Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Going on retreat, editing, and some handy links

First (and second) part: I went on retreat earlier this month with 5 brilliant authors - Dawn Kurtagich (who masterminded the whole thing), Tatum Flynn, Victoria Schwab, Isabel Sterling, and David Purse. My goal, as stated in front of the others on the first night in our wicked apartment filled with armour and stuffed animals, was to finish a round of edits on my current manuscript. I got a fair bit done, but not a full round; although I did have a lot of ice cream, played jenga, and drove my car onto a beach, so if you take all things into consideration, it was a productive week. More importantly, it was a lot of fun.

Dawn very cleverly put together a video of our adventures, which you can check out here if you're so inclined.



The handy links part: I've taken part in a couple of interviews and guest blogs recently, and you can use these clicky things to check them out:

Where the Ideas Flow (a sneak peek into my writing space) on Serendipity Reviews

Welsh Week Interview on Librarian Lavender

My Top 10 UKYA Books on the UKYA site (I've tried to include some under-the-radar reads in this list, so it isn't just the same old faves trotted out for the zillionth time)

Also coming up in a couple of days is a guest post on Miss Print's site for 'Poetically Speaking' - a blog series to celebrate Poetry Month - in which I talk about Ted Hughes' The Thought Fox. In the meantime, there are already loads of fantastic poetry-themed posts there just waiting for you to have a gander... CLICK TO SEE THE AWESOMENESS

OK, I think that's all I have for you at the moment. Better get back to kicking this manuscript around the room like a thug.

Kat out x

Monday, 13 April 2015

In which I have NEW BOOK NEWS!

Yes, you read that right - a new book! I am delighted to be working with Firefly Press on another book, this time a YA sci fi called PURGE, due for publication Autumn 2016.

This means I'll have 2 books out next year (PURGE, and BREAKER, which will be out in the Spring), and I'm hugely excited to see this story heading out into the world. It's really special to me, and I happen to think it's funny and weird and geeky and romancey and all good things, so I hope readers will like it too! Here's an extract from the press release issued today by Firefly Press:

Penny Thomas, Publisher at Wales-based children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has acquired World English rights to PURGE, the second young adult thriller for Firefly by author Kat Ellis, from Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency.

Following Kat’s acclaimed debut fantasy thriller BLACKFIN SKY, the new novel is a powerful and romantic excursion into futuristic fantasy. PURGE will be published in autumn 2016, following publication of Kat’s second YA novel BREAKER in the US next spring by Running Press Teen.  
Told in parallel narratives, PURGE features 17-year-old Mason, who has secrets hes desperately trying to keep, like his penchant for the drug known as Pi, and the implant that allows him to hide his deafness. When he's kicked out of yet another community, Mason has no option but to seek shelter with people who believe purging is good for the soul — only in Mason's case, ‘purging’ means having his personality altered through a terrifying virtual reality programme. 
Penny Thomas, Firefly Press Publisher, says: This is a great title for Firefly. Kat is an emerging YA writer of real skill, and a talent for creating scary and compelling new fictional worlds and characters. BLACKFIN SKY was a Junior Library Guild selection in the US and a fantastic read, and I’m certain PURGE will be a big hit with fans and readers new to Kat’s work.’

Here's a link to the announcement on The Bookseller.

What do you think?? If you'd like to add it to your Goodreads TBR, you can do so here.

Kat out x

*skips off into the sunset*

Monday, 9 March 2015

Feeling lucky, punk? Blackfin Sky giveaways and more!

There are 2 giveaways going on right now - both international - where you can win a SIGNED copy of the US edition of Blackfin Sky. These are the links to both, should you wish to enter...

Interview & giveaway on Carmel & Kyla: Troglodytes Approve

Goodreads giveaway (5 copies, WHOOP WHOOP)

(Just as an aside, I'm going to point out that because I live in the UK and the majority of US copies are naturally in the US, VERY FEW have been signed to date. Like, 2 or 3 maybe, ever. So a signed US edition is as rare as hen's teeth. OK, as you were.)

I mentioned a while back that I've joined the awesome folks blogging over at Author Allsorts, and this week saw my first post on the site, where I talked about 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Getting Published. I got a lot of nice feedback about it, so I'm chalking it up as a good first outing with the Author Allsorts crew.

Oh, and one last thing before I disappear back into the ether...

Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery, organisers of the fabulous UKYA Extravaganza event I got to be a part of last week, are organising further UKYAX events in future, and have set up a website and facebook page where details will be posted. If you're interested in going to an event, or just want to keep an eye on all the shenanigans, you should check out those links.

Kat out x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The UKYAX Aftershow

Hello peeps! If you didn't manage to get to Birmingham for Saturday's UKYA Extravaganza -- or even if you did -- you can catch a write-up of the event by me and Rhian Ivory (The Boy Who Drew the Future, Firefly Press - September 2015) right HERE.

My book, Blackfin Sky, sold out within a matter of minutes, so if you were there and didn't manage to buy a copy to get signed, I'm working on a way to make signed copies available online. I'll put details up here once I have it figured out.

Wonderful blogger Michelle Toy has done a definitive post about the UKYAX event and future plans, and has gathered links to other posts about it right HERE.

Aaaaand, if you just want to see a few random snaps my husband took on the day, you can find those HERE:

Everyone pile in!

Anna McKerrow, author of Crow Moon, recording a vlog

Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days, chatting with me


Christina Banach, author of Minty

Claire Furniss, author of The Year of the Rat

Organisers Emma Pass, author of ACID and The Fearless,
and Kerry Drewery, author of A Dream of Lights, and A Brighter Fear

Eve Ainsworth, author of 7 Days



Talking...

Kendra Leighton, author of Glimpse

Rhian Ivory, author of The Boy Who Drew the Future
The final panel, with me, Rachel Ward, Janet Edwards, Lou Morgan, and Claire Furniss

Thursday, 26 February 2015

UKYA Extravaganza -- swag, cake, and excitement

Hello, peeps!

Only two sleeps to go until UKYA Extravaganza in Birmingham. It's going to be an amazing event, with so many authors and books and wonderful readers and bloggers all in one place! I'm a bit excited, as you can probably tell. I've been reading a lot of the books by the other participating authors lately, too, so I'm thrilled that I get to meet all of them. There's gonna be cake, too, so... :-)

For my part, I'll be taking a bunch of Blackfin Sky swag with me to give out, so if you're going, please do come and grab some from me.


I'll hopefully be doing a short reading, too, and if you want to bring your copy of Blackfin Sky for me to sign (or buy one there on the day), I'll make sure I bring my best handwriting game.

After the event, I'll be doing a write up with fellow YA Firefly author Rhian Ivory with lots of photos, so you'll be able to check that out on Firefly's website. Firefly Press also offer free UK postage if you want to order a copy of Blackfin Sky or any of their other titles while you're there -- so grab yourself a bargain!

For now...

Kat out x


Monday, 2 February 2015

Cover reveal... THE ONE THING by Marci Lyn Curtis

I was lucky enough (through some wheedling on my part...) to get to read Marci Lyn Curtis's debut, THE ONE THING, last month and let me tell you -- it is wonderful! 

Naturally, I want to shout about this book from the rooftops because I love getting a sneaky first look at something that turns out to be so, so goooooooooood *groans with severe book hangover* so I'm thrilled that I get to help share the brand spanking new cover with you guys today! Not only that, but there's a giveaway going on too - just read to the end and jump on board the rafflecopter.

First up, the blurb:


A soaring tale of life and love, of sacrifice and renewal, and learning to see people as they really are.
Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.
Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.
When Maggie first meets Ben, she thinks she can add crazy to her list of problems. But the precocious ten-year-old isn't a hallucination. Maggie can actually see him. She immediately befriends the kid, desperate for any chance to see again.
It turns out Ben's older brother is Mason Milton, the ridiculously hot lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band. Music is the first thing that has made Maggie feel alive since losing her sight. But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.

And without further ado - THE COVER!



Isn't it so cool and unique??? And here's the funny, awesome lady who wrote it:


Marci Curtis grew up in Northern California, where she went to college and met an amazing guy in a military uniform. Two college-aged kids and one dachshund later, she lives in Maryland, where she laughs too loudly and eats peanut butter off spoons. Her YA contemporary debut, The One Thing, comes out September 8, 2015 via Disney-Hyperion. Learn more about her at Marcilyncurtis.com.



And I know you want the chance to win stuff, so...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

UKYA Extravaganza, and where else you'll find me...

2015 is shaping up to be much busier than I was expecting (what with having been newly unleashed from my office minion worker life), and I'm going to be getting around a bit -- both online, and in The Real World. WOOOOOOOH *waggles fingers at you*

First things first, I'm going to be one of 35 YA authors representin' UKYA in Birmingham Waterstones on 28th February for UKYA Extravaganza! There will be readings and chattings and general tomfoolery, I'm sure. Here's the line-up:


Tickets sold out in the first 24 hours, so it looks like it's going to be HUGE. I'm pretty sure that if this one goes well, there will be more in future -- so if you missed out on a ticket this time, keep an eye on twitter for future announcements.

I have also signed up as the latest author-recruit to blog at Author Allsorts. Check out all the great info and posts on there now, and keep an eye out for my inaugural blog post on 6th March.

There are a few interviews and guest posts coming up for me on these sites too over the next few weeks:

Miss Print
Eat Read Glam
Serendipity Reviews
Moloney King
Author Allsorts

I also have some irons in the fire to do with bookish events in the UK, and will bring you news as I have it, but for now...

Kat out x



Thursday, 15 January 2015

I promised you news... and I have new-book-shaped news!

I am absolutely over the moon that my new book, BREAKER, has found a home with Running Press Kids, and will be published in Spring next year. Here is the announcement from Publishers Weekly:


I can't wait for you all to meet Kyle and Naomi!

Kat out x

Monday, 12 January 2015

Horror binge!

Howdy.

After finishing my first draft of the new WIP in December, I went on a bit of a horror-reading kick over Christmas and into the new year. I managed to get to quite a few of those books I posted about at Halloween, plus an adult horror that I'm just getting into now. These were the YA ones I read:

 

(Click on the link to the Halloween post above for the summaries/buy links and stuff.)

Although 3 of the 4 had a supernatural element, they were all really different, which was what I was looking for -- a look at the scope of YA horror that's being published right now -- and I definitely like what I'm seeing. 3 of them also happen to be UKYA titles, which wasn't intentional, but pleases me anyway.

I'm kind of a noob when it comes to writing horror (although I do tend to write toward the darker end of the thriller/fantasy spectrum...) and it seemed like now, when I have a decent reading binge window, would be a good time to get caught up on what's out there at the moment.

The adult horror book I'm reading is Joe Hill's HEART SHAPED BOX, and I have to say that I'm really loving it -- which takes away some of the guilt I feel for stepping away from my YA reading pile. It was also a bargain at £1.99 from a discount bookshop, so it would have been churlish to say no. 

This is going to be my last binge-read before I focus completely on revisions for a few weeks, so I will savour every terrifying, gruesome word. It should tide me over until Dawn Kurtagich's THE DEAD HOUSE comes out in August, anyway. (I seriously can't wait for that book!)

For now...

Kat out x