Author Interview Shamika Lindsay.
Short Descriptions of The Author;
My name is Shamika Lindsay and I am a twenty-two-year-old Jamaican. Often times people are surprised that I’ve written a book, which I guess stems from me being quite quiet and introverted (at least around those I’m not very familiar with). I have been asked a number of questions about Jamaica, which I’d like to point out isn’t what many think. The modernization is quite impressive for a small island nation. And the experiences I’ve had here have certainly allowed me to hone whatever skills I already have, I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
- What’s the title of your most recent book?
The title of my debut novel is Popularity Rules.
2. How did you come up with the title of your book?
Coming up with the title of the book was really just a side effect of writing the story, if you understand what I mean. The entire premise of the story is set around a teenager facing the pressures of high school life along with unwarranted popularity. Thus the title is a good indicator of the core of the story. It is also a play on words, for instance, very often in the book the main character is seen as being jostled by the grand puppeteer of his popularity which is where the rules of popularity come in. But very easily on the other hand, outsiders saw it as an incredible perk, as everything they every wanted, to them popularity rules.
3. What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
This question stumped me for a while, I’m going to be honest. The pieces of my brain that are often demanding to know every single detail about a situation or question kicked into overdrive. But in any event, if my main character, Jason Forbes, knew me in reality, out of the confines of the book realm, as a real person I think he would be curious about my background. He may want to know little tidbits of information that I may deem boring, he may even want to know what makes me tick. But after getting to know all of that, he would say (very hopefully) that my dreams of authoring a book would come true, and who knows, maybe I’d be talking to a character I wrote about out of the confines of the novel haha.
On the other hand, if he knew me as the person telling his life story, I think he would say that I’m a bit harsh. He’d point out that I don’t leave out the little negative traits he has, the moments of selfishness he wished no one would know about. He would say he wished I would sugar coat it a little but then resign himself to understanding that others can’t learn from him unless they know all of the grimy details.
4. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I often think about this. Sometimes I wish I actually could go back and talk to my younger self, even for a few minutes. I’d definitely tell her to believe in herself, even when all her dreams seem impossible. I’d tell her to never stop writing even for a minute. I’d tell her the voice writing gave her will eventually allow her to roar atop the highest mountains, so don’t stop now.
5. Which genre is your book, and why did you pick that?
My book is Young Adult Adventure and Romance. I actually began writing this novel as a teenager myself, it only seemed fair that I wrote what I knew. But as time went on and my teenaged years passed, I realized that it was not only writing what I knew, but it was writing what moved me, what I wished would move other people. I wanted to see if people could connect the dots and discover what the end of the book would be. Growing up, the only form of entertainment that I wanted anything to do with was adventure, watching/reading adventurous material made me feel as if I was there, it would transport me on a journey from the comforts of my bedroom. I loved the idea of traveling even when I couldn’t.
If I could choose another genre to replace romance, I would (and that’s not saying there’s no romance). That is because, I think the romance, though sweet and innocent, is not the main derivative of the novel. It is very mysterious as the plot goes along and the main character(s) undergo self-discovery whilst figuring out the missing pieces to the puzzle. However, I decided not to use mystery because it is not as clearly highlighted as some would like to see, it is very subtle and requires digging to delve deeper into the story’s context.
6. Do you feel sad or excited about tormenting your characters?
I honestly don’t think I tormented my characters in this novel. But as a general rule of thumb, whenever they find themselves in emotional, heartrending situations and are distressed or likely in tears, I find myself equally distressed or in tears. Maybe that’s the reason I am not a tormentor
7. If you had to compare your book/books to a movie or a series, which would it be?
This is very difficult, but in terms of the mystery and vague inclusions of a ‘whodunit’ timeline Pretty Little Liars would be a good pick. I’m genuinely wracking my brain to find similarities with other movies/series but it is a challenge to say the least.
8. What is your favourite kind of character to write about?
My favorite kind of character to write about is ones who experience some sort of change in a story arc and that is not necessarily a change from the better. These characters, to me, are quite realistic, they have real life developments and even though their personalities won’t shift easily, you can sometimes spot little changes in their idiosyncrasies, for example the way they speak, the little gestures they have. But also, presenting and maintaining a protagonist’s hamartia is a favorite as well, I think it plays into the imperfection of the characters really well.
9. Tell your readers an interesting fact about yourself.
I doubt this is very interesting but I have a slight obsession with knowing general knowledge facts, random things that I Google just to know. You’d be surprised the little things you can find out from a simple Google search.
10. What’s your favourite thing to do besides writing?
Falling in love with a heartwarming series or movie. I’m currently enthralled by the Good Doctor.
Going to the beach is pretty fun as well. And I hope this doesn’t sound terribly juvenile but I am major fan of the Sims franchise and whenever I have a little free time I like to create a little world. I find it very cathartic.
Quick summary of Popularity Rules:
Not having the courage needed to wage war against the grand puppeteer of his popularity, Jason Forbes is pulled into a web of deceit and deception. He must learn to fight without the strings that pull him in various directions. It’s a race against the clock before someone else he loves is hurt too.
Her social media handles are all @shamikawrites on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I have only myself just made aquintance with Shamika, and I hope the future brings more interactions. And with the descriptions of her book, I am very excited about it. 🙂
Thank you for joining me today on WritersLifeWork.
Happy Writing & Lots of Love.