Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My 2014 in review


I started the year by revealing my US cover for BLACKFIN SKY over on Icey Books, and seeing the trade reviews start to come in. Spoiler: They didn't hate it! It was fairly unanimously agreed that my book is weird, but I was and continue to be A-OK with that.


Went over the final proofs for the UK edition of Blackfin Sky. On a non-bookish note, I'd decided by this point to give up my full time day job in IT (sort of) and get a part-time one that would let me spend more time writing. The prospect made me deliriously happy and pants-shitteningly terrified all at once.


I turned in final US edits in a timely fashion! And started my new part-time admin job! I also went to xx women's writing festival and did my first ever panel with Lucy Christopher and Catherine Fisher (where I was very starstruck and more than a little bit nervous.)


I took part in Cardiff Childrens Literature Festival, doing an evening of readings and Q&A with Lucy Christopher and music from Quiet Marauder.


Firefly Press launch at Aberystwyth Arts Centre
On the 14th May, it was the UK release of Blackfin Sky. Firefly Press (my UK publisher) held a launch for all their first titles in Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and I had a special launch event at Prestatyn Library just for my little book, with readings from the local teen reading group and Q&A with librarian Kara Orford.


I went to my old high school for a careers day event, and told a room full of teenagers that I tell lies for a living, and sweatpants and fleece hoodies are my work uniform. Not sure whether I successfully sold the author career or not, but nobody pulled the fire alarm, so I'm assuming it didn't suck.

Dawn & Me at YALC

YALC - the first ever UK YA literary con - happened down in London, and I went there with Penny from Firefly Press and the always-wonderful Dawn Kurtagich (author of THE DEAD HOUSE, which will be out in 2015 and which you all need to have on your radars!) It was a great success, and I got to meet loads of author and blogger pals in real life.


Nothing happened. Well, it did, but it mostly involved me lying in my back garden reading and enjoying the strangely excellent weather. I suppose I wrote and edited a bit, but it was mostly the garden thing.


My book came out in the US! I think my dad was probably the first person to buy an actual physical copy over there as he was on holiday in Florida. My mam and stepdad threw a US-themed party on release day, and we ate burgers and drank Bud, all authentic-like.

I also started tinkering with a couple of new stories...


I wrote quite a bit this month, in between trying to balance promoting Blackfin Sky with not being totally obnoxious on social media. My book was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Fall Pick (YAY!) and I celebrated Halloween with a spooky giveaway. I also did a Dear Teen Me feature, which was really fun, and my dad was strangely horrified by it. Yay.


I nanoed a bit. It was also my 32nd birthday, and I was given a metric shizload of books, but as I was in draft-mode I didn't allow myself to read any of them. (I have a weird thing where I can't write a first draft and maintain a healthy reading life. Ugh.)


Yay! We're here, at the end of 2014! I finally finished a respectable first draft of my new MS, and went on an epic reading binge - WHEEEE! I was also given this rather spiffing hat by Father Christmas (my mam), so.

And that was my 2014. I hope you had a fantastic year, and here's to a doubly-marvellous 2015!

*clinks champagne flute* CHEERS.

Kat x

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Festive Round Up

Me, age 3
Last time I was ever mistaken for an angel.

Hello, and happy holidays! This isn't my 'What happened in 2014' post, although I might do one in the next couple of weeks, but I have been whirling around in a wordnado for a while now, so decided to lay it all out here (this urge is no doubt a throwback to my youth when I felt I needed to explain why I hadn't done all my homework or finished my chores. I still don't do either of those things.)

Ok, so Nano - what the heck happened there?? Well, I got to about 40k by mid-November, and was feeling awfully pleased with myself, so I kind of ran out of steam. I also thought I was within a few thousand words of finishing the draft (WRONG) so I figured I'd slack off and finish it at my own pace.

My own pace meant I actually wrote those delicious words 'THE END' yesterday evening. I know, I know - almost an extra month to finish the last few chapters of a rough-ass draft is not exactly rocketing, but it's done. Now the manuscript gets to fester in a dark room for a few weeks while I catch up on some reading.

And I have LOTS of reading to do! I'm really looking forward to getting through some horror novels (I never did make it through my Halloween reading list...) as well as some fun romances and sci-fis that'll make my brain implode. Always fun, that. But I'm starting with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME - a collection of festive short stories by some of the biggest names in YA authordom. I'm looking forward to starting that one today.

In January I'll peel my ugly draft from its fungal recess and begin revising and editing and generally performing miracles on it until it becomes a readable little gremlin of a book. That's the plan, anyway - once all the belly-stuffing and present-opening are done.

2015 is going to be bringing some big changes and fun things which I'll write about in the new year, so until then...

XO and mistletoe!