If you follow me on Twitter (@el_kat) you will have seen me raving about Dawn Kurtagich's new book, THE CREEPER MAN, which releases today in the UK (it's out in September in the US under the title: AND THE TREES CREPT IN). Honestly, if you're any kind of horror fan, you need to read this book immediately. It terrified me -- in the best possible way!
Hello! Remember way back in January when I set myself the goal of reading 75 books this year? Remember that OVERLY AMBITIOUS goal? Well, I just finished my 40th book of the year (yay!) which brings me more or less on target. I had a plan for what to read in January - June, and didn't stick to it rigidly, but having the plan helped keep me on track, I think. Now we're into July, and this post I wrote for Author Allsorts on how to tackle your TBR reminded me that I hadn't updated my plan for July - December. So I did. Here it is: July – As YALC is on later this month, I want to catch up on books I own by some of the authors appearing there (even though I'm no longer going, *sob*). This will include BZRK and FRONT LINES by Michael Grant (I’m a huge fan of his), THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater, and a whole stack of books by Cat Clarke. I also had BREATHE by Sarah Crossan and AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly Bourne on the list this month and have read them already - both excellent. August – I have tons of books by UK authors still sitting on my shelf to get me through this UKYA month. Top of my list are NOUGHTS& CROSSES by Malorie Blackman, THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge (I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet either), ALEX AS WELL by Alyssa Brugman, and IN ANOTHER LIFE by Laura Jarratt. September – In prep for my sci-fi panel with Lauren James and S. F. Said at YAShot in October where I’ll be talking about my new YA sci-fi, PURGE, I’ll be reading Lauren & S. F.’s books (THE NEXT TOGETHER and PHOENIX in particular), and any other sci-fi books I have left in my TBR pile by then! At the moment this looks like SLATED by Teri Terry, iBOY by Kevin Brooks, and WHAT’S LEFT OF MEby Kat Zhang. October – The month of Halloween requires some spooky, creepy reading, yes? So this month I will be reading BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C Parker, SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce, LEGEND by Marie Lu, BAD BONES by Graham Marks, THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE by Sarah Harian, and THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLD TOWN by Holly Black. And maybe for a dose of weird I’ll read GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith. November – With the nights drawing in and the weather generally pretty miserable, I usually like to binge on contemps and romance at this time of year. I have THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z by Natalie Blitt, Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING,GOLDEN BOY by Abigail Tarttelin, LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI by Melina Marchetta,I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven, and TORN by Cat Clarke. I also plan on having Jaye Robin Brown’s GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT by then, as I’ve heard it’s amazing. December – This is the perfect time to read wintry, snowy books, and for me this will look like AFTER THE SNOW by S. D. Crockett, DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’SHOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. If you want to track my progress with my Goodreads Challenge for this year, you can do that here. For now, I'd better get on with the next book!
Apparently half of 2016 is gone already (and hasn't it been quite the shiz-storm??) and I don't feel half as 'done' with the things I promised myself I would get done by now. I wanted to have finished a new YA manuscript by now, which I haven't. I wanted to be fit enough to climb Mount Snowdon, which I'm not.... But I've never been good at sticking to self-imposed deadlines.
Anyway. Here's what has been going on this month.
Breaker got launched! I had a fab time at Prestatyn Library on 15th June talking about my new serial killer thriller, and you can see some pics from it in a post I wrote here. Don't forget, if you have a copy of BREAKER and would like a signed bookplate to put into it, let me know! You can either send me a tweet (@el_kat) or email email@example.com.
I visited Dinas Bran with my sister, which is the site of a ruined castle rumoured to have belonged to a Welsh giant, and is now watched over by crow sentries.
I also went out with author Dawn Kurtagich to watch the filming of her new book trailer. THE CREEPER MAN comes out in the UK in July (it's out in September in the US, under the title AND THE TREES CREPT IN). If you enjoyed THE DEAD HOUSE, or just like genuinely creepy horror generally, you need to get this. It's amazing. I have one ARC of the US edition, and will be running a giveaway (US only) when the UK edition comes out later this month. So watch this space, etc.
The trailer should be available on Youtube soon, but for now here's a still pic I took of one of the brilliant cast! (My 7-year-old niece, Daisy. She is adorable in real life, I promise.)
I caught up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, managing to tot up 9 books this month across various genres. These are the ones I read:
Continuing my sci-fi binge, I read 2 UKYAs - WAVEFUNCTION by Bryony Pearce, which was tremendous dimension-jumping fun, and ALIEN RAIN by Ruth Morgan, about a girl on an expedition to a savage future-Earth which I absolutely loved. I rounded off this month's sci-fi with RED RISING from US author Pierce Brown, which was the first in a gripping Roman-inspired trilogy about a slave uprising on Mars.
In fantasy, I really enjoyed SIX OF CROWS, which is my first ever Leigh Bardugo book; DEATH OF AN ASSASSIN - an adult urban fantasy/noir by my author buddy Ian Hiatt, and SHARDS OF HOPE, which is the latest in Nalini Singh's (very much adult) Psy-Changeling series. Damn, I love Nalini Singh. I don't say it enough, probably, because I tend to talk more about YA, but I would read a car maintenance manual if she wrote it.
Finally, the YA contemps: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon (swooooon), and IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo, which was in turns adorable, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I had heard soooooo many people raving over these two books, and both definitely lived up to the hype. SHATTERING GLASS was a much darker read by thriller author Gail Giles, and I absolutely inhaled it. Again, she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
Writing-wise, I'm working on a story I set aside a while ago, but I'm definitely feeling the inspiration to finish it this time around. Hopefully by the end of July I'll have a finished draft - we'll see!