July 20th, 2011

A new character in City of Lies

34 thoughts on “IMG_0478

  1. Emily Keenan says:

    Hi Lian, I am 9 years old and I absolutly love your book THE KEEPERS (I have read it 3 times), Broo is my favourite character. The most exciting part of the book was when Goldie got caught and the fugleman said that she would be a good slave and then Goldie got her way out of care by picking the lock. I really want to be an author when I am older. I am starting to write a story called KATHRERINE THE MARTIAN GIRL. I am your biggest fan and cannot wait till the other 2 books come out. Please write back if you can and I wish the other book comes out really quickly.
    Bye from Emily .P.S I used to live in Tasmania but I now live in Redland Bay, Qld.

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Emily, lovely to hear from you! I always like to get messages from people who want to become authors – writing books is such a satisfying thing to do. I love the sound of your story – Katherine the Martian Girl is an excellent title and sounds as if it will be exciting. You’ll find of course that writing – like everything else in life – has its ups and downs. There will be times when you will get horribly discouraged, and you will have to be very stubborn and keep going through those times. But reading books you love a lot of times is a really good way to learn about stories – and of course writing your own stories is also important.
      I do hope you like ‘City of Lies’ when it comes out. Please let me know what you think of it.

  2. Grace says:

    Hi lian! i am grace and im 13 and i absolutley LOVED the museum of thieves! i got it for christmas an i thought it would be wierd but i love love LOVED it! and i am waiting for city of lies but i live in washington state so i have to wait a while…. an it is also an ambition of mine to become an author but every story i write ends up being stupid! but you inspire me and you made the list of my top five favorite authors!

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Grace, I’m so pleased you liked the book so much. And I am sitting here feeling very honoured to be on your list of top five favourite authors! It’s nice to hear from another writer too. You know, it can be very hard to judge your own work, so your stories are probably not as stupid as you think they are. I always find that when I’ve written something, I have to put it to one side and forget about it for a few weeks, then I can come back to it and read it with a clearer eye. I must admit that I too sometimes find I have written something that seems stupid πŸ™‚ But the trick of being an author is knowing that first drafts are often VERY BAD, and that you can then work to make them better. If you had seen the first draft of Museum of Thieves, you would not have liked it nearly as much. I wrote twenty drafts before I got it right! So you see, being an author requires a lot of stubbornness.

      BTW, I was in Washington State briefly in May last year. What a beautiful place it is! And I don’t think you will have to wait TOO much longer for City of Lies. In fact, it should be in the shops in seven weeks (which is a lot better than seven months).

  3. Georgia says:

    hey Lian,
    I love your book Museum of Theives, it’s AWESOME! I’m waiting with baited breath for your next two books. I’m sure there gonna be just as amazing as the first.

    my favorite charater is Toadspit, he’s loud obnozious and everything the ‘blessed’ guardians would hate πŸ™‚

    I really want to be a writer like you and some of my other favorites. I do write stories, but I can never find the ending. can you help?
    thankyou SOOOO much

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Georgia, good to hear from you! This picture of Pounce seems to be attracting all the future writers, which is nice. Endings are hard, aren’t they? ALMOST as hard as beginnings, which I always have particular trouble with. I think I rewrote the ending of Museum of Thieves about fifteen times before I got it right. Probably the best way to learn how to do them is to read the endings of all your favourite books, and see what the authors have done. And then try to sort of copy it. I say ‘sort of’ because of course your story will be different, and so your ending will be different. But for example, if one of your favourite books was the first Harry Potter book, you look at the ending and find that there are really two endings. The first one is when Gryffindor wins the house cup, and Harry thinks it’s the best evening of his life. And the second is when he says he’s going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer. Both of them are terrific endings, and perhaps the characters in one of your stories could think something a bit similar. Not EXACTLY the same, of course – make sure you change it to fit your story!
      If you were an experienced writer, I would never tell you to do this, because you’re not allowed to copy other writers’ work. But when you’re learning, this sort of almost-copying can be really useful. It’s a way of finding out how good authors do it, and practising, and then gradually finding your own endings. Let me know if this is helpful! And don’t forget that you can come back to a story a month or so later and look at the ending again, and make it better.
      BTW, I’m glad you like Toadspit – he is definitely one of my favourite characters ever. I really like his bad temper!

  4. Grace says:

    Hey lian, my name is grace im from washington state.
    i had a question, do you illustrate your own books?
    and my favorite characters in the museum of thieves are, toadspit, goldie, broo, and morg i also like sinew they are all really cool characters! how many other books have you done? and how did you come up with such great characters?! πŸ˜€

    1. Lian says:

      Hello again, Grace. No, I don’t illustrate my own books. I wish I was such a good artist! The covers of the US editions are done by American artist Jon Foster. The pictures of the characters at the beginning of each chapter are by Australian artist Sebastian Ciaffaglione. I think they both do such a beautiful job, and am very lucky to have them illustrating the books.
      Now for your other questions. I have had one book published before Museum of Thieves. It was called Rats! and was sort of a practice book. πŸ™‚ It is out of print now. As for how I come up with my characters – that’s quite a hard question to answer. Quite often I find that a character starts off rather ordinary and boring, but as I keep working at the book I find ways of making them more interesting, so that sometimes they surprise even me! I think it’s a matter of working away at them until they become more and more real, and more and more interesting. It takes practice, making good characters – I used to be very bad at it, but I have improved a lot!

  5. jorge says:

    hi lian i loved both book and plan on being an author when i grow up i think your books are amazing can you please upload a sneek view o path of beasts.
    keep writing you are amazing please i love your books.
    ps when is path of beasts going out

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Jorge, good to hear from you! I’m glad you like the books – thanks for letting me know. Also glad to hear from another person who plans to be an author. It is an extremely interesting job, and although I sometimes tear my hair with frustration when the writing is not going well, mostly I love it. And I’d LOVE to give you a sneak preview of Path of Beasts, but I can’t, not yet. It won’t be out for a whole year, I’m afraid. The beginning of October 2012. Such a long time to wait, for me as well as you!

  6. maddie says:

    Hi im maddie im 13. I fell in luv with ur books i wish i could be a writer im working on about 21 books or at lest i have started on all of them yet i don’.t have the best support form my dad. Im not the best….. well im the worst speller in the world i have read all together 400 books which sprurizes me and my mother because im dislecsic (the words are all jumbled up so its hard to read) so if ya dont mind helping me a litte

    1. Lian says:

      Hi again, Maddie! It sounds as if you are already well on your way to being a writer, if you are doing so much writing. Spelling can be tricky, but I know some authors who are pretty bad spellers – they just do the best they can, then get someone else (who is good at spelling) to check their work. Being dyslexic might make it harder, but you obviously love reading, and writing, and that is a very important thing for an author – probably more important than anything else. The other important thing is to be very determined and stubborn! πŸ™‚

  7. maddie says:

    Don’t worry I’m stubborn alright. Determined yup I’m that to πŸ˜€

  8. maddie says:

    Which book title sounds better The Trainer or

  9. maddie says:

    Testing Strangth?

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Maddie, they’re both good and interesting titles – it’s just a matter of deciding which one suits the story better. I must say that personally I find ‘Testing Strength’ very interesting, mainly because it immediately makes me want to ask a lot of questions. Like WHO is testing their strength, and why, and what sort of strength is being tested. Have you asked other people about these two titles? That can be helpful – ask them which one makes them want to read the story more, and why.

      There’s a bit more information about titles here on my writing advice page – perhaps you have read it already? It’s in the answer to the second question down.

      1. maddie says:

        Thanks thats what i first named it then second geussed my selve. Yes i just got done looking at it.

  10. maddie says:

    I have a lot of intersting titles. Some are a little strange and werid but i like them

    1. Lian says:

      Mm, I think weird and strange is good. πŸ™‚

  11. simone bigford says:

    hi lian i just started reading the museum of thieves yesterday and i am already almost done with it!! i really love love your books so much and i think that picture is awesome!! who is it of?

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Simone, I’m glad you’re liking Museum so much. You must be a very quick reader like me. And yes, that is a great picture, one of my favourites. It’s Pounce, who you’ll meet in Book 2, City of Lies.

  12. Emily Keenan says:

    Dear Lian,

    I have read The City Of Lies and I loved it. It is just so interesting! I still love Broo and I like the new characters. Mouse is my favourite new character. I am now ten and have finished Katherine The Martian Girl and have started a new book called Lost Souls. I can’t wait till the next one comes out. Please keep writing wonderful books because they inspire me to keep on writing my silly books. You are my number one author. Along with some others.

    please write back (you don’t have to)


    1. Lian says:

      Hi Emily, lovely to hear from you! I’m glad you like Mouse – he is definitely one of my favourite characters. That’s good news that you have finished Katherine the Martian Girl and are starting a new book. ‘Lost Souls’ is a terrific title – wish I had thought of it. πŸ˜€ I shall definitely keep writing, and I hope that you do too. Don’t forget that Path of Beasts is coming out at the end of September. I’m about to put up a sneak preview of the American cover, so keep your eyes on my blog.

  13. Natalie Traughber says:

    Dear Lain, I love your books and your one of my favorite authors (out of many, and Museum of thieves is one of my favorites.

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Natalie, lovely to hear from you, and I’m so glad you like Museum of Thieves. I hope you’ll like Path of Beasts when it comes out in October too!

  14. Emily Keenan says:

    Hello Lian!!I am still 10 but I am turning 11 next week. I recently finished reading Path of Beasts and, of course, loved it!!! You still inspire me to write books and reading is still my favourite thing to do. Are you going to write another book after? I hope so! I was so thrilled when Goldie realised *************** [removed because of SPOILER]. You are still my number one author.
    Can you pleassssssseeeeee come to my local library? Australia Redland Bay Library Vctoria Point Queensland.
    if you could I would be delighted
    From your number 1 fan, Emily*

    1. Lian says:

      Dear Emily, how nice to hear from you again. I hope you have a very happy birthday next week. And I’m so glad that you loved Path of Beasts! I’ve put up a post where readers can write their own reviews of the book, and there have been several interesting ones so far. If you’d like to write a review, go to

      And yes, I am certainly going to write more books. In fact I have just finished one, called Ice Breaker. It is a stand-alone fantasy (i.e. not set in Jewel or Dunt) and will be out in October next year. Now I am just starting on the next book, which is the first in a trilogy about Olga Ciavolga and Herro Dan, back when they were children. It’s all about how they met and found Broo, and how the museum started.

      I’d love to come to your local library, but have no idea when I will be up that way. If I am, I’ll try to get there!

  15. Emily Keenan says:

    Hi lian, I am now 11 and I’m still a HUGE fan of your books. I’m curious to read ICE BREAKER and hope that I can get it soon. Have you written any other books beside THE KEEPERS series? If you have that would be AWESOME if you could tell me what the titles are!! I am really hoping that you could come to the library so I could get your autograph but I know that you must be really busy. I STILL love to read and badly hope to meet you in person one day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From your BIGGEST fan,

    Emily Keenan πŸ™‚

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Emily, glad you’re still enjoying the books. Ice Breaker will be in the shops on November 1st, which is a long time to wait, but I think it will be worth it! Actually I’m still working on the book – rushing to get this edit finished by the deadline. I have written one other book, which was published way back in 2004 (when you were three!). It’s called Rats!, and I describe it as my ‘practice book’. It’s totally different from the Keepers – it’s not a fantasy, but more of a comedy/adventure. All the same you might well enjoy it. Ask your library if they’ve got it – you can’t buy it any longer cos it’s out of print.

      I hope I get to meet you in person one day too. There are no plans at the moment to go to Qland, but who knows what will happen? Keep writing!

  16. emily keenan says:

    thanks Lian, i’ll have a look at the library. thanks for replyig, sometimes when I ask Authors questions, they never reply. which is annoying. anway, you probably don’t wanna listen to me go on and on!!!
    when did you start writing? and what inspired you to write something like THE KEEPERS?

    bye Lian, plz keep writing!

    Emmy Keenan

    1. Lian says:

      VERY annoying when people don’t reply to your questions, I agree. I started writing when I was a kid – wrote lots of poems and stories and plays all through primary school. Then as I got older I stopped writing so much – life got in the way, I guess. Then, when I was 38 I went to drama school, which taught me a lot about creativity, and got me back into writing. From then on I wrote and wrote and wrote all sorts of things including freelance journalism, until at last I realised that what I really liked writing was children’s stories.

      The Keepers came from a couple of different things that interested me. One was how protected children are these days compared with when I was growing up, and how some kids are really really overprotected. The other thing was an article I read about the Hermitage Museum in Russia. Those two things sort of ran together in my mind and inspired me!

  17. Emily Keenan says:

    thank you again, Lian. I am really excited to read ICE BREAKER and RATS. Did you ever get to perform your plays at school, or did you keep them to yourself? at our school, our music teacher has a drama club and he gets the themes from things like Cinderrella and Snow White and things like that, but he calls the Twisted Fairytales. we perform them in front of the school.

    Bye Lian, hope to meet you one day!

    From Emily Keenan

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Emily, yes, I did get to perform my plays at school. I think I must have nagged at people until they agreed to be in them! But they were fun – your Twisted Fairytales sound like a lot of fun too. I like the sound of them!

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