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J.W. Lynne
Biography and Q and A

Works include: Above the Sky, The Unknown, The Simulation Game, Lost in Los Angeles, Lost in Tokyo, Kid Docs, and Wild Animal School

A Biography for J.W. Lynne

J.W. Lynne's original writing aspiration was to become a screenwriter. After writing a couple of scripts and finding herself unable to get them into the hands of someone who could help them come to life on the screen, a friend suggested that she write her next screenplay as a novel instead. Her first novel, Wild Animal School, tells the story of a teen who spends an unforgettable summer caring for elephants, tigers, bears, leopards, and lions at an exotic animal ranch. Her next book was a reimagining one of her completed screenplays, Kid Docs, as a novel. Kid Docs dives into the behind-the-scenes action at a hospital where gifted young children are trained to become pint-sized doctors.

Lynne's next two novels, Lost in Los Angeles and Lost in Tokyo, were inspired by her travels. In Lost in Los Angeles, a young woman must decide whether to trust an intriguing young man who she meets in a coffee shop. In Lost in Tokyo, a college student carries out her missing mother's bucket list in a desperate attempt to finally find her.

Lynne's most recent novels are a four-book series (Above the Sky, Return to the Sky, Part of the Sky, and Beyond the Sky), a duology (The Unknown and The Haven), and a standalone (The Simulation Game). In the Above the Sky series, teens search for the truth in a post-apocalyptic seemingly-utopian society founded on lies. In the Unknown duology, eight children are kidnapped in the night and wake up in a mysterious world full of secrets. The Simulation Game is about families whose lives take an unexpected turn after they are locked in a bunker to compete for a life-changing prize.

Q and A with J.W. Lynne

Question: What was the first book you remember reading in your early life?

Answer: Are You My Mother? (by P. D. Eastman). My mom tells me that, by the time I was one and a half years old, I had memorized the book and I enjoyed reciting the words as I turned the pages. Once, when I was doing that at the supermarket, a woman turned to my mom in shock and remarked, "Your baby can read!"

Question: What were some of your favorite books when you were in elementary school?

Answer: I loved The Boxcar Children series (by Gertrude Chandler Warner) and Judy Blume's books.

Question: What motivated you to start writing?

Answer: My love of storytelling and reading inspired me to start writing.

Question: What was your absolute favorite real-life adventure?

Answer: If I had to name one, it would be my trip to Japan, but there are really so many. I also loved visiting Harry Potter movie filming locations in Oxford and London, and staying overnight at one of the filming locations for Hogwarts Castle. You can check out my adventures, sorted by location here.

Question: What inspired you to write your dystopian science fiction novels?

Answer: My dystopian science fiction novels (Above the Sky, Return to the Sky, Part of the Sky, Beyond the Sky, The Unknown, and The Haven) were inspired by my fascination with the dystopian worlds in books like Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth's Divergent, and Lois Lowry's The Giver.

Question: What do you love about dystopia?

Answer: I find it fascinating to think about future societies and what it would be like to live in them. I am especially intrigued by dystopian societies that were born out of an attempt to create a utopian society, like the one in The Giver by Lois Lowry and in Above the Sky.

Question: What's your favorite kind of book to write?

Answer: I like writing about worlds that have dark secrets that the characters discover during the course of the story, like the ones in Above the Sky and The Unknown.

Question: What are your favorite quotes from your books?

Answer: A few of my favorites are:

“You are so much stronger than you realize. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not. Not even you.” (from Above the Sky)

"There are certain questions that must never be asked. Of anyone. Even oneself.” (from Above the Sky)

“Nobody is normal once you get to know them.” (from The Unknown)

“You can’t stop living your life because you’re afraid that something is going to go wrong.” (from The Unknown)

Question: I heard that your book The Unknown has a sequel. Does The Unknown end in a cliffhanger?

Answer: I endeavored to bring The Unknown to a satisfying conclusion, without any major cliffhangers. In fact, The Unknown was originally intended to be the only book set in this world. Reader enthusiasm about The Unknown inspired a sequel, The Haven, however The Unknown may be read as a standalone book.

Question: Your book Above the Sky is part of a series. Did you end each book with a cliffhanger?

Answer: I always endeavor to bring every book I write to a satisfying conclusion, without any major cliffhangers. In addition, each book in the Sky series (including the first book) was originally intended to be the final book set in this world. Reader enthusiasm encouraged me to continue Seven's story, eventually into a four-book series (Above the Sky, Return to the Sky, Part of the Sky, and Beyond the Sky).

Question: I really LOVED the writing in The Unknown. Which of your books should I read next?

Answer: I am thrilled that you want to read more of my novels! If you haven't already read the sequel to The Unknown (The Haven), I would highly recommend it. The Haven picks up right where The Unknown left off and, like in The Unknown, the kids experience shocking revelations.

If you've already read The Haven, I'd recommend The Simulation Game. The Simulation Game is about families whose lives take an unexpected turn after they are locked in a bunker to compete for a life-changing prize.

If you're looking for another book, I'd recommend Above the Sky. Above the Sky tells the story of a girl named Seven and a boy named Ten who grow up in a world that almost seems to be a utopia, but there are dark secrets hidden under the surface. Over the course of the novel, Seven and Ten discover jaw-dropping truths about their world.

Question: What's your favorite kind of book to read?

Answer: I gravitate toward dystopias and novels with a bit of mystery. I especially enjoy reading novels that have shocking twists, like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Question: What were your favorite subjects in middle school, high school, and college?

Answer: I loved English, because I love reading and thinking about books. I also loved biology, because I enjoy learning about how plants, animals, and people work.

Question: I posted a photo/artwork/video/review about one of your books. Would you like to see it?

Answer: Absolutely! Please share a link to your post with me, so that I can check it out.

I hope you enjoy reading the Above the Sky series, the Unknown duology, The Simulation Game, Lost in Los Angeles, Lost in Tokyo, Kid Docs, and Wild Animal School!

I'd love to hear your questions or comments! You can connect with me on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter! If you loved one of my books, please take a few moments to write a quick review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Your review will help more people discover the book!

- J.W. Lynne

Find more information about J.W. Lynne here!

Are you planning to read Above the Sky or The Unknown with your book club? Check out the guides and discussion questions for book clubs here:

Above the Sky discussion questions and book club guide

The Unknown discussion questions and book club guide


Books by J.W. Lynne


Eighteen-year-old Seven and her best friend, Ten, live where all is peaceful ... except for the violent war raging above the sky. Lifelike humanoid robots and self-operated drones tend to everyone's needs, leaving people free to spend their time stimulating their minds and enjoying life's pleasures. But there are strict rules and few choices.

There are also secrets.

Seven is about to discover how dangerous secrets can be.

What readers are saying about ABOVE THE SKY:

"5 Stars!!!!!! Unputdownable!! My new favorite book. If YOU love a good dystopian + romance, then you need this book in your life." -- Megan, i fall in love book blog

Eight kids, ages nine to seventeen, awaken to find that almost everything they have ever known has been stolen from them. They were ripped from their beds in the middle of the night and transported to an unfamiliar and unforgiving new world where there are strict rules, and they are punished if they refuse to obey.

As the kids grapple with their mysterious new reality, they struggle with disconcerting questions. Where in the world are they? Why were they taken away from their families? Will they ever get to go back home? And the most frightening question: Will this be where they die?

What readers are saying about THE UNKNOWN:

"It is extremely rare for me to be surprised or give 5 stars. I almost always anticipate the plot twists. I thought I had this one all figured out from the very beginning. I couldn't have been more wrong! An exhilarating read that I couldn't put down." -- Justine, Book Catharsis

Sixteen-year-old Lois is about to embark on a simulated lunar mission with her mom, dad, and thirteen-year-old sister, hoping to win a life-changing prize. They will be locked up with nine other families in a state-of-the-art bunker, where their every move will be judged by anonymous evaluators. Families that don’t have what it takes will be eliminated.

Lois thought that being eliminated from the competition was the worst thing that could happen to her.

She was dead wrong.

What readers are saying about THE SIMULATION GAME:

"One of the best books I have read. Great story, characters, terrific balance between narrative and dialogue and an ending that you will never see coming." - Christine, Goodreads

Just weeks after eighteen-year-old Erin tragically loses her best friend, she is brutally betrayed by her high school crush. Plagued by crippling panic attacks and disconcerting visions of her dead friend, Erin travels to Los Angeles, searching for a sign that life is still worth living. Shortly after she arrives, she meets Ben, a mysterious man who captures both her curiosity and her heart. As they explore Los Angeles together, Ben reveals shocking secrets of his tragic childhood and helps Erin believe that she can heal from the wounds of her traumatic past. But Ben is hiding one horrible secret. A secret that could destroy her.

What readers are saying about LOST IN LOS ANGELES:

"I have read many books and I don't think one has moved me as much as this one did. My eyes are welling up and my heart aches. I absolutely love this book." -- Elizabeth, The Bookish Way

Nineteen-year-old Erin is hoping that her visit to Japan with her best friend, Adam, will be life-changing. Fifteen years ago, Erin's mother mysteriously vanished. The only clue she left behind is a handwritten itinerary for a dream trip to Japan, a trip that Erin doesn't know if her mother ever had the chance to take. Erin has decided to carry out this itinerary, believing that it might help her find her mother. But her trip won't be going according to plan.

What readers are saying about LOST IN TOKYO:

"Full of heartbreak, loss and finding yourself while falling in love with your best friend. I would absolutely recommend this book." -- Amy, Goodreads

Connor became a doctor just two days ago--along with all of his friends. They are child prodigies who were hand-selected at just three years old to undergo intensive medical training as part of a controversial experiment called Kid Docs. KID DOCS tells the story of fourteen-year-old Connor Hansen's first days as an ER doctor. Connor learns to save lives and discovers that some lives cannot be saved.

What readers are saying about KID DOCS:

"Plenty of plot points kept me reading: finding out how the kid docs will react to the pressure, the fate of the patients who come into the hospital, and even the fate of one of their own." -- Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Rainville's dream of working with exotic animals is about to come true. She's signed up to spend a summer learning to train and care for tigers, lions, leopards, bears, and elephants at an exotic animal ranch. She will pet tigers, train grizzly bears, ride bareback on elephants, and, despite her best efforts, she will fall in love. But Jessica's summer at the exotic animal ranch will test her in ways that she never imagined. And just one mistake can mean the difference between life and death.

What readers are saying about WILD ANIMAL SCHOOL:

"Loved this book! Had me hooked all the way to the end! Animal lovers delight!" -- Pepper, Goodreads

If you're a member of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, all of the above books are FREE to read!

  J.W. Lynne is the author of ten novels popular among teen, YA (young adult), and adult readers. Lynne's works of fiction feature preteen and teenage main characters.

Books best for kids in middle school through adults: The Unknown, Kid Docs, and Wild Animal School

Books best for teenagers in high school through adults: Above the Sky, Lost in Los Angeles, and Lost in Tokyo.

(Last updated January 2021)

Discover more about J.W. Lynne:




Read a sample of Above the Sky

Read a sample of The Unknown

Read a sample of The Simulation Game

Read a sample of Lost in Los Angeles

Read a sample of Lost in Tokyo

Read a sample of Kid Docs

Read a sample of Wild Animal School

(Last updated in January 2021)