McNabb, Linda

McNabb, Linda



In Brief

Linda McNabb is a fiction writer for children and young adults. She has published a wide range of fantasy novels, and her book, The Dragon’s Apprentice, was a finalist in the 2003 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. She has written fiction in series, including her ‘Dragon Charmers’ series and her ‘Circle of Dreams’ series. McNabb describes her work as focusing ‘mainly on fantasy that forces the mind to explore things and ideas beyond the “real” world.’


McNabb, Linda (1963 – ) writes fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in England and moved to Auckland at the age of five. She has worked as a computer operator, computer production scheduler and, most recently, in customer service for Scholastic.

McNabb’s first three published books were And the Winner Is… (2001), The Dragon’s Apprentice (2002) and The Puppet Master (2003). The author describes her work as focusing ‘mainly on fantasy that forces the mind to explore things and ideas beyond the "real" world.’ About The Dragon’s Apprentice, reviewers Haylee Bedford and Emma McGinty from Newall School, write in Lookout, ‘This book is one we want to read again and again.’ In the New Zealand Herald, Margie Thomson comments, ‘McNabb’s second novel follows The Dragon’s Apprentice … and brings readers more well-crafted fantasy.’ Graeme Beattie says in citymix ‘[McNabb] has a gift for inventing characters and worlds for them to live in.’

The Dragon’s Apprentice was a finalist at the 2003 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and was listed as a 2003 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book.

The Stonekeeper's Daughter was published by HarperCollins in 2004, and was listed as a 2005 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book.

McNabbs fourth fantasy novel, The Seventh Son, was published by HarperCollins in 2005.

Circle of Dreams: Runeweaver
was published by Scholastic in 2005. The second book of the series is Circle of Dreams: Timeweaver (Scholastic 2007), which tells the story of the young runeweaver Zaine and what happens when the runes don't go his way.

Mountains of Fire (HarperCollins, 2006) is the first book in the Book of the Dragon Charmers series. Valley of Silver, published in 2007 by HarperCollins, is the sequel.

The Crystal Runners was published by Scholastic in 2006.

The Shadow Hunters (HarperCollins, 2007) is a new fantasy novel, a rich story of the kingdom of elves and humans.

Dragon's Bane (HarperCollins, 2008) is the third book in the series that begun with The Dragon's Apprentice. Toby has been living in Dragon Valley for a year now, and things are starting to come apart at the seams of the worlds.

Circle of Dreams: Starweaver (Scholastic, 2008) is the third and final book in the Circle of Dreams series. As time slows down, the people at Willow Castle realise there is only one way to keep the world going, and Zaine is recalled.


Kapai: Kids' Authors Pictures and Information

Where do you live?

What books do you read?
Books about dragons/fantasy.

Who is your favourite author?
Anne McCafferey

How do you think up your ideas?
From many places. Sometimes a children’s cartoon or just someone passing by in the street. Often postcards from other countries spark an idea.

What is the best thing about being an author?
Creating something original and enjoying seeing how the story grows – not always in the way I expected at the beginning!

Some questions from Primary School students

What sort of pets do you have?
A cat called Crystal.

What is your favourite colour/food/movie/game?
Purple/chocolate/Lord of the Rings/Spyro

What is the most fun thing about being an author?
Knowing children have enjoyed my stories. I love getting mail from children.

Where do you make books?
I start with an idea and a character who has a goal, then follow the character as they move towards their goal.

Where do you go for your holidays?
Often to a camping ground.

What was the naughtiest thing you ever did at school?

Dipped all the chalk dusters in water on April Fools’ Day.

Some questions from Secondary School students

How did you get started?
I began writing at the age of 8. I had a lot of ideas for stories and writing them down got me in far less trouble than telling them and expecting people to believe they were true.

Who inspired you when you were getting started?
I loved any fantasy books – Enid Blyton, Ursula Le Guin, Alan Garner, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien – I wanted to be just like them.

What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Write the type of stories that you enjoy reading, and never give up on your dreams.

What were you like as a teenager?
Quiet. I read a lot of books and wrote lots too. I preferred to be alone most of the time but did go out and have fun with friends often too. I was fairly stubborn too. I hated to be told what to do. Perhaps that is why I write – I am in control …well most of the time, as the characters don’t always do what they are told!


Updated March 2022.