RiDONKulous Questions with Lindzee Armstrong

Why, you may be asking, would someone want to ask RiDONKulous questions of anyone? Why? WHY? Because it’s FUN! Gottahave some of that, don’t ya think?

We find many things RiDONKulous in our lives, so we are interviewing peers (authors, producers, audio engineers, etc.) about things that showcase a different side of them to their fans.

Join us as we begin our journey into the RiDONKulous with the illustrious Lindzee Armstrong (aka Lydia Winters)

Tell us about yourself?

I am an author, but first and foremost I am a stay-at-home mom to twin boys that just turned 4, and wife to an amazingly supportive husband! I have a degree in history education that I’ll probably never use (but it was a lot of fun to get it). I have published women’s fiction and romance novels so far, but I enjoy reading and writing a lot of genres and will definitely branch out at some point.

 

Okay, that’s most likely a rehearsed PR version.  Now really tell us about yourself.

I’m a television addict. Reality TV and dramas are my bread and butter. Right now every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday night, the second the kids are asleep, me and my husband are watching Big Brother. The biggest threat to my writing time is Netflix. When I discovered Grey’s Anatomy, I didn’t work for probably two months. (I wasn’t published at the time so I justified it pretty easily.) I also love cross-stitching, and frequently I’m working on a Christmas stocking while watching TV. I also love to play the piano, but my kids usually start doing naughty things to get my attention when I do, so I don’t play very often. Or ever. I also have the taste buds of a five-year-old and would survive off cold cereal and mac n’ cheese if I could get away with it. Oh, and chocolate. We can’t forget the chocolate.

 

When you go to the grocery store, do you prefer self-checkout or do you like to have a cashier ring you up so you can chat with someone? Paper, plastic, or BYO bags?

I HATE self-checkout. I know it’s silly, but it seriously stresses the heck out of me! Something always doesn’t scan, or it thinks you didn’t bag something, and then the machine starts yelling at you in that automated voice “wait for assistance!” and I feel like everyone’s staring at me. I always think the person manning the self-checkout is watching me like a hawk while I ring it up, waiting for me to make a mistake so they can pounce. So yeah, I almost always pick a cashier, even though I think the small talk with them is awkward too. And I always pick plastic. I can’t stand the feel of paper bags—they make me cringe—and I always forget that BYO is an option.

 

You have kids.  Why?  Now provide us a selfie of your most exasperated parent face.  What is the most bizarre thing you’ve said as a parent that you never would have imagined ever saying in your life?  For instance, last week Tiffany had to tell our daughter to stop licking her finger and touching people.

I have always wanted kids, and a lot of them. I live in an area where big families are common so it’s always seemed natural to me. Growing up, I was an only child for 13 years, until we adopted my sister who is 15 months younger than me, and I hated it! My friends always seemed to have so much fun with their brothers and sisters, and I wanted that for my kids. My husband and I wanted 6 or 8 when we were first married, but getting the kids here is a lot more challenging (and expensive! Fertility treatments are no joke) than we had anticipated, so now we’re just hoping we can get two more to complete our family. I REALLY want a set of twin girls, but on bad mom days, I can’t for the life of me figure out why I want to do this to myself again! Twins are seriously challenging.

That’s pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to stop myself from uttering expletives after they’ve just done something naughty.

That’s pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to stop myself from uttering expletives after they’ve just done something naughty.

I think the most bizarre thing I’ve said to my kids lately is “that is not a fire hose!” Ever since we potty-trained the twins in February, the typical boy fascination has begun! Oiy. But a thousand things come out of my mouth a day that I am surprised I have to say. Don’t lick the window. Stop smelling my arm pit. It’s not nice to fart in someone’s face. Don’t stick your face in the toilet. (Have I mentioned my boys are totally into potty humor lately?) You get the picture.

My exasperated parent face? That’s pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to stop myself from uttering expletives after they’ve just done something naughty. The puffed out cheeks because the words are begging to be released…yeah. Not pretty.

 

Do you use a pen and paper, or a word processor?  What is your favorite pen?  Is it because you like the way it feels or the scent of the ink?  Do you like pens that you can click on the bottom and when you’re stuck do you like to click it repeatedly in hopes that your brain will suddenly start working again? (I do. So hoping you are a member of the clicking pen club!)

Definitely a word processor. I loathe Word for manuscript writing and use a word processing program called Scrivener, which I adore. I can type 135 wpm, and when writing I can get up to about 90 wpm (my writing brain doesn’t work quite as fast as my copying text brain), so writing it out long hand is agonizing for me. It’s just not quick enough!

My favorite pen is just your typical, boring BIC pen. It writes clean and smooth and feels great in my hand. I don’t have a super great sense of smell so I don’t really notice the smell of ink from pens. I don’t use pens with clickers very often, but I do cap and uncap pens repeatedly when I’m stuck or nervous or feeling awkward or bored.

 

Keslee likes Dr. Pepper.  Would she settle for Mr. Pibb if she had no other alternative or would she just have water?  I’ve never seen Dr. Pepper at Chipotle, do you also find that peculiar?

She would definitely pick a Mr. Pibb over water. Or a Sprite or Root Beer or Pepsi. She’s not one of these gotta-have-her-bazillion-ounce-Dr.-Pepper-daily people, but she does have at least a few a week, and when eating out, she’ll always pick a soda over water, even if neither Dr. Pepper nor Mr. Pibb was an option.

 

She also likes Hershey’s chocolate.  Do you worry that you will offend the serious chocolate connoisseur with that preference?  Don’t you think they’re being a bit snobbish? I like Hershey Bars, too, but I like them with almonds, so I realize this probably means we can’t be friends. 

Chocolate is chocolate! The real chocolate connoisseur isn’t too high-brow for Hershey’s. ;) This actually is something of myself I put in Keslee. I love Hershey’s chocolate, without nuts (but we can still be friends). I was at a chocolate factory in Switzerland about 7 years ago. We were in this tasting room, and there were trays filled with every kind of European chocolate. We could eat as much as we wanted. Talk about a chocolate lover’s paradise! But by the time we were finished, I was really craving a Hershey’s bar. And in Europe, their Hershey’s bars taste totally different (probably because they have less wax in them) and it just wasn’t cutting it for me! I need my cheap, American Hershey’s.

 

Keslee and Jaydn have a special bond and use red balloons to connect. Do you have a special symbol in your life that helps you connect with others? Me, I’m an electric guitar symbol kinda’ guy. Tiffany, she’s a peace symbol kinda’ gal.

For me, it’s anything book related. Someone carrying a book or ereader, someone with a Deathly Hallows charm on a bracelet, someone wearing a mockinjay pin, someone with a Jane Austen quote on a bag. I see these things and think “yeah, you’re my people.”

 

In ‘First Love Second Choice’, Keslee is a Wedding Planner.  In ‘Miss Match’, Brooke is a Matchmaker.  Do you like fixing your friends up or do you question their choices and think “Wow, you totally should have consulted with me first?”

Haha! I actually have never matched anyone up, and I’ve never thought I should’ve been consulted. My husband and I, however, were matched up by dear friends on a blind date. I didn’t want to go on the date, so my friend tricked me into it by just showing up at my apartment with my date. I knew Neil had no idea what was going on, so I had to go along with it. And that blind date led to a wedding just a short 6 months later! Our friends that set us up are married now too, and we all have kids the same age, so we love getting together and that story comes up a lot.

 

Why did you pick the name Keslee?  Do you realize how many times we had to stop and redo lines where Tiffany said Kelsey?

Sorry about that. ;) The story originally appeared in an anthology with other authors. I was brainstorming with a friend who was also in the anthology series. I had been thinking of the name Kelsey, but it didn’t quite seem to fit. Then my friend mentioned she was thinking of using the name Kelsey for the heroine in her story. I started thinking of other K names, since I didn’t want to use the same name as her, and remembered a little girl in my old neighborhood who had been named Keslee. I knew it was perfect! That being said, I’m sure a lot of people gloss over the name and say “Kelsey” in their heads while reading it. It doesn’t bother me. :-)

 

What would a reality show about your life be like?

Chaotic and a little boring. It would be lots of me saying “no, stop that, don’t touch that, no hitting, get off your brother’s head, apologize to your brother!” while trying to steal computer time so I can write. Shopping trips, preschool, and family obligations would be sprinkled in. And lots of Netflix time. J

 

If a train heads east from New York City going 60 MPH and another train heads West from Los Angeles going 90 MPH, which one will end up in the ocean first.  The only reason I ask is I forgot to answer that question on a homework assignment 28 years ago, and my math teacher finally tracked me down on social media.

My eyes have already glossed over and I’ve forgotten the problem. ;) I’m guessing New York City because it’s right on the coast, whereas Los Angeles is more inland. I think. Scratch that. They’d both end up in the ocean because I’d push them in there myself, just so I didn’t have to think about math anymore! I actually always did really well in math in school, but I’ve never enjoyed it

 

Thank you for your participation in RiDONKulous Questions!  Check out more of Lindzee's books at Amazon.Com