For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you may know that I absolutely love the Medoran Chronicles and this year I was finally able to do something I’d always wanted to do; interview the author of the series: Lynette Noni. Not only is Lynette an amazing writer, but she is also such a lovely person (having met her in person at the Draekora Event last year). As a huge fan of the series, this interview has been a long time coming and I hope you all love Lynette’s answers as much as I do. So, let’s get into it!
Special thanks so much to Pantera Press for helping to set up the interview- especially Anna who was an absolute delight to work with.
GRAEVALE BY LYNETTE NONI
“Light or dark, only one can win. This world cannot survive in shades of grey.”
Now that Aven Dalmarta sits upon the throne of Meya, Alex must race against the clock to save the rest of Medora from the Rebel Prince’s wrath.
Haunted by an unspeakable vision of the future, Alex and her friends set out to warn the mortal races. But making allies out of ancient enemies proves difficult.
With her nights spent deep in the Library under the guidance of a mysterious new mentor, Alex is desperate to strengthen her gift and keep all those she loves safe. Because in a world where nothing is certain, she is sure of only one thing:
Aven is coming.
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About The Author:
Having studied both journalism and academic writing at university, Lynette Noni completed a degree in human behaviour before venturing into the world of fiction. She is the author of the bestselling YA fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles, as well as a second YA series (the first book entitled Whisper) due for release internationally in 2018. A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival (as part of the National Writers’ Conference), Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition, GenreCon, the National Young Writers’ Festival, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, Voices on the Coast, and the Australian National Speculative Fiction Convention. Lynette’s engaging author talks and writing workshops make her a sought-after presenter for schools, both local and interstate, and for National Youth Week activities. She also presented the 2016 Inter-School Readers’ Cup for the Sunshine Coast region (on behalf of the Children’s Book Council of Australia).
Lynette was one of two YA authors featured on the inaugural ABC Radio #OzYA broadcast in early 2016. She is also an active blogger at www.lynettenoni.com and has an impressive and rapidly growing international following.
ALLY: Having just finished Graevale myself (Spoiler Alert: It’s fantastic!), I know that it explores a number of new themes, so if you had to sum up the entire book using only three words, what words would you pick?
LYNETTE: WARNING: Tissues needed!
ALLY: I can’t argue with that! And for those who haven’t read The Medoran Chronicles, could you tell us a little bit about it?
LYNETTE: The Medoran Chronicles are comparable to Harry Potter, X-Men and Narnia all rolled into one. The books follow a teenage girl, Alex, who steps through a doorway and finds herself stranded in a fantasy world called Medora. In the first book, she learns that there’s only one person who can help her get back home—the headmaster of Akarnae Academy, which is a school for teenagers with supernatural gifts. That headmaster is missing, so Alex attends his school while waiting for him to return. All kinds of adventures abound after that, introducing her to sentient libraries, rebel princes, dangerous classes and impossible discoveries—all of which continue across the rest of the books in the series.
ALLY: And it is certainly worth the read! Additionally, every publishing journey is different, so could you tell us how you got a book deal and any of your favourite tips and tricks for writing?
LYNETTE: It took me about three years of revisions and rejections before I was offered a publishing deal for the Medoran series, so the most important thing I like to tell aspiring authors is to write first and foremost because you love to write. Nothing is guaranteed, and it’s hard work to make dreams come true—so make sure they’re real dreams, because only then will all the blood, sweat and tears be worth it!
If you’re after actual hands-on writing advice, there are number of posts on my website that might offer some help and encouragement: http://lynettenoni.com/writing-advice/
ALLY: That’s definitely some great advice! Moreover, if there is one thing I find hard, its editing pieces of writing, so what is your typical editing process like and does it make you want to slam your head against a keyboard, or is that just me?
LYNETTE: I’m one of those weirdo authors who actually loves editing—I love seeing my raw work turned into something spectacular at the hands of a good editor. Sure, there are definitely head-slamming-against-keyboard moments, but I try to always remember the bigger picture, and that helps me on the rougher days. The best advice I can offer is to say “baby steps”. If you break down your edits into sentence-by-sentence, word-by-word goals, it will help with the inevitable “I’m the worst author IN THE WORLD!” freak outs. Baby steps are considerably less overwhelming, that’s for sure!
ALLY: Another thing I love about your books is that they are so descriptive and poetic, so do you have a favourite quote from the Medoran Chronicles? If so, why does this quote carry importance for you?
LYNETTE: There are a few quotes that I really love, but to pick just one, I’ll go with the following from Graevale:
“Don’t fear the shadows. Make the shadows fear you.”
This is said to Alex by a mentor-like character, and it’s such a powerful quote with a strong metaphor driving it. I think it’s something we could all stand to remember in our own lives.
ALLY: That’s definitely one of my favourite quotes from Graevale, especially as it packs such meaning and depth. To continue, I know that every author has a different writing style, so if you had to describe yours in five words or less, what would it be?
LYNETTE: My characters guide the story.
ALLY: As all authors would know, writing a book is a massive process so how long did it take to write Graevale including drafting and editing?
LYNETTE: I’m actually a really fast writer, so I think it took something like 28 days to write Graevale from start to finish. I’m also a clean writer, so after one quick read-through, it was ready to send off to my critique readers, and then straight on to my publishers. After that, the actual professional editing process (structural edits, copy edits, line edits, proofreading, etc.) is done over a number of months with plenty of back-and-forthing until the book is ready for printing.
ALLY: Wow! That’s incredibly fast- especially for a novel as long as Graevale is! Next, If you had to pick a song for each of your main characters, what songs would you choose?
LYNETTE: I’m not fabulous when it comes to matching characters or events with music, but if we limit it to Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks songs… then maybe:
Alex: “Two Worlds” – Tarzan
Jordan (in the second/third book): “No Way Out” – Brother Bear
Jordan (in the rest of the series): “I’ve Got No Strings” – Pinocchio
Bear: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Toy Story
C.: “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana
Kaiden: “Here I Am” – Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Aven: “Be Prepared” – The Lion King
Roka: “We Are One” – The Lion King II (Simba’s Pride)
Kyia: “Touch the Sky” – Brave
Zain: “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” – Mulan
Niyx: “You’ll Be in My Heart” – Tarzan
Xiraxus: “Something Wild” – Pete’s Dragon
Lady Mystique: “Dig a Little Deeper” – The Princess and the Frog
ALLY: Following up on that, do you tend to write with music? If so, do you have any recommendations?
LYNETTE: Sadly, I can’t help you with this! I need dead silence when I write and no distractions at all. (I tend to sing along to music which makes it very counter-productive!)
ALLY: Fair enough! Singing can be incredibly addictive; especially Disney and Broadway songs. And lastly, it’s time for a super tough (and super weird) question! So, if you could be any type of Llama, what type of llama would you be and why?
LYNETTE: Hmm… Sticking with the Disney theme, I’m going to have to say Kuzco (from The Emperor’s New Groove), because he has to go on a bit of a journey to find out who he really is. (Don’t we all!)
ALLY: Thank you so much for stopping by Lynette! I’m completely honoured to have been able to interview you and I can’t wait to see where The Medoran Chronicles goes next.
Graevale comes out on the 1st of February with Lynette’s international debut, Whisper, expected sometime during May 2018.
GRAEVALE MINI REVIEW:
|I have so many feelings right now that writing a proper review is going to be a struggle. So I’ll try my best to summarise.
As a book, Graevale utterly destroyed me in the best way possible, with the plot, the character development and the heartfelt moments all creating a whirlwind of a ride. Reading it, I fell in love all over again with the magic of Medora and the thrill of Alex’s adventures.
Whilst I can’t say much more, I can say that Graevale deserves a full five stars and will forever be my favourite book in the series.
Sourced From My Goodreads Review.
FULL REVIEW TO BE POSTED JANUARY 28TH.
GRAEVALE IS COMING.