Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Week Two in the Nanohouse, and author Kat is barely clinging to sanity...

You may have heard me mention the fleece poncho (on several occasions, actually) but it has become my weapon of choice, if you will, for surviving the wilds of Nanowrimo. I've been wearing it for the last three days, and let me tell you, fleece is not the best at staying fresh. Don't you wish you were within smell-range of me now? DON'T YOU???

This photo is from last year, btw. I don't have my Christmas
decorations up yet because that would be INSANE.
Yeah. Anyway, Nanowrimo is going well, and as of now, I've written over 17,000 words this month. Not too shabby, if I say so myself. I'm aiming to write at least 2k every day this week, which should get me well ahead of the target.

Other cool things going on this week:

1. I won a signed copy of Amanda Maciel's awesome-looking TEASE, in which a girl is prosecuted for bullying which may or may not have led to another girl's suicide. You can check it out on Goodreads here. Sounds gripping, and I'm looking forward to reading this bad boy a lot.


2. Today (Tuesday) is my birthday! HOORAY! And my good friend Jani Grey (who is awesome and lovely) sent me these cool things in the mail:

 

Neal Shusterman's UNWIND is one of my all-time fave books,
so I'm well chuffed to finally have the last book in the series!

I love birthdays. They are ACE.

For now...

Kat out x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Nanowrimo like a mofo, and actually being social like a human

It seems like I was lying in the garden swearing at crickets just a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm dressed head to toe -- literally -- in fleece.

(Wasn't that a nice, super-British intro?)

Anyway. Happy November. A few things to talk about, starting with the most writerly, and ending with the least.

1. For the first time ever, I'm taking part in Nanowrimo. This is National Novel Writing Month to the uninitiated, and it means I, along with the entire internet, it seems, have committed to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November.

Now, I'll start by being upfront about 2 things: 1) I don't know if I'll do it. I'm on track at the time of writing this, but... *shrugs* I'm not exactly speedy at first drafts. 2) I'm splitting the 50k between 2 manuscripts, because I don't think I have 50,000 words left in the one I'm mostly working on. So, according to the rules of the game, I can't actually WIN Nanowrimo, even if I complete my 50k. So at best I'll be an also-ran, but still -- it'll be a big achievement if I finish it. That said, I have some time off work, so I can stay up really late and write during the witching hours when pretty much all of my words are made. The words, they mostly come at night... mostly.



...Yeah. Anyway, wish me luck.

2) I should probably have started with this one because it's a thank you, but THANK YOU to everyone who entered my Halloween giveaway. The winners have been randomly selected, and the signed copies of Blackfin Sky were mailed earlier this week. They're basically flying through the air on teeny tiny broomsticks right now.

3) I got 2 particularly amazing reviews of Blackfin Sky this week - one on Geek Syndicate, and a reader review on The Guardian's website. There was much Snoopy-dancing, trust me. I also got to do a Dear Teen Me feature, which was pretty cool, and has some pictures of me as a teenager in case you're curious about what kind of dork I was.

4) I actually left the house to do more than grocery shopping! I recently saw Chevelle play in Manchester (AWESOME)...

Chevelle. I know, it could be anyone, but my phone camera sucks ass.
...and went to An Evening with Noel Fielding (INSANE and AWESOME) in Llandudno.
Noel Fielding. Also the head of the guy in front of me.
So that's what I've been up to. Now heading back into my writing cave to carve out some more nano-words.

Peace out, yo.

K x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Halloween Giveaway - Win one of 3 signed copies of Blackfin Sky!


Meet this sinister fellow in Blackfin Sky

The Ween is almost upon us! You'll be needing a new spooky read to add to your TBR pile, right? With a creepy circus, a haunted weathervane, and a girl who mysteriously returns from the dead, why not enter to win my spooky debut...?

When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.

Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it. 

I have 3 SIGNED copies to give away, and it's international. Enter using the rafflecopter below.


Please note: Winners in UK/Commonwealth will automatically win the UK edition, and USA/Canada/anywhere else in the world will get the US edition - unless you specify otherwise. Just let me know ASAP after the winners are announced.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Scary reads on my Halloween TBR

I don't often post about what I'm reading, but as it's almost Halloween and I have a few scary/spooky books lined up in my reading pile, I thought I'd share a few here. Not sure how many I'll get through before the Ween is upon us, but I'll give it my best shot...



1. Sleepless by Lou Morgan

This is one of the first titles in the new Red Eye series (watch the series trailer here), and it looks awesome. 

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming – and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.

It's also a BARGAIN on e-book at the moment at just 59p! The paperback comes out in January, in case you're a nerd like me and have to buy both.





2. The Cellar by Natasha Preston

For months Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her—and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family. But flowers can't survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out...

I grabbed this one for 3 reasons: 

1) Loved the chilling blurb. 

2) Loved the spooky cover. 

3) Another e-book bargain at only £1.23







3. Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

I'm a huge fan of Michael Grant's, and just finished the last in the epic GONE series, so I am pretty much salivating over this book. This was the cover I got, but I honestly can't decide which I prefer - this, or the red one with the gory amputated hand. Ah, decisions, decisions...



The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.
But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out...



4. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. It's an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day - gorgeous, glamorous, deadly! Because, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave...

I bought this after being lucky enough to hear Holly Black read from it at last year's World Fantasy Con, but have been saving it to read when I needed something good 'n' chilling. If not Halloween, then when, right??



5. Say Her Name by James Dawson

Again, I've been wanting to read this one for a while, and just look at that gorgeous cover! Also, James Dawson very kindly sent me a signed bookplate to go inside my copy. Feel free to have the jealousy.

Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of Bloody Mary: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror - five days - but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...

Grab your copy here. Probably best not to read it out loud surrounded by candles while looking in the mirror, eh?

6. Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind… Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.

This is another Red Eye title, and the e-book is again just 59p. INSANITY BARGAIN.





*****

Got any brilliant scary reads on your Halloween TBR? If you have any must-read recommendations, let me know in the comments.


Kat out x

Thursday, 9 October 2014

I'm a JLG Fall pick!

...Well, my book is.


BLACKFIN SKY has officially been chosen by the Junior Library Guild in the US as one of their Fall book picks. You can check it out on their site here. It's so awesome to be chosen, and to know that even more readers will get to grab themselves a little Blackfin goodness this Fall!

Kat out x


Friday, 3 October 2014

Next

The summer turned into one long-held breath for me, working on bits and pieces and waiting for the US release of Blackfin Sky, and for schools to go back so that I could start up again with the talks and visits and so on. And then September rolled around, and it was my US RELEASE and ALL THE EXCITEMENT, and then again I disappeared back into my writing cave to become a feral writer.

That, by the way, was my long-winded way of saying 'Oops, I haven't posted an update in over a month.' Sorry. My bad.

I went to visit a book club today in a little village about an hour away from where I live, and I hadn't a clue what to expect before I got there (I wasn't even sure whether it was an English-speaking or Welsh-speaking group, but I was braced for either). But the whole group were lovely, and had a bunch of great questions already lined up, and some real brain-stretchers too.

There were better pictures than this, but I quite like how randomly windswept I look.

I have this weird expectation that one day I'll be invited to speak to a group just so they can tear me to shreds, but -- spit three times and spin in a circle for luck -- it hasn't happened yet. Maybe next time...

Speaking of this intangible 'next', what else will I be doing from now on?

Well, hopefully some more groups and visits, but what I'm mainly looking forward to is getting really stuck into WRITING. I know, shocker. And didn't I just say that's what I've been doing all summer? Well, yes, but that was polishing off a now-polished manuscript, and I can't not have a story to work on.

So now I have 2.

I'm breaking one of my own decrees here (THOU SHALT NOT DOUBLE-DIP THE MANUSCRIPT INK or something), but there are 2 stories jostling around inside my sticky brain, and I've gotten into a situation where I can't set either aside. This isn't any big thing for most writers, but I'm generally very single- (simple?) minded about things like this, so working on 2 manuscripts at the same time is like leaping into the abyss. Or something less dramatic than that, but still.

And as always, I've self-imposed a ridiculous deadline, so I'm not even going to commit to a finish date in this public space. But I'm aiming for The Fast and the Furious-style productivity.

I'll try to be a bit better at posting here now, but if not, please assume it's because I'm being authorly (and not just watching X Factor repeats).

Kat out for now x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Going Stateside!

Blackfin Sky is out in the US today (AAAAAH!) which I'm sure you'll be aware of if you've seen me cartwheeling all over twitter and Facebook.

But the truth is, I wouldn't have been online at all otherwise. I've been deep inside my writing cave, working on edits for a new manuscript and getting started on a NEW new manuscript. Keeping busy, innit.

I've got a few things in the pipeline that I'll write about here soon, but in the meantime, have some celebratory USA cake.



Kat out x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ace Review and ARC Giveaway!

Hello peeps. Sorry for the relative silence of late, but I've been holed up in my writing cave hammering out edits on one manuscript and latterly drafting a new one (not a complete one - I'm not a machine.)

I just wanted to share with you this wicked (in the best way!) review of the US edition of Blackfin Sky. If you watch it and live in the US, you'll get a chance to enter a giveaway for one of the last ARC copies of the book, and could even read it before its official release on September 2nd!

Here's the link to Lainey's amazing video:

http://youtu.be/D_Mow0DKU_Q 

The giveaway ends on August 18th, so don't miss out! And even though I'm completely biased, you can trust me when I say you should definitely subscribe to Lainey's channel for more bookish goodness. Oh, and follow her on twitter @readalongLainey too!

I'll be back on form with the blogging soon. In the meantime, I'm lurking on twitter most days if you want to say hi, or you can check out my new-ish facebook page to see some recent photos from events.

For now...

Kat out x

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Heads up! US Giveaway of BLACKFIN SKY

Hello again! Just a quick heads up to my US pals: there's a giveaway happening right now, thanks to my US publisher Running Press Teen, where you can enter to win an early copy and some really cool,  secret extras! Closes soon, so HURRY.

Enter on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/101914-blackfin-sky

This is the very last time an advance copy will be given away before the September release, so good luck!

Kat out x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Kindle Summer Reads & Special Offer from Firefly Press

Hi guys,

Just wanted to let you know about a couple of promotions going on right now:

Blackfin Sky is only 99p right now on Amazon Kindle UK as part of their Summer Reads promotion. Get it quick, before the price goes back up...

Firefly Press are offering free UK delivery when you order Blackfin Sky direct from their website, so grab yourself a bargain!

...And whatever you're reading right now, enjoy!

Kat out x