Friday, March 28, 2014

Feature Friday: Lynne Matson

Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. Back then, Lynne would stay up late, reading Nancy Drew books under the covers (with a flashlight . . . a weak attempt at ninja stealth). Now she still stays up late reading books and writing them. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, you’ll find her listening to music, messing around with paint, or hanging out with her husband and their four boys . . . or all of the above.

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Lynne:
Read widely, write daily, be positive and persistent.:) Seriously, reading across all genres really helps develop a feel for rhythm and cadence in prose, not to mention an inherent sense of good pacing. And writing? Oh gosh, sometimes it’s HARD, but the more you write, the better writer you become. And through it all, be positive believe in yourself and your writing, and if you stay positive, it will give you the strength to keep going when the publishing road gets bumpy. You can do it!!!

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Lynne:
Amanda, you know I can't pick just one, right?! IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.:) I love SO many books, but books I LOVE and have re-read multiple times? The Dragonriders of PERN series by Anne McCaffrey is one of my all-time favorites; they’re BRILLIANT. More recent books? The HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling, IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman, The JENNA FOX Chronicles by Mary Pearson, GRACELING by Kristen Cashore, THE ART OF LAINEY by Paula Stokes, and BENEATH THESE BROKEN STARS by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I'll stop now.:)

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Nil?

Lynne:
I adore this question, because the entire idea of NIL came to me in one clear moment I can pinpoint to this day. NIL was born in Hawaii, on the big island. It was our first real getaway from our four boys, EVER. As we left the airport after landing on our first day, we drove through miles of ancient lava fields. Broken red rock stretched endlessly on each side, gorgeous and desolate. No roads, no buildings, no people–just the eerie sound of wind blowing over the barren rocks. I remember thinking how much it all looked like an alien planet, and thinking how creepy it would be to wake up there, alone. And I remember thinking how scary it would be as a teenager, to wake up by yourself, not having a clue where you were or how you how got there, and what if–because isn’t this every person’s worst nightmare?!–you woke up naked? NIL was born in that moment. That barren-red-rock visual locked in my head, and that's what Charley sees when she first wakes up in Nil.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing Nil?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Lynne:
Snags?! *nervous laughter* Actually, yes! There was one point where I realized the tension had faded, because the threat had lessened. To fix it, I ended up killing off a character I really liked because it felt it necessary…even though it made another character hurt immensely.:(

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in Nil is your favorite and why?

Lynne:
Oh my gosh, hard question Amanda. It’s like asking to pick among my children..:) I LOVE THEM ALL! Thad! Charley! There's a BIG cast of characters on NIL because of the "revolving door" feel of the island, but two of my favorites (besides my MC's Charley & Thad) are Dex (love him! And his Nil bling...) and Rives. Rives fascinates me still. If there were to be a sequel, it will be from Rives's point of view. :) *runs away before I spill NIL sekrits* ;)

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Lynne:
Sure! I actually wrote an entire post on this subject which can be found here: http://lynnematson.blogspot.com/2012/07/power-of-three-or-how-i-found-my-agent.html. But the short version is that I never stopped writing, never stopped working on my craft, and never stopped believing. And never stopped dreaming. If you don’t believe in your work, who will?

A.L.:
What are you working on now?  Sequel?  Something new?

Lynne:
Ahhhhh!!! I can’t say. BUT I HOPE TO HAVE NEWS REALLY SOON.:)

A.L.:
Do you ever wish you had a daughter?

Lynne:
This is a GREAT question. Actually, no. I ADORE my 4 boys, and I think I'm a good boy mom. I've been paintballing, surfing, trail biking, paddleboarding, and skiing with them, coached soccer and basketball teams, and can host a killer Nerf birthday party with epic washer/dryer box barriers.  I'm sure if I had a daughter, it would be awesome, but I've never once wished for one. I think I have the family that God intended for me to have, and that makes me SO happy. And so many of my best friends have girls that they feel like my daughters too.:)

A.L.:
If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you need more than anything else to survive?

Lynne:
Something to catch fresh water. Lack of fresh water would be a death sentence for sure.

A.L.:
If you had to battle for the last Thin Mint in existence, what weapon would you choose for your opponent and why?

Lynne:
BEST. QUESTION. EVER. After careful thought, I'm going with a glass of milk. I'd place it nearby, and when my opponent's attention is distracted by the glass of milk, I'd stealthily snatch the box of Thin Mints out of their hand. Diversion . . . the perfect weapon.:)

The Giveaway:
A signed copy of NIL plus swag. (US)

Nil: On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.


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