Today our #LoveOzYA author Q&A comes from Garth Nix. And yes, we can confirm that is his real name, and clearly he was born to write fantasy novels.
Before Garth started to write best-selling young adult fiction, he worked for the Australian government and spent many years in publishing, working in positions ranging from sales rep, publicist, editor, and literary agent.
While the series that he’s best known for is the Old Kingdom series, the book that’s included in our #LoveOzYA promotion is Newt’s Emerald
, a Regency romance with magical elements, featuring an eighteen-year-old heroine, a dashing young hero, and a case of mistaken identity.
Book five in the Old Kingdom series, Goldenhand
, is out in October, so until you have that in your hot little hands let’s learn some more about Mr Garth Nix.
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?
I had dozens or perhaps hundreds of favourite books. Many of them are still my favourite books. I think all of them share that wondrous thing that all great books have: they seem real when you’re reading them. I would include A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula Le Guin, The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien, Starman Jones
by Robert Heinlein, The Long Ships
by Frans Bengtsson, Dogsbody
by Diana Wynne Jones . . . there are so many.
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings
), who could do the fireworks after dinner; Aerin (from The Hero and the Crown
), who would be interesting and could deal with any stray dragons about the place; and Sophy Stanton-Lacey (From The Grand Sophy
), who would organise everything.
3. What is your favourite part of the #LoveOzYA community?
I like the Twitter conversations. I’ve found out about lots of interesting books and people and events that I otherwise could well have missed.
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Keep writing! It will work out.
5. If you could pick the next big ‘trend’ in YA fiction, what would you choose?
I don’t think you can pick trends. They only become obvious when they are in full swing or even already beginning to decline. Great books start trends, and there’s always room for more of those.
6. Who inspires you? (Doesn’t have to be limited to other writers.)
I tend not to be inspired so much by people as by their work, which I can keep separate. So a poem will inspire me more than a poet, a novel more than a novelist, a scene from a film more than the film-maker per se. I’m not sure what this says about my psychology. I find some paragraphs and sometimes entire books by Tolkien, Le Guin, T.H. White, P.G. Wodehouse and many others very inspiring; poetry by Donne, Owen, Philip Hodgins, Shakespeare and others; films directed by Kurosawa, Richard Lester, Billy Wilder, Kubrick and more; Fred Astaire dancing; lots of music . . .
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
I’m still waiting for a good
adaptation of A Wizard of Earthsea
. But many more recent YA books would make great films or television series.
8. What’s the best #LoveOzYA book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Keep writing. Keep Revising. Keep Submitting. Never Surrender!
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
How about my next book, out in October? Goldenhand
, the fifth book in the Old Kingdom series, continues the story of Lirael and others in a compelling fantasy adventure in a unique world.