We chat with lead author Lyndall Clipstone about Edge of the lake, which is a lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the shores of a cursed lake and it’s perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.
Hi Lyndall! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m from Adelaide, South Australia, and I love anything dark and scary. I’m trained in English and was a librarian for about six years before I became an author, so I’ve always been surrounded by stories. I am also a former illustrator, and I drew the chapter headers and the title page for Edge of the lake. When I’m not writing, I enjoy playing video games, listening to heavy metal music, visiting art galleries, and tending to my ever-growing collection of houseplants.
When did you first discover your love for writing?
As far as I can remember, I have always loved to write. I have been very lucky to grow up reading immensely talented Australian YA authors like Sonya Hartnett, Gillian Rubinstein and Margo Lanagan, who have inspired me a lot. After my bachelor’s degree, I graduated with an honors bachelor’s degree in creative writing, which really strengthened my love for the art of history. I wrote a lot of short films, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I felt ready to sit down and write a manuscript the length of a novel. Edge of the lake is actually my first completed book, so it’s very special that this is my first book!
Quick flash tour! Tell us about the first book you remember reading, the one that made you want to be an author and that you can’t stop thinking about!
- First book – Flower by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
- made me want to be an author – The secret story by Donna Tartt
- I can’t help but think of – Immortal by Catherine Valente
Your first novel, Edge of the lake, released on September 28e 2021! If you could only describe it in five words, what would they be?
Lush, romantic, atmospheric, spooky, poetic.
What can readers expect?
Two alluring monsters – a boy, a god, haunting secrets unveiled in the dead of night, brotherly bonds to ride or die for, and a fierce girl who makes many stubborn (and possibly foolish) choices to protect those whom she likes
Where does the inspiration for Edge of the lake comes from?
I wanted to write a book that looks like The secret garden combined with gothic romance.
Can you tell us about the challenges you encountered while writing and how you were able to overcome them?
Writing is always such an emotional journey for me. I struggle a lot with self-doubt and impostor syndrome. I think it will always be a work in progress, trying to be confident, but I work a lot to be kind to myself and celebrate all of my accomplishments. When I think about my teenage years, and how excited she would be to have published a book, this is a great way to put everything in perspective.
I also have two young children, so I juggle a lot between the life of a mother and the life of an author. I am very grateful to my family who are involved in helping and sharing the work, especially when I am very busy with deadlines.
Are there any favorite moments or characters that you really enjoyed writing about or exploring?
Definitely the romantic arc between Leta and Rowan. Romance is my favorite thing to write and read. Creating these scenes, with their emotional development and the interaction between the two characters as they went from hate to love, was such a fun challenge for me as a writer.
The following, Forest, is currently scheduled for release in October 2022! Can you give us a little teasing?
It has very intense Orpheus and Eurydice vibes, with a hint of Reylo – think of Strength Bonds and Rey darkening. We can see more of the world below, learning Lord Under’s real name, and Rowan will have POV chapters (which were extremely fun to write). It was a touching journey working on this book, and I loved spending an entire second volume with all the Edge of the lake characters. I can’t wait for readers to see the story’s conclusion next year.
What was your journey to becoming a published author?
From the original idea of Edge of the lake (a short story written in my year of honor) until the end of the manuscript, it was about 10 years. I’ve done so many rewrites and revisions, and it has been such a journey of persistence and resilience. To aspiring authors, my advice is to never give up and know that there isn’t just one way to get published. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity and to have found such a wonderful team – my agent and my writers – to work with to bring my stories to life.
What’s the next step for you?
I am in the process of completing the modifications on Forest, which is the continuation of Edge of the lake. After that I plan to take a long break to recharge where I plan to read my massive TBR battery, finish playing Witcher 3, and watch a lot of movies. I also have another secret project I’m working on – a spooky new romance that’s totally separate from the world of Lakesedge – which I hope I can share with readers in the near future!
Finally, do you have any book recommendations for our readers?
- Between the devil and the deep blue sea by April G. Tucholke
- Heart blood by Juliette Marrilier
- The bright and the pale by Jessica Rubinkowski
- A dowry of blood by ST Gibson
- Shadow stalking by Cyla Panin
- In these wicked walls By Lauren Blackwood
- A counterfeit of roses Jessica S. Olson
- Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist
You can find Lyndall on Instagram and Twitter, and on its website.