Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sophomore Spotlight on . . . Lynne Matson

In case you missed the intro with the description and main giveaway, this event is simply about checking in with 2014 debut authors who have at least one release in 2015 (AKA their sophomore year as an author).

Today's spotlight is on Lynne Matson! Her debut was Nil and her 2015 release is the sequel, Nil Unlocked (out now)! I haven't started the series yet, but I've been eyeing in lately.☺

Lynne has written about sekrets regarding her sequel (such as why she wrote it). 

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

Hi sweet Kaitlin! You asked me to talk about sequels…and not just any sequel, but NIL UNLOCKED. Which, of all things, is both a sequel and a companion novel to NIL.

So how in the world was NIL UNLOCKED born?

Here’s the scoop. (aka ALL THE SEKRITS.;D)

Confession: I wrote NIL as a stand-alone.

It’s true.

From word one, NIL was Charley’s story, told through her eyes and Thad’s. NIL is—and was always intended to be—a snapshot of a single moment in the island’s history, a full record of one girl’s time on Nil: Charley’s. So when I finished drafting NIL, I knew Charley’s (and by default, Thad’s) story was done. I was ready to let those characters go. One and done, right?


After turning in NIL’s final draft, Nil wouldn’t let me go.

More specifically, the characters wouldn’t let me go--the ones I’d left behind on Nil. I couldn’t stop wondering what became of them, especially Rives. I had this vision of him standing alone in the black rock field, with an angry grizzly bear and an earthquake in full shake. That visual haunted me, and so a week after I turned in NIL, I began writing NIL UNLOCKED.

And the more I wrote, the more I realized that there were more stories to tell. Most importantly, I realized that the island had a story to tell. After all, the island had been around long before Charley ever set foot on Nil ground, and I knew there was a backstory. A backstory I already knew but hadn’t shared in NIL.

As readers know, I’d left some questions unanswered in NIL, a conscious choice on my part. I’d intentionally withheld information from Charley (and therefore the reader), because I wanted to show the realistic consequence of the island’s constant revolving door and Nil’s endless telephone game. So much information was lost with each departure, information that constantly needed to be re-learned with each new arrival, both of which made answers hard to come by . . . especially when life was was reduced to survival and escape.

But Charley’s curiosity and drive changed the game. She was determined to break the cycle of lost information and give everyone a better chance of escape. She recognized that surely someone had figured out the gate pattern before, and she was determined to not lose it again, taking measures to not only map the gates and figure out a pattern, but also find a way preserve this information for the next group of teens.

In the end, Charley unlocked a single piece of Nil’s puzzle, not bad for someone on Nil for just over three months. Still, after she returned home, she recognized there was island information out there still ripe for discovery.

And Rives was the perfect choice to seek that information.

Like Charley, he was curious. Rives had a growing obsession with Nil’s secrets, but Rives was still constrained by the time-sucking dual framework of survival and escape. But, I mused, what if I could eliminate part of the equation? What if suddenly escape was guaranteed? Then Rives would have the time to find the answers he was desperate to unlock. After all, time is the most precious commodity on Nil.

Nil’s backstory—the one I already knew—fit perfectly into this idea, and so, NIL UNLOCKED quickly took shape. In the end, NIL UNLOCKED tells Rives’s story, and Skye’s, and many, many more . . . but the most interesting story of all is Nil’s. Buckle up for a wild ride into the island’s past…a past that still shapes the present.

So that’s how this particular crazy sequel came to be. Hello NIL UNLOCKED. :) Are you ready to unlock the island’s secrets? If so…welcome to Nil. Again.:)

Here's the description of the first book in Lynne's series!

Goodreads Description: 
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. 
add to goodreads

Here's the sequel!

Lynne has offered to giveaway a signed paperback of Nil! (You want this pretty book on your shelf. Trust me.) This giveaway is US only and ends on July 3rd @ midnight PST. Please no entering with giveaway Twitter/other social media accounts and please be familiar with my giveaway policy before entering.

Good luck.☺

Have you checked out #WinNIL on Twitter? There are fun contests! You should check it out if you haven't already.

(If you comment on this post, you can also get a couple entries in the event giveaway. You could win your choice of a released book or a pre-order.☺)


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