Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Winter wrap-up! Books, writing & adventures...

Happy December!

To those who took part in NaNoWriMo last month: Congratulations! You survived! And whether you hit the 50k word target or not, you wrote at least part of a novel. In case you're curious, I wrote 18k words of a new book, and I am so, so pleased to now have that under my belt seeing as I'm due to start edits on Harrow Lake very soon (which is now on Goodreads btw, so please go and add it to your to-read shelf). I'm pretty excited to dive back into that dark little book, too.

I've been trying out a new writing tool/method while taking part in NaNo - a nifty index card system I learned about from author Susan Dennard in her recent newsletter. It has really been helping me to map out the plot, break it down into bite-sized chunks, and focus on one scene at a time without feeling like my brain is getting tangled trying to keep all the plot threads straight. Here's a link to Susan Dennard's video about it.

Aside from writing, I've had a few authorly adventures lately. First, I visited Dyserth Waterfall, which is partly responsible for inspiring the book I'm currently working on (imaginatively titled 'The Waterfall Book' for now).

This past weekend, my husband and I journeyed down to South Wales for a couple of events with wonderful Three Strikes co-author Lucy Christopher and editor Penny Thomas, who is the publisher at Firefly Press. The Cardiff event was chaired by Karen Bultiauw (organiser of YA Lit Cardiff events) at Cardiff Central Library - here are some pics taken by photographer Phillip Fayers.

L-R: Penny Thomas, me, Lucy Christopher, Karen Bultiauw (Chair)

L-R: Penny Thomas, me, Lucy Christopher

Me & Lucy signing copies of Three Strikes

The following day we moved on to Swansea Waterstones where Zoe James-Williams, artist and children's books reviewer for the South Wales Evening News, chaired a panel with Lucy and me. (This pic was nicked from Lucy's Instagram.)

I had so much fun at both events! If you missed them but would like to win a copy of Three Strikes signed by me and Lucy, YA Lit Cardiff are holding a giveaway on Twitter, so go and enter by 16th December. 

Firefly Press are also offering any of their books (including Three Strikes, Blackfin Sky, and Purge by me!) signed and dedicated if you order direct from them - details here. Books make brilliant Christmas presents, you know ;-)

In non-writing adventures, I recently visited Chester with my sister Alex and took a look around its beautiful cathedral. 

Reading-wise, I read 2 books I absolutely loved in November. They were:

Wax by Gina Damico is a brilliant horror-comedy about a girl named Poppy who uncovers a sinister conspiracy where lifelike wax figures are taking over the small town of Paraffin.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas is a thriller which follows 16-year-old Monica's investigation into what really happened the year 5 cheerleaders from the town of Sunnybrook died, including Monica's older sister.

I hope to reach my Goodreads goal of 50 books read in 2018, though that will mean reading 7 in the month of December, so it might be a stretch!

I'll leave you with this snapshot of how I'm starting December.

Reading The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck and The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

Audiobooking When We Collided by Emery Lord

Singing along to Here I Am by Dolly Parton and Sia (from the Dumplin' soundtrack - I'm also thoroughly excited to watch this when it comes out on Netflix this month!) and You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish (which has the perfect vibe for my new book, btw.)

Watching A Discovery of Witches and Rick & Morty (what?)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who celebrate at this time of year! I'll be back in early 2019 with new posts and updates on what's going on in my writing life.

For 2018...

Kat out x