Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.
The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.
When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their Nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.
The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.
Interview with K.A. Last (by Xpresso Book Tours)
Describe yourself in three words?
Crazy, pedantic, and passionate.
What are five things people may not know about you?
I’m half Italian.
I’d rather drive a 4WD than a sports car.
I received an Award of Excellence for my outstanding commitment to the Miss Australia Awards in 2000.
One of my legs is 1cm shorter than the other.
The first time I got my nose pierced it made me vomit.
What does writing mean to you?
Writing for me is a release, a way of getting my dreams and daydreams onto paper. It means I can stay sane in a world that often wants to test my sanity. When I write I get lost in the story and for a while nothing else can touch me. The worlds I create in my stories become my safe havens, and the characters become my friends. Writing is very much a part of who I am. Without it, I wouldn’t be me.
Who is the favourite character you’ve written so far?
That’s like asking me to choose a favourite between my two children. I love all my characters, but there are others that are more fun to write. In Fall For Me I really enjoyed writing Archer, Grace’s brother. He’s a bit cocky and has a pretty cool sense of humour. In Sacrifice, I loved getting into Michael’s head. Even though the book isn’t from his POV, he was an awesome character to write. He’ll be making an appearance in future books as well, so watch out. With Immagica, I enjoyed fleshing out Lex’s character. He is so much deeper than he might appear on the surface. At this stage Immagica is a standalone book, but there could be room for Lex to grow sometime in the future.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
When I first started writing I just let it all flow out as it would in any which way. I usually have a loose idea in my head of what I want to happen, but I don’t set anything in stone. I think I enjoy the process more when I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I love how my characters often surprise me. In saying that, I have plotted out the next instalment of The Tate Chronicles. I did this because I really needed to know where the story was going before I could continue with it. So, I guess you could say I’m a bit of both. I like to get my ideas down on paper, but I’m pretty flexible and don’t mind deviating from the path if I need to.
Where do your ideas come from?
Oh! They come from everywhere. I’ve always been a daydreamer, and I love to stare into space, thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. I also have a really cool story idea that came to me in a dream. I actually jumped out of bed at one am to write it all down. I haven’t got past the first chapter with it, but it’s a story I think about all the time. One day it will become a book. The other thing I love doing is people watching. It’s amazing how the smallest action or snippet of conversation can spark an idea.
How did the idea for Immagica come about?
One of my favourite books is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I also love Narnia, Oz and Alice. I love the concept of travelling to a different world in some way, especially through the pages of a book, but I wanted to put my own special twist on it. I asked myself what a world would be like where it could be made, governed and controlled by imagination. The idea for Immagica actually started with the amulet. One night I was sitting in my recliner and I started doodling. About half an hour later I had my first rough sketch of how the amulet looks now. I took the amulet and made it the centre of Immagica, and the Eye was born. Everything else pretty much stemmed from there. In essence, Immagica is a portal fantasy adventure with fairies and a unicorn.
What’s ahead for you in 2014?
Well, I want to try and finish The Tate Chronicles. I have another novella and the sequel in the works. I probably won’t get it all published, but I want to at least finish writing it and publish the novella. I’d also like to pull my 2011 NaNo novel out of the drawer and dust it off. It’s not finished, but I think I’m in a good place now to give it a go and see where it takes me. Then I have a swarm of other ideas that are trying to bust out of my brain. I’d like to tackle some of those, too.
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The machine was close enough for me to reach out and touch. It wasn’t actually hanging like I’d first thought; it was supported by a pole that went down the centre of the Eye. In the distance, at the very bottom, there was something red—a light, pulsing softly in the darkness.
All the parts of the machine were shiny, and it was well looked after. I reached out a hesitant hand to touch one of the cogs.
“Please, don’t do that,” a nervous voice said from the other side. “You shouldn’t touch the pupil, it’s very fragile.”
Through the gaps in the mass of parts, I caught a glimpse of a boy. “Pupil?” I asked.
“Yes.” He moved to where I could see him, and scratched his head. “Fragile. It’s fragile.”
The boy looked around seventeen. His white-blond hair fell across his forehead. Behind his thick-rimmed glasses were the most unusual eyes. They looked hazel, but a second later they were green, or hazel with green flecks. As quickly as I decided what colour they were, they changed again. He was tall and lanky, and wore a faded red T-shirt, jeans and rubber thongs. I thought he was cute, in a geeky kind of way.
“Who are you?” I asked, tentatively.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” the boy said, eyeing me sceptically. “How did you get in?”
I held up the amulet. “Key?” I said.
His eyes widened. “Oh. Oh!”
“Hi, Lex.” Brynn gave a small wave.
“Brynn. Um … hi,” Lex said. He turned back to me. “You’re—”
“Here to save you. Yes, I know.” I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. “So, your name is Lex?”
“Um … yes. I’m keeper and protector of the Eye. I get to oil the cogs and stuff.” He waved his hand towards the machine.
“What does it do?”
“What does it do …?” He scratched his head again, clearly flustered. He reminded me of my dad when he got excited. Lex darted back behind the big contraption and stared at me through the gaps. “What does it do?” he repeated. “It’s the pupil, the life of the Eye, the heart of Immagica. It counts time, and records memories.” His arms flapped, and he stepped back to where I could see him. “If the rose dies, the pendulum stops and … what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. I’m Rosaline.” I tried to smile, but this guy was seriously weird. Cute, I reminded myself, but weird.