March 4 was an awesome day. Truly spectacular. WHY? Well, here’s a hint:
— Eli Madison (@elimadison2019) March 4, 2014
You could say I was excited. THE WINNER’S CURSE and NIL weren’t the only amazing books released that day, but they certainly were at the top of the list for books I needed that were released on March 4. The amazing and truly a joy to work with Lynne Matson did an interview with me that is below! Check out this giveaway! Lynne is giving away NIL swag and A BOX OF THIN MINTS!
1) Describe Nil in five words.
Oooooo…THIS IS AWESOME.
Five words to describe NIL, the book? Tense, surreal, dark, beautiful, fateful
Five words to describe Nil, the island? Creepy, gorgeous, crafty, cold, patient
2) If you could have Charley or Thad meet any character or any person from any book, time or place–who would it be?
I think both Charley and Thad would like to live in the present . . . and the fact they they get to meet someone (anyone!) means they both made it, right?! ;) Thad would want to meet Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton snowboards, and spend a day riding boards on a mountain with him and just hanging out. Charley would want to meet Gabrielle Reese, a volleyball idol of Charley’s and talk about Gabby’s days on the pro beach volleyball circuit.
3) Where did the idea of Nil come from?
I adore this question, because the entire idea of NIL came to me in one clear moment I can pinpoint to this day. NIL was born in Hawaii, on the big island. It was our first real getaway from our four boys, EVER. As we left the airport after landing on our first day, we drove through miles of ancient lava fields. Broken red rock stretched endlessly on each side, gorgeous and desolate. No roads, no buildings, no people–just the eerie sound of wind blowing over the barren rocks. I remember thinking how much it all looked like an alien planet, and thinking how creepy it would be to wake up there, alone. And I remember thinking how scary it would be as a teenager, to wake up by yourself, not having a clue where you were or how you how got there, and what if–because isn’t this every person’s worst nightmare?!–you woke up naked? NIL was born in that moment. That barren-red-rock visual locked in my head, and that’s what Charley sees when she first wakes up in Nil.
4) Do you see yourself or anyone you know in Charley or any of your other characters?Another great question. Like most authors (I think) I see bits of myself and people I know in all of my characters . .. in their fears and flaws, in their hopes and hesitations, in their reactions and habits. Little things, like Charley’s aversion to blood (which I share–I could NEVER be a doctor) to her mad sense of direction (which my husband has), or like Rives’s quiet faith in Thad; I see that tight bond of brotherly-friendship among my boys and their friends. But all are little bits, and the rest of the Charley and the other characters are entirely their own.:)5) Have you always wanted to be a writer? What was the book that inspired you to be one?Being an author was always a dream. I remember back in my 20’s, I was out with a group of girlfriends and one friend asked, “If you could pick any career–and nothing is off limits–what would you pick?” And I remember answering, “I’d write books.” And yet there I was, studying to be a lawyer!!!! In hindsight, I think being an author felt too unattainable, or maybe I just wasn’t ready yet. I didn’t make time or space for the stories and characters that were–even back then–floating around in my head. I’m just glad I finally gave myself permission to go for it.:) (Super sekrit: being a YA author is WAY more fun than being a lawyer.;D) Inspiring book? I’m not sure I can pinpoint just one. Maybe the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McAffrey, or maybe Harry Potter. It’s hard to choose, because I think I’ve been influenced by ALL the books I’ve read that touched me and left me wanting more.:)
6) Was Nil always the title of the book? If not, what was the transformation of it like?The original title of NIL was DAYWATCH, because the kids are watching the days, but the more I wrote, the less that title fit. Plus, DAYWATCH sounds a lot like BAYWATCH, which is SO not what I was going for.;) lol I was halfway through my first revision when I changed the title to NIL. I queried it as NIL and it’s been NIL ever since.
7) You’ve noted on your blog that you love music. What would the theme song for Nil be?I’m an iTunes addict!!! NIL theme song? Definitely The Island (Part 1) by Pendulum. It’s haunting, creepy, patient, and melodic…and how perfect it that title?! FREAKY PERFECT.8) Who inspires you most?My boys. Their fearlessness, their huge capacity for love, and their epic love of LIFE. I never want them to lose that, even when they grow up.:)9) There’s a problem, Lynne. People are going to want to know WHAT EXACTLY TO READ AFTER READING SOMETHING LIKE NIL. Anything you would recommend them to make up for it?Ha! Have I told you today that you’re the sweetest, Eli?! Hmmmm…for anyone needing a NIL-like fix, I’d suggest Veronica Rossi’s trilogy UNDER THE NEVER SKY ( I just finished the last book, INTO THE STILL BLUE and LOVED it), Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX trilogy (LOVE!), or Kasie West’s PIVOT POINT and SPLIT SECOND. All are so good!10) Any hints as what’s to come for you in your writing and for Charley and Thad?I have another project in the works I hope to talk about soon!:) As for Charley and Thad, their story is done but…sometimes I think about going back to Nil and picking up the story from Rives’s point of view. :)Thanks for having me Eli! These questions were super fun! Happy reading everyone! :) “No regrets….”
Thanks so much to Lynne for doing this interview!
Connect With Lynne:
Lynne is a former attorney who thinks writing books for teens is much more fun. :) Her debut novel, NIL, a YA thriller with a SF twist, will be published by Macmillan/Henry Holt on March 4, 2014.
When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her hanging out with her husband and their 4 boys, usually at the beach. Cookies are her kryptonite, especially thin mints.