Leaving Watford College with an Honours Diploma in advertising copywriting in the 80’s, Lyndsay then took a two month sabbatical from her first job at an advertising agency to join her cousin’s circus (Robert Brothers Circus), gaining skills in spinning a rope as well as a much coveted Equity card for acting in the process.
Invited to continue as a freelance writer by her agency, for ten years she combined the lucrative field of advertising, whilst enjoying the freedom to pursue an acting career. The combined field of acting and writing served well and she appeared in many commercials and TV shows including Honest Decent and True - an award winning BBC Film starring Gary Oldman and Richard E. Grant.
Using her background in writing to win a couple of comedy scriptwriting jobs for television, she found the combination of a good broadcasting voice and writing led onto an offer to work for the BBC World Service as a radio correspondent. This entailed covering fun jobs from Sailing Week in Antigua to the world’s first bungee jump in Australia. Freelance radio work then spread into reporting for national radio including shows such as Woman’s Hour, Kaleidoscope and Loose Ends.
In turn, radio reporting snowballed into writing articles for the national press, with features regularly appearing in colour supplements such as ES magazine (The Evening Standard). Loving 'quirky' stories, she became renowned for penning witty first person pieces, from a course on How to Flirt, to Staying the Night in Britain’s Most Haunted House.
A twist of fate around this time, created an unexpected shift towards a visual career as well as words.
She was sent on a job for The Independent, and the photographer failed to turn up. Desperate to save the story from being cancelled, she raced home, got her camera and took some shots. The newspaper published her article with her photographs. Enjoying the thrill of taking the photos to match her off-the-wall stories, Lyndsay then worked regularly supplying both for many papers including The Times, The Mail, and Evening Standard. Next, because of her mad diversity of ideas and sharp delivery, Lyndsay was offered the job of ‘drive time’ producer with new national station Talk Radio.
Marrying a fellow producer from the station, she left to take the role of Editor to launch The City Player Magazine – a glossy quarterly aimed at high flyers in the City. This entailed hard graft, combined with travel abroad and a ridiculous amount of glamorous assignments. But after a year, Lyndsay had had a baby girl, Tippi. The decision to stop was tricky. But she wanted to be with her child full time.
Lyndsay’s career diversified again when they moved to Kingston, Surrey and Tippi went to primary school. Not keen to return to the pressurized world of journalism, as a sideline Lyndsay dressed Tippi and her friends children up in fairy costumes and took magical photographs - before long she had a created a business taking professional family portraits and shots for photo libraries.
Then a second major twist of fate occurred.
About the same time, Lyndsay wanted to find a picture for her kitchen but failed to find the right art to suit the room. So, feeling inspired from the visual success of her photography, she painted her own still life.
To her surprise, visitors often asked who the artist was, and where they could get a similar painting. Demand grew, and selling over twenty five art works within her first year, Lyndsay was picked up by an art agent. Exhibitions soon followed - but with it, a need to learn more, fast!
Enrolling on a local art course, her tutor encouraged her to try drawing an illustration. She penned an image of sprites climbing into a tree. That same night, she asked her daughter to help her think of a magical tale to go with it… Tippi (then aged 7) came up with the story of a Hobgoblin stealing the thread of a rainbow to make a magical cloak...and The Rainbow Weaver was born.
In summary, from her early twenties to her late forties, Lyndsay has successfully enjoyed crossover careers in advertising, acting, radio, journalism, scriptwriting, art and photography, before moving into a new field as author/illustrator.
The Rainbow Weaver hardback edition was released Autumn 2007 and gained national distribution, reaching core lists at both Waterstones and Borders. A new development includes the request to try the book out at a series of workshops at the Royal Academy of Music to explore its potential as a musical. (February/March 2011)
FAT CHANCE of happening...
Following the success of The Rainbow Weaver, the publishers were intrigued by a funny, short story Lyndsay wrote a few years ago satirizing weight obsession. Realizing that society's fervor was increasing and the story very much 'of the moment', they commissioned her to turn it into a full length novel.
Called Fat Chance, her debut book was first pre-released July 2008 in large C format and Hardback on two exclusive deals with Borders and the Book Club Association. It then went on general release in trade paperback size at Waterstones, WH Smiths Airports & Trains, Books Etc. Amazon and all leading independent stores.
Due to the success of the first editions, it has now been re-released in mass market format under the new title: MAKING IT BIG. With the new cover illustration by Lyndsay.
MAKING IT BIG is hitting a major chord with readers across the country. Attracting national press, it's in all leading stores. This summer it hit position 9 in UK Kindle out of 750,000 books. It remained at No.2 UK Kindle Charts Popular Women's Fiction for over 60 days (Aug 31st 2011)
World-wide release is scheduled for 2012.
For more information on Lyndsay's other work, please visit any of the sites below:
(click on logo, or go to website and enter Lyndsay Russell in search to view her photography for professional photo libraries - stock shots)