Friday, 31 August 2018

Summer Wrap-up!

Hear that tiny, melancholy violin? That's me, lamenting the end of summer. After growing up as a Dire Hayfever Sufferer (picture a girl with frizzy hair, red eyes, redder nostrils, staring angrily through her bedroom window -- yeah, you get it) being an adult who does NOT suffer with hayfever anymore makes me want to frolic in the sun. FROLIC. Hence my melancholy at the passing of summer... but it has been a belter. Here's what happened.

Writing-wise, I spent a good portion of the last 3 months editing 2 manuscripts -- THE TWINS OF BLACKFIN, which is my novella for the THREE STRIKES anthology (out 11 October, preordering is for winners, thank you thank you), and HARROW LAKE, a novel I seem to have been working on for decades now.

I also started 2 new manuscripts (though one was actually a reworking of an old one) which were both kind of magical, fun, Welsh-legendy stories, and which got a bit overshadowed by the editing. But now that I'm pretty much done with the edits (I think? Because there could always be more. ALWAYS.) I can get back to drafting.... and so naturally, I have a completely different story idea that's calling to me, and I can't decide what to do. So, here we are.

There have been some pretty epic adventures since my last update -- into caves, up mountains, through forests; finding ruins, exploring castles, and even going out on a boat to eyeball some seals. It's all over on my Insta if you want to check out my adventures, or you can just wait to see these things gradually appear in future books. ;) In any case, I'll just put a couple of my fave pics here for you to see...

A post shared by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

A post shared by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

And of course I went back to the circus, as I do every summer, and sat there fizzing with Blackfin-ish excitement. Doubly so this time, because I'm looking forward to a new instalment in the Blackfin story coming out in just a few weeks! Excited, me? YOU BET YOUR WHOLE ASS.

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Summer also saw the advent of YALC, which I attended, and it was a blast. Not only did I spot Jason Momoa, but I also got to sign copies of my books at the Firefly Press stand. And I bought lots of books. And there were samplers of THREE STRIKES flying off the stand like owls from a certain school for wizards. But mostly Momoa.

Reading-wise, I didn't get through as many books as I planned, and have adjusted my Goodreads goal so it doesn't feel like it's on my case all the time: "YOU'RE 4 BOOKS BEHIND YOUR GOAL, LOSER" etc. This is what I read over the past 3 months:

I usually do a rundown of each book, but as this is a 3-month update I'll just highlight my standout faves from each category.

Young Adult: THE SUMMER OF US is Cecilia Vinesse's sophomore novel, and a gorgeous story about 5 friends who go interrailing across Europe, growing apart and falling in love in the process; and the hilarious BOY MEETS HAMSTER by Birdie Milano is about a boy who goes on holiday with his family and best friend to a Butlins-esque caravan park where his crush on the boy-next-caravan is constantly being scuppered by someone in a giant hamster suit.

Graphic novel: MILK FOR THE UGLY (motion book) by Kate Redesiuk and Anna Podeworna was a real surprise find for me. I downloaded an app called Madefire where you can read motion books (a new thing for me) and this was a freebie I downloaded because the cover art was cool. Well, the story is awesome -- about a social worker who calls to check on an elderly woman and finds her living with a collection of 'uglies', which she guards so they won't get out and infect the world. It was really disturbing and brilliant at the same time, with fantastic artwork and a great soundtrack that definitely added to the experience.

Adult: SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh. I've been a huge Nalini Singh fan for years -- I think this is about the 30th of her books that I've read -- so knew I would love this one. Silver Silence is the beginning of a new story arc in the Psy-Changeling series. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to the bear-shifters, and getting to know more about the Mercants and the various threats dawning in the Psy-Changeling world. Can't wait to get my hands on OCEAN LIGHT and see what the water changelings are up to...

Looking ahead, I'm hoping the autumn will bring lots of new words and adventures, and I will resume my usual monthly updates from now on. I'll also get back to baking now that GBBO is on and the heatwave is off. In the meantime, this is how I will be starting September.

ReadingIN ANOTHER LIFE by Laura Jarratt

AudiobookingSAINTS AND MISFITS by S. K. Ali

Singing along toBABY by Bishop Briggs

Watching: GBBO, X Factor, and Riverdale -- #Bugheadforever. WHAT?

For now...

Kat out x