Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com.
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter.
“This novel is a keeper! Endearing characters hit all the right notes and feel like lifelong friends—or, at least readers will want them to be. Nashville becomes a secondary character of sorts, sharing its spotlight with the intriguing ins and outs of the country music industry. Behind the sweet romances and the rising star plot, however, is the real star of this show—a tender message of belonging and forgiveness that leaves behind a lingering melody of grace.”
-RT BOOK REVIEWS, 4 Stars (for One More Song to Sing)
“Charming, full of melody and lyrical prose, Harrel pens a solid debut. Scenes from Nashville and the country music world are spot on and will delight fans of women’s fiction, romance and music.”
-Rachel Hauck, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
“One More Song to Sing will have your heart singing. As if fresh off the set of the television series Nashville, this book captured me from the first strum of Ellie’s guitar with the drama of a young singer reaching for her dreams only to discover so much more. Harrel has a way with words that made me feel the music, hear the roar of the crowd, taste the angst of fragile hearts and long for a happy ending. Like a love song that weaves inside and fills you with hope, this beautifully written, heart-tugging story about loss, second chances and God’s providential grace in the darkest of circumstances will linger with you long after the sweet ending. A brilliant debut novel!”
-Susan May Warren, RITA award winning, best-selling novelist of the Montana Rescue series
“A tender, life-affirming story of love, acceptance, and second chances. Lindsay Harrel knows how to get to the heart of the matter and make it sing.”
-Susan Meissner, Best-selling author of Secrets of A Charmed Life
“Lindsay Harrel is a fantastic new voice in the world of inspirational women’s fiction. The story of Olivia and Ellie is heart-tugging and poignant, leaving an impression long after the last page, and the Nashville music scene is especially intriguing. Make room on your keeper shelf because Harrel definitely has more songs of her own to sing.”
-Melissa Tagg, Author of the acclaimed Walker Family series and the Enchanted Christmas collection
“Lindsay Harrel’s debut novel, One More Song to Sing, offers an intriguing view of the Nashville music scene, even as her characters wrestle with the consequences of past choices. Harrel strikes emotionally strong scenes when Olivia Lovett and Ellie Evans are center stage, showcasing a talent for delving into heartache with realism and sensitivity. I’m eager to read more from this promising author!”
-Beth K. Vogt, Christy- and Carol Award-winning author
“One More Song to Sing offers readers a tender look at mother/daughter relationships, redemption from past mistakes, and God’s healing grace. Lindsay’s realistic characters and visual setting came to life as I read, allowing me to see the behind-the-scenes of the music industry and what it means to pursue a dream. This debut novel stays on my keeper shelf, and I look forward to reading many more of Lindsay’s novels.”
-Lisa Jordan, Award-winning author for Love Inspired
2017 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award Finalist, Contemporary Category (for One More Song to Sing)
2015 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award Winner, Contemporary Category (for One More Song to Sing)
Books by Lindsay
One More Song to Sing (2016)
More than two decades ago, Olivia Lovett left her old life behind in the red dirt of Oklahoma and forged a career in Nashville as a country music star. Now her voice is failing, forcing her to find a new dream just as the secrets of her past come knocking at the door. Long-time friend Andrew Grant agrees to partner in a new business venture—but would he stick around if he knew her whole story?
After the tragic loss of her father, twenty-one-year-old Ellie Evans headed to Nashville seeking more than just fame. For two years, she’s waitressed, strummed, and sung her way to what may finally be her big break when Olivia offers to sign her to the budding record label. More than anything, Ellie just wants to be seen: by her future fans, by Nick Perry—a fellow musician with a killer smile and kind eyes—and above all else, by the mother who abandoned her. If the spotlight never shines on her, will Ellie ever feel whole?
One More Song to Sing is a romantic drama about the power of forgiveness, second chances, and a God who never fails to see us.
The Heart Between Us (releases March 13, 2018)
Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
Fast Facts About Lindsay
- Graduate of Arizona State University (B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication) and Northern Arizona University (M.A. in English)
- Winner of 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for unpublished authors
- Finalist in 2017 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for published authors in the contemporary category (for her book One More Song to Sing)
- Represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management
- Debut novel, One More Song to Sing, released December 2016
- Contracted with Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for two books releasing in 2018 and 2019
- Second novel, The Heart Between Us, set to release March 2018
- Resident of Arizona since 1991
- Married with two children
Q&A with Lindsay
How long have you been writing?
I’m one of those I’ve-been-writing-since-I-was-a-kid people. I remember creating “books” by folding over a stack of papers and stapling them together, then writing and illustrating them (although the writing was much better than the very poor illustrating!). I took creative writing in high school but decided there was too much competition to consider writing books as a career. I decided to pursue journalism instead, which ended up being a great route, since you learn how to “write tight” in journalism school. I went on to receive my master’s as well, but during my program, something happened. I took a fiction class as an elective and remembered how much I loved creating stories. At the time, I also worked with several people who were writing fiction on the side. We talked about writing all the time, and it got me excited about trying my hand at it. So when I finished my degree in 2011, I began to seriously pursue publication.
What has your publication journey looked like?
Like almost every author, it’s been paved with rejection. I wrote my first book quickly in 2011—it’s now something I lovingly refer to as The Book That Must Not Be Named (Harry Potter reference, anyone?). Once I pitched that book at a conference and figured out it was not very good, I attended several retreats and other conferences and read a ton of books to strengthen my craft. I wrote another book and landed an agent, who asked me to rewrite the book because “the premise [was] flawed.” Double groan! But I did it, and I learned a lot in the process. Then, when nothing came of pitching that book, I wrote another book, and it was finally contracted by a small press (Ashberry Lane) in 2016. I wrote yet another book, and it began to look like I might never land the “big contract” I’d always dreamed about. I even took a break from writing for several months and prayed about whether to set aside my proverbial writing pen for a season, since I had a toddler and was pregnant with my second son. But God had other ideas. In late 2016, I was offered a two-book contract with Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing), my dream publisher. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a well-known publisher and to improve my craft with the help of the amazing team of editors there.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I look for inspiration everywhere, but the main spark for my books is often something I hear on the radio or read in the news. And while I don’t write people I know into my stories, characters sometimes will have personalities or quirks similar to people I’ve observed. I usually end up putting some of myself in every main character I write as well, though not intentionally! In addition, some of the themes I’ve dealt with in my novels have been things I’ve experienced personally. For example, in The Heart Between Us (2018), Crystal deals with a family member who has had a long-term illness. My mother fought cancer for many of my formative years, and that’s something that left a lasting impact on my life. It’s always interesting to delve into these types of topics within a story. I always learn something new about myself in the process.
Why do you write?
To become a millionaire! Kidding, kidding. I do know some authors who say they simply have to write or they’ll burst. That’s not really me. Telling stories is difficult. Being original takes energy, vulnerability, and lots of emotion. In other words, it takes a lot out of you. It’s far easier in some ways to NOT write. But I know it’s what I’m meant to do because it’s so challenging. Nothing else requires me to rely on God and to be part of something bigger than myself like when I write. I also love knowing that my stories touch others’ lives. To be able to offer encouragement and hope to people who have great need of it makes my job as a writer priceless.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh man, this is a tough question. Like many readers of Christian fiction, the first book I ever read in the genre was Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. It’s a powerful book about God’s deep abiding love for his people and the forgiveness he offers each of us—even those we’d see as the “least deserving.” Other authors whose works constantly challenge me include Susan Meissner, Katie Ganshert, Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Melissa Tagg in the fiction realm, and Lysa TerKeurst, Ann Voskamp, and Shauna Niequist in the non-fiction realm.
What advice do you have for others who want to write?
Keep writing. It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. If one book keeps getting rejected, move on to a new project. It will bring a fresh perspective and an opportunity to strengthen your craft. Also, join a writing organization; if you’re writing Christian fiction, American Christian Fiction Writers is the best! My Book Therapy is also an amazing organization that helps writers learn the craft. I would not be published without what I learned from both of these groups. I’d also say to attend conferences and get online—and network! Get to know others in your industry and never stop learning. Finally, stay focused. Redefine success. The writing industry can be slow-going and it can be difficult to feel like you’re making traction. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that forward progress is exactly that—progress.
Headshots of Lindsay