining stories and reading (or when I was very young just listening to) books.
Creatively-speaking, who are your biggest influences?
Definitely authors like Stephen King, Christopher Paolini, J.K. Rowling and numerous others. These are some of my favorite authors, and I loved reading their stories on how they became successful. I also respected the fact that they survived rejections. I’ve read Stephen King’s book on writing, and it was extremely motivational and inspiring. These authors and many others continue to influence me today.
What initially drew you towards fantasy writing, and what do you find most appealing about the genre?
Fantasy is a genre with a lot of possibilities and open doors. I love the creativity that comes along with writing fantasy.
What inspired the story of Cursed With Power, and what was the most difficult aspect of writing the book?
Cursed With Power first came to me in the summer of 2010. I had been writing numerous different stories, but none of them really stood out to me as something worth publishing. Then this new idea came to me about a story with magic where the general roles of “good” and “evil” were not as clearly marked out as they are in other books. I thought, “What if the ‘good’ characters were not the true heroes? What if they had corrupted society to believe they were heroes when in truth they were villains?” Those questions set me in the direction of writing a new kind of story for the fantasy genre, and so I started with Celestria’s story.
The most difficult part of writing the book was working fantasy into also a historical setting. The book takes place in 1500s Transylvania, and while there is magic, I also wanted to incorporate parts of history that made it more realistic to the audience. I did a lot of research to find accurate maps for that time period and other accurate facts that went along with that time era. I wanted it to be believable and feel real.
When shopping Cursed With Power, did you receive many rejections? Were you prepared for that part of the process?
Oh yes, I received many, and in a way, I was prepared to a certain degree. Cursed With Power wasn’t my first book I had tried to publish; when I was 12 years old I tried to publish a book titled The Magic of Light. This book received many rejections, which was what led me to putting it aside and trying something new. However, I don’t think anything fully prepares you for rejections even when you know they can happen. I really fell in love with Cursed With Power and worked every free minute I had on it. When I started receiving rejections, I did wonder and worry, but each time I also went back to the story and kept polishing it even more. Celestria’s story was not one I was willing to place aside when I knew it was different from other ones I had written.
Did you receive any particularly harsh rejections when shopping your books?
I remember several that would claim the book simply wasn’t interesting enough or that I needed to try another genre because of fantasy being extremely difficult to be published into. The fact with rejections is that they are not always true; publishers and agents have a very clear set of material that they consider publishable. My very first rejection (when I was 12) was definitely the harshest one because I had such high hopes and didn’t know what to expect. I remember running to my parents and crying because I honestly hadn’t expected for it to be so difficult.
How did your deal with Old Line Publishing come about?
During my senior year my cousin told me about a friend of hers who had been published by Old Line Publishing. He and I started talking on Facebook, and he suggested I contact OLP about my book. I sent in my materials, and by graduation I received my acceptance letter. Old Line Publishing has a variety of authors, and they are also open to new authors — something that can be rare to find these days. I was 18 years old when I received my first publishing deal.
How has your writing changed or evolved over the years?
My writing has definitely evolved over the years. Each year since Cursed With Power‘s release, I’ve released another book, and each year I find I am growing with the characters. I use different methods of writing and planning, and I also incorporate time to market as well. I am always writing something — whether it be finishing one project or starting the next — and I also market and promote my previous books. There are a lot of responsibilities I’ve taken on as an author, but at the end of the day, I love what I do. I want to continue to grow and add even more to my books in the years to come.
Do you base characters on people you know in real life, or do they all reside solely in your imagination?
I would definitely say people from my life have influenced characters, though mind you I also like to make characters unique in their own way. As an author I observe people -how they act, what they say, etc.— and I keep all of this in mind for when I work on characters. The influences from my life help make the characters more realistic.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love major character development scenes, especially the ones where we see two characters interact in a way they had not previously. I’ve grown so attached to my characters, and I love when they can step out of the shadows and reveal more about themselves.
What’s the best video game you’ve played recently?
My boyfriend tends to play video games more than myself; I prefer watching and commenting. However, I am playing Diablo III with my boyfriend currently, which is extremely fun, and one other favorite we returned to playing is The Last of Us: Remastered.
What book (or books) are you reading right now?
The last book I read was The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, but recently I haven’t read anything new due to just being overwhelmed with other life events. It was a great book; one I strongly recommend if you enjoy a twisted romance story.
If you could sit down and talk to your ten-year-old self, what would you say to her?
Don’t give up on your dreams; you really can accomplish something if you pour your heart into it. Don’t let struggles bring you down because in the end, you have control over your future, and you have the ability to change it. You’d be surprised just where life might take you.