Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author who writes Young Adult novels with high stakes and heart. She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind.
She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, two sons, and cat, Loki, in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane.
When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework.
Luminous is Kristy's second YA novel and it's due for release in less than a week...May 25th 2020!
Here's a little bit about what we can look forward to:
A Heartbreaking Choice. A Chilling Consequence.
Lucy Piper used her dreams to irreversibly change the life of someone she loved. Now she’s alone, wading through a life she can no longer remember. As she bears the full weight of her decision, she discovers her actions have had far-reaching consequences beyond anything she could’ve imagined. Afraid of an uncertain future, Lucy must work to repair everything she’s destroyed. But there’s something else she must mend, the infinite chasm between her and the one person who always made everything right – Tyler. But what if it’s too late? And what if fixing things only does more damage?
With sacrifice and love at its core, and laced throughout with an unsettling fear, Luminous is the heart-stopping conclusion to the Lucid series.
First of all, Kristy – thank you so much for agreeing to have a chat with me about your upcoming LoveOzYa novel, Luminous.
It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me, Sue.
It’s a full year since book one, Lucid, hit the shelves and now, book two, Luminous is about to be released. Did that year in between go as you’d imagined?
Haha, not at all! The release of Lucid went really well, the launch was a lot of fun, and reviews were positive, so that was great. I went on to complete edits for Luminous, but about 6 months after Lucid came out, I heard the sad news from my publisher that they were closing. It was devastating, for them, and for me. I was given the option to stay with them until doors closed, to still release Luminous with them, and initially I chose this, but in January of this year I decided to withdraw my 2-book contract and self-publish the sequel. It’s been a daunting process, but I’ve also learnt a lot about publishing. I’m having a lot of fun seeing things from the other side of the fence, and although I knew it would be a lot of work, I never truly realised quite how many little things had to be done to get things happening.
So, it’s been a very steep learning curve. What have been some of the positives and the negatives that have come out of it?
The positives have definitely been all the learning. Whichever way I go from here with my publishing and writing, that can only ever be an advantage. And I’ve kind of loved the control as well, which is a huge plus for self-publishing.
The negatives are that you’re on your own. There’s no one to hold your hand, no one else that’s ultimately taking the risk with you, and all the decisions fall on you. So, yeah, that’s another layer of loneliness on an the already lonely road that writing is.
How did you become interested in the subject of premonitions and lucid dreaming? Is it something that’s always fascinated you?
Not always, but for a while before I first began writing Lucid it was something that held a fascination for me. Whenever I was pregnant with each of my children, I had the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had in my life, I want those again. Although not enough to want to get pregnant again, haha, no thanks. I love that with dreams we get to dive into another reality so, as a daydreamer, I played with the idea of them being something more powerful than they appear. What if they were more than just dreams?
Apart from your main character, Lucy, which other character (or relationship dynamic) did you have most fun writing about?
I love Granny Tess. She has a special relationship with Lucy, because like her granddaughter, she was once able to have dreams as Lucy does now. They went away a long time ago, and in Luminous, we finally learn what happened in her past that made her dreams disappear.
I also have a lot of fun writing Lucy’s friends, Cal and Amber. They have a super sweet relationship. But it’s Cal who is the really fun one, and because he’s known Lucy forever, they have this honest and upfront relationship which is quite enjoyable to write.
There’s a wonderful romance arc in both Lucid and in Luminous. Which do you look forward to writing about more – the mystery/thriller elements, or the romantic ones?
Ooh, good question. I write linearly, so when I finally get to those frightening, heart pounding, climatic moments, the ones I’ve been gearing towards, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. But I adore writing the romantic interactions, and so I think I’d have to choose that. I love writing the dialogue between two characters getting to know each other and their changing feelings along the way. I love all that emotion.
Did you have a detailed plot in your mind before you started writing? And if so, did you always plan it out as two books, or did that happen naturally?
I am mostly a plotter, so I did plot out most of the books before writing them. But even before I started on the plan, when I only had the bare bones of an idea in my head, I always knew it was going to be two books. That has probably been the one thing that hasn’t changed over the course of the books.
Can you say a bit about the setting for your books, and why you chose it?
The books are set in a small fictional town, called Antil Springs, near the snow fields in New South Wales. When my husband and I were younger we spent two years working in the snow fields at Kosciuszko National Park. We lived in beautiful Jindabyne at the bottom of the mountains and I still have fond memories of our time there. It fascinated me that this little town would sit still and half empty for most of the year, quietly doing its thing, until it was converged upon each year during winter by workers and holiday makers from all over the world. Then suddenly everything was alive and bursting at the seams as it provided for all the extra people. I really like one of the lines from Luminous when Lucy is reflecting on what the town feels like after all the tourists and workers have left.
I got used to the busyness each year, but by the time I began to wonder if all these strangers would ever leave, the sun came out and they ever-so-slowly vanished, leaving the town with a subdued silence, and a slight ringing in our ears.
So, yeah, I still love that little part of Australia, worlds away from where I grew up, and it naturally became the inspiration for my made-up setting in Lucid and Luminous.
What would you say are the most challenging aspects of writing for a teenage audience?
I think making sure you’re realistic enough that they connect with the characters and the story whilst at the same time not being corny or condescending. I have a teenage daughter and she always helps me know if I’ve crossed the line anywhere.
I have a bit of texting between Lucy and her friends in both of my books and while I was in the editing stages of Lucid, I wanted to make sure I got this as accurate as possible instead of my outdated idea of how teens text. I read out the lines of texts to my daughter, who then wrote them out on her phone and sent them to me exactly as she would to her friends. I learnt a few things. Teenagers rarely use emojis or full stops, and sometimes no capitals, but they do use full words and use correct grammar (other than full stops and capitals).
Do you write in silence? Or to music? What’s your routine?
I do both. If I’m setting the mood, I put on my Spotify playlist, which is a selection of songs with no lyrics I’ve collected over the years. Then there’s times when I start writing, get in the groove and realise I haven’t had any music playing since I started.
I don’t really have a routine, I just fit my writing around my other priorities. I work at the dining room table, which means I’m often doing bits of editing and other writing related work while I’m busy cooking or doing other household jobs.
I’m most strict when I’m writing my first draft. I get up at about 5:30 in the morning and write before doing anything else, and before kids are awake, and I do this almost every day until the first draft is complete.
This year has turned out to be quite different to how most of us imagined. How has this affected you and the release of your book?
It’s been difficult to stay motivated, and with kids home from school I haven’t done as much work as I might normally have. But I’m lucky, in that my work is flexible and it really hasn’t had too much of an impact in the big scheme of things.
The biggest difference for me compared to this time last year for the release of Lucid, is that I won’t be able to have a launch party this time. We had heaps of fun last year and it’s such good marketing so, yeah, it’s disappointing, but really, it’s nothing compared to what some people are enduring. And this just means I need to get creative. I have some fun online and at home launch ideas I’m planning. I’ve got competitions lined up, so hopefully there will still be ways for people to be involved and get excited even if we can’t celebrate together.
Finally, what is next on the agenda for you? Are there any
more book plans you’re able to share?
I’m working on a round of edits on another novel, one I wrote back in 2017. It’s a stand-alone, quite a bit different to Lucid and Luminous, but it’s something a couple of my beta readers have said they like even more than Lucid, so that’s promising. As soon as I’ve polished it a bit more, I’ll begin submitting it to publishers so hopefully it can be shared with my readers soon.
Thanks so much for letting me grill you about your books, Kristy.
Thank you for having me, Sue. You asked some great questions and it’s been real fun talking about both of my books with you.
LUMINOUS is available on May 25th
Add it to your Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50538782-luminous
Haven’t read LUCID yet? It’s not too late. http://getbook.at/Lucid
Online launch celebrations kick off on Friday 29th of May at 7pm with a FB live Q & A, followed by ‘parties at home’ all weekend. Follow along at home #luminouslaunchparty
If you want to know more, you can find Kristy here: