“Writing a book is the easy part. It’s everything that comes next that’s hard.”
I can’t count the number of times people have said to me, “Wow, you’ve written a book? What an accomplishment!”
And it is – it truly is. I applaud anyone and everyone who has managed to dedicate the time and heart to penning a novel. But to my mind, it’s also the easiest part of the journey. Ignore the deadlines, ignore the pressure to create something from nothing; at the end of the day, writing a book should be something beautiful, something wonderful, something fun. And if it’s not, if drafting a novel is akin to having bamboo shoots shoved down your fingernails, then perhaps you have a different calling in life. And there’s no shame in that.
However, to those who find genuine joy in writing, I’m sure I’m not alone in believing that completing a first draft is not the end of a chapter, but the start of one. It’s the momentous beginning of a new journey. Because while the book may be ‘done’, next come the revisions, structural edits, copy edits, line edits, proofreading and – you get where I’m going with this. A whole heap of edits. And even once all of that is done and the book is squeaky clean and ready to be printed, bound and (five hundred years later) distributed, that’s still only the early stages of the journey.
I often compare the publishing industry to a very old, very sick snail. (I’m sure it’s a compliment… maybe?) Sometimes things move so slooooooowly that it can feel like you’re moving backwards in time. I’m not even kidding – those five hundred years between a book going to print and finally landing on shelves are painful. But they’re also worth it, because so much happens in that time. All of which is important.
My debut novel, Akarnae, was released in 2015. The second book in that series was released in 2016 and the third in 2017. That means, from 2015 to 2017, I had one book releasing every year. This year, however, as of the beginning of September, I’ll have had three books release in 2018 alone: two in my original series (Graevale and We Three Heroes), and the first of a new YA series called Whisper.
I can honestly say that those five hundred years were barely long enough, in this case. Because more than in any previous year, I’ve realised just how vital that time is in order to get word out and make sure everyone involved keeps some semblance of sanity. (The jury’s still out on that one.)
This year has been insane for me. The last three years have offered a slow build of momentum where I’ve gradually had readers come on board with my initial series – The Medoran Chronicles – with many highlights along the way, such as schools taking the books on as part of their curriculum, and parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians reaching out to me with gratitude for inspiring courage and hope in the younger (and older!) generations. The last three years have been full of wonderful moments such as these, but this year? It’s like a supernova exploded and that momentum blasted exponentially into insanity. (The best kind of insanity.) I’m not sure if it is the release of three books, or the release of a new series, but 2018 has been riddled with crazy amazingness after crazy amazingness. It’s been overwhelming in the most surreal way. And given all that I know is coming in 2019 (shhhhh! Old, sick snail, remember? I can’t share yet!) I already know that this insanity is only beginning, and the best is yet to come.
So to any writers out there, remember: writing a book is the easy part. BUT while all the rest becomes more and more challenging, it’s also more and more worth it. So, my advice? Strap in and enjoy the ride! (And stock up on chocolate because you’re gonna need it!)
About the Author
Having studied both journalism and academic writing at university, Lynette Noni completed a degree in human behaviour before venturing into the world of fiction. She is the author of the five-book YA fantasy series, The Medoran Chroncles, as well as a second YA series (the first book entitled Whisper) due for release internationally in 2018.
A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival (as part of the National Writers’ Conference), Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition, GenreCon, the National Young Writers’ Festival, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, Voices on the Coast, and the Australian National Speculative Fiction Convention.
Lynette’s engaging author talks and writing workshops make her a sought after presenter for schools, both local and interstate, and for National Youth Week activities. She also presented the 2016 Inter-School Readers’ Cup for the Sunshine Coast region (on behalf of the Children’s Book Council of Australia).
Lynette was one of two YA authors featured on the inaugural ABC Radio #OzYA broadcast in early 2016. She is also an active blogger at www.lynettenoni.com and has an impressive and rapidly growing international following.
We Three Heroes
A Companion Volume to the Medoran Chronicles
Alexandra Jennings might be the hero of the Medoran Chronicles, but she would be lost without her three closest friends. They are her strength, they are her hope, they are the reason she keeps fighting. To Alex, her friends are the real heroes, and like all heroes, they each have their own story.
Meet the real D.C. in Crowns and Curses and discover how she becomes the princess Alex once despised but now adores.
Follow Jordan on his healing journey in Scars and Silence as he struggles in the wake of being rescued from his living nightmare.
Walk beside Bear in Hearts and Headstones as he faces an unspeakable trauma while helping his world prepare for the coming war.
D.C., Jordan and Bear are the heroes of their own stories. It is time for their stories to be told.