The now 16-year-old Real! Teen! Zoe my sister and I LOVED this book! It had something magically transporting about it… like Harry Potter or something. You felt you really wanted to read more, to live in that world for as long as possible. And happily there are four more books coming!
Read my review here, and/or Zoe’s here, and then find out what happened when the sisters put their heads together to interview the author Lynette, who also happens to be one of the loveliest people I have ever emailed!
What was your favourite part of the book to write?
Pretty much any scene that involved Jordan, haha. I love that guy!
Otherwise, I really enjoyed writing the part where Alex was under the effects of the dillyberry juice. Or, oh! When Kaiden had to walk her back to her dorm and she was spaced out from the pain-relief medication. I still smile when I re-read those bits!
How many ideas did you come up with for the Library and the adventures she could have before you settled on the couple of best ones?
Too many to count! And I’m looking forward to incorporating some of them into the next four books! *Insert toothy grin here*
How did you come up with the living suit of armour?
You know, I honestly can’t remember. I think I wanted there to be something a little quirky and a little strange to play around with. Initially it was just going to be this bad guy obstacle that Alex had to defeat, but then I was like, hang on. Surely there are some other possibilities I can look at with this. And so Sir Camden was created!
Who do you picture yourself as in the story? Do you see yourself as Alex or as D.C.?
Yikes! I kinda hope I’m not either of them, otherwise it’d feel more like people are reading my journal entries or something. But I guess since Alex is my main character, part of me has to relate more strongly to her since I have to spend so much time with her. I do love D.C. though!
When you’re writing the book, who do you imagine reading it?
I actually try not to think about people reading it at all, mostly because that sends me into a hive-induced anxiety spiral (lol). It’s seriously nerve-wracking! I never originally intended for anyone to ever read AKARNAE, so now that it’s published and ‘out there’, everything I previously imagined has been turned on its head. When it comes down to it, I write because I love to write. So I sort of think that if I focus on who might be reading it, that’ll put unnecessary pressure on myself to produce something that I may feel is expected of me, rather than what Alex and co. actually want to share with the world. I want my books to be as organic as possible without outside influence or plot expectations.
One thing I really enjoyed was that Alex wasn’t starting from the bottom of the school because that helped with the development of her character. Did you consider writing the story from the beginning of school and how do you think it would it be different?
I think AKARNAE already boasts a number of the tropes and cliches commonly seen in the fantasy genre, so I wanted to avoid the few that I could skip without causing any detriment to the story. That’s why I didn’t have her starting school or even just the current school year with the other students. Plus, I needed to move the story along at a faster pace to get the plot rolling without the info dumping that would have been inevitable if she’d begun with everyone else. If I’d had her starting at the beginning of the year (or even her entire schooling), the first days of classes would have been boring introductions as opposed to having her forced to jump straight into the thick of things like she does.
What one thing from the magical world do you wish was real?
Hmm! *Thinking* There are so many things! If we’re talking specifically about the world in AKARNAE (and not in any of the rest of the books, because believe me, things only get more fantastical!), then I’d have to say either the super awesome medicines or access to the Bubbledoors.
Can we have a sneak peek of something new from the next book?
*Laughs* Oh, wow. I don’t even know what to tell you other than it certainly gets a little crazy for Alex! AKARNAE was very much an introduction novel. It introduces you to the world of Medora, to the teachers and students of Akarnae Academy, to the impossibilities of the Library, and to the potentially catastrophic future events that may yet come about because of a certain evil villain. The second book, RAELIA, moves past all these things and pretty much sees Alex hit the ground running and not stop until the last page and beyond. Readers will spend a significant amount of time outside of the academy grounds and you’ll see a lot more of Medora, including some ridiculously awesome places that I sooooo wish were real. You’ll also meet some seriously amazing new characters who I absolutely adore (or despise, respectively).
I had a lot of fun writing AKARNAE, but RAELIA is where, in my opinion, the real story begins. And I can’t wait to share it with the world!
How do you want people to react to your book?
More than anything, I want people to connect with the story and to embrace the wonder of Alex’s journey. There are many themes in AKARNAE, like friendship, loyalty, trust, courage, and a slew of others but really, readers will get what they want out of the story. My aim is to simply provide a fantasy world that people can enjoy escaping into and lovable characters who stay in your hearts and minds long after you’ve turned the final pages.
Thanks so much Lynette! We can’t wait for Raelia!