Tuesday, 25 October 2016

What happened at YAShot

Hello! Happy almost-Halloween!

I spent Saturday (and part of Sunday) dairn sairf as I was taking part in a panel on 'Space Odyssey: The Resurgence of YA Sci-Fi' as part of the YAShot event down in Uxbridge. And it was a fabulous event! I only got there in time to catch one panel before my own, but the atmosphere was buzzing, and I got to meet and catch up with tons of awesome folks from the authoring and blogging community.

Here are a couple of snaps tweeted during our panel - all credit to the lovely Lorraine Gregory and Katherine Webber:





It was great to meet and talk to Lauren James (our most excellent panel chair) and SF Said, especially after enjoying their books so much. We talked about whether sci-fi was really a genre, or more of a setting; how we researched different elements of our books; what inspired us to write sci-fi in the first place; and poo. Oh yes, that was my fault (I was explaining how purge technology works in my book PURGE, and... well... Mason doesn't go to the toilet for several days while he's figuring out how it works. Enough said.)

Lauren and SF were also kind enough to sign their books for me:



This has become a tradition whenever I have an event with authors I'm meeting for the first time. I'm building up a tidy little collection of signed books now! I was also given a lovely author lanyard with my name in beads, and a nifty little tote with some goodies inside:



Huge thanks to Alexia Casale and the YAShot team who organised this fab event, and to all the people who came to our sci-fi panel and asked such great questions. Sorry about the poo.

Kat x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Firefly YA panel at Waterstones Cardiff

Hello!

Last Saturday I joined 4 other Firefly YA authors - Rhian Ivory (THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE), Maria Grace (WHITE PETALS), Sarah Govett (THE TERRITORY Series), and Ruth Morgan (ALIEN RAIN) - for a fab panel discussion of our books and all things YA. The panel was chaired by brilliant vlogger Sarah Churchill (you should definitely subscribe to her Youtube channel and follow her on Twitter), and I had such a great time!

L-R: Sarah Churchill, me, Sarah Govett, Rhian Ivory
L-R: me, Sarah Govett, Rhian Ivory, Maria Grace

L-R: Maria Grace & Ruth Morgan
If you live in or around Cardiff but weren't able to make it to the event, there are loads of signed books in the Waterstones shop for you to grab. Here I am signing copies of PURGE.




Afterwards we went out for a few drinks and a catch-up, as you do.

L-R: Megan Farr (Publicist with Firefly Press), Penny Thomas (Publisher with Firefly Press), Rhian Ivory, me
Me and Maria Grace and a mojito (just out of shot)
If you missed me in Cardiff and want to hear me talk about PURGE and other things, I'll be at YAShot in Uxbridge on 22nd October (tickets here) on a panel with SF Said and Lauren James - hope to see you there!

Kat out x

Monday, 10 October 2016

ALL LACED UP by Erin Fletcher - Book Birthday Interview!

Today is a happy, happy day! It always is when a new book comes out from one of my very favourite authors, Erin Fletcher. ALL LACED UP is released today from Entangled, so you should definitely grab yourself a copy.

In the meantime, I had a few burning questions for Erin about her fab new romance, and she was kind enough to answer - check out the interview below.





Everyone loves hockey superstar Pierce Miller. Everyone except Lia Bailey.

When the two are forced to teach a skating class to save the rink, Lia’s not sure she’ll survive the pressure of Nationals and Pierce’s ego. Not only can’t he remember her name, he signed her bottle of water like she was one of his groupies. Ugh.

But if there’s one thing Lia knows better than figure skating, it’s hockey. Hoping to take his ego down a notch—or seven—she logs into his team website under an anonymous name to give him pointers on his less-than-stellar playing.

Turns out, Pierce isn’t arrogant at all. And they have a lot in common. Too bad he’s falling for the anonymous girl online. No matter how much fun they’re starting to have in real life, she’s afraid he’s going to choose fake-Lia over the real one…


Disclaimer: This book contains a swoony hockey player (and his equally swoony friends!), one-too-many social media accounts, kisses that’ll melt ice, and a secret identity that might not be so secret after all…

Add All Laced Up on Goodreads


Book Birthday Interview


Kat: I'm a huge fan of your writing and cannot wait to get stuck into this one! For those who are new to your books, can you finish this sentence? "ALL LACED UP will appeal to readers who love...."

Erin: ...The Cutting Edge! That movie seems to come up anytime a romance between a figure skater and a hockey player is involved, but for good reason. It's a classic!


Kat: As a person who is balance-challenged even on dry land, I love reading about those who have mastered the ice. What inspired you to write an ice skater romance?

Erin: I was inspired by my own experiences as a figure skater. Though I never reached the elite level that Lia reaches, I did skate from about middle school through college. I was even on my university's synchronized skating team! (Yes, it's a thing. Yes, it's like synchronized swimming, except the water is frozen.) It was so much fun reliving those experiences while writing Lia's story!

Kat: Who could you picture playing Lia and Pierce in the movie version of ALL LACED UP?

Erin: That's a tough question because the actor and actress need skating skills! Actually, I picture figure skaters and hockey players playing the parts instead. Maybe a young version of Sara Hughes for Lia and a young Sidney Crosby for Pierce.


Kat: As an author who I know is super keen on music, do you make playlists for your books? Care to share a couple of songs that you feel connect to ALL LACED UP?

Erin: Even though I love music, I don't typically make playlists for my books. I do have a few songs that connect to Lia and Pierce, though!




One of Lia's programs is set to this song. Her favorite part is the contrast at the end when her final spin speeds up as the piano notes slow to a close.





Since ALL LACED UP is set in the metro-Detroit area, this feels like a song Pierce and his teammates would play to get pumped up before a game.





In order to pass the time on long bus rides, Pierce and his teammates make ridiculous videos of themselves singing along to pop songs. I can picture the team singing along to this in awesomely terrible falsetto.


Kat: I couldn't help noticing that ALL LACED UP is listed as 'Breakaway #1' on Goodreads.... Does this mean there will be more ice rink romance skating our way?? (See what I did there?) What can you tell us about it?

Erin: Ha! Love it. And good eye...that is exactly what it means! Keep an eye out for Pierce's teammate Luke Jackson. Jackson is getting his own book and romance! Of course, there will be plenty of appearances from Pierce and Lia in Breakaway #2!

Kat: Thanks Erin! Can't wait for Jackson's story :-)


Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.

Follow Erin on Twitter
Check out
Erin's blog
Take a peek at Erin's website

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

YA Scavenger Hunt - Fall 2016!




THE HUNT IS NOW OVER! Two thumbs up to all who entered, but it's too late now if you didn't...


Welcome, YA Scavenger Hunters! I'm Kat Ellis, your hostess for this leg of the hunt, and proud member of the RED TEAM.

This bi-annual event was first organised by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favourite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! 


In this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue to move forward in the hunt. Add up the clues on each blog, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon pacific time on 9th October! If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favourite number. Collect the favourite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by 9th October, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. 


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Somewhere on the hunt you will find some cool bonus content connected to my new book, PURGE -  but not here! You will need to keep looking through the other red team blogs to find it.

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Today I'm hosting Cylin Busby, author of THE STRANGER GAME, which releases this month from HarperCollins.




When Nico's older sister, Sarah, mysteriously disappears, her family is devastated. After four years, everyone assumes Sarah is dead. Then, suddenly, she's back--but she's not the same Sarah she was before. In fact, Nico isn't sure this girl is Sarah at all...





Now read an excerpt of the book!


I knew my sister was dead. I felt it in my body, as if my bones could tell me the truth. They were, after all, her bones too. The same parents had created us, we carried the same DNA, the stuff that makes us who we are. I even looked like her; a little twin, a few years younger. And both of us were images of mom, or how she was in her high school yearbook, with long blond hair and hazel eyes.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t just see my own face but hers too, the one from the MISSING poster we had put up all over Mapleview four years ago -- the one on the news, in newspapers across the country. Now that my braces were off I could even smile like her, the way she had in our last family photo. The smile of a girl who was head cheerleader. Who had an older boyfriend. Who had secrets.
            I wanted so much to believe she was alive, to cling to hope like Mom. I tried. I let myself imagine that Sarah might walk through the door any day. At night, that hope failed me. In my nightmares, I saw all the terrible things that happen to girls like Sarah. When I woke, the vivid images still in my mind, my heart racing, I would lie in bed and watch the lights from the occasional car move over my ceiling and walls and think about the people in those cars. Where were they going? Where had they been, out so late? What were their lives like, lives without the giant gaping hole that is left when someone in your family goes missing?
I tried picture Sarah now, how she might look: older, her hair longer or shorter, her skin tanned golden like it had been the last time I saw her. As the days ticked by, the volume of her absence increased. Weeks turned into months and then into years. I knew the truth, even if I could never speak of it to anyone. I knew the darkened bedroom next to mine would always be empty, the door always shut, because this time Sarah wasn’t coming back.  


***


Cylin Busby is a best selling, award winning author of fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, numerous magazine articles and short stories. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Find out more about Cylin on her website and wikipedia page, and follow her on Twitter @cylinbusby.







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Have you noticed there are 6 teams in the YA Scavenger Hunt this time? 6 is a great number, don't you think...?

Now continue to the next stop on the YA Scavenger hunt...

Monday, 3 October 2016

September Wrap-Up!

Welcome to Autumn.

September was, as expected, an exciting month. PURGE - my 3rd novel - was published by Firefly Press. This book is like the song of my nerdy little heart, and it's incredible to see it finally out there in the world. If you read it, please leave a review (especially on Amazon) - they mean others are more likely to see/buy the book, and then I won't starve.

I have a couple of events coming up in October where I'll get to talk about sci-fi and books generally, so my reading in September was mostly geared towards that. Here's what I read:


Let's start with the non-sci-fi: first I read THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge, which was a carry-over book from August, and well worth the wait! It's about a clergyman's daughter who discovers her father's research into anthropology has led him to a plant which feeds on lies, and a scandal which marks his death as a probable suicide. I'm not a huge fan of historical novels generally, but this book was so very intriguing and atmospheric I was gutted when it ended.

Then there was MARTYN PIG by Kevin Brooks, about a boy trying to figure out what to do when his father dies unexpectedly, and digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole; the only other book of his I've read so far is THE BUNKER DIARY, and this was also excellent, and a swift, voicy read.

Sci-fi-wise, I finished the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner with THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was a great conclusion to the saga. Things finally came to a head between the aliens known as the Whispers and the head of La Roux Industries, with all the main characters from the series playing a part in the action. And because I listened to the audio version (as I do with a lot of books), I want to add that I've decided that one of the narrators of THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT - Macleod Andrews - is officially my favourite YA audiobook narrator. His characters are so distinct and engaging, I get absolutely wrapped up in any audiobook he reads. So, there you go.

I also read Virginia Bergin's THE RAIN and THE STORM duology, which had great voice and a gripping story about Ruby - an English girl fighting to survive in a world where the rain has become toxic. I found it totally compulsive, and I loved Ruby.

Next up was ECHO BOY by Matt Haig, which has been on my TBR for over a year, and I was glad to finally read it. It had some really interesting ideas about the nature of humanity and how advances in technology don't necessarily equal a step forward in our evolution.

Finally I read ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, just in time to hanker after the sequel, which comes out soon (next month, I think?) A spacey thriller, with plenty of banter and a believable romance that twisted my heart at times, I got swept up in this book right from the start. Unsurprisingly (because it has one of the same authors) it had a very similar vibe and format to the Starbound trilogy, which is no bad thing as I loved those books. I'll be grabbing GEMINA very, very soon.

I have yet to read SF Said's PHOENIX and Lauren James' THE LAST BEGINNING, but I now have copies of both so will be blazing through them before our panel at YAShot on 22nd October!

Adventure-wise, I got out and about a bit in September. I also started posting short videos of some of the places I visit on Instagram - do follow me there, and check out the #katellisadventures tag if you just want to see the videos. But my pictures are cool too, so... y'know. Follow me.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics from my adventures.


A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on


A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Apart from that, I was busy writing (I know - it doesn't seem like it, does it?) But I'm now really close to finishing what I hope will be my next book, so we'll see how that goes in October.

I hope you had a great September! I'll be posting again for the YA Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for that if you want to be in with a chance of winning a ton of books, including PURGE.

Kat out x