First off, I started the month with some excited squealing when ARCs of my next book, BREAKER, arrived in the mail. If you're not familiar with ARCs, these are Advance Reader Copies that the publisher sends out to trade reviewers, book bloggers, etc. to get early reviews for the book, and generally stir up a bit of hype. I call these 'floppy copies' because they're not in the finished, polished format that will end up in bookshops. They are very gorgeous, though, and infinitely huggable.
I also read and gave a promo quote for a book which came out on Feb 2nd. It's a gripping, kickass YA sci-fi set on a partially terraformed Mars, about a girl named Wren who has to break every rule on the planet to try and save her mother's life. It's called WINDRUNNER'S DAUGHTER by Bryony Pearce, and I've been shouting about it all over the internet since finishing it. Basically, it's ace, and you should definitely read it. Click here to check it out on Amazon UK.
Reading-wise, I'm a little behind where I wanted to be, but the books I've read so far this year have been absolute belters. I started with Neal Shusterman's UNWHOLLY (sequel to UNWIND), and am looking forward to reading the final 2 books in the dystology. I also finally listened to the audiobook of HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, read by Stephen Fry. It was just as amazing as I was expecting. Then I listened to the first in the LOCKWOOD & CO series - THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE, and loved it. I immediately bought the sequel, which says a lot. I'm now listening to the audiobook of the first in the SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT series, which I already know I'm going to love because I burst out laughing when listening to it while walking along the seafront, and accidentally scared a dog walker.
As for the writing side of things, last night I finished the first draft of my new manuscript. It took me about 7 weeks to write, and has been the easiest so far (probably jinxing myself by saying that, but eh). I usually take between 3-6 months to draft a new manuscript, so I'm feeling a teensy bit pleased with myself. Of course it still needs lots of work to revise it and polish it up ready for human eyes, but the bones are there, and the revision part -- which tends to be quite methodical and break-down-into-chunksable for me -- can wait until I've let it sit awhile. Not to mention doing the edits for PURGE, which is coming out this Autumn.
I've been finding plenty of new music to listen to lately, and my latest obsessions have a definite Americana vibe. Here are three of my favourite January Jams (that's not a thing, but go with it).
Lastly, looking ahead to February, I'm taking part in an Instagram challenge started by Dahlia Adler called AuthorLifeMonth, where there are writing-related pictures posted each day focusing on different themes. You can check out my pics here if you like.
Also coming up, I've got a couple of posts going live on Author Allsorts this month -- the first is an interview with Bryony Pearce about WINDRUNNER'S DAUGHTER, and the second is a post offering some insight into why I write thrillers. You can watch out for those here.
Hope you've had a fantastic January!
Kat out x