Monday, 29 July 2013


So, you know how sometimes a very awesome thing happens, and then right away ANOTHER very awesome thing happens, and you're like...


I announced my book deal with Firefly Press (UK/Commonwealth) a couple of weeks ago, and I can't believe I get to announce that I now have ANOTHER book deal!

BLACKFIN SKY will also be published in the US in 2014 from Running Press (Perseus Books Group)!!! I'm so thrilled that I get to work with Running Press as well as Firefly Press in the UK, and can't wait until my book is out there for you all to see!

There is no other way to sum up my feelings right now, so til 2014 is here, COME DANCE WITH ME S'MORE!!!


And here's the PM announcement:

July 29, 2013
Young Adult 
Kat Ellis's BLACKFIN SKY, in which a teenager drowns off Blackfin Pier on her sixteenth birthday and is mourned by her whole town, only to reappear at school three months later as if nothing had happened, to Lisa Cheng at Running Press Kids, for publication in Fall 2014, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World exc. UK/Commonwealth).

Friday, 26 July 2013


It's been a crazy few weeks since I announced that my novel - my BOOK - is due to be released next year. Having fantasized about it pretty relentlessly for a while now, I still managed to get side-swiped by a few unexpected things, so I thought I'd tell you about them.

Telling the people who didn't know that I write

This is my own fault, admittedly, but it's strange to see someone look at you completely differently when you casually mention that you write in your spare time, and have a book coming out in a few months. People at work, casual friends - lots of people I know had no idea about my secret writing life. They must just have thought I was (am) really antisocial. I'm not saying this isn't also true, but at least my hermitude now has some kind of validation.


I'm amazed how many people who I haven't previously connected with or chatted with often have congratulated me, visited my blog to read my announcement post, followed me on twitter, and added my book on Goodreads. (You can do that here, if you'd like to.) It's WONDERFUL, and pretty damned heartwarming! Thank you all for the congratulations and general awesomeness <3

Cheeky chancers

I admire a cheeky chancer as much as the next person, but I'm not being mean when I say I could not afford to give a 'free' signed first edition of my book to every bugger who has asked for one. I find the best response goes something like this:

Making my family proud

This has been the BEST part so far. My family isn't one of those tearful hugs, "I love you, John Boy" types of families. But they have all told me how proud they are that this dream I've worked towards is actually going to come true.

Excuse me, I think I have something in my eye... *sniffle*

Friday, 19 July 2013

Reaper's Rhythm by Clare Davidson - Cover Reveal

Check it out: the wonderful Clare Davidson's new YA novel, REAPER'S RHYTHM, is soon to be released, and y'all get to see the cover RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Doesn't it sound awesome??

Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

New releases mailing list:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Playlist: LOSER

Music to inspire you when writing
different kinds of scenes
This playlist is for when your MC has just been made to feel like the biggest loser on earth. The mean girls just tore strips off your MC and left them a sobbing mess in the cafeteria. Your MC just said something so ridiculously lame that they've cemented their loser status forever. Or maybe your MC's secret shrine to Lionel Richie was just exposed to their classmates online...

Whatever it was, loserdom has been attained.

Got different tunes you write this kind of scene to? Let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the playlist.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Flash Friday: FIRST SIGHT

This flash is a companion piece to one of my stories. The scene is told from the perspective of a character called Eden - I hope you like it! Comments welcome.

For Bridget.

They’d kept him in quarantine longer than usual, and I could see why. He should have passed through the purge system built into the door and come out looking refreshed. He looked like he’d been spat out instead. 

I watched him through the glass barrier of the mezzanine, my fingers wrapped around the guardrail like I was keeping them out of trouble. 

If he noticed the way his sister's hand hovered at his lower back, he didn't show it. She had to be his sister. Had to. Every gesture was protective, shielding him, but she was too young to be his mother. But it was odd; apart from that one thing, he looked so totally aware of what was going on around him, every hum and creak of the community reflected in his face, like an animal kept caged too long. 

I knew how that felt.

“What are you looking at?”

I flinched at the sound of Loki’s voice behind me, knuckles turning white against the metal rail.

“I’m wondering if I should dye my hair like that girl down there. What do you think?” I didn’t want Loki paying any special attention to the new guy, but I’d have lied out of habit anyway. And their hair was such an unusually pale shade of blond, the idea was tempting.

“I think you have more to be worried about than such artifice.” I scowled. He couldn’t turn off being an asshole even for a minute. “Don’t you have a tour group waiting?”

Ever since the community had started letting in outsiders, I’d been stuck leading tour groups around Alteria. I didn’t exactly enjoy it, but it was better than working down in the underwater maintenance decks. That was the punishment they’d given me last time.

I felt Loki move away, and it was the same sense of relief you'd get from taking off a suit of needles. 

The two newcomers were headed for the elevators, probably going to their newly-assigned quarters. He was still sizing up everyone he passed, every thought apparent in his sharp eyes. I willed him to look up, to give me the same scrutiny. The idea was exciting and scary all at once—what if I was judged to be as boring as the rest of my people? Or what if his gaze lingered-

EDEN, by Bridget Shepherd

I ran to follow Loki, hardly noticing the tingle of the purge system purifying me as I passed through the door to the Rec.

I’d just have to track him down again later. There was something about this new guy, some feeling like everything was about to change, and it was because of him. 

But nobody seemed to realize it, except me. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I am so absolutely over the moon to be able to share my fantastic news with you guys - my novel, BLACKFIN SKY, has sold for UK/Commonwealth publication to Firefly Press!

Firefly are a brand new publishing house, and I'm honoured and so, so excited that my book will be their "flagship" YA publication in 2014! Here is the description of my novel from the press release Firefly Press issued today:

Young adult thriller, Blackfin Sky, by Rhyl-based debut novelist Kat Ellis, sees Skylar Rousseau drown off Blackfin Pier on her sixteenth birthday. She is mourned by her whole town, only to reappear at school three months later as if nothing had happened…

And another bit from the release *ahem*...
“We are thrilled to be launching with such an exciting and wide-ranging list,” said Firefly publisher Penny Thomas. 
Blackfin Sky is an amazing tale and Kat Ellis a real find and we are delighted to be publishing her debut novel as one of our launch titles.”

And here's the announcement on The Bent Agency's blog!

Roll on 2014!!!

Until then...COME DANCE WITH ME!!!

And I now have my very own author page on The Bent Agency's website. YAY!

**Special thanks to Jani Grey for the most epic of gifs!

UPDATE: My marvellous agent Molly Ker Hawn just sent me this announcement from Publishers Marketplace, so of course I had to share!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Winner of the July "I, Reader" Giveaway

And the winner of a copy of WAKE by Lisa McMann is...


Congratulations, Erin! Your book will be in the mail to you soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered. There will be another awesome book giveaway next month!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I, Reader: WAKE by Lisa McMann

This month's I, Reader focuses on a book I first read a couple of years ago, but I found myself re-reading it recently.

*Remember to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy - details at the bottom of this post. GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

WAKE is a brilliant book. The language is somehow sparse and lyrical at the same time, and having read a subsequent 3 novels by Lisa McMann, I can say that she is one author whose novels are automatically on my must-buy list, without even reading the back cover copy.

Speaking of which, here's the back cover copy for WAKE:

Seventeen-year-old Janie is tired of being sucked into other people's dreams, especially the falling dreams and the standing-in-front-of-the-class-naked ones. Or the chilling nightmares like when she's in a strange a dirty kitchen...and a sinister monster edges ever closer.  
But now, for the first time, Janie is not just a witness but a participant...she's outside in the dark, alone, behind a shed, listening to muffled voices, hoping that somebody's nightmare isn't about to explode through the walls, or from the bushes...

What made this book stand out?

For starters, if you're looking for pointers on how to write a book with excellent, seat-of-your-pants pacing, you must read this novel. The plot packs in mystery and action and romance - all in just over 200 pages, and it's done so cleverly that it doesn't feel like a short novel, nor does it feel rushed. It's told in short, punchy scenes, sometimes reading like a screenplay, almost, and it's so stark and consuming that I just couldn't tear my eyes from the page.

I really, really loved Janie and Cabel, her love interest. They're both dealing with very complicated lives, both very much alone and without parental support, and dealing with some pretty heavyweight responsibilities. But they're still quirky and fun and cute together, and despite some pretty dark themes in this novel, it doesn't feel dark. Again with the cleverness.

Finally, I think there was something Dahl-esque about the concept of influencing dreams (*ahem* BFG) which drew me in immediately...then Lisa McMann gave the idea a wicked twist and hijacked my brain. So.

This is one of those rare books that I'll read over and over again.


Want to win a copy of WAKE by Lisa McMann? Just leave a comment by 8pm GMT on Sunday, 7th July (including a way for me to contact you - twitter, email etc.) and I'll pick one winner at random. Open internationally. **GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!**