Had me a nice little chat with America’s sweetheart Lindsey Goddard recently, and now YOU can read what we talked about! Woo!
Lindsey Goddard: Ashes of Another Life is the story of Tara Jane Brewer, a fourteen year old girl who escapes a polygamist cult after tragedy strikes her family. Tara Jane grew up in the isolated community of Sweet Springs, sequestered away from modern society. Now that she’s on the outside looking in, she can finally see the fear and violence that has controlled her life. But how can she move on and start anew with her dead family stalking her? Father, his four wives, and all of their children seem to be reaching out to her from beyond the grave. Is it super spooky? I sure hope so!
BK: What else have you had published?
LG: I’ve had tons of short stories published over the years. I was beginning to feel a bit crazy for not having any long fiction available to readers. Most recently, my story “Red Mask” appeared in Black Room Manuscripts 2 from The Sinister Horror Company. There are other anthologies, dating back to 2009. You can find them on my Amazon page. Ashes of Another Life is my first full-length book. It is a novella, so next I will tackle the novel. 🙂
BK: Have you ever thought about writing a play? What would a Lindsey Goddard play look like?
LG: I’ve thought about writing screenplays for movies, but first, I need to learn how! Haha. I don’t know why, but I’ve never given any thought to live theatre. I think a Lindsey Goddard play would be a Gothic Romance with lots of fake blood, fog machines, and tormented characters willingly throwing themselves into the arms of death. You know… uplifting, lighthearted stuff like that.
BK: I would see the hell out of that play. What about the screenplay? Are you thinking it’d be a buddy-cop action/comedy, or…?
LG: Haha. I’ll pass. How about horror comedy? I think that might be my favorite genre to watch!
BK: Yes! Those are tasty indeed. What are your favorites?
LG: Oh, man… Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Army of Darkness, The Voices, What We Do in the Shadows, Shaun of the Dead, Dead Alive, Cottage Country, Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife, and Zombieland to name a few!
BK: Sweet, I’d never heard of some of those. I’ll have to check them out. Does the horror comedy influence come through in your writing?
LG: I wish! I’m always tempted to write comedy, but in the end, I’m afraid I won’t make people laugh and the whole endeavor will be a huge fail. Most of my stuff is straight horror – mysterious, suspenseful, chilling. Perhaps one day I’ll conquer my fear of not being funny. I’ll let you know if I do, Brent!
BK: My thought is, if it makes you laugh, it’ll probably make other people laugh. It’s gotta be just like the horror stuff, right? If you write something you think is scary, other people with similar tastes will think it’s scary, too. Reach for your dreams, Lindsey!
What was the impetus to write Ashes of Another Life? How long did it take to write?
LG: In 2013/2014, I was working at the library as a page. (Those are the people who shelve the books.) I started to notice these non-fiction books that intrigued me: survival stories of real-life people who had escaped the FLDS cult.
FLDS stands for Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, and you might wonder why it is classified as a “cult” and not a “religion”. Corporal punishment, fear of banishment, and domestic slavery are at the heart of the FLDS community and cause a lot of mental and physical abuse to its members. Their prophet is currently serving life in prison for child sexual abuse. He had dozens of wives, the youngest being twelve years old. I couldn’t stop reading the many non-fiction books available on the topic, and so… Ashes of Another Life was born.
Don’t get me wrong. This book is pure fiction. Aspects of the cult have been altered; my location of Sweet Springs is totally fake. I chose not to focus on any child abuse (no need) and build my fear elsewhere… with a family of thirty-four coming back from a fatal house fire, seeking to reclaim one of its own. It took a long time to write this little book, simply because it kept changing. The manuscript was novel-length at one point, but once we cut the fluff and got right to the heart of the story, I think it stands strong at its current length, and I hope everyone enjoys it. A quick and creepy read!
BK: Do you have an interest in researching another cult and giving it the same fictionalized treatment? Or is once enough?
LG: I’ll always have an interest in cults, but I probably won’t tackle the topic in my fiction again, not any time soon at least. So many topics, so little time. I strive to find fresh material when I write, to keep the readers interested and to keep ME interested in writing each story.
BK: What’s a genre you haven’t done but you’d like to try? Or possibly a combination of genres?
LG: Well, I’ve been watching back-to-back episodes of Forensic Files lately, and it’s making me want to write a good, old-fashioned murder mystery. Of course, any homicide investigation set in modern time would involve some pretty intense forensic technology, so I’m sure crime fiction authors are no strangers to research. Could be a lot of fun.
BK: What kinds of cartoons and stuff did you watch when you were a kid? Do any of them influence what you’re doing now?
LG: Although it’s not a cartoon, I was absolutely obsessed with Jim Henson’s 1986 film, Labyrinth. It still has an effect on my writing to this day because at a young age, the Goblin King taught me something very important about creating an anti-hero character: if you are well-spoken, mystical, and charismatic enough, people will forgive you for being evil. Every audience loves a good villain. And it was the character of the worm from Labyrinth who provided a good rule of thumb for any fantasy world I crafted henceforth. The wise little worm said, “Things are not always what they seem in this place, so… you can’t take anything for granted.” Hands down, my favorite movie, and interestingly enough, I finally got the Labyrinth tattoo I’d always wanted one day before David Bowie passed away. It was a strange circumstance, a bit magical like the movie itself.
BK: Truly an amazing movie! What fictional character (other than Jareth) would you like to team up with for supernatural adventures?
LG: I’ll go with FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder from the hit TV show The X-Files. Mulder is passionate about what he does, and most importantly, he survives what he does no matter how weird or dangerous.
BK: Who are your creative heroes?
LG: That’s a tough one, because there are so many artists I like in different ways and for varying reasons. I’ll go with Ray Bradbury – an author who inspired me to take getting published seriously, Tim Burton – a movie director like no other, Robert McCammon – an author who taught me horror can play a reader’s heartstrings, David Bowie – who got me through my teen years, Ed Sheeran – who gets me through my thirties, and Takashi Shimizo – a movie director whose imagery disturbed me so deeply, it made me want to start writing horror again.
BK: Lastly, what would be a really horrifying curse to put on someone? Not that you’re the sort to wish ill on anybody. Just hypotheticsies!
LG: I’ve always thought it would be horrifying to be trapped inside your own “dead” body as it decomposes, not knowing what will happen to your still-functioning brain once everything falls apart. I’m probably demented for this.
BK: Thanks for taking the time to chitty-chat with me, Lindsey! Where do folks find you on the webs?
LG: If you happen to like people who are demented, you can visit me at: http://www.
Or connect on social media.