ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with Lindsay Cummings, Author of THE MURDER COMPLEX


Hi guys! I’m Maggie Hall, and today I’m interviewing One Four KidLit author Lindsay Cummings, whose debut THE MURDER COMPLEX hit shelves this week.

MurderComplexAn action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?



M: Thanks for chatting with us today, Lindsay! The central concept in THE MURDER COMPLEX is so fascinating and frightening. What inspired the book? 

L: I have always been fascinated by creepy stories! When I was just getting into the idea for TMC, I read an article about this small town plagued by murders. I wanted to make that story my own, and set it in the future!

M: There are a lot of things Meadow experiences that you wouldn’t have had experience with yourself (we hope!) 🙂 but some parts of being a teen are universal. Did you find yourself using any of your own life as inspiration?

L: When I was growing up, I spent every summer in South Florida, right on the beach. That was the inspiration for the setting of TMC! 🙂

M: Are you and Meadow at all alike? Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?

L: Meadow is very strong and fierce, both physically and mentally. I feel like everything Meadow thinks, everything that drives her, is the same for me. (Minus the killing, of course!) She’s fiercely protective of the people she loves, and she doesn’t like to sway from her own plans in life.

M: What do you hope readers will take away from THE MURDER COMPLEX?

L: I hope it will just be a fun read for them! And maybe, Meadow and Zephyr’s story will help them learn to be a little more fearless in life!

M: You write Middle Grade in addition to your YA series. Is it difficult to switch back and forth? What are the biggest differences you’ve found between the two?

L: At first, it was the HARDEST thing EVER. I was like, “What have I gotten myself in to?!” But then, over time, I learned that switching from YA to MG, and in turn, 1st person to 3rd person, was actually totally freeing. Now I freaking love it!

M: Can you tell us a little about your journey as a writer?

L: I graduated in 2009 and got really sick with Chronic Fatigue. I had to drop out of college, so writing was sort of the only thing I felt like I had going for me. I gave it a try…and somehow, amazingly, it turned into a career!

M: What has been the most surprising thing about your journey to publication? What about your favorite part?

L: The surprising thing was how LONG the journey really is! Even when I signed my deals with Harper, I still had years to wait. My favorite part is all the little victories along the way, like cover reveals, giveaways, good reviews, etc!

M: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

L: Read and write EVERY day! Just go for it, and don’t be afraid to dive in. If you want to be an author, the first step is writing. 🙂

M: Since we are the Fearless Fifteeners, we’d like to know something you’re afraid of and something you’re not afraid of.

L: I’m afraid of really awful life-changing things, like someone close to me dying. Strangely, I’m not afraid of getting sick or getting a disease, because I feel like I’ve already conquered that battle. Also, I really hate when I’m at the barn and a snake surprises me. That CREEPS ME OUT.

Ha! That does sound creepy. *shudder* Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, and congratulations on the release of your book!!

LinsdayCummingsLindsay Cummings is a 22 year old author of YA and MG books at HarperCollins. She lives in Dallas, TX with her husband Josh, her hedgehog named Hedwig, her two German Shepherds Hurley and Kai, her wolf cub Kimber, and a draft horse named Dan the Man.  Lindsay deals with Chronic Fatigue issues, believes Jesus is the reason for all of her success, and swears that book hoarding is not a problem at all. She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @lindsaycwrites and instagram @authorlindsaycummings. You can also visit her book blogging website for teens at  

Maggie HallMaggie Hall has played with baby tigers in Thailand, learned to make homemade pasta in Italy, and taken thousands of miles of trains through India. When she’s not on the other side of the world, she lives with her husband and cats in Albuquerque, New Mexico, dabbles in design, and watches USC football. Her debut THE CONSPIRACY OF US releases January 2015 from Penguin. Find her at or on Twitter.