Thursday, January 17, 2013

About Rod Lindsey, Author of Troubleshooter

I sometimes get asked when and how I became a writer.  Occasionally I even get asked why. 

I was a mediocre artist and photographer before I gave it all up to spend my creative energy becoming a writer.  Initially, mediocrity was an okay benchmark for me in all these endeavors because everything was done very selfishly – to please a very limited audience…mainly me.  I could always squint up my eyes and see it as I meant it to be.  Writing doesn’t work like that.  While these other creative efforts produced tangible objects that could be appreciated in passing, even if imperfect.  Writing was entirely different.  Like music, it must be consumed, expressed, or both.  And mediocrity ruins it for me as surely as a couple of rancid bits in the quiche.  The reason it took me so long to publish my debut novel is simply because my writing wasn’t good enough before now.

            Storytelling is a skill that can be learned and I was a slow learner.  Having a worthwhile story to tell is altogether something else – it haunts you and taunts you.  I had the stories, and felt the need to express them.  But would I have started down this path of becoming a novelist if I’d known gaining the skills necessary to tell a ‘worthwhile story’ meant a serious commitment of time and energy for roughly 40 years of my life?  Probably.  I’m hardheaded that way.  I certainly believe that Troubleshooter was a worthwhile story – only the readers will tell.

            I don’t think I became a storyteller.  I think I always was one – I simply never gave up being one.  I was the kid who laid-out and graded (with my Tonka road grader) God-only-knows how many miles of roads in my father’s long gravel driveway so the other kids in our gang could play, the one who created the virtual sheriff’s office, the card table general store; I’ve never quit being that kid at heart.  I became a writer – and that’s a long story of missteps and stumbles, and overriding determination.

            My life has largely been about reinventing myself, the first time being when I walked away from a novice creative job at Hallmark Cards to join a crew of laborers on a large commercial construction site in Kansas City.  I stayed in construction for roughly 30 of the next 38 years, earning my nickname, Beamwalker, doing exactly that – walking beams.  I was a laborer, carpenter, superintendent, and contractor, ultimately becoming a vendor to the industry.  Along the way I became a freelance photojournalist and photo studio owner catering to the Capitol Hill crowd in Seattle, winning first place in Seattle’s first (and only) International Erotic Art Show at the infamous Lusty Lady.

            A battle-scarred refugee of the oh-so-fickle agent-at-the-door traditional publishing skirmishes, I came into the self-publication fray at the cusp of industry-wide change thanks to the meteoric ascent of e-pub.  It’s precisely the same paradigm I encountered in photography with film vs. digital, hand-colored vs. Photoshopped, and I held fast to the familiar old ways – this time I’m on the train with the rest of the New World pioneers.  I published Troubleshooter on Kindle in April, and it’s now available in trade paperback at select Indie bookstores.

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