Welcome to another exciting edition of Author Spotlight. In this series, I shine a well-deserved spotlight on talented indie romance authors, providing them with a platform to connect with readers, share their unique writing journeys, and introduce their captivating works to a broader audience. Today, I am delighted to feature Lindsey-Anne Pontes, a rising star in the indie romance scene, and her debut novel, “Let Me Save You.”
Lindsey-Anne Pontes, hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, and currently residing in Kitchener, Ontario, has a fascinating background. By day, she serves as a dedicated Dental Assistant, but her true passion lies in the world of storytelling. Lindsey’s journey into the world of writing was inspired by her love for manga, light novels, and anime. It’s this unique blend of influences that led to the creation of her debut novel, “Let Me Save You.”
About “Let Me Save You”:
Lindsey’s debut novel, “Let Me Save You,” introduces us to the life of seventeen-year-old Nila Izawa in a small-town Japanese setting. Nila’s life may appear simple and orderly, but beneath the surface, she grapples with her mother’s strict expectations and the absence of her father. As winter break approaches, Nila embarks on a journey of self-discovery, ignited by her encounters with the intriguing Kai Kento. What unfolds is a tale of resilience, love, and coming of age, all intricately woven together to bring the world of Japanese manga to life through the medium of traditional YA fiction.
Now, let’s delve into the heart of our interview with Lindsey-Anne Pontes, as she shares her insights into her writing journey and the creation of “Let Me Save You.”
What was the inspiration behind “Let Me Save You,” and how did your passion for manga and anime influence the story?
My inspiration for my book, “Let Me Save You,” was actually because of reading manga. I had an IEP in reading/writing, so I found those subjects in school extremely challenging. In grade 7, I was introduced to manga by my school library, and by picking up the volumes provided, I felt more confident reading on my own. From there, I fell in love with the Japanese love stories told in manga and began coming up with my own characters/story/plot in my head. Every time I thought of the setting, it always seemed to take place in Japan.
Writing has been a hobby for you while balancing your career as a dental assistant. Can you share how you manage this balance and if you find any unexpected connections between your profession and writing?
Writing for me has always been just a hobby. It’s not something I can see myself doing for a living. As a dental assistant by day, I found it hard to find time to work full-time but also try to write/edit as much as possible. Balancing the two has definitely been challenging, more so with writing my second book. But I found the best balance once I discovered a local café called Café O. I only write/edit on the weekends, and usually only do so at the café now. Working on my books outside of my home, at the café, has now become the only place I can concentrate and be productive. I do not find any connections between dental assisting and writing. They are very opposite.
“Let Me Save You” took eight years to write. Can you tell us about the journey, the challenges you faced, and the turning point that led to its completion?
Let Me Save You took me 8 years to write, but that time wasn’t just made up of consecutive writing/ideas. It took me 8 years because I had no idea what I was doing with it. It wasn’t until year 6/7 that I found out about self-publishing and how achievable it was. I had actually dropped the story close to the end with only 2 chapters left to write because I didn’t know how to tie the story to the ending I had pre-decided. Those final chapters were roughly planned out on paper but never fully typed out/formulated into something tangible. I regained motivation from a friend and also from my mentor in the whole writing process.
“Let Me Save You” is inspired by Japanese manga. How did you capture the visual elements of manga in a text-based format, and what kind of research did you undertake to immerse readers in the story’s setting?
Let Me Save You is completely inspired by Japanese manga, and I tried my best to transpire the visuals of it through solely text. I’m very descriptive in my writing, hence the heavier word count. I did a variety of research and spent a lot of time figuring out the small details of a student’s everyday life (e.g., their commute to school and what things they would see in spring/summer/winter/fall, what things look like, smell like, etc.). I also spent a lot of time figuring out a student’s school schedule and when the school year typically starts/ends. I wanted to make sure that when someone was reading my book, they could easily picture what was described but in manga form.
Your characters, Nila and Kai, seem to play pivotal roles in the story. What aspects of their dynamic did you enjoy writing the most, and were there any challenges in crafting their connection?
Nila (FML) and Kai (ML) were fun to write. Nila is the innocent/shy type, and Kai is the curious/protective/caring of others type. I had a lot of fun writing their characters, especially their first few encounters. I liked writing the moments where Kai would force Nila to step outside of her comfort zone, all while trying to make sure she was comfortable with everything. I didn’t really find a challenge in crafting their relationship with each other, but I found it challenging to write Nila in a more reserved way. Nila is very opposite from me, which is why I really enjoyed writing Nila’s brother, Kenji. He acts first and thinks later, something I tend to do, even if it’s not the best reaction to have at times.
Your book is set in small-town Japan. How did you approach creating this setting, and were there any real-life inspirations or experiences that influenced it?
Sadly, I’ve never been to Japan; therefore, I didn’t want to name any places/things specifically that may upset anyone with that background/knowledge. Based on the way my story was heading, I decided to go with a nameless, small town, one inspired by many towns I’ve seen in anime or manga and also through online research.
The book explores themes of family expectations and fear of failure. Can you share how your own experiences or values influenced these themes, and what message would you like readers to take away from the novel?
Like Nila, I grew up in a family with high values and expectations. Although the expectations weren’t strictly fixated on academics, the values in how one should act/what order one must do things in life were heavily pushed upon me. I put a lot of weight on my own shoulders when it came to failure, of any kind. Even to this day, I do not like to fail at any said task/thing in life. But I now see that, that mentality had always been pushed upon me, much like Nila. The message I’d like readers to take away from my story is that even though you didn’t take the traditional or conventional way to get somewhere in life, as long as you got there and are happy, then that’s all that matters.
As an indie author, what have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your publishing journey?
As an indie author, the most challenging aspects I’ve faced would probably be exposure and online presence. I know there is a lot more I could be doing/paying for, but sometimes the motivation to do as such isn’t there. The most rewarding aspects, on the other hand, would be the connections I’ve made along my journey. I’ve made many book/writer friends and have made great connections with people who have some handle on books/selling of books. I love, love, love the people I have met along the way. People I would have never met if not for self-publishing and my willingness to get myself out there.
Can you give us some insights into your writing process? How do you approach plotting and character development when crafting a novel?
This is a funny but also hard question to answer. I’m not much of a planner; I’m more of a prancer. I don’t write out “rough drafts,” nor do I plan out my chapters and their topics. I just simply write. All I do is map out my character descriptions on paper so that I don’t forget what they look like or what their personalities are supposed to entail. After that, I just type away and heavily edit along the way.
What’s next for you as an author? Can you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming projects or releases?
Currently, I’m working on book 2. Both my books are standalone, but they both take place in Japan. My next book is titled, “Walking With Nothing,” where the main character is a troubled teenager named Riku. This story is from a male’s POV and is also a YA/Romance/Fiction, though the age range is for a more mature audience (in my opinion). The topics discussed entail child abuse/neglect/substance abuse, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this insightful glimpse into Lindsey-Anne Pontes’ writing journey and her debut novel, “Let Me Save You.” If you’re intrigued by Lindsey’s work or simply want to connect with her, you can find her and her book through the following channels:
- Amazon Link: Let Me Save You
- Website: www.petalpublishing.com
- GoodReads: Lindsey-Anne Pontes
- Instagram: Lindsey-Anne Pontes on Instagram
- Facebook Page: Lindsey-Anne Pontes on Facebook
If you’re an indie romance author eager to share your own story and be featured in our Author Spotlight series, don’t hesitate to fill out the form on our website at Author Spotlight Submission Form. We’re always on the lookout for talented authors like Lindsey-Anne to showcase.