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Garth Nix
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Garth Nix   Garth Nix is the New York Times bestselling author of the Old Kingdom, The Seventh Tower, and The Keys to the Kingdom series, which have been translated into 38 languages and have sold over five million copies. Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He currently lives in Australia.

Buy Garth Nix's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
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This episode originally aired on 02/04/2010 with the following authors:
  • Speculative Fiction
    • Mary Pope Osborne (#1 NYT bestselling Magic Tree House series, former Authors Guild president, 53 million books sold)
    • Cory Doctorow (NYT bestselling Little Brother and Makers, Boing Boing blog, top 10 Forbes web celebs)
    • Mindy Klasky (bestselling and award-winning Glasswrights, Jane Madison, and As You Wish series)
    • Garth Nix (NYT bestselling Old Kingdom, The Seventh Tower, and Keys to the Kingdom series, 5 million sold)
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Garth Nix

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Matthew Peterson: Hello there. Youíre listening to The Author Hour: Your Guide to Fantastic Fiction, which can be found at Iím your host, Matthew Peterson, author of Paraworld Zero, which some reviewers have compared to Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Artemis Fowl.

My next guest is Garth Nix, New York Times bestselling author of the Old Kingdom, The Seventh Tower, and The Keys to the Kingdom series, which have been translated into 38 languages and have sold well over five million copies. Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He lives in Australia with his wife and two children. Thanks for being on the show today, Garth.

Garth Nix: Thank you, Matthew. Itís a pleasure.

Matthew Peterson: Now, I didnít realize you had worked as a literary agent and an editor. What made you decide to leave the overworked life as an agent and become a full-time author?

Garth Nix: Oh, I loved working in publishing and loved being an agent. One of the things I liked a lot was finding new manuscripts and finding new authors and helping them get published. But ultimately, as my writing became more and more successful, ultimately I had to make a decision: I could either decide to be an agent and do less writing or I had to devote myself to writing, because I couldnít, you know, say to a client of mine, ďIím sorry, I canít read your manuscript because Iím expected to be on tour to promote my new book for the next month.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Garth Nix: You canít do that. So . . . and writing has always been what I loved the most.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Well, youíve written three pretty popular series and I wanted to touch upon each one of them briefly. First off the Old Kingdom series, that was from the very first book that you had written. Tell us a little bit about that series.

Garth Nix: Sure. Actually, my very first book was in fact a standalone novel called The Ragwitch, which came to America later, so it got confused about which was first.

Matthew Peterson: Oh!

Garth Nix: Ragwitch is actually my first novel, which is a standalone, childrenís fantasy. But The Old Kingdom books begin with Sabriel, and Sabrielís probably still my most popular book around the world that really connected me with a lot of people, thought not immediately, I have to say. It was a slow burner that just kept on keeping on. And itís a young adult novel. Adults read it as well as younger adults. Itís a coming-of-age story. Itís about a young woman who is from a place called the Old Kingdom where magic works but technology doesnít. And she discovers that her father is missing and that she has to go and find him. Itís a high fantasy, and itís an adventure story that I hope has a bit more to it as well. Itís also about life, death, love... all the big stuff.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, and it used to be considered a trilogy, but youíve written a little bit more in it havenít you?

Garth Nix: The trilogyís Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen. I have written a novella called The Creature in the Case which follows on from the last book and I am in the fact in the process of writing two books that take place in that world. One is sort of a much earlier prequel, or what would be better to say an associated book in the same world--sort of a sequel as well but not directly connected to the trilogy, but they take place in that world. So Iíve come back to that after.

Matthew Peterson: One of your other series that ended a long time ago, The Seventh Tower series, do you plan on going back to that series and adding any more to it?

Garth Nix: No, The Seventh Tower is unusual. Itís six books. People sometimes think it should be seven because itís called The Seventh Tower, but [laughs] . . .

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Garth Nix: Itís completed. It tells a complete story and Iím usually . . . unlike all my other books, itís actually owned by LucasFilm and was written for them. So itís not even something that I own or control. I couldnít come back, not even if I wanted to, but in fact, I felt that that was a complete story and everything that needed to be told was told in those six books.

Matthew Peterson: The Keys to the Kingdom, I couldnít help but notice some correlation: you have The Old Kingdom, you have the Keys to the Kingdom, you have The Seventh Tower, you have Seven Days, Seven Keys, Seven Virtues, Seven Sins, you know, this kind of a theme with ďsevenĒ and ďkingdom.Ē [laughs]

Garth Nix: I get emails often saying, ďWhatís with this seven business?Ē You know, some numbers just trigger something in our minds that makes it seem more important than they are.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Is there anything you can tell us about the last book: the Lord Sunday?

Garth Nix: Lord Sunday is the seventh and final book. It really concludes everything. It brings all the threads together. It will hopefully answer all the questions that have remained unanswered through the course of the series. And I hope it will also be a satisfying surprise, how I actually end it.

Matthew Peterson: Tell us a little bit about The Keys to the Kingdom.

Garth Nix: So itís an epic adventure story about a normal boy who is drawn into a titanic cosmic power struggle and has to do the best he can to protect his own family, set things right, protect his home town from all the terrible things that are happening, but also try and defeat the trustees, take the keys, put the universe back to right. Itís very difficult to explain. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. So, I mean, he just has to put the universe back to where itís supposed to be. No big deal. [laughs]

Garth Nix: Itís a small task. And of course, he doesnít want to. He wants to just go back to his normal life.

Matthew Peterson: So everyone listening to the show, please take a look at Garth Nixís books. The latest one is going to be coming out I think around March 2010, at least in the U.S. Itís called Lord Sunday. Thanks so much for being on the show today. Iíve been speaking with Garth Nix, New York Times bestselling author of the Old Kingdom, The Seventh Tower, and The Keys to the Kingdom series. Thank you for being on the show today, Garth.

Garth Nix: Itís a pleasure. Thank you.

Matthew Peterson: Well, thatís it for today. Make sure you visit to listen to the bonus questions that didnít make it onto the live show. As I mentioned earlier this is the final episode of the season, so there wonít be a new episode next week. Iím not sure when the show will start back up again, so keep an eye on my website for more details about the future of the show. Between my house being destroyed in a fire and pressure to get my third book written, not to mention putting food on the table for my wife and five boys, I do need to take a little break from the show.

This season has been so fun. Iíve spoken to some of the greatest fiction authors of our day like Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Terry Pratchett, Meg Cabot, Eoin Colfer, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Terry Brooks, Christopher Paolini, R. L. Stine . . . The list just goes on and on. If youíve missed any of the previous episodes, you can always listen to them or read the transcribed interviews on my website: In fact, Iíll be transitioning the archives of the show to that site in the next few days.

Itís truly been a pleasure being the host of The Author Hour. Iíve learned so much from my guests, and the showís really gotten me excited to get back to my Parallel Worlds series.

And as I said earlier, this week I got an email telling me that my first young adult science fantasy novel, Paraworld Zero, just received a silver award from the Momís Choice Awards in the audio book category. That brings the total to over 15 wins, placements, or honors that Paraworld Zero has received.

To celebrate, Iím giving away free copies of the Paraworld Zero trade paperback to the first ten people who order from my site. Youíll just pay the actual shipping costs. After the first ten are gone, Iíll give them away for $5 each plus shipping. Thatís around 70% off the retail price, so itís still a great deal. Just visit, go to the top menu and click on The Host. Iíll have more details at the top of that page. Oh, and this special is just for orders in the United States.

But you can always get a copy of Paraworld Zero from places like, iTunes, Amazon,, other places. If your library uses Overdrive, please encourage them to order Paraworld Zero, Ďcause itís on there as well. The eBook and audio book. Thanks a lot!

Well, I appreciate all of your support, and Iíd like to thank everyone who made this show possible. I hope youíll continue to listen to the show next season. So this is Matthew Peterson signing off. Goodbye everyone and keep on reading!

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