10 Feb 2014

Debut Delirium: Lynne Matson, author of NIL (& Giveaway)

Today's Debut Delirium post features an upcoming book I'm really looking forward to reading and hopefully you are too! It recently received a whole new look (I like it even more than the first. Look at those shades of blue!) and releases shortly next month. Until then, Lynne has stopped by to share fun facts about Nil, picspiration taken on the trip that started it all and a giveaway - enjoy!

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.


10. 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

9.  When I started writing, I knew the fate of both main characters from word one.:) The ending (and beginning!) never changed.

8. 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, 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.

7. The red lava was chunky and brittle, making the black lava fields smooth by comparison. But walking on the black rock was tricky, especially in flip-flops. (Um, yeah. Flip-flops. Ridiculous, I know. It was a bit of an unplanned hike but so worth it). As we hiked, the black rock reminded me of either (1) giant piles of baked elephant poop (not that I've actually seen baked elephant poop but it's what I imagine piles of it would look like) or (2) asphalt that had been poured, over and over, but never smoothed. Or both.:) Here, you decide what you think it looks like:

6. I love the idea of a deadly paradise, where beneath the beauty lies danger. It's a cool contrast to play with, because for those characters, they can never relax, not completely, even though their surroundings may look like the perfect island retreat. On Nil, the characters' clocks are always ticking, making each day a race against death . . . even when the characters are running on a gorgeous white sand beach.

5. Black sand beaches epitomize deadly beauty for me. :) Sand as black as coal, touching water the color of pale aquamarine and as clear as glass. Because after all, the black sand comes from old lava flows…and volcanoes are the ultimate in deadly beauty, right?:) Here's a glimpse of the black sand beach that inspired Black Bay in NIL, where Charley's spends her opening days:

*Picture taken at twilight. One of my faves of the trip.:)

4. NIL is told from a dual POV, and the timeline is continuous with one exception: the scene where Charley and Thad first see each other. That one moment is seen through both character's eyes.

3. As I kid, I watched a LOT of Gilligan's Island, where a three-hour-tour went oh-so-wrong. I was obsessed with all their island craftiness (not to mention Ginger's perfect hair!). Who knew there were so many uses for coconuts?! And of course Survivor, LOST, and the Twilight Zone were all big influences too. I love stories that ask "what if" and have a touch of the supernatural. Oh--and anything involving an island.:)

2. Characters in NIL come from all over the globe, which I felt was important to the core of the story.

(RW: and if you weren't already intrigued...)

1. Not every character escapes… *runs away before I spill ALL THE SEKRITS* :)
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*the 'Tweet about the Giveaway' entry is acting up so for the time being I've removed it but feel free to spread the word! Just include @readingwishes when Tweeting and I'll manually add entries!*


  1. Thank you SO much for having me, Rebecca, and for supporting debut authors! You're AWESOME!!!!!!:) *sends island love*


  2. I'd miss my husband and my cat! I mean, I guess that's TWO things, so how about I just say I'd miss my "family" the most? But seriously, they're my favorite beings in the world, and I'd be quite lonely without them. :(

    This was a great interview. I love that you're spotlighting debut authors this year!

  3. (This is Darith L)

    My family and books :D

  4. I'd miss my family and my dogs but also my TV and internet. What can I say, I'm a product of my times. Thanks.

  5. I'd say I'd miss being around people... it's hard to be trapped in an island alone haha!

  6. I would miss my books!!!! (And family, shhh) ;)

  7. Well, my family (obviously) and my books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. My books! If I had a big library I would happily stay there forever!

  9. My tweet: https://twitter.com/suekitty13/status/433303028079132672

  10. My loved ones, my dogs, and my library full of books!

    If you want to get all nonfeely about it though, I'd miss Dr Pepper, running water, toilet paper, heating and cooling, a mattress, a usable toilet, pasta, junk food, a fresh set of clothes every day, soap, shampoo/conditioner, a brush.. uhh.. that's all I got on the top of my head! :D

  11. My family, people to talk to, books, good food, my wonderful bed... :P

  12. I would miss Netflix and cookie dough. And eventually people. And my bed. And yeah, books.

    So I'd miss a lot of things.

  13. I'd miss my family and the internet lol :)

  14. Love these comments! I'd miss my family, books, my bed, tunes, cookie dough, COOKIES, toothbrushes, clean clothes, toast w/butter and jam and ALL THE PRACTICAL THINGS. :)

    Thanks for stopping by y'all, and best wishes in the giveaway! xo

  15. I'd miss my books and my family! :)

  16. I would miss books, family, friends, and most likely music.

  17. This is an intriguing premise for a book! I think I'd miss coffee the most. I don't think anyone should ever talk to me before I've had a cup of coffee in the morning.

  18. Probably my friends and family. But then there's always my laptop and books. :)

  19. I would miss a ton of things, but the of the biggest would be indoor plumbing. Definitely.

    This book looks so good!

  20. One thing I would miss the most? I'm not entirely sure, because sometimes I feel like it'd be a great escape.
    But I'm probably gonna go with grilled cheese :)
    Man, I love grilled cheese.