8-House Publishing Auction!

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but last week I found myself in the middle of an auction for ANZ rights to my new YA fantasy series!!!

I still feel like I’m living in a dream, so let me rewind and tell the story from the beginning.

About six weeks ago, I finished writing a new book called The Prison Healer. (Wow, it is SUCH a relief to finally be able to say the name!) I’d recently signed on with a new agent (which you can read all about here), so the following weeks after finishing the draft, I worked with her on a few rounds of revisions. The turnaround was really fast, and suddenly TPH was in submission shape, and my agent — Danielle — and sub rights agent — Jenny — said it was time to start sending it out into the world.

Cue me rocking in the corner, especially when, within a week, I found myself in an 8-house auction.

EEEK.

As in, ALL THE EEEKs.

Out of nowhere, I had people from each of the publishing houses wanting to jump on the phone/Skype with me (and even an in-person meeting) to share their vision for what they could do with the series, while trying to convince me of why I should go with them.

Honestly, it was the most amazing (but also the most stressful) week of my life.

As far as the actual process goes, all it took was one offer to come in before Jenny was able to go back to the other ANZ houses she’d submitted to, telling them they had 24 hours to offer a counter bid. Every single house came back with their own offer within that time (preliminary bids to get them into the auction), and that’s when things started to get really crazy.

Over the next few days, I spoke with a heap of people, and every time I got off the phone/Skype, I’m not kidding that, without fail, I sighed happily and said, “I LOVE THEM!”

This, obviously, made it an IMPOSSIBLE decision.

While all this was happening — the calls, I mean — the publishers had just under a week to send Jenny their “best and final” bids (ie. the highest $ amount they could/would offer) along with a rough marketing plan and, in some cases, a written pitch document as to why I should go with them over the others.

All of this information — the best/final bids, pitches, and marketing details — came to me in the early hours of last Thursday morning. So, a week ago today. And then, I had to decide.

One thing that kind of threw me for a loop was that the highest bidder ended up being someone that, until that point, I hadn’t spoken with. (And I’d spoken with most of them during the week.) So that day, I jumped on the phone with that publisher to get a sense of what their thinking was, which again, just made everything even harder, since like all the others, I LOVED THEM.

This was clearly a problem for me.

Since Danielle and Jenny are both based in NYC, we set up a Skype call for that night, because there was no way I could make this decision without help. During the day, Jenny had gone back to two of my “favourites” to see if they wanted to offer counter bids to the new highest bidder, and both of them did just that… so now I was down to three that I had to decide between. (Hey, give me some credit, at least I’d managed that much!)

I should also mention in here that I had breakfast with my author friend, Jessica Townsend (if you haven’t read her Nevermoor series, stop reading this right now and go grab a copy!), and I was also emailing back and forth with Sarah J. Maas, who is my go-to person when it comes to big decisions like this, and both where insanely helpful and I’m so grateful to them. (BUT it’s also worth mentioning that they were gleefully like, “Ha! Sucks to be you!” — as in, they knew how hard the decision was and were glad that they weren’t the ones in my position. Great friends, they are. *Eye roll*)

After speaking with everyone and Skyping with Danielle/Jenny, I had to confirm who I wanted to go with. The truth is, any one of the eight publishers in the auction would have been brilliant, including my current publishers who I’ve been with since the start of my career. That was why I struggled so much to choose — because there was no wrong decision. So it was a matter of who I/we thought was the best match going forward in regards to passion and enthusiasm and author care, but also for really important things like strategy and marketing/publicity and audience reach.

SO.

*Drum roll please*

I’m absolutely DELIGHTED to share that I’ve accepted an offer from Penguin Random House for ANZ rights to The Prison Healer series! I’m so, so, SO excited for all that’s ahead in my new partnership with them!!! Plus, I’m flying to Sydney to meet the team tomorrow (or, the Sydney-based team, at least), and I can’t WAIT!!! (I hear there’s going to be cake, and we all know that cake is the BEST!!!)

I’m including the official press release below to finish off this super exciting post, and I can’t wait to share more about TPH and my experiences with PRH as things continue to develop!

OH! And you’ll see in the press release that while all of this was happening, auctions and deals for other territories were also going on during the week, which is insane. My mind is officially blown!!

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AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY!!

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To celebrate the audiobook release of WHISPER on Audible, I’ve decided to host a giveaway! Since it’s been released in the USA, UKand AUS/NZ, there will be 9 LUCKY WINNERS — 3 in each territory!!

SO!

To win, all you have to do is send an email to lynettenonigiveaway@gmail.com with the following:

  1. State your name and which territory you live in (USA, UK, AUS/NZ)
  2. Explain why you would like to win the audiobook of WHISPER
  3. Name the most recent audiobook you’ve listened to
  4. Name your favourite audiobook of all time
  5. Confirm that you have an account with Audible (this is needed to claim your prize!)

That’s it! 

The competition will be open for one week (until midnight on Saturday 5th October) and winners will be drawn at random and notified by email over the following few days with instructions on how to claim their free audiobook.

WHISPER WON THE GOLD INKY AWARD!

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A week ago today, the most AMAZING thing happened — WHISPER won the Gold Inky Award!!! As timing would have it, I was in Melbourne for the Melbourne Writers Festival when the winner was announced, so I was able to accept the award in person, which was amazing

For context, the Inky Awards are Australia’s only teen choice book awards. 20 books are selected for the longlist (10 national, and 10 international):

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… and then a panel of teenage judges whittle those down to a shortlist of 5 books in each category:

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After that, voting is open to the teenage public (people aged between 12-19 years). At the end of the voting, a Gold Inky winner is selected for a national book, and a Silver Inky winner is selected for an international book — this year’s winner being THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black.

I’m honestly still speechless and so ridiculously honoured that WHISPER was voted as the winner. It’s such a beautiful thing to know that “Jane Doe’s” story has resonated so strongly with teens — I’m truly humbled. 

As an added note, it was also my birthday the day that the winners were announced, so I’m sure it goes without saying, but OMIGOSH, IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!

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My (New) Literary Agent

Yikes, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged on here! It’s hardly an excuse, but life has been pretty hectic over the last 18 months, what with having released 4 books since the beginning of last year, and my next one coming out in like 8 weeks. So, uh, sorry? *Awkward apologetic face*

I do, however, have news! In amongst all the craziness, I made the tough decision to part ways with my agent of nearly four years. Believe me when I say I basically gave myself a stomach ulcer over it since she was a wonderful agent, but for a number of reasons, I realised that I needed someone else in my corner going forward into the future.

SO! Thus began a stress-inducing time of chatting with a number of other agents, many of whom could be considered “dream agents”… and most of whom offered representation on the spot.

Cue hyperventilating.

You know, once upon a time, I dreamed of a single agent saying “yes”. I mean, for three years I received rejection after rejection, and even when I got my first publishing offer (for The Medoran Chronicles), I was a “slush pile” baby — I didn’t have an agent at that point, and it wasn’t until 6 months after the first book was released that I was offered representation (thanks to Whisper). So to suddenly have multiple agents raise their hands to rep me, I’m sure you can understand when I say I was overwhelmed to the extreme.

There are three people who I owe HUGE amounts of gratitude to for helping me through that time — Sarah J. Maas, who dealt with my “OMG WHAT DO I DO, SARAH!?!?! AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!?!?” emails and texts at all hours of the day and night, especially when I kept back-and-forthing over agent possibilities; Jessica Townsend, who was literally on the first holiday she’s had since publishing Nevermoor, and she was on a beach in Fiji answering my multiple DMs of OMG HELP!! questions and fears; and Sulari Gentill, who helped me with the agent-saga while also offering advice on another publishing-related crisis I was juggling at the same time.

Clearly, it was “fun times” for me. *Eye roll*

But truly, without those three amazing authors having my back and offering advice and encouragement, there’s NO WAY I would have made it through those few weeks with my sanity intact. 

SO! To make a long story short(er), I was 99% sold on one agent (to the point that I’d turned down all the others), and I was just about to accept, but then another one asked for a Skype call the next day.

To be honest, it was an unanticipated (even unwanted) curve ball, because I’d contacted a different agent at that agency and — you know what, this’ll be a lot easier to explain if I use names. BUT that means my “short” story will be a tad longer than planned. So here goes:

One of the agents I queried was Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. Kristin represents some incredible YA authors, like Marie Lu, Ally Carter, Sherry Thomas, Scott Reintgen, Simone Elkeles… and many others, whose books I love. Plus, she has a great reputation as an agent. When she showed interest in talking further about representing me, of course I was delighted (aside from the hives now covering every inch of me at already having a number of offers on the table).

The thing is… after I quickly drafted up some sample pages, Kristin mentioned that one of the other agents at NLA was showing more passion for my proposed book, and it was that agent, Danielle Burby, who wanted to have a chat over Skype — with Kristin in on the call as well.

By that stage, you have to remember what I said about being 99% sold on another agent, so I truly thought the call was going to be a waste of my time (and theirs). I’d done my research on Kristin, but not on Danielle, and I didn’t know anything about her other than that she was based in NYC. To be honest, I wasn’t even looking forward to the call at all, but my people-pleasing tendencies kept me from just saying “no” to it. Instead, we figured out how to wrangle the time difference (Kristin being in Colorado, Danielle in New York, and me in Australia), and then we had The Call.

I don’t quite know how to describe what happened next other than to say I was devastated.

No joke.

I was so ridiculously distressed after chatting with Danielle and Kristin, because they stuffed up my plan. I thought I had everything figured out. I thought I was going to waste some time doing the polite thing by chatting with the two of them, then do the whole, “thanks, but no thanks” respectful decline of the offer.

Instead, I was blown away by Danielle’s passion and ambition and drive. And more, this was on a mere sample of a book that I’d only drafted a few pages for — while on a freaking airplane to one of my events. The pages were beyond rough… but I could tell that Danielle believed in the book, and also in what she could do for me and my future as an author.

Even so, I was terrified. The other agent — the 99% one — was almost guaranteed as a sure thing. Her track record showed just how many internationally bestselling authors she represents, not to mention, that she’s made a career out of helping Australian authors become global sensations. That was what I thought I needed.

But… while that 99% agent had all the dot-points of my “dream agent”, there was no passion, no excitement, no “we’re in this together”-ness. Working with that agent would have been a strong business decision… but it wouldn’t have been a partnership.

I can admit it — I’m pretty needy as an author (and as a human being). At times, I need nurturing and hand-holding. This industry is hard, and sometimes I really just need to know that I have someone fighting with me (and for me), someone to cry with and celebrate with. BUT I also need someone who’s not afraid to tell me if I’m overreacting or being dramatic or if I just need to chill the fudge down. When talking with Sarah and Jess, they both told me the single most important thing they have with their respective agents is a relationship. It’s not just about business; their author–agent partnerships go beyond that. (Needless to say, they were both Team Danielle from the get-go, even when I was still vacillating over the decision.)

Obviously, since I’m using names here, I ended up going with Danielle. (Seriously, it should have been obvious to me the moment she sent me a Harry Potter gif to sign off an email. Like, as if there was any doubt after that, haha.)

Ultimately, I went with my gut. And I’m not kidding when I say it was a seriously, seriously hard thing for me to do, since I have terrible trust issues and I knew I was turning down the 99% agent who basically guaranteed she could get me everything I wanted next in my career, and instead I chose the unexpected “risky”-but-passionate agent. 

And now? Well, it’s only early days still… but I can honestly say I am so freaking excited for what the future holds. The moment I made my decision and chose Danielle, I felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and I just knew that I’d made the right decision. Obviously, we still have a lot to wade through, since I have so much publishing history (and, let’s face it, baggage), but I’m truly delighted with my decision and how things have been shaping up between us so far. I really, truly, can’t wait to see what happens next, especially since I’ve just finished drafting that new book I mentioned, and, once it’s cleaned up a bit, we’ll begin submissions for it. I guess that’s when the real test begins, but I also know that no matter what happens, we’re in this together — and that’s what I’m most excited about. 

***INSERT ALL THE HAPPY DANCING HERE***

ABIA Awards Night

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but last week I flew to Sydney for the ABIA Awards (Australian Book Industry Awards), and WHISPER ended up winning the Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year award!!!!!!!

Seriously, that is SO CRAZY and I’m still in some surreal state of “What-just-happened?!

It was such a brilliant night and I got to share it with the most amazing people ever, so I can easily say I’m still on Cloud Nine! 

A big shoutout to my publishers, Pantera Press, for just being awesome, as well as to Bloomsbury for distributing my books and getting them out to the world. Plus, of course, to all the booksellers and librarians and teachers (and teacher librarians) for selling and sharing my books with people everywhere. AND also, very importantly, to all my readers — YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank youuuuuu to everyone who has supported and encouraged me on this writing journey! I’m SO EXCITED for all that’s coming next!

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The Magic of Book Covers

It’s no secret that I’ve been very fortunate when it comes to the cover designs of The Medoran Chronicles. All six covers are absolutely stunning, and as such, it’s something I’m asked about quite frequently: “How did you end up with such gorgeous covers?”

Well, the short answer is, my publishers hired brilliant cover designers. The longer answer is that it took time and communication and a LOT of drafts. But all those things combined (plus a heap of talent from the designers) ended up creating pure magic.

Since the cover design process is one of my favourite parts of publishing, the wonderful team at our Sydney-based designers, XOU Creative, have given me permission to share how it all comes together. So here goes, from beginning to end — AKARNAE through to VARDAESIA!

First up, I should mention that it’s my editor who sends cover briefs to the designers. After chatting with me about a vision and asking for any inspiration pics I might have (yay, Pinterest!), as well as talking with my publishers’ sales and marketing teams, my editor then sends through ideas to the designers, including portions of text directly from the book/s. The designers are left to draft up a few different possibilities — “concepts” — which they then send to my editor. Often, I won’t ever see these early concepts. It’s only once a draft is considered as having potential that it’ll come my way for feedback, sometimes with a few different options for me to decide between.

The first time I ever got to experience the excitement of cover design was for AKARNAE back in 2014 (for a 2015 release — covers are usually finalised 6-12 months before a book hits stores). I was sent two different concepts and asked my preference as to which path I’d prefer to go down:

Akarnae original option 2

Akarnae original

The first cover was a bit too “Alice in Wonderland”-esque for me. It seemed a little juvenile for what I was after in my debut YA fantasy novel. The second cover, however, had the magic and wonder and mystery I was looking for, and I fell in love with it on sight. However, it still needed work — which is completely normal with cover designing, and also why I was brought into the conversation at this point.

One of my main concerns was that I felt as if Alex looked like she was some kind of middle-aged office executive. Her hair and clothes didn’t imply teenager — she just looked way too stiff and mature. Thankfully, this ended up being a really easy fix by letting her hair out (literally) and changing her outfit. We played around with a few different clothing choices before settling on jeans and a leather-look jacket, resulting in this:

Akarnae Ring on hand

The above looks pretty close to the final version, right? Well, the funny thing about covers is how many suuuuuper small problems you can find right up until the very end. Case in point, if you look really close at the above image, you’ll see that Alex has a ring — on her wedding finger. (#Awkward!) So little stuff like that was what we tweaked for the final few draft rounds, including changing the design of her hands and adding extra sparkles and things like that, until we hit the jackpot of the final version:

Akarnae Final Cover

With AKARNAE done, RAELIA came next, about a year later. Of all the covers in this series, I didn’t see many of the early concepts for book two until long after we’d locked in the final version. (I have them now, though, so can add them into this post.)

I had a really clear vision for RAELIA’s cover in my head — I thought it’d be powerful to have a snow-covered forest with the mushroom-circled clearing, and a lot of the moodiness and mystery (and anguish) that comes from that final cliffhanger scene where you-know-what happens with you-know-who.

Unfortunately, I was told that all of the cover designs with snow and forests weren’t coming up “magical” enough, so that was a bit disappointing and it meant I had to wipe my vision clear and open my mind to what else might be presented.

The problem was, apparently there were some issues whereby too many different opinions resulted in too many cover possibilities. Here are just a few of them that I saw down the track, all of which are gorgeous, but none of which really epitomised the feeling or content of the book. (Also note the snow ones, which are super pretty, but I can see what they meant about the lacking “magic” — and also ignore the title typo, which was obviously corrected later):

Raelia not it 6

Raelia not it 5

Raelia not it 4

Raelia not it 2

Raelia not it

As you can see, none of the above concepts really have anything to do with the book, even if they are pretty. And, confession: I actually still really love the snow ones, haha. BUT that doesn’t mean I’m not delighted with what ended up being the final version, with the city of Meya in the background, and the Silverwood trees as a feature:

Raelia1

Next up came DRAEKORA, and out of all the Medoran books, it was probably the easiest and the fastest cover to come together. Part of that was because we all had the same clear vision, which resulted in this being the first cover concept we received from the designer:

Draekora original

On the whole, we were all delighted with it. I absolutely LOVED that the floating islands were so obvious, though I did have concerns about the draekons being a spoiler. That said, it just looked so good that I was stoked. So then it was just a matter of playing with the colours — making it more vibrant overall, but also fixing up whatever was happening with the psychedelic flowers at the bottom. Plus, we wanted to see if we could add some extra elements, like details on some of the islands.

… Funnily enough, though, the next version came back perhaps a bit too extra:

Draekora overkill

You can see that it’s definitely vibrant, but it’s also a bit too OTT as well. There’s just so much happening, and so many colours. It’s like, “MY EYES, MY EYES!!”

So we had the designers tone things back a bit and even out the colours, and a few more back-and-forths resulted in the stunning beauty of the final version:

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GRAEVALE was the next cover to come along, and similar to DRAEKORA, the early concepts came back really strong, with this being the first draft I saw:

Graevale original

I loved the moodiness of the colours and the city of Graevale being half in shadows, half in light, plus the storm added the sense of danger and mystery and just… ahh, so much love for this cover. But there were still some problems that needed ironing out — things like how the mist was blowing in one direction, while Alex’s hair blew in the other direction, and things like lacking clarity and having an oil-painting/smeared appearance. Plus I still have no idea what was going on with her pants and why they were red… Nor do I know what the creepy black root things are, but I think they were meant to represent shadows… *shrugs*… 

Regardless, again, I absolutely LOVED this concept and I was so excited to see where it would end up. A few rounds later and we were at this:

Graevale not it

… And you can see that there’s a lot more clarity as well as a number of other tweaks. But I still wasn’t happy with her red pants, plus her hair seemed to have a mind of its own again (as in, it shouldn’t have been that windy if the mist/cloud wasn’t moving as fast)… plus, one VERY IMPORTANT THING was still missing: the sparkles!

All of those changes and then a few others led us to eventually reaching the gorgeous end result:

Graevale FINISHED COVER JPG

Next up came WE THREE HEROES, and this cover presented us with a whole slew of new problems. Previously, we’d only ever had Alex on the cover before, never D.C., Jordan or Bear. So the designers had their work cut out for them, creating not just a new cover, but three new characters.

Until VARDAESIA (which I’ll get to in a moment), the cover for W3H was definitely the hardest. A lot of the problems, however, ended up not being the characters, but with the academy itself. It was surprisingly difficult to envision the school and how it would look. I mean, I’d always known it would be nestled in the middle of a forest and beside a lake, with a snow-capped mountain off in the distance, but the buildings themselves? “Medieval mixed with modern and advanced” is essentially the description the books give, but how, exactly, does that translate into design?

It was a mission, that’s for sure, and the following covers show the drafting progression:

W3H1

Above is the first concept that I saw. I loved the colours and the overall layout (even if my one small gripe is that the mountain (which is a bit strange-looking in this first draft) is actually meant to be on the other side of the lake — as in, off-screen behind where the characters are, but sometimes creative liberties must be taken!), but there was still room for improvement.

When it came to the characters, Bear needed the most work (basically an entire overhaul), but D.C.’s hair and clothes also needed some help, and Jordan’s hair was too “high school jock” for my liking. These were all relatively easy fixes (aside from Bear, who took a number of drafts to get right), but the academy itself was the most challenging part. As you can see above, it looked very much like some kind of massive, gothic mini-city, and we had some trouble transforming it over the next few drafts…

W3H2

This version above is a little better — Jordan’s hair is a more normal, and D.C. looks more D.C.-like. I still had some problems with Bear (he now looked like a country bumpkin), but only small changes were needed for the other two at this stage.

As for the academy itself, you can see it’s much better, but still too big. The mountain, at least, looked a lot more like a mountain, and the lake reflecting the sunset added a really nice effect, too. 

W3H3

By this stage above, the designer was playing around with a few different ideas for the Arena and the Tower in the school. Again, he had a lot of trouble because I was struggling with what my vision of the academy was and how to communicate that, which left us with the colosseum-like structure above. On the plus side, Bear was beginning to look a lot more Bear-like, so I knew we were very close to getting where we all wanted to be.

A few more back-and-forths, and eventually we landed on the absolutely perfect end result that we now have, and I couldn’t be happier with how it came together! Everything from the characters to the academy — it’s spectacular!

W3H4

Last but definitely not least, VARDAESIA, the final book in The Medoran Chronicles. Yikes, this book was HARD to get the perfect cover for — and that was because we wanted it to be “perfect”. Every cover previously had kept getting better and better, so we knew the final book had to have the best one out of them all, and the more we tried for that to happen, the more impossible it became.

Here are some of the early concepts so you can see what I mean:

V1

V2

V3

As you can see from the three drafts above, we started out trying to use the desert and the city of Vardaesia as the feature. But while all these are great, none of them “felt” like VARDAESIA to me. None of them felt right, none of them fit in with the series. And so, the designer then tried a different angle with what he came back with next:

V5

At this point, I was grateful that we were trying something new, but I liked it less than the originals. I knew we could change the colours (since purple was too similar to GRAEVALE) but I just didn’t connect with it at all, and certainly not for this book. It also felt too sci-fi for me — too “out there” and space-like. While gorgeous, it still didn’t fit in with The Medoran Chronicles. And the same is true for what came next:

V6

Honestly, I’m pretty sure everyone was ready to pull their hair out by this stage, especially since I was still really unable to connect with it. But what I knew of the book didn’t relate to the above cover at all (or any of those previous), and so, with very little time left before my publishers needed to be feeding a finished cover out for sales and marketing, the designers went back to the drawing board and came up with this:

V8

My relief was endless, since this clicked with me instantly. Like the previous books, I knew it needed some work to make it more magical, but we were definitely (finally) on the right track since I could see the potential for this and how stunning it could end up being.

… And I was right, because after a few more back-and-forths, we had the most perfect cover for the final book in the series:

Vardaesia Cover FINAL

There’s a lot that I’ve left out in this post — a lot of the process that only my editor would know, a lot about the communication with the designers and how small changes happened that I’m not even aware of. Then there’s the rest of the cover — the spine and the back — but that’s a whole different kettle of fish, as they say. (Tangent: what does that saying even mean?)

The long and short of it is, I’m so beyond grateful to the wonderful designers at XOU Creative for coming up with the most perfect covers ever. I can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone looking for designers across a whole variety of fields, so click here to find out more about them if that’s something you’re after!

And just to end, here’s all the gorgeous final versions lined up side-by-side!

Straight line

 

VARDAESIA TOUR DONE!

The VARDAESIA tour is officially over, and wowee, what an adventure! 17 events across 6 states over 12 days – oh, boy, that was insane! (In the BEST possible way!)

From the bottom of my heart (and every other part of it, for that matter), I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to see me. I’m honestly blown away by the amount of support and excitement that you guys have for my books (and me) – I truly have no words for how grateful I am!

On top of that, because of you, VARDAESIA landed not just at #1 for YA fiction (WOOHOO!), but at #7 for all books (OMIGOSH YAY!!), which really should have been impossible! (Seriously – it hit the Top 10 Bestsellers charts just one rank behind the brilliant Michelle Obama’s memoir! (37 copies behind, to be exact!) If that’s not enough to make me break down in happy (and messy) sobs, I don’t know what is!)

I think I’m still in a state of shock over everything that’s happened in the last fortnight since VARDAESIA’s release, so I’m going to leave this here and try to process all the amazingness (and, of course, sleep for about three billion years). BUT before I do that, allow me a moment to gush just a little further…

Firstly, thanks so much to all the bookstores and booksellers who hosted any of my events, and also to those who didn’t but have still been promoting and hand-selling my books. You’re all brilliant and I’m so grateful for all that you do. Same gratitude for all the bloggers and reviewers who have been spreading the word as well! #UnsungHeroes

Secondly, thanks to the fabulous emcees from my Q&As for being so thorough with your questions and interviews – Catriona Feeney at Kinokuniya, Annie McCann at Dymocks Sydney, Krystal Gagen-Spriggs at Mt Alvernia, Amy at Dymocks Hobart, the whole team at Collins Sunbury, the QBD Woodgrove team at Melton Library, Mhairi from the YA Circle at Dymocks Adelaide, Aisling from Dymocks Joondalup, and Siobhan from Dymocks (at the Morley Library).

Lastly (but definitely not least), I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Pantera Press for being total rock stars and going over and above to make this tour (and life in general) as easy as possible for me. Special mention and big hugs go to Ali Green for joining me on the Brisbane leg of the journey (and being adamant that manicures and movies were “relaxation necessities”), and to my unicorn publicist, Anabel, who took over the babysitting from there and held my hand around the rest of the states (and claimed that a “sanity day” out to Rottnest Island was “essential”). I’d be lost without you both (probably literally, since I’m so bad with maps!), and saying that I’m “thankful” doesn’t even begin to cover it – but at least it’s a start.

Right! That’s it for the gushing – for now! I’ll finish here with some pics of the events (and gorgeous Rottnest Island), but if you follow me on social media, you probably would have seen these already!

Thanks again to all of you for being BEYOND incredible, and also for loving THE MEDORAN CHRONICLES (and WHISPER)! I’m so so so so sooooo grateful!!

(For for those still waiting to hear news about the Sunshine Coast event, details will be coming this week! It’s gonna be THE BEST!!!! *Sneaky author grin*)

… Oh, and if you came to any of my events, you would have heard me share the title and release date for the sequel to WHISPER, which I’ll be revealing over my socials soon for the rest of you!

BRISBANE:

SYDNEY:

MELBOURNE:

HOBART:

ADELAIDE:

PERTH:

RECOVERY DAY AT ROTTNEST ISLAND:

TOP 10 BESTSELLERS:

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HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!

Eeeee, VARDAESIA is officially out in the world!

I started writing THE MEDORAN CHRONICLES 8 years ago so it is incredibly surreal to have the sixth — and final — book now released! 

You can find VARDAESIA in all good bookstores across Australia (and New Zealand) from today, and online as an e-book through all the usual places, plus coming as an audiobook really soon!

Happy reading!

Cupcake

2018 Highlights

Wow, to say 2018 was massive is an understatement! It’s been so incredible to share this journey with you all, and to meet many of you along the way! Some of the highlights from the last 12 months include:

– Releasing GRAEVALE in February:

– Releasing WHISPER (internationally) in May:

– Releasing WE THREE HEROES in September:

– Being invited to all three Supanova tours and having the chance to chat with such wonderful readers. Also spending time with inspirational authors and even emceeing for wonders such as Terry Brooks and Victoria Aveyard:


– Receiving amazing international early reviews for WHISPER:


– AKARNAE voted in at #3 on the Dymocks Top 50 Kids list for 2018 (behind Jess Townsend’s NEVERMOOR and J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER)

– Wrote the sequel to WHISPER (title reveal and release date coming soon!)

– Wrote #SuperSecretProject (official announcement coming next month!)

– Received unbelievable endorsement quotes from some of my fave authors – Sarah J. Maas, James Dashner, Maria V. Snyder, Terry Brooks, Trudi Canavan, Juliet Marillier and others (SO SURREAL)

– Had all five of my books take out the top five spots of the top ten bestsellers list (😱):


– Seeing astounding fan art from seriously talented artists! 😍

– Sold audio rights to Audible, with both Akarnae and Raelia already released, and the others currently in production (with SUPER exciting casting news coming soon)

– Having the best agent (Victoria Wells Arms), the best Aus publisher (Ali Green) and the best Aus publicist (Anabel Pandiella), all of whom have gone over and above for me this year. I would be rocking in the corner without you guys!

– Last but DEFINITELY not least, being ranked as the #1 Bestselling Aus YA author for 2018 (mind blown!!)

2019 is already shaping up to be even more massive, with the release of
VARDAESIA in Feb, as well as the sequel to Whisper and #SuperSecretProject (the latter two of which I can’t wait to share more news soon!!). There’s also a few other seriously incredible things happening and I’m SO EXCITED for the day when I can share!! As always, thank you SO much to all of you for making this year so memorable. Here’s to a brilliant 2019 – for us all!!

Vardaesia Cover Reveal!

I’m SO excited to share the cover for VARDAESIA — the sixth and final book in The Medoran Chronicles, coming February 18th! 

(Click on the image to zoom in!)

And the full cover: 

(Click on the image to zoom in!)

Pre-orders (with international shipping options) are now available from: https://www.panterapress.com.au/product/vardaesia/