2014 Feature: NIL by Lynne Matson

Today I'm very excited to welcome Lynne Matson to the blog to put her debut, Nil, in the spotlight as part of my 2014 Feature! This one sounds like a fantastic one and today we get to learn where Lynne got her inspiration.

First, here's a bit about the book:
Nil by Lynne Matson.
To be published: March 4, 2014
by: Henry Holt.

Goodreads Blurb:
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.

Lynne is here today to give us the scoop on how NIL was born. It all started in what I've heard is a very beautiful place... I'll let Lynne tell you all about it (gorgeous photos courtesy of her).

Back in February of 2010, my husband and I were lucky enough to go to Hawaii (the big island) , our first real getaway from our four boys, EVER. It was a work trip for him. The island is huge. Massive. Full of rainforests and volcanoes, and cool lava fields, most of which we could see from the air as we flew in.

"The cliffs which inspired my vision of the location of Nil City"

On the day we landed, as we left the airport, we drove through miles of ancient lava fields. Old red rock--broken, chunky, bleak and gorgeously desolate--stretched endlessly on each side. There were no roads, no buildings, no people–just the sound of wind blowing over the rocks. The surrounding silence was powerful, like it had a presence all its own. I remember thinking how creepy it would be to wake up there, all alone, and I remember thinking how much it all looked like an alien planet (think DUNE). 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?!–what if you woke up naked? NIL was born in that moment. The main characters fell into my head, almost fully formed, like the story itself.   

"A black sand beach at twilight…rather like where Charley spends her opening days on Nil"

Over that week, every experience, every moment, every new sight--all were fuel for my story. For example, one day my husband went surfing. He paddled out, fighting the break, determined to steer clear of the wicked black rocks on his right and left left. The contrast of crisp blue and raw black under a clear Hawaiian sky was intense. It was such a surreal kind of beauty. The sharp black rock, the gorgeous ocean…the huge waves. The danger of it all and the risk of death. It made such an impression on me, and it's the kind of beauty that exists on NIL too.:)

Here's a few more pics from that day of surfing:

Amazing! Thank you for sharing, Lynne! Those are beautiful photos and that sure sounds like a fantastic way to find inspiration for a story. *books flights to Hawaii*

I think getting a little taste of Hawaii (though probably less relaxing) through Nil sounds like a pretty great reason to pick it up! Not to mention how wicked the plot sounds!

About the author:

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.

Find Lynne:
Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Blog / YAValentines

Pre-order NIL:
Amazon, B&N, Chapters Indigo, The Book Depository


  1. I'm excited to check out Nil. I love that it's a YA thrilller with a science fiction twist. Thanks for sharing the authors inspiration :)

    1. It sounds so exciting, doesn't it? I'm definitely looking forward to that combination! :)

  2. Yay Book Swoon!:) I'm so glad you're excited for NIL! And Jessica, thank you for having me.:) *takes virtual trip to Hawaii together* ;)

    I had a great time sharing NIL's inspiration with you!

    1. Thank you, Lynne! I'm so glad you wanted to share that with me! I know I loved seeing a piece of Nil through the Hawaii lens :) And I'd take a trip to Hawaii with you any day, just say the word ;)

  3. I'm really excited for NIL! The Hawaii photo's are gorgeous. *books flight too*

    1. Aren't they? Oh I'm so jealous! And I was looking forward to Nil already, but if it gives me a taste of Hawaii too, I'm just that much more excited!

  4. NIL is every bit as exciting, thrilling & swoon-worthy as you want it to be.


    1. Ooh I'm so glad to hear that! I can't wait!

  5. Oh look. Another book I avoided for unknown reasons that this blog totally changed my mind about. *laughs hystericall* *looks at 1000+ TBR* *cries*

    1. Hehehe I'm doing my job well, apparently ;) You enjoy that massive TBR. I totally feel your pain/joy/needs.


I'd love to hear what you think!