Lindsey grew up in Marion, Virginia as an avid reader. After struggling in his intended oceanography major at Old Dominion University, he began studying creative writing with author Sheri Reynolds. In 2009, he moved to Oregon, where he married his wife Sarah and had a son.
Lindsey is the author of numerous novels and novellas. His first novels, Going Shogun and The Two Crosses, were published independently in 2012. Going Shogun is a dystopian comedy in which two waiters attempt to raise their tightly controlled social standing by stealing and publishing their employer's secret recipes. Erik Wecks of Wired called it a "hilarious romp through a comic and dangerous underground subculture of hackers, drug users, and wannabes" and "a perfect summer read", while noting that it "needs a copy edit and displays many of the traits which will irritate those who appreciate the value of a traditional editorial team." Wired subsequently named it one of the "Best Books of 2012".
Later in 2012, Lindsey began considering a new direction for his work, frustrated by the slow sales of his previous novels. Observing the success of the Hunger Games franchise, he jokingly told his wife that he should write a novel with "game" in the title; this became the genesis of his novel Sara's Game, the story of a woman whose husband and child disappear at the hands of a mysterious, taunting nemesis. Sara's Game became his most successful novel to date, appearing on the USA Today bestseller list and reaching #2 on the Amazon Kindle chart. In February 2013, the novel was offered as the Amazon "Daily Deal".
Lindsey's subsequent novels include three more in the "Sara" series and the "Warchild" trilogy, a series of dystopian thrillers about a teenage girl who must help her outpost to survive a war after total societal collapse. Lindsey says that the most important influence on his work is thriller author Dean Koontz.
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- Wecks, Erik. "Sara's Game Finds Success: An Interview With Ernie Lindsey". Wired. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "About Ernie Lindsey". Ernie Lindsey.com. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "Marion native writing in the Northwest, achieves spot on USA Today bestseller list". SWVA Today. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "Ernie Lindsey". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Wecks, Erik. "Going Shogun: Comic Fiction Plus Dystopia Equals a Great Summer Read". Wired. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Liu, Jonathan H. "The Best Books of 2012". Wired. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "My Writing Life: Ernie Lindsey". 16 April 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2016.