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
Phew! What an insane week!
To start with, the Sunshine Coast book launch for DRAEKORA (the third book in The Medoran Chronicles) was last Tuesday night. It was held at Collins Booksellers in Caloundra and turned out to be such a magical night! I posted photos on my Facebook page, but here’s just a few of the highlights:
^^^ So many people that they were spilling out the doors!
^^^ Chatting up a storm.
^^^ Signing, signing, signing.
^^^ Multitasking (signing and chatting) is a skill I’ve come to appreciate!
Overall, it was such a wonderful night! Here’s a quick rundown of how I felt straight afterwards:
Following on from my Sunshine Coast book launch, I was supposed to have a Brisbane launch on last Thursday, but thanks to Cyclone Debbie deciding to shut down the whole of Queensland (*sigh*), schools and workplaces and everything else were closed and/or cancelled for the day. So due to the miserable (and dangerous) weather, we had to postpone the event. Such a shame, since soooo many people put soooo much planning into making this event fantabulous (not to mention, soooo many disappointed readers who were planning on coming along), but it was better to be safe than sorry, and we’ll hopefully be able to choose another date soon and have a belated launch party (because there’s still cake to be had!!!). More news on the rescheduled time coming soon!
Friday morning had me freaking out and checking in with the airlines every thirty seconds (not really) because my early morning flight to Sydney was cancelled (thanks, Debbie *sigh again*), but the amazing Maddy from Pantera Press managed to get me on a later flight and, after chilling at the airport for an hour delay where I may have broken out in hives at the fear that it would be cancelled, too (not really — to the hives, but I was a tad concerned), I was finally in the air on my way to Sydney!
After a brief drop-in at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School, I had the chance to have a quick catch up with one of my amazing critique readers, Jenna, who flew in from Adelaide that day for the launch events (awwww), and here’s a perfect example of how hilarious (*cough* crazy *cough*) the two of us are (and also note that this is only the second time I’ve actually met her in person, and I may not actually remember the first time *awkward guilty shuffle*):
As you can imagine, we had a fabulous time catching up, and then after parting ways, I met up with another amazing friend of mine, Ineke, who also happens to be the literary manager of Supanova Pop Culture Expo. (She got more than she bargained for when she first invited me as a stranger to come along as a guest in 2015 — I’m now like a fungus she can’t get rid of, haha.) The two of us had a delicious dinner in China Town and then we went to see the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie — and IT WAS AMMMAAAZZZINNNNG!!!!
I think I got back to my hotel just before midnight, and then suddenly it was Saturday and all the real crazy-crazy began. Three events were planned for the day: an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ for competition winners to come along and spend an hour with me (and drink Dillyberry Juice!!), followed by a Q&A at Galaxy Bookshop, and then lastly a YA Bookmeet at Dymocks Books.
Honestly, I had no idea how the day was going to play out, I was just excited to be a part of it. But nothing — nothing — could have prepared me for how insanely massive the events ended up being!! The meet and greet was a really nice, cool, casual start to the day — a warm up, really, for what was to come. Since numbers were capped to keep it exclusive, it was close and cosy. But then, by the time we got to the Q&A… well, my mind was blown by how many people were there. And wow! The questions!! Some of them were so awesome and creative!! (For example: if my main characters each had one Disney song to depict their lives, what would those songs be? THAT was fun!)
The signing after the Q&A was hectic — as in, hectic — but I loved every second, and then I was whisked away to have a quick moment to breathe before the Dymocks event. Our plan was to arrive at Dymocks and disappear upstairs to the cafe for that quiet moment, and we had to do that sneakily since when we arrived in the store (about 45 mins before the event was due to start), we were told it was already packed out! (Cue my massive freak out!)
Time whizzed by and suddenly I was headed downstairs to the area where the Bookmeet was taking place (running into Ali Green, the amazing CEO of Pantera Press, along the way — YAY!), and then it was allllllll happening. The wonderful Emily from Dymocks (founder of the “YA Bookmeet”) had to part the crowd for us to get through the aisles (!!), and then she and I were seated up the front of the masses where she began her interview (*cough* interrogation *cough*).
Honestly, we had the absolute BEST time. Five days later and my cheeks are still hurting from laughing so much. Emily has a memory like an elephant and recalls me saying things from the last two years that I have zero recollection of, which made everything even more hilarious. The whole thing was such a blast! And it was made even better by some surprises, like my author friend, Maria Lewis, being there to support me (AND SHE GAVE ME DISNEY SHOES AND TIGHTS!!); a stack of bookstagramers and book bloggers who I’ve become friends with over the last two years being there (including the lovely Kaysia from @Bookskay, the wonderful Catriona from @LittleBookOwl, and a whole host of others all of whom I adore); an unexpected visit from an old friend who I hadn’t seen in over ten years (I legit did a double-take when I saw him up that back and I’m pretty sure I stuttered whatever question I was answering, so shocked as I was, haha); and Supanova Live TV coming to “crash the book launch” (which you can watch here). There were soooo many other amazing things that happened, too (including being allowed to announce that Pantera Press has bought the AUS/NZ rights to WHISPER so that it will release over here at the same time as the US/CAN release next year — YAAAAAAY!!), as well as some crazy things (like, I heard afterwards that girl fainted at one stage — whoever you are, I hope you’re okay!!!).
All in all, it was such a FANTASTIC DAY!!! And truly, words cannot describe just how surreal it all was! I had to rush off to my plane straight from Dymocks, and it was only when I was in the air and halfway home that the “overwhelmed feels” really hit me. I just… I still can’t quite believe how big the day was. Nor can I believe how many people are loving this series. So, from the bottom of my heart, and every other part of it, to everyone who made the day so incredibly special and completely unforgettable: thank you.
To end, here are some pics of the Saturday’s events. And for anyone interested in giving this series a go, the first book, AKARNAE, has a huge e-book sale on from now until the end of the week. This is especially convenient for any new international readers, since it’s a total bargain no matter what country you’re in (AUD$0.99, USD$0.76, GPB£0.99, etc., etc., etc.), so grab it while it’s hot!
PICS FROM THE EXCLUSIVE MEET AND GREET:
^^^ Possibly the best draekon I’ve yet drawn! He only half looks like a cow! YAY!
PICS FROM THE GALAXY BOOKSHOP Q&A:
^^^ The fantastic display I arrived to find.
^^^ Group photo! (Mostly — we lost a few people before we remembered to take the shot!)
ON THE WAY TO THE NEXT EVENT, I HAD A SPECIAL “FRIEND” TAG ALONG (SIR CAMDEN):
PICS FROM THE DYMOCKS YA BOOKMEET:
(And SO MUCH FUN!!! Can’t WAIT for the next time!!)
Aaaaand, just to end, here’s me with the super amazing Disney shoes I already mentioned from my super amazing author friend Maria Lewis. And yes, I do look like I’m about to cry — IT WAS SERIOUSLY THE NICEST GIFT EVER!!! I *didn’t* cry, though, just FYI. And I also received some other ridiculously lovely pressies too! (Including a massive Haigh’s assorted chocolates box from my publishers which will last me until the end of time and beyond!)
So… Much… Happiness…
I’ve been so swamped with book release craziness this week that I haven’t had the chance to share about DRAEKORA WEEK!! (And yeah, I know — silly, right? BUT in my defence, I didn’t know about it until this week!!)
Thanks to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie making an appearance along the southeast coast of QLD today, my Brisbane book launch scheduled for tonight has been postponed since Brisbane itself is literally underwater right now (and yes, I mean ‘literally’) — so I find myself with some free time before my flight tomorrow morning for my Sydney launch events this weekend. (Fingers crossed the weather clears overnight!!)
SO! Without further ado:
Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed by the amazingness of this, but I’ll try and explain it as best as I can. Two of my seriously WONDERFUL readers, Jenna from Adelaide and Kaysia from Sydney, bonded over social media thanks to their mutual love of The Medoran Chronicles, and they’ve teamed up and secretly planned an epic “Draekora Week” in the lead up to this coming Saturday’s official release date.
Every day this week, both Jenna and Kaysia have been posting all kinds of things to do with the series, including hilarious video clips on their YouTube channels. (And when I say ‘hilarious’, I mean laugh-out-loud funny! ESPECIALLY day two when they each went off and endured their own Stealth and Subterfuge adventure thanks to a riddle from Hunter himself!)
They’re also hosting a readathon (and/or re-readathon) of the first two books in the series in the lead up to Saturday, and inviting anyone and everyone to jump in at any stage.
If you want to know more about Draekora Week, they definitely explain it better than me, so check out their videos below. (And seriously — you do not want to miss the Stealth and Subterfuge ones, haha.) You can also find them on Twitter (Jenna = here … and Kaysia = here) and on Instagram (Jenna = here … and Kaysia = here) .
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY ONE: The Medoran Chronicles Book Tag:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY TWO: Stealth and Subterfuge Class:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY THREE: Book Mash:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FOUR: Why You Should Read The Medoran Chronicles:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FIVE: Pronunciation Guide (Jenna):
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FIVE: Draekora Predictions (Kaysia):
Days Six and Seven still to come! Stay tuned for more — and keep an eye on their channels/social media! Also feel free to jump in with them at any stage!!
MASSIVE thank you to these two amazing girls, both of whom I ADORE and can’t wait to see when I’m in Sydney this weekend! Jenna is actually one of my critique readers, and Kaysia won ‘The Chosen One’ competition last year (and so perfectly released the cover of Draekora to the world), so I am so ridiculously excited for us all to be together at the one time! Two days to go!
If you’re in Sydney and free on Saturday, my Draekora launch events include a Q&A at Galaxy Bookshop in the CBD from 12noon-1:00pm and a YA Bookmeet at Dymocks (George Street) from 2:30-3:30pm. Hope to see you there!
For those already following my social media, you would have seen the announcements about the multi-state book launch events coming up for the release of DRAEKORA next week. For anyone else, the details are as follows:
As you can see, there are events in Brisbane, Sydney, and on the Sunshine Coast. I will be at all these places to sign books and chat with readers. For more details about each separate event, please visit my events page.
There is also an additional “secret” Sydney event — a meet and greet — that is open to only a select few “Chosen Ones”. If you want a chance to win a place at this event, here are the competition details for the one double pass that I’m allowed to give out. Entries close at midnight this coming Friday 24th March and the winner will be notified on Saturday:
Lastly, in the week following the launches I will be running four separate “Youth Week Library Workshops” with Brisbane City Libraries. The details are as follows:
If you can’t make it to any of these events, don’t worry! DRAEKORA will be officially released on April 1st. The paperback will be available in all good bookstores (Australia/NZ) and the e-book available worldwide.
NOT LONG NOW!!!
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!
The countdown is on for the reveal of the STUNNING cover for the third book in The Medoran Chronicles – October 9th is just a few short weeks away now!! This is definitely my favourite cover so far, so I can’t WAIT for you all to see it!!!
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.
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…
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):
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:
BARNOLD EUSTACE ARTHUR RONNIGAN (“BEAR”)
Oh, Bear. So much love for this huggable friend!! Maybe someone like this:
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:
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):
Or even, this:
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!!
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):
Zain is, like, the epic warrior dude, so maybe he’d be similar to either of these guys but with darker skin:
Actually, a kind of perfect Zain would be Jason Momoa, especially like his character Ronon in Stargate Atlantis:
(Pronounced like “Yikes” but with an “N” – so “Nikes”)
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:
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! :-)
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:
Alternatively, I also imagine it a little like this, so perhaps a mix of the two:
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.
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!
With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s world changes—literally.
Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her… but he’s missing.
While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora’s boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can’t ignore her fear that something unexpected… something sinister… is looming.
An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex’s shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race’s survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?
Will Alex risk her entire world—and maybe even her life—to save Medora?