Lindsay’s book, Cel and Anna, a 22nd Century Love Story, is the most unique read I’ve picked up in years. She spins an unlikely, futuristic love story about a woman and the computer that loves her while weaving in hard-hitting topics like cancer and terrorism. What caught my attention about this tale was the richness of what Lindsay has created: a world ruled by Big Brother, gritty reality … and hope. “Life is full of beautiful surprises,” Lindsay said in response to one of my interrogation questions. And she shows this is true, even in a situation where it doesn’t seem possible for something as sweet as misty-eyed romance.
About the Author
Tell me what readers should know about Lindsay Edmunds, the woman behind Cel and Anna.
I’m a rather nice person with a wild imagination.
What inspires you to write?
My wild imagination, which is where the stories come from.
If you had a perfect writing outfit, what would it be?
I do have a perfect writing outfit: black leggings and a tunic-length, short-sleeved gray sweatshirt.
How do you define success as a writer?
First and always: satisfied readers.
You mentioned recently obtaining an agent, which is wonderful news! Any bite yet from the Big Six or another traditional publisher?
What happened was this: I had an agent who liked Cel & Anna but could not sell it. When I told her I was going to self-publish, she said, “Cel & Anna will always be one of my favorite novels.”
Does your family read your book?
Yes, and they liked it very much!
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d like to give other indie authors?
Keep writing and be patient with the process.
What’s the hardest part of writing a novel, in your opinion?
Fitting the different plot elements together so that they form a satisfying design.
Cel and Anna
Your novel, Cel and Anna, portrays an incredibly complex dystopian society, where you touch on great many topics and themes, such as virtual realities, artificial intelligence, even terrorism and illness. I know your book is labeled sci-fi/fantasy, but this portrayal of the 22nd century really doesn’t seem too far-fetched! What was your inspiration behind creating such a complex world?
The computer Cel is not a Mac and is not like a Mac, but I don’t think I could have created him without working with Macintosh computers for years. I can’t explain that. When my brother (who is a programmer) read the novel, he said that Cel was the kind of computer Steve Jobs wished the Mac was. I don’t know whether that is true, but it was interesting he made the connection on his own.
The terrorism angle has a specific source. When I started the novel, I lived in the Washington, DC, area. Above interstate 270, the feeder road into the city from the north, a huge sign soared overhead giving the color-coded terrorist alert code for the day. It was an element of daily life.
I loved that you labeled this as both sci-fi and fantasy, because it really does have elements of both. The main character is psychic and a computer develops feelings for her, fantasy angles that add to a gritty futuristic world. Do you traditionally lean towards one of these genres more heavily, either in your reading or writing?
I read Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and C.S. Lewis (the space trilogy) when I was in my twenties, but did not read much science fiction after that except for Vernor Vinge, who wrote True Names, a novella that anticipated the Internet and social media by a good 15-20 years.
I like stories where the magical and the everyday worlds coexist and affect each other. And I am a sucker for magical realism. The ultimate magical realism novel is Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard.
Emily Dickinson used fantasy in her poetry, very effectively too!
What’s the story’s main message?
Life can deliver beautiful surprises.
Who is/are the main characters?
Anna Ringer, whose psychic power was her ticket out of a dreary UnderWorld existence.
Cel, Anna’s computer, who develops self-awareness and falls hopelessly in love with her.
Taz Night, a shy computer genius whose quiet life is turned upside down when he meets Anna.
Which character do you admire from this book?
Taz, because he struggles with a lot of doubt, but triumphs over it in the end.
Which character surprised you when you wrote him/her?
Joan Holland, wife of the unofficial mayor of a village called Rising Sun, came to the story VERY late, but she entered as a fully realized character.
If you could be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters from this novel, which one and why?
Joan’s husband, Proudfoot Osman, because he would either figure out how to get off that island or figure out how to be at peace with being stranded.
Which one would you definitely NOT want to be stranded with and why?
Cobe Bonney Hooper, who is a famous news personality. He is a sham and a fraud, and I imagine him to be utterly incompetent.
What did you learn about yourself when you wrote this book?
That I really am a writer after all.
What’s your next project?
A collection of three stories called Lighthorse Magic and Other Stories. They feature characters in Cel & Anna.
Where can we find your book and short stories?
Barnes and Noble: Cel and Anna, a 22nd Century Love Story
Sony eReader store: Cel and Anna, a 22nd Century Love Story
Diesel ebook store: Cel and Anna, a 22nd Century Love Story
Shelfari: Cel and Anna, a 22nd Century Love Story
Where can we find you?