This is my 50th Weekend Name Drop and my 100th blog post! For such an historical occasion, it seems fitting to feature a fine writer of historical fiction. Meet p.d.r. lindsay.
Name: p.d.r. lindsay, a.k.a. Rowan Lindsay, a.k.a. ‘the prof’
Creative field: Author, especially of serious historical fiction
Location: Otago, New Zealand
Best known for: Authoring the novel, Tizzie; founding member of the Writer’s Choice cooperative
My connection: I met p.d.r. at the 2014 Auckland Independent Book Festival, run by Louise de Varga. Prior to that, if memory serves me correctly, I had seen her name online as an author who would be attending, flying up from the South Island. Regardless, I was introduced to p.d.r. at the festival by Tui Allen and was immediately overwhelmed by her energy as she showed me her books. Following the festival, we found each other in some forums on Goodreads. After I won the 2014 Heartland short story competition, p.d.r. very kindly started a thread on Goodreads congratulating me and also offering me valuable advice about submitting work to literary journals in New Zealand and Canada.
Inspiration for this writer: p.d.r. is passionate about independent publishing. She entered into it after asking herself the same question I did before publishing myself. In her words, “My novel was publishable and marketable but not what [the agent] wanted. Should I struggle on for another year or two seeking agents and editors or go indie?” She banded together with other writers to form the Writer’s Choice cooperative and is now preparing to launch her third novel. While I would still like the experience of working with a publishing house, p.d.r. has so embraced indie publishing, she has made it clear that traditional publishing is not for her and now serves as one of the strongest advocates I know for independent writers, particularly here in New Zealand.
Why you should check her out and share with others: p.d.r. cites numerous influences for her writing, some of which you would expect of an author of historical fiction: Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare. In fact, her mother’s home county was Yorkshire, home of the Bronte sisters. Born in Ireland, educated in England, Canada and New Zealand with time spent in Japan and India, p.d.r. has seen the world in the present as she delves into untold, sometimes dark, stories of the past. In their review of p.d.r.’s second novel, the UK-based Historical Novel Society noted:
“Set in the Yorkshire Dales at the end of the nineteenth century, Tizzie is not only the dark and gritty tale of a woman whose dreams were cruelly crushed by her brother and his wife. It is also a vibrant description of life in the 1880s, period detail inserted with impressive skill in a narrative that flowers into fantastic descriptions of the Dale while never losing pace and a sense of impending doom. This is a harrowing and addictive reading experience in which hope flickers feebly in the dark. But it does flicker, and it is quite impossible to remain unaffected by Tizzie’s determination to ensure her niece will have what she was denied – a life.”
That alone makes it sound like she’s worth checking out, but, for me, it’s still not the most curious thing about this author. In talking to p.d.r. about this post, I asked her about the formatting of her name. By now, some of my readers will have guessed, but I needed to be told: her favourite poet is e.e. cummings.
Sample of work:
I’m grateful to be able to share this blurb from p.d.r.’s newest book, Bittersweet, to be launched in February or March 2017. Find pre-order details on her blog.
In 1872, Bryce Ackerman is asked by distraught families to travel to India to find and bring to justice a group of young army officers from two different regiments. These officers, on leave in England, had been taking part in a competition, the prize, dinner for the whole officers’ mess, paid for by the losers. The aim of the competition? To deflower as many young ladies, preferably still in the school room, as they can. One young lady raped and now pregnant is Bryce’s fiancée and she has now refused to marry Bryce.
In India, Bryce has to force the regiments to divulge names and then arrest the officers. Major Wolfseig, the chief instigator of the competition, is not going to let Bryce hunt them down. He organises the kidnap of a visiting British Member of Parliament’s little boy. He threatens to dispose of the boy in a male brothel if Bryce does not stop his pursuit of the officers. Bryce now has to find a way to rescue the boy, deliver justice for those young women and try to help the innocent people whose lives have been caught up and severely disturbed by the Major’s competition and the kidnapping. The problems seem overwhelming and Bryce himself has some healing to do. Can he find the mental strength to succeed?
The Weekend Name Drop is a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.