I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and pursued ballet until my eating disorder broke me. So I went to college instead to be a writer (I kept a journal from age 10 to 24). It was during college that I finally sought treatment. And though recovery was hard (and ongoing), I earned a cum laude BFA in English at Vassar College. While I was there, I competed on the varsity X-country team and swim team, performed with the Improv group, wrote for the school magazine SMASH and was published in the Vassar Review.
After I graduated, I worked as a motion picture camera assistant on feature films and single camera (1 hour drama) TV in NYC, then I moved to Los Angeles to pursue writing (and windsurfing and snowboarding!) I sold one screenplay and "optioned" two others. But then I had kids! I devoted many years to parenting and starting a charter school with a group of neighborhood moms. But I never stopped writing. I published an ebook Beautiful Girl, under pen-name Lida James (Paperlantern Lit/Glasstown Entertainment). Now I'm returning to my real name Lindsay Jamieson for my next novel, which is represented by Claire Friedman at Inkwell Management (Perhaps the best thing that's happened in my writing career so far!) I also write online content and blog.
My writing roots
I was a slow learner when it came to reading -- 3rd grade -- but once I caught on, I was hooked. I loved Narnia, and The Pigman and Flowers in the Attic (of course!). As I mentioned I started keeping a diary as young as 5th grade. My parents split when I was 6 -- divorced when I was 9. I remember waking up at dawn and sitting in my grandmother's rocking chair trying to write through how I felt while the sun rose over the tops of the row houses across the backyard.
I loved writing assignments in school, especially short stories, and I LOVED all the books we read and the books I plucked off my mom's shelves to read on the subway. When I was dancing, I always thought about how I would write out the scene (I imagined the boy of my dreams watching from the door, understanding me...) Then I wrote about that day and every other day in those journals, When I quit dancing, I switched gears immediately, returned to my regular high school (I had to attend Professional Children's School to allow for ballet classes all day), and focused on getting into a school with a great English department. While at Vassar, I also studied film, which allowed me to get a paying job right after college, but also, took me off course. Yes, it has taken me longer than I expected and I'm still not there. My life hasn't been a straight line. But I can't stop. I have so many stories in my head (and jotted down in journals and on my computer) I hope I can get to all of them. I strive to get the words on the paper and to write them half as well as I imagine them in my head.
My Writing Style -- Personal
I center a lot of what I write on my own experiences. The Life after Mia entries in my personal blog are about my struggle with bulimia. I write about divorce, because it was such a significant part of my childhood. I like to write in the first person and present tense. I like how intimate that is and also, I move back and forth in time a lot, so that makes the transitions smoother than in past tense. I like stories that are not told in a straight line -- maybe I'm just prone to zig-zagging? My themes are mostly about perseverance and survival. I don't know if I always get this across, but my main characters always have a lot to overcome and a lot of flaws. I want them to find their way out, to become better people, to be kinder to others, to be kinder to themselves. I aim for them to succeed, but not without a few stumbles along the way. I don't like tricky words or serial commas or adverbs or exclamation points (though they occasionally sneak in!) I love a lot of writers and genres and read everything from YA to Faulkner. I love movies and now cable TV -- documentaries and non-fiction, too. Riveting stories.... especially ones that make me cry.