Friday, 31 July 2015

Some news about BREAKER, and a few other things

I have now seen the second draft cover for BREAKER, and I have to say, it is a bloody good cover. For reals. I don't think it'll be too long now before I can reveal it to the world, and I am pretty excited about it.

But that isn't the only news -- you can now pre-order BREAKER from The Book Depository! Not gonna lie, it would make me extremely happy if you did. You can do so here. (Thank you thank you thank you!!!)

On a completely different note, you might remember I posted the first book trailer for Dawn Kurtagich's THE DEAD HOUSE a few weeks ago. Well, now there's a brilliant brand-new second trailer for it, again featuring my very talented sister Amy Lloyd, over on Entertainment Weekly. Check it out here, but warning: it's scary as hell.

As you have guessed from my pyjamas (because I'm sure you can tell from the tone of this post that I'm wearing pyjamas as I write it), I'm still in the editing cave, but am on track to finish this round of edits today -- hooray! Then tomorrow I'll be cutting down my neighbour's tree, just to keep things interesting. Know that I'll be singing this in my head as I do it, whether I want to or not:



Kat out x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

YALC Wrap-up!

That was QUITE a hectic weekend! When I say 'hectic', I of course mean fabulous, but with tired, achy feet. YALC 2015 was a roaring success, with loads of amazing panels and workshops and free sweets in the green room (shh, that's probably meant to be a secret!) and author signings a-plenty.

As I'm meant to be thigh-deep wading through the editing swamp, I'll limit my ravings to a few bullet points of My Favourite Things from the Con:


  • Getting lost immediately when I arrived in London, looking up and spotting author Tatum Flynn sipping prosecco on a balcony (as you do).
  • Watching Dawn Kurtagich talk horror at the first panel of the con, and being glamorous AF with her senorita fan and platform sneaks.
  • Joining my amazing agent Molly Ker Hawn to talk in the Agents' Arena about how agents and authors work together, and getting lots of smart, interesting questions from the folks who attended. 
  • Checking out Firefly Press's fabulous stand, and signing quite a few copies of BLACKFIN SKY!
  • Meeting fellow Molly-clients Simon P. Clark (EREN) and Alwyn Hamilton (REBEL OF THE SANDS).
  • Seeing all the cosplayers (though I was devastated not to spot Hayley Atwell or Sigourney Weaver, sob!)
  • Catching up with friends old and new, and meeting lots of twitter pals and bloggers and writers for the first time. Y'all know who you are. *MWAH*

Here are some snaps from the weekend...

Molly Ker Hawn & me talking agenty-authory stuff:


THE DEAD HOUSE, before it sold out; Dawn Kurtagich, making herself at home onstage; Casual Sith. 



    

Me with Janet Thomas from Firefly Press, and BLACKFIN SKY on the wall of books & on the Firefly Press stand!
 


 
With Moira Fowley-Doyle, and with Frances Hardinge, getting books signed.

 

Dawn, me & Hayley Long (whom I've waited to meet for AGES and she is AWESOME.)



L-R below: Me, Tatum Flynn, Marieke Nijkamp, Sarah Benwell, Lucinda Murray, Luna (of the Little Library), E M Castellan, Dawn Kurtagich. Photo belongs to Tatum Flynn, but I nicked it off twitter.





Monday, 6 July 2015

YALC and celebrations and cake

Hello! I figured it was time to emerge from my (sweaty) editing cave to give an update on the ol' blog.

A couple of weeks ago, Firefly Press celebrated their first birthday -- a whole year of publishing great YA and children's books! They invited all their authors and other fab peoples from the world of books to mark the occasion down in Cardiff. I went and met/caught up with a ton of wonderful people, and ate some pretty excellent Chinese food. Also, cake.

The Firefly Press crew
Next week, I'm heading down to London for YALC (Young Adult Lit Con, 17-19 July) which is being held within London Film and Comic Con. I will be doing an agent-author talk at 2:30pm on the Saturday with my agent, Molly Ker Hawn, followed by a signing of BLACKFIN SKY at 4:15pm. I'm also really looking forward to attending loads of the talks and workshops, especially the horror event on the Friday, which my pal Dawn Kurtagich is taking part in. There will be photos!

I have also seen the first draft of the cover for my next book, and it is WONDERFUL. I mean, I love it. For realsies. And I can't wait for it to be finalised so I can show the world how pretty it is.

I've started listening to audiobooks while I'm out and about (this is about the only way I can try to gain any ground with my teetering TBR), and have gone through 3 in the last couple of weeks which I absolutely loved. If you're looking for great audiobooks to listen to, I highly recommend READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline (read by the amazing Wil Wheaton!), EVE & ADAM by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate, and BRUISER by Neal Shusterman. Next on my list is THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray.

As for my non-writing life, I've been taking some time away from the cave to go on a few adventures. Here are some pics taken from my Instagram account (feel free to follow me there, if you are so inclined!):


A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on


A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Kat out x

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Edinburgh Book Festival

Exciting things are afoot! Or will be in August...


On 18th August, I will be doing an event titled 'The Disappeared' with author Cat Clarke at Edinburgh International Book Festival, where we will be talking about making children disappear (just in our books...probably). Tickets and info are available here.




ALSO, my book - BLACKFIN SKY - is up for the First Book Award! Exciting, no? And if you like my book (or like me - I mean, I'm very happy with either) you can vote for me here.

In other news, I have gone straight from editing one book to editing another, and am feeling rather productive. Stealing a bit of time to sit out in the sunshine while I work hasn't hurt, either. My skin has even turned a subtle shade of off-grey, which is thrilling.

Hope you are as excited for summer as I am!

Kat out x

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Smoke signals from Kat's editing cave

These words are being relayed to you from deep within my editing cave, where I am taking a teensy break from editing my next book to share a few bits of good news...

1. BLACKFIN SKY is now officially one year old! It was released in the UK on 14th May last year, and this anniversary of my author-ness feels like a milestone. Not only that, but Firefly Press (UK publisher for BLACKFIN SKY and my 3rd novel, PURGE, which will be out next year) are celebrating a year in publishing this month, and I'm so impressed with the catalogue of amazing books they've produced in such a short space of time. They have 2 more YA novels out this month -- THE TERRITORY by Sarah Govett, which I'm reading (and very much enjoying!) right now, and LOST ON MARS by Paul Magrs, which looks amazing, and is lined up next on my to-read shelf. Firefly also send out a monthly newsletter full of fun stuff, and you can sign up to receive that here if you're into bookish news and author appearances and contests and stuff.

Here's to another year, and many more, of Firefly Press success! *clinks champagne glass* Cheers.

2. You will have seen/heard me shouting my love for the forthcoming THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich, and this week she released the first teaser-trailer for the book, which comes out in August in the UK. Here it is:


There will be a few more trailers released over the coming months leading up to publication, and I'm excited about this not just because of how brilliant the book is (and it is), but because my sister - Amy Lloyd - is the model in the trailers. Cool, yes? Yes.

3. Finally, I will definitely be going to YALC (Young Adult Lit Con) in London in July. If you're going and want me to sign your copy of BLACKFIN SKY, just tweet me or otherwise indicate your desire for my scrawl, and I'll be happy to oblige. I think Firefly Press will be there selling their YA titles, so chances are you can grab a copy there.

So that's what has been happening outside my cave, but now I must get back to work. I'll update with more news as I have it!

Kat out x

*Rolls boulder back into place over cave entrance*

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Going on retreat, editing, and some handy links

First (and second) part: I went on retreat earlier this month with 5 brilliant authors - Dawn Kurtagich (who masterminded the whole thing), Tatum Flynn, Victoria Schwab, Isabel Sterling, and David Purse. My goal, as stated in front of the others on the first night in our wicked apartment filled with armour and stuffed animals, was to finish a round of edits on my current manuscript. I got a fair bit done, but not a full round; although I did have a lot of ice cream, played jenga, and drove my car onto a beach, so if you take all things into consideration, it was a productive week. More importantly, it was a lot of fun.

Dawn very cleverly put together a video of our adventures, which you can check out here if you're so inclined.



The handy links part: I've taken part in a couple of interviews and guest blogs recently, and you can use these clicky things to check them out:

Where the Ideas Flow (a sneak peek into my writing space) on Serendipity Reviews

Welsh Week Interview on Librarian Lavender

My Top 10 UKYA Books on the UKYA site (I've tried to include some under-the-radar reads in this list, so it isn't just the same old faves trotted out for the zillionth time)

Also coming up in a couple of days is a guest post on Miss Print's site for 'Poetically Speaking' - a blog series to celebrate Poetry Month - in which I talk about Ted Hughes' The Thought Fox. In the meantime, there are already loads of fantastic poetry-themed posts there just waiting for you to have a gander... CLICK TO SEE THE AWESOMENESS

OK, I think that's all I have for you at the moment. Better get back to kicking this manuscript around the room like a thug.

Kat out x

Monday, 13 April 2015

In which I have NEW BOOK NEWS!

Yes, you read that right - a new book! I am delighted to be working with Firefly Press on another book, this time a YA sci fi called PURGE, due for publication Autumn 2016.

This means I'll have 2 books out next year (PURGE, and BREAKER, which will be out in the Spring), and I'm hugely excited to see this story heading out into the world. It's really special to me, and I happen to think it's funny and weird and geeky and romancey and all good things, so I hope readers will like it too! Here's an extract from the press release issued today by Firefly Press:

Penny Thomas, Publisher at Wales-based children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has acquired World English rights to PURGE, the second young adult thriller for Firefly by author Kat Ellis, from Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency.

Following Kat’s acclaimed debut fantasy thriller BLACKFIN SKY, the new novel is a powerful and romantic excursion into futuristic fantasy. PURGE will be published in autumn 2016, following publication of Kat’s second YA novel BREAKER in the US next spring by Running Press Teen.  
Told in parallel narratives, PURGE features 17-year-old Mason, who has secrets hes desperately trying to keep, like his penchant for the drug known as Pi, and the implant that allows him to hide his deafness. When he's kicked out of yet another community, Mason has no option but to seek shelter with people who believe purging is good for the soul — only in Mason's case, ‘purging’ means having his personality altered through a terrifying virtual reality programme. 
Penny Thomas, Firefly Press Publisher, says: This is a great title for Firefly. Kat is an emerging YA writer of real skill, and a talent for creating scary and compelling new fictional worlds and characters. BLACKFIN SKY was a Junior Library Guild selection in the US and a fantastic read, and I’m certain PURGE will be a big hit with fans and readers new to Kat’s work.’

Here's a link to the announcement on The Bookseller.

What do you think?? If you'd like to add it to your Goodreads TBR, you can do so here.

Kat out x

*skips off into the sunset*

Monday, 9 March 2015

Feeling lucky, punk? Blackfin Sky giveaways and more!

There are 2 giveaways going on right now - both international - where you can win a SIGNED copy of the US edition of Blackfin Sky. These are the links to both, should you wish to enter...

Interview & giveaway on Carmel & Kyla: Troglodytes Approve

Goodreads giveaway (5 copies, WHOOP WHOOP)

(Just as an aside, I'm going to point out that because I live in the UK and the majority of US copies are naturally in the US, VERY FEW have been signed to date. Like, 2 or 3 maybe, ever. So a signed US edition is as rare as hen's teeth. OK, as you were.)

I mentioned a while back that I've joined the awesome folks blogging over at Author Allsorts, and this week saw my first post on the site, where I talked about 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Getting Published. I got a lot of nice feedback about it, so I'm chalking it up as a good first outing with the Author Allsorts crew.

Oh, and one last thing before I disappear back into the ether...

Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery, organisers of the fabulous UKYA Extravaganza event I got to be a part of last week, are organising further UKYAX events in future, and have set up a website and facebook page where details will be posted. If you're interested in going to an event, or just want to keep an eye on all the shenanigans, you should check out those links.

Kat out x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The UKYAX Aftershow

Hello peeps! If you didn't manage to get to Birmingham for Saturday's UKYA Extravaganza -- or even if you did -- you can catch a write-up of the event by me and Rhian Ivory (The Boy Who Drew the Future, Firefly Press - September 2015) right HERE.

My book, Blackfin Sky, sold out within a matter of minutes, so if you were there and didn't manage to buy a copy to get signed, I'm working on a way to make signed copies available online. I'll put details up here once I have it figured out.

Wonderful blogger Michelle Toy has done a definitive post about the UKYAX event and future plans, and has gathered links to other posts about it right HERE.

Aaaaand, if you just want to see a few random snaps my husband took on the day, you can find those HERE:

Everyone pile in!

Anna McKerrow, author of Crow Moon, recording a vlog

Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days, chatting with me


Christina Banach, author of Minty

Claire Furniss, author of The Year of the Rat

Organisers Emma Pass, author of ACID and The Fearless,
and Kerry Drewery, author of A Dream of Lights, and A Brighter Fear

Eve Ainsworth, author of 7 Days



Talking...

Kendra Leighton, author of Glimpse

Rhian Ivory, author of The Boy Who Drew the Future
The final panel, with me, Rachel Ward, Janet Edwards, Lou Morgan, and Claire Furniss