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



Saturday, 3 January 2015

Last chance to grab a Blackfin bargain!


BLACKFIN SKY is only 99p on ebook at the moment as part of the 12 days of kindle sale, but it ends 5th January, so hurry if you want to grab a last Christmas bargain!

Blackfin Sky ebook on Amazon

Kat out x

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My 2014 in review

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.)

April

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

May

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.

June

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
July

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.

August

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.

September

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...

October

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.

November

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.)

December

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!

Kat