The Amazingness of Proofreaders!!

This is an appreciation post to highlight the wonderful work of my Australian proofreader, Desanka Vukelich, who I’ve worked with on three of my four Medoran Chronicles books. I’m currently going through her edits of Graevale, the fourth book in the series, and gah, she’s just so amazing!

The thing is, when you write a novel, there are a LOT of words involved. Sentences, paragraphs, sooooo many places where mistakes can slip by unnoticed. And truthfully, there’s probably not a book in existence that doesn’t have some kind of mistake (the trick is to have it be so engrossing that readers don’t notice those mistakes, or if they do, they don’t care). But while errors in printed books are almost always inevitable, you still want to have as few as possible. That’s why authors really need to be able to trust their proofreaders, since those proofreaders are, essentially, the final line of defence.

To be perfectly honest, it actually scares me a little every time I receive a proofread manuscript and see just how many mistakes Desanka has managed to uncover. I mean, she only ever sees the manuscript AFTER all the editing stages (structural edits, copy edits, line edits, ALL THE EDITS), so in most cases, many eyes have already checked (and re-checked) for problems. So when there are STILL problems, it just really brings home how integral it is to have a professional (and experienced!!!) proofreader checking things right until the very end. (She even looks over my ‘Acknowledgements’ section!)

Will there still be errors in the printed version? Probably. I mean, hopefully not, but when we’re playing with around 130,000 words (give or take), the chances are pretty high that something might still slip through the cracks. But just think of how many more mistakes there would be WITHOUT an amazing proofreader?

All I can say is that I’m so incredibly grateful to Desanka and her meticulous eye when it comes to my books, and I hope I get to work with her on many more projects in the future!!

I wish I could give multiple examples of the (sometimes hilarious) mistakes she’s found, but for fear of revealing Graevale spoilers, I’ll just share this one. It’s only a simple typo, but I actually laughed out loud when I realised how it would have read if she hadn’t flagged it:

… Because everyone wants their clothes to be insulted, right? LOL! (And oops!!)

As far as I’m aware, Desanka actually works freelance, so for any writers who might be on the hunt for an amazing proofreader, be sure to check out her website here.

 

“This or That”

It likely comes as no surprise that I’m not wonderful when it comes to making decisions. I mean, there are just so many options to consider, even with things that should be simple, like being asked my favourite colour. (Am I wearing it? Looking at it? Is it for a car or a house or for something artistic? What mood am I in, or what mood do I want to be in? Etc., etc., etc.)

Due to my inability to give a straight answer, the following video clip with me responding to a “This or That” game (filmed while I was at Sydney Writers’ Festival last month), is somewhat hilarious. You’ve been warned!

Interview Fun!!

While I was at Sydney Writers’ Festival just over a week ago, the lovely Kaysia (@bookskay) interviewed me, asking all kinds of questions about The Medoran Chronicles, Whisper, future projects, and random author-y stuff. There’s also a bloopers section at the end, which is hilaaaarious. Honestly, this interview was so much fun — enjoy! xx

AKARNAE e-book on sale!

Amazon has a huge sale on the first book in The Medoran Chronicles right now — just AUD$0.99 (US$0.75)!! Total bargain! It’s a great time to start the series with the third book releasing on April 1st, and it’s especially awesome for anyone outside of Australia who has been wanting to have a read!

In a nutshell, Akarnae is basically Harry Potter meets X-Men and Narnia and it follows the journey of 16-year-old girl who finds herself stranded in a fantasy world where she attends a school for teenagers with supernatural gifts while she searches for a way back home. There’s combat classes and archery lessons, sentient libraries, immortal beings and a whole host of memorable characters and exciting twists and turns.

It’s a fun, adventurous, clean read with no overly mature content — numerous schools are now using it as part of the curriculum for grades 8 and up (ages 13+), but there are also readers as young as 8 and 9 years old reading this series — as well as 80 and 90-year-olds! It’s a book for all ages and genders!

Don’t believe me? Then here’s just a sample of the reviews:

“… natural and humorous… cool and scary… good fun and a solid recommendation for YA readers…” – Books & Publishing

“… when it comes to sheer inventiveness, the book would satisfy any fantasy devotee…” – Sydney Arts Guide

“Lynette Noni’s world-building is spectacular…” – The Geekiary

“… a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre…” – Mid West Book Review

So, what are you waiting for? At this sale price, it’s a total steal! Jump in — and happy reading!

How Do I Get My Book Published?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked is along these lines:

“I’ve written a book… but how do I get it published?”

The thing is, as simple as that question might seem, the answer is considerably more complicated—and lengthy. But given how many people ask, I figure I should try and answer it as best as I can, so here goes.

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Book Launch Tour – SAVE THE DATE

With the upcoming realise of DRAEKORA—the third book in The Medoran Chronicles—on April 1st, I’m thrilled to announce that there will be three different launch events across QLD and NSW. Times and venues will be shared closer to these dates, but if you’re in Sydney, Brisbane, or on the Sunshine Coast, mark the following dates into your calendars and come along to grab a (signed) copy of the book!

Hope to see you there!

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Moana = Happy Sigh

moana-fallback_fde4d101

I (finally) went to see Moana at the cinemas on Thursday and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since then. Honestly – it was sheer brilliance. I laughed, I cried, I felt like being one of “those people” at the end and clapping my heart out. Above all, I remember sitting in my car afterwards, preparing to drive home, and thinking two thoughts.

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The Medoran Chronicles: A Visual Journey

One of the most common questions I get asked about my books is who I think the characters look like. It’s a really, really hard question to answer, since to me, my characters are so much more than a face or a body. I see beyond how they look to who they actually are, and so making a comparison to a movie star or model or whatever is downright impossible.

BUT…

Because I get asked it so much, I’ve spent the last little while trolling around Pinterest and found some very vague ideas that will hopefully appease some of my more curious readers. Please be warned though, none of these are EXACTLY right, but they at least give a rough idea of my thoughts. And also remember that everyone “sees” something different when they read a book, and it’s almost a definite that who you imagine is likely waaaaaay different to who I imagine. That’s the beauty of books!

Some of these pics are of well-known celebs, some are more obscure or random people I just stumbled upon a photo of. Either way, I must reiterate that it’s a VERY rough comparison.

So without further ado…

ALEXANDRA JENNINGS

I was torn over picking an Alex but I kind of see her a bit like this (minus whatever she’s holding in her hand):

photo_manipulation__lara_croft_reborn_by_alineshenon-d5t7qhw

Or even, perhaps more so, something like this:

But if I had to choose a celeb comparison, I’d probably go with Lyndsy Fonseca from Nikita:

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Nikita Pictured: Tiffany Hines as Jaden, Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW © 2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

19

JORDAN SPARKER

Jordan is IMPOSSIBLE because it’s all about character with him. But still, let’s go with this guy, since he looks like he’d be pretty mischievous like Jordan:

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BARNOLD EUSTACE ARTHUR RONNIGAN (“BEAR”)

Oh, Bear. So much love for this huggable friend!! Maybe someone like this:

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DELUCIA CAVELLE

D.C. is just as equally difficult to equate to picture form, but we’ll go with this as a vague possibility. Just imagine her eyes being more greenish-blue rather than straight blue as in this photo:

Beautiful woman with red hair, feathers and leafs. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=4723374]Click here for more pictures of this model![/url]

AVEN DALMARTA

Ooooooh, there’s honestly no way to cast an equivalent for Aven!! I mean, seriously! There’s no way a photo can show his immortal status, charisma, and supernaturally good looks! But since I’m at least trying to answer the oft asked question, let’s go with someone like this (but with more golden hair and eyes):

Aven

Or even, this:

Aven2

ROKA DALMARTA

Again, it’s impossible to compare Roka to anyone, but I’d probably go with someone like Tyler Hoechlin who is Roka-level-of-attractive but also comes across as warm and friendly, which is super important for a character like the Meyarin heir. (Though, imagine him with golden eyes.)

Random side-note: I did the Supanova tour with Tyler last year so I’m ridiculously glad I never made this comparison before now, because that would have been an interesting (*cough* awkward *cough*) conversation!!

Tyler-Hoechlin_max1024x768

600full-tyler-hoechlin

KYIA TARENNIA

Like all the rest, Kyia is super hard to put a picture to, but let’s go with something similar to this (but with perhaps a little more clothing, haha):

Kyia

ZAIN ERRAEYA

Zain is, like, the epic warrior dude, so maybe he’d be similar to either of these guys but with darker skin:

Zain

Zain2

Actually, a kind of perfect Zain would be Jason Momoa, especially like his character Ronon in Stargate Atlantis:

NIYX RAEDON 

(Pronounced like “Yikes” but with an “N” – so “Nikes”)

Niyx is totally and completely allllllll about character, so again, impossible to put a face to! But something like this:

KAIDEN JAMES

Ha! Asking me to put a face to Kaiden really, truly is impossible. Like, totally. But since I get asked ALL THE TIME about him, let’s go with this guy, but change the eyes to a much brighter blue:

DECLAN STIRLING

Kaiden’s bestie… Also ridiculously hard to pick… Gah! This is SO hard!! Maybe someone like this:

XIRAXUS (and Alex)

Maybe something like this:

 

NOW FOR SOME ADDED EXTRAS:

A’ENARA

Ahh, A’enara (pronounced “Ay-en-are-uh”)… the ice-like dagger/sword. Also impossible to find a pic of, but perhaps something like this:A'enara3

Or even something like this (ish):

THE ACADEMY GROUNDS

This pic is the inspiration for where the Akarnae Academy is located – Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. This shows my “Lake Fee” and “Mount Paedris” and the “Ezera Forest” running along the edge of the water. If you turned around from where the photo was taken, you’d look back up the slightly sloping hill at the academy itself. Pretty as a postcard! :-)

Academy Grounds - Lake Fee and Mt Paedris 2

THE RONNIGANS’ HOUSE

It’s really hard to find a house for Bear and his family, but perhaps something like this, rather large and surrounded by the forest:

Bear's house 3

Alternatively, I also imagine it a little like this, so perhaps a mix of the two:

Ronnigans

MEYA

The Lost City truly IS impossible to find in a picture anywhere, because there’s just sooooo much about it that’s fantastical. But here’s very, very, VERY vague idea. Just imagine spiralling towers and the Myrox making the city glow as it’s surrounded by the waterfalls from the Golden Cliffs.

floating-city

 


And that’s all! Remember, these are only really, REALLY vague concepts, and other than that image of Mount Hood National Forest, none of my characters or places were inspired by anything seen on this page. I literally found all these pics after writing the books.

Let me know your thoughts – whether you agree or disagree or if you have someone else in mind for any of the characters!