Jazzy's Blog

2. Feb, 2018

My delight in The Medoran Chronicles began when I happened across Akarnae in the school library. You can read my review of it HERE. This fantasy/adventure series has continued to thrill readers with Raelia, Draekora and now, Graevale. Here is my Q&A with amazing author (drumroll please…) Lynette Noni.

 1. I've been hooked on The Medoran Chronicles since Akarnae. What was your inspiration for the series?

A few years ago, I was experiencing a really bad reading slump, so I pretty much decided to write the book I wanted to read – and Akarnae was created! 

2. Is Alex (the heroine) based on anyone from real life?

No – none of my characters are based on real people. I spend too much time with them in my head, so I think it would be a bit strange if they had counterparts in reality!

3. I've noticed that the storylines in The Medoran Chronicles have been getting darker. Is this because your readers following the series are growing older?

Not at all. I still have a lot of new readers discovering this series every day, many of whom start quite young. (The age range seems to be from about 8 years to 90 years, male and female from all different demographics, which is rather amazing!) The series is growing ‘darker’ because Alex herself is growing as a character, and the situations she finds herself in are declining – exponentially, in some cases. War is messy and brutal, and up until this point, it’s really only been on the horizon, not up close. There are some very difficult days ahead for Alex and her friends, that’s for sure!

4. I understand you have three books to be released this year. Are they all a continuation of The Medoran Chronicles? If not, what are they about?

Two of the books are part of The Medoran Chronicles – the fourth book in the series, Graevale, which releases on February 1st, and another book called We Three Heroes, which releases on September 1st and is three novellas about Alex’s best friends, Jordan, D.C., and Bear. The other book I have coming out in 2018 is called Whisper and it’s the first of a new YA series, releasing on May 1st. It’s comparable to Stranger Things meets Divergent and it’s about a girl who has been locked away in a secret government facility for two and half years and yet in that time, she hasn’t spoken a single word. The question is, why?

5. What are you reading at the moment?

I’m just about to finish an advanced copy of Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – the final book in the Illuminae trilogy, due for release on March 14th.

6. Besides yourself, who is your favourite author?

I don’t have one!

7. What was your favourite book from when you were my age?

Hmm, you’re 12, right? I was obsessed with horses when I was your age, so I loved reading as many books in The Saddle Club and Thoroughbred series as I could get my hands on!

8. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers like me?

I have lots of tips! So many that I’ve actually written a heap of posts about everything from “How to write a book” to “How to get published” to “How to get past writer’s block” to just general “Top 10” tips. You can find all these and many more on my website: www.lynettenoni.com/writing-advice

9. What were you doing before you became an author?

I was working at a photography studio in their post-production department.

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and got to pick one thing to bring with you, what would it be and why?

A boat, so I could leave the island if I wanted. 😊

22. Dec, 2017

This is a time of change for me. I'm entering high school, which in my eyes is pretty massive. I built this website two-and-a-half years ago when I first became an Ambassador for the MS Readathon, so I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on my good times at Jazzy's Bookshelf. It has been such a great journey…

My very first blog was called, Adaption Agony and was about whether to read the book before the movie adaption, or watch the movie first. I recommended to start with the book and still stand by this.

My original review was of A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Looking back, it seems so short. Over time, my reviews have grown to be longer and longer, as I have begun to observe the smaller, more obscure details inside novels. However, I still agree with my past judgement that this story deserves five bookbolts for that particular age.

I have never had trouble finding content for my blog as the books keep getting better. My Vile Villain series was lots of fun. Possibly my favourite and most useful blog post was Jazzy's In-Between Reads. It is about some of my books that are not novels, but are super distracting and stare at me whenever I'm contemplating finishing a long series. These are the books that introduced me to new interests like Greek mythology.

Since I began this website, I have met so many amazing authors. I was lucky to meet Deborah Abela, Allison Tait and Tristan Bancks, but I am still yet to meet J.K. Rowling and Derek Landy! These authors inspired me to have a go at writing my own “Choose Your Own Adventure” series which I called When Things Got Weird.  What I liked about this was how other kids could be involved and I am considering beginning another one. What do you think?

To this day I possess the same interests. I continue to play netball, study piano and of course, love books. As I grow older and more homework is being piled on me, I still find time to sneak in a read wherever I can, such as in the car on the way to school and when the cicadas wake me up early. Along the way my tastes have broadened. For a long time, I stuck to fantasy/adventure stories, but through my relationship with Megan at Children's Books Daily and Walkers Books Australia, I have been exposed to books of other genres and discovered I like them, too. I also hold a newfound interest in science because of Dr Karl.

You would think that with my obsession for series like Skulduggery Pleasant that I wouldn't be into fairy tales. But one of my favourite books happens to be about just that! This is because the original stories are quite gruesome - did you know that Cinderella's step-sisters ended up having their eyes pecked out by birds? It's called Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales from Barnes & Noble and it is my surprise pick for 2017.

Thank you to the MS Readathon, Children's Books Daily, Walker Books Australia and my followers for supporting me and my addiction to a good story. Happy Christmas and merry new year.

4. Aug, 2017

What a week! The 2017 MS Readathon has begun. Thanks to everybody who voted to help me choose my first novel, The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins. I've enjoyed following Katniss and Peeta's adventures in a futuristic, yet medieval time, but… in typical Jazzy style, I've finished it! I am now onto my second read, The Fall by Tristan Bancks.

My little brother, Taj is doing the MS Readathon for his third year. He's reading Billionaire Boy by David Walliams and has nearly reached the end. Taj can't wait to get onto his next book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Old School by Jeff Kinney.

Once again I am having a ball as an Ambassador. Last week The Illawarra Mercury and The Advertiser Lake Times ran a story about Taj and I reading for a reason. The full story is HERE.

I also visited the 96.5 Wave FM studios and spoke with Mel and Trav on their breakfast program. The radio station wasn't what I expected - it was better! I got to talk into a massive microphone and was pleasantly surprised on meeting Mel's adorable dog, Mia Moodle. During the interview Mia was jumping on me, but I managed to hold it together! You can listen to me HERE.

Did you know that books from other programs, such as the Premier's Reading Challenge can count towards the MS Readathon? It's not too late to sign up - you can register HERE.

Please visit my fundraising page to see what books I am reading or to sponsor me😀

24. Jul, 2017

The MS Readathon is just week away and I'm enjoying putting together my reading list for my fundraising page. But which book do I read first?

I have two exciting choices - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Fall by Tristan Bancks. How will I decide which to read? To solve my conundrum, I need YOU to decide.

Please vote here in the comments. Your email address will not be disclosed.

Thanks for voting 🤪

28. May, 2017

I first met Allison a few years ago when I was talking at a school about the MS Readathon. Allison is better known as A.L. Tait, the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles. The fourth addition to the series was recently released and is even better than the first three. You can read what I think about it HERE. I was lucky enough to have Allison visit my school this week and she was kind enough to let me interview her:

Q: How did you get the idea to write The Mapmaker Chronicles?

A: The idea for The Mapmaker Chronicles came from two conversations I had with my son, who was nine years old at the time. In the first one, we had a chat about how far space goes, and got to imagining what might be at the edges. In the second, he asked me how they mapped the world, and I explained to him that they had to ‘go’ – and that they probably felt the same way we felt when we stared out into space. Not knowing where the edges were. And we talked about how scary it would be.

In that moment, I had an idea for a race to map the world – and boy who didn’t want to go. So it was two conversations and a feeling, and now we have four books!

Q: When you came up with the concept, was the plan to make it a series?

A: Once I started to think about the idea, I realised it would need to be more than one book. It’s very hard to travel around the whole world in a sailing ship in one book! So I always knew it would be more than one. Then I decided that the race would have a one-year deadline, so I worked out how far Quinn, Zain and Ash might get in that time. With book four, Quinn is starting a new adventure, taking him into unknown waters again!

Q: Your main character is Quinn. Is he like anyone you know?

A: I think any character is probably made up of bits of people you know, bits of yourself and bits that are just theirs. Quinn is like that. He has some traits that remind me of people I know, some that probably come from deep within me, and some – like his perfect memory – that are just Quinn’s.

Q: What book genre do you generally like to read?

A: I like stories full of mystery and adventure, friendship and a bit of humour. So it’s probably not surprising that’s what I ended up writing!

Q: Did you write any stories as a kid?

A: I used to write little stories all the time, but I don’t think any of them still exist. I mostly wrote them for school. I do have a poem that was published in the Sunday paper about the ANZACs, when I was 10 or 11. Mum cut it out and kept it for me.

Q: What's your top tip for someone interested in writing a book?

A: I think the best thing you can do if you want to write a book is to read lots of books. So much of what I know about writing, I learnt from reading other people’s stories – how they put them together, which bits I liked, which bits I didn’t. It gets to the point, after you’ve read enough, where you just instinctively know how to put a story together. But it does take a long time (and a LOT of reading) to learn.

Q: How many times do you edit a book before you show it to a publisher?

A: I usually write one draft, read it aloud to one of my boys (I have two sons, now aged 10 and 13), edit it and then send it to my publisher. BUT, then she edits it and sends it back to me with lots of notes to think about. So I edit it again. AND THEN, it goes to a copy editor, who goes through every sentence and asks a lot of hard questions about why my characters are doing things, and then I edit it again. AND THEN, it goes to a proofreader, who reads every single word to make sure its spelt correctly and that everything makes sense, and I do that as well, at the same time, so I’m basically editing it again.

You have to really like the story you’ve written because you’re going to be reading it over and over and over again.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island and got to pick one thing to bring with you, what would it be and why?

A: Oh gosh. I’m assuming that I have food and water at my disposal, and maybe my family has been stranded with me, so all my essentials are there. So, of course, the next thing would be a big fat book. Lord Of The Rings by JRR Tolkien, which I’ve read a million times already but I still enjoy, or all of the Harry Potter books, because they’ll keep me going for ages!