Lansford teen publishes first book

Lindsey Undlin

Lindsey Undlin, a freshman at MLS-Mohall, has sold more than 1,000 copies of her first book, "Stolen," since it was published last March.

Lindsey Undlin
Lindsey Undlin's parents, Vance and Cindy Undlin

A 15-year-old Lansford girl has turned her love of writing into a successful first book.

Lindsey Undlin, a freshman at MLS-Mohall, had her book, “Stolen,” published by W. Brand Publishing last March. Since then, more than 1,000 copies of her book have sold.

“I decided to publish Lindsey’s book for a couple of reasons,” says JuLee Brand, founder and publisher of W. Brand Publishing. “The story was intriguing and also the fact that she had already planned several books in this series. It was so refreshing to meet someone her age that was so passionate about writing and dedicated to the process. I had dinner with Lindsey and her parents before deciding to publish her book and was very impressed with the support they were giving Lindsey and also for the freedom to allow her to explore her creativity.”

“It took me about five months to write ‘Stolen,’” Undlin says.

From there, Undlin and her publisher worked together to edit the book – a process that took longer than the writing itself.

“Stolen” is the first book in a series of three to four books Undlin plans for the “Priders” series.

The synopsis of the story, taken from the back of the book, reads:

Cali Horn is the new kid in Swallowsville, a picturesque small town known as “Basketball Central” of North Dakota. From its quaint boutiques and cafés on Main Street to its diverse neighborhoods, no one would dream of what goes on once the gym lights go out. But, Swallowsville is a town where what you see isn’t always what you get.

While watching the “C Team” practice, she is befriended by Ray, a troubled, volatile basketball player who seems too friendly too fast. Through Ray’s “forced” friendship, Cali becomes involved in situations she is unprepared for. Would these new friends lead her to make the varsity team and be coached by the modern-day Viking, Coach Talivikki, who was known for her “anything for the win” attitude? Who can she trust? None of her new friends have active, present parents, but why?

So Cali is left to her own devices, adjusting to a new school and grieving the suspicious death of her brother. After a deadly shooting shuts down a beloved local restaurant, Cali wonders if some of her friends could be involved with the mysterious events in the town, including kidnapping and murder. She knows Harlow, the “It” girl, and Ruby, a defrocked varsity player, have secrets. Will Cali find the truth behind the dark underbelly of this “picture-perfect” town and its residents?

“Lindsey’s character development and world-building are advanced far beyond her years as a writer,” Brand says. “This talent at such a young age will only progress and sharpen as she continues to write. She has a passion for the story and storytelling, and while grammar, punctuation and vocabulary are important, they all are learned skills. Passion for storytelling can’t be taught, and it is what will make Lindsey a great writer for many years to come.”

Undlin is deep into the second book in the series. She’s written about 365 pages, as she focuses on the backstories and personalities of each character in her book.

“I enjoy writing about my characters and their different personalities and the environments they live in,” Undlin says. She makes the characters and their surroundings different from each other. These differences and diversity are what makes her characters interesting to her.

Undlin says she enjoys the creative process of coming up with ideas, and she draws on her own life experiences.

“I write to inspire those around me,” she says. Her favorite author is Paru Itagaki, whose own series inspired Undlin with her series development.

According to Undlin, writing a book has given her a newfound confidence in herself and more confidence in her voice. The teen author has spoken about “Stolen” and her writing at area schools and colleges.

“My writing has enabled me to meet a lot of people, which I really enjoy,” she says.

Undlin’s book, “Stolen,” can be purchased locally at Main Street Books in Minot, Ferguson Books in Bismarck, West Fargo and Grand Forks, or at North Central Electric Cooperative’s Bottineau headquarters. The book can also be purchased online at Amazon or by emailing

Undlin is the daughter of Cindy and Vance Undlin, North Central Electric Cooperative members from Lansford. She is the youngest of four children. She has two brothers, Lucas and Adam, and a sister, Taylor.

Lindsey’s second book should be published this summer.

Pete Erickson is member services manager for North Central Electric Cooperative in Bottineau. He can be reached at