Jaclyn Moriarty grew up in Sydney’s north-west and studied Law and English on three continents – at Sydney University in Australia, Yale in the US and Cambridge in England. She spent four years working as a media and entertainment lawyer and now writes full-time so that she can sleep in each day. She lives in Sydney.
I can’t believe that it’s ending! How do you feel about your latest visit to the Kingdom of Cello?
It was a wild trip. I felt very sad when it was done, and I’d definitely like to visit again one day. For now I will make a slide show out of my Cellian holiday pictures and invite friends around to watch.
Which are your favourite characters in this trilogy and why?
Well, I feel very fond of the central characters, Elliot and Madeleine. I always had fun writing Samuel of Olde Quainte because I never knew what he was going to say; I loved Sergio because I like people who turn out to be unexpected heroes and I liked his passion and dance moves; and I like Princess Ko because she was doing her best even if she was doing it badly. Also Elliot’s cousin, little Corrie-Lynn, I thought she was very cool. I’d like to see her grow up.
A Couple of years ago, at Concord Library, (if I remember correctly) I believe you mentioned there are certain music / songs you listen you as per characters you were writing. Could you please share some songs you were listening to whilst writing in Madeleine’s perspective? And Elliot’s?
You have a sharp memory. Well done. That’s a funny question because I was doing an interview for ABC Radio National the other day and I was talking about how I always choose a favourite song for each character. The interviewer seemed very interested and I felt proud of myself for saying something interesting. Then she asked me which song I had chosen for Madeleine for the last book and I could not remember. I do not have a sharp memory like you. I mean, I could hear the song inside my head but I couldn’t recall the title or even the band name.
Anyway, I went home and looked up the song names. The songs changed between books as the characters developed. Madeleine’s songs included Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire, Let’s go down to the tennis court by Lorde, and All this and Heaven too by Florence and the Machine. Elliot’s songs included Bloodbuzz Ohio by the National, Kamera by Wilco, and Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons.
If possible, please share the pictures you’ve drawn of the Kingdom of Cello or any of the characters?
I would love to but I’m such a terrible artist! I think you would only be disappointed. I have a very, very messy, scribbled map of Bonfire, the Farms, where Elliot lives, which is hanging on the wall beside my desk. I consulted it often when I was writing. I just looked at it and decided you don’t want to see it. My friend, the artist Elizabeth Pulie, turned another very messy, scribbled map of the Kingdom of Cello itself into the map that is in the opening pages of the Australian edition of the book. She did a beautiful job.
Do you ever read parts of this trilogy to your son, Charlie? If so, what was his reaction/s & which part was it?
A friend of mine is reading the books to her 8-year-old daughter, which has made my 9-year-old, Charlie, feel suddenly competitive. He has decided he is going to read A Corner of White. He told me sternly that he hopes it has a ‘sizzling start’. He’s a tough critic. I feel uneasy.
Do you think some of his (boy’s!) humour influenced you in this very quirky trilogy?
In some ways Charlie’s humour is a lot like the humour you expect from small boys, and I am getting very weary of that sort of humour. So maybe it influenced me in that I was hiding from it. In other ways Charlie’s humour is unique and offbeat, and he likes wordplay and ambiguity, so maybe that was a sort of influence too? It’s a great question.
What’s the next bookish project for you?
I’m working on a few books at once. An adult book about a woman who enrols in a seminar series that promises to teach her the secret to human flight; a time travel book; a young adult book that returns to Ashbury and Brookfield; a book about my great-grandmother; and a book about a girl whose parents have run away to have adventures with pirates and left her instructions to deliver a chest full of treasures to ten different aunts.
On a serious note
On your profile you said that your “PhD was on the law relating to young people and the media – especially the privacy rights of young people—…“; what advice would you give young people these days noting the usage of social media these days? Or to the parents?! (My son is only 6 and I’m already not looking forward to the time he’ll be getting on to these platforms).
That’s a big question. I went to a seminar on cyber safety not long ago. It was run by expert Susan McLean, and was terrifying. Maybe a good start would be to read Susan McLean’s book, Sexts, Texts and Selfies. I read it, and was once again terrified.
On a lighter note
The book you most enjoyed reading in 2015
I’m terrible at these questions because I’m too indecisive and I have read and loved many, many books this year. So I’ll choose Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (which is coming out this year, but I’ve read the manuscript and it’s mesmerising), A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Clariel by Garth Nix. I honestly meant to choose just one but I kept going.
The book you’re most looking forward to in 2016 (aside from A Tangle of Gold)
I’m looking forward to reading Justine Larbalestier’s My Sister Rosa and Kirsty Eagar’s Summer Skin, because I keep hearing great things about them. I’m also excited about reading my sister Nicola’s new novel, The Fifth Letter,which I’m sure will be brilliant.
An author you’d most like to meet (who’s still alive) and what would you ask him/her?
Elizabeth McCracken, and I would ask her how she got such a super cool name. I really love that name. (I also love her writing, which crackles).
A Tangle of Gold (The Colours of Madeleine #3) by Jaclyn Moriarty
The dazzling conclusion to the award-winning The Colours of Madeleine trilogy, from one of the most original writers in YA fiction.
The Kingdom of Cello is in crisis. Princess Ko’s deception has been revealed and the Elite have taken control, placing the Princess, Samuel and Sergio under arrest and ordering their execution. Elliot is being held captive by the Hostiles and Colour storms are raging through the land. The Cello Wind has been silent for months.
Plans are in place to bring the remaining Royals home from the World but then all communication between Cello and the World will cease. That means Madeleine will lose Elliot, forever.
Madeleine and Elliot must solve the mystery of Cello before it is too late.
My Blurb (5 stars)
What an utterly satisfying conclusion! The prettiest cover, the thickest book of the trilogy, and it will absolutely charm the pants off you. The language was just as quirky (amazingly consistent throughout the trilogy) gave the story a very whimsical atmosphere. Despite all the lightness, however, there was betrayal, harmful intent, and a very dark void.
Madeleine is a different girl in this final book. She’s grown so much and gone through so many trials but she’s finally found herself. I really liked Madeleine the first time I met her though you know, of course, there is something behind her brightness (just as Belle knew!). Parts of it were revealed in books 1 & 2 but it all comes crashing on you in this latest instalment. I kid you not, full-blown screaming involved and not just on my part 😉
She’s not the only one who has grown though as Elliott comes to the understanding that the Kingdom needs help, Keira coming onto her own, etc. I feel quite a few of characters have matured though of course, some never do change! I’m a little sad that Corrie-Lyn was only featured in a couple of snippets and I’m going to miss these characters so much! On the other hand, I’m looking forward to Jaclyn Moriarty’s next works (especially the time travel one – I just Adore time travel!)
Thanks to MacMillan Australia for copy of Uncorrected Proof in exchange of honest review and the opportunity to participate in this blog tour.
Do visit all the other stops! And if you’re in Sydney, Jaclyn will be at Dymocks George St. for Dymocks YA Bookmeet at 2:30pm (Sat, 5th March)