TBB Talks … Novel ‘Rosa’ With Author Lyndon Haynes

Lyndon works for TFL alongside his creative pursuits and wrote ‘ROSA” during the pandemic in 2020. 

Lyndon began his career as a rapper over two decades ago as a part of The Sindecut, the first UK hip hop group signed to a major label, this came after appearing on screen and stage as a child actor, a journey he detailed in his memoir and debut novel This Functional Family.

Lyndon has self-published 3 books, his latest offering ROSA is a story about a young orphan fleeing her home life in Mexico.

Lyndon wrote ROSA during the 2020 pandemic, use to working for TFL, but as a Sickle Cell Sufferer, he was unable to go into an office during all of the lockdowns, which inadvertently allowed him the time he needed to complete write ROSA.

We caught up with Lyndon to talk about his career, his love of writing and what to expect from him next …

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Lyndon Haynes my heritage is half Guyanese and half Jamaican. I am an author screenwriter, songwriter and playwright.

Please share a word or sentence which best describes your life right now.

My life right now is productive, transitional and calm.

Before turning to fiction, you were a member of The Sindecut, which was the first UK Rap group signed to a label. How did you see the music industry change in your twenty-five years making music?

I think the authenticity in a lot of music has disappeared sadly, at the beginning of the hip-hop era we strived to be original and different. We were outside, grinding booking live performances, being seen and heard putting in the hard work to get our name out there. I think today because of the internet and social media it’s easier for artists to get recognised and to build an audience which can be seen as a plus but I’m struggling to accept the lack of originality, I think everyone just jumps on a formula and runs with it until the next formula comes along, we need to get back to being creative and setting trends.

How did you find turning from writing for performance to writing for a literary audience?

For me writing raps or songs is easy but you only have maybe three minutes to get your point or subject matter across. For a literary audience, I get the space to be creative, inventive and have the freedom to elaborate on my plot and delve into my characters and their world, I enjoy that more because you can take the storytelling so much further.

You published your memoir over ten years ago. How long had you considered writing your story, or writing novels in general?

Even when I was doing music I was writing short stories on the side and knew it would lead to a book one day. I took a creative writing course back in 2005/6 and was encouraged by friends to tell my story as they said it sounded interesting, we don’t always look at the inner workings of our personal lives as something people would find entertaining but we should, we all have unique life stories.

ROSA Book Cover

You write alongside working for TFL. When do you make the time to write? Are there designated times that you set aside or is it less regimented?

It’s less regimented, I tend to write on my days off or late at night it all depends on how I’m feeling, some days I’ll just jot notes and ideas in my notebook. My process is normally a late-night writing session that’s when I feel in my creative zone.

You wrote your novel ROSA during the various lockdowns and whilst shielding. How did the writing process compare to the writing of your other novels?

It was more liberating, although I still had limited time, it felt more freeing to be in my own space. I was working from home during the first lockdown so found it easier to give ROSA the time it deserved. I would transition from my day job to an author without leaving the room. I knew what I wanted to do and challenged myself to complete it during the pandemic and having no commute gave me the time I needed.

ROSA tells a story of a young woman coming to terms with the death of her parents in Mexico. What inspired you to tell this story?

I had the idea as early as 2013 to create a modern-day story based on a fairytale, ROSA being my take on Cinderella. I never got the chance to focus on it due to studying for my MA and work commitments. I wanted to tell a story of a young woman going through many hardships including grief who eventually finds the strength to develop her own identity and discover her voice via her crazy journey which is a narrative many women can relate to.

What is the process of self-publishing like?

It can be a positive process if you choose a company that aligns with your goals. I used Publishing Push based in the UK who provided a great affordable package but also helped with bringing my ideas and vision to life, they assisted with the format, editing and even the final cover design. There are several companies out there but you have to research and find the right fit for your work and make sure they support your visions from concept to completion.

You are in the process of writing your next book. Can you tell us anything about what’s next for you?

Yes, I am seventy-five per cent done so far, it’s called Paper Trail and will be the first of a trilogy. It’s about two siblings who are trying to make the right choices in life but their individual circumstances pull them both into a dark criminal underworld. I’m also working on some pet projects, a documentary about my musical history and finishing some screenplays which I started a couple of years ago.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU …

A book you have to have in your collection? The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.

A song/album that defines the soundtrack of your life to date? Lila Ike – Where I’m coming from.

A film/TV show that you can watch/have watched repeatedly? I love watching anything by Walter presents… on E4.

The first stage production you saw and what it meant to you (play, dance, or concert)? I was in a production of Bugsy Malone directed by The Monkees singer Mickey Dolenz when I was thirteen. Being in such a massive show at that age meant everything to me and opened my eyes to the world of theatre.

What has made you sad, mad, and glad this week? Sad. Work. Mad. Toxic people. Glad. My first trip abroad since covid (I’m on holiday as I write this)


ROSA is available to purchase now. Find out more on Lyndons Instagram.

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