Monday, October 22, 2012

Tiny Nuggets of Happy

Hello, how have you been? Well, I hope.

I've been a busy little bee but I can't seem to remember exactly what I've been up to apart from watching and reading Game of Thrones. 

There is one thing I wanted to tell you about - a little Tumblr I've started called TINY NUGGETS OF HAPPY. It's all about those little things that make life worth living, that make it seem worthwhile getting up in the morning, that maybe remind you that there are good things in the world even though life might seem dark and bleak and hopeless. I don't know... maybe it seems silly and pointless, but I find that tiny nuggets of happy can add up to something a bit wonderful.

I'd love it if you'd take a look at TINY NUGGETS OF HAPPY and add *your* nugget's worth. If not, at least have a little think about the things that bring you joy. It might just make you smile, and this dreary old Monday could certainly do with a smile or two.

Here's one of my nuggets. Remembering a day out with Griffpup.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Well, I put the names in a beanie hat, rummaged around and plucked out the name of the winner of the UNDONE ARC...

JENNI! YOU ARE A WINNER! Please drop me an email with your address and I'll pop the ARC in the post for you.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest, and thanks for all your comments. The verdict on the cover seems to be a big thumbs-up, so that's nice.

Is anyone else reading The Casual Vacancy at the moment? Oh, and did I mention that I'm going to see J.K. next month? *falls over from excitement*

Friday, September 28, 2012

Undone cover and ARC contest!

Well, here's the cover of UNDONE, which is out in January next year. Hope you like? I certainly do.

If you fancy winning an ARC, just leave a comment below with your thoughts about the cover. You don't have to say you like it... honest! I'll pick a winner at random on Monday at 4.00pm BST. And what the hell, let's make this one international.

Good luck, lovely people!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things I've learned recently...

1. It's very hard to get any work done in the month of August in Edinburgh. TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS. Incidentally, I had a grand old time at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. My event with Keren David went swimmingly (even though my dad was in the audience for the first time ever... he didn't even heckle!). I saw some amazing writers do their thing and do it very well indeed. Ali Smith, Joyce Carol Oates and China Mieville all blew me away.

2. It's very hard to go to the Edinburgh Book Festival without spending a whole lot of money on books. The TBR pile is officially scaring me now; I refuse to look directly at it.

3. A tidy desk and organized workspace make me approximately ten times more productive than usual. Huh.

4. A jar of sweets on my desk is a bad/good thing, depending on your point of view.

5. Living with someone who bakes really delicious treats is a bad/good thing, depending on your point of view.

6. Books set in the Deep South are still my favourite. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe was an absolute treat.

7. We live in a stupid-ass world. (Actually, I haven't only just learned this, but it's been reinforced a lot recently. Here's just one example: Kristen Stewart gets hated on by the whole world and fired from her job for doing naughty things with someone who wasn't her boyfriend.

8. Tapas ALWAYS works out more expensive than you were expecting. 

9. The Great British Bake-Off is the best reason for Tuesdays ever invented. (Yes, even better than pancakes.)

10. Hard work is good for the soul. For some reason I keep learning this and promptly forgetting it, but the truth is I feel good about myself when I'm working hard, and feel craptastic and lethargic and blah when I'm not.

That's a whole lot of learnin' I've done this month. If you've learned anything and would like to enlighten me, please do so in the comments below. I'm off to do some work now. Honest.

Monday, August 6, 2012

August? How the jiggins did that happen?!

Let's just gloss over the fact that I've been absent from this blog for *cough* a rather long time.

Anyway. How's it going? What's new with you guys? I've been a busy little bee lately and August looks set to be just as busy and buzzy.

So... a quick round-up:

1. I finished my third book for Quercus. ARCs of UNDONE should be available in the not-too-distant future, and the cover will be revealed even sooner. A few lovely bloggers got a sneak preview of the cover at Quercus Towers a few weeks ago. It's a bit of a departure from the look of ENTANGLED and TORN, so I hope you lot like it too. It's my favourite so far, I think.

2. I've started writing my book for Barrington Stoke. I should be writing it right now, in fact. Like UNDONE, this one will be out next year. It's an interesting challenge, writing a book with a much lower word count. I've just reached the difficult middle bit, hence the procrastination.

3. I did an event at Latitude Festival with the ever awesome Tanya Byrne. It was my first festival adventure and just about as rainy as I expected.

4. The French cover for ENTANGLED was revealed. It's mighty purdy.

5. I won an award! The Redbridge Teenage Book Award! And I got to go to the ceremony and meet hundreds of teenagers and some very cool authors and eat chocolate digestives. The award itself is shiny and pointy and would make a marvellous murder weapon, should the occasion arise.

6. A French girl moved into my house. Griffpup is now enjoying double the cuddles. All the cats in the house are very happy too.

7. We bought a rice cooker. I am obsessed with it. You should get one too.

8. This coming Sunday I'll be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with the lovely Keren David. You can buy tickets here if you like. I plan to be hanging around the book festival making a nuisance of myself A LOT in the coming weeks.

I think that about covers the highlights. I'll post again if I've forgotten anything.

Right, I'm off to watch the Olympics do some writing. Laters.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Hey hey, what have you lot been up to? I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear that I have *not* been watching lots of Jersey Shore and The Inbetweeners and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and being idle. Um. Yeah.

So. Some things.

1. There's a new blog in town and it's a good 'un. The awesome Keris Stainton, Susie Day and Keren David (the Charlie's Angels of the UK YA scene) have only gone and set up a whole blog dedicated to UK YA. It celebrates all that is great about British YA literature, so go check it out if you're at all interested in British books (and if you're not interested, then what the hell are you doing here? Just kidding... sort of). My favourite section is Britishisms, where you can go to translate our crazy lingo and realize it's not all rhyming slang and cor blimey, guvnor.

2. Here's a song for your ears. This track got me through the last couple of months of first draftage of book three. It's the acoustic version of You Make Me Wanna Die by The Pretty Reckless and it is made entirely of awesome.

3. I read and loved this book:

From Amazon: When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship—one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

4. I should probably tell you about that crazy time last weekend when ENTANGLED was number two in the UK Kindle chart for ALL THE BOOKS, snuggling up next to THE HUNGER GAMES... but it all seems like a bit of a dream now. I have been assured by a number of people that it did in fact happen though, and all I can say to that is BAHAHAHAHAHA.

5. I've run out of Things. Here's a Griffpup pic instead of an Actual Thing.

Right, that's your lot for now. I must away for there is book planning to be done. I've got my Sharpies, a big sheet of paper and a head full of ideas. Laterz.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oh, the shame

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. It's been bloody ages since my last confession blog post. No excuses this time. Let's just pretend this little blip never happened and have a quick round-up of what I've been up to, eh?

1. Finishing the first draft of book three. It was arduous. Like pulling teeth (but without the help of suitable tooth-pulling tools). There's still a lot of work to be done to make the story, y'know, make sense, but I'm taking a few days off to deal with all the other work I've been putting off since December. *cries*

2. Signing a contract to write a book for the wonderful Barrington Stoke. I'm crazy excited about this project. Here's what I know so far: it'll be published next year; the setting for the story is a house party; I'm stealing one of the characters from my crazy NaNoWriMo novel because I hearted her so much and decided she deserves to see the light of day instead of being banished to the shadowy depths of my hard drive until the end of time.

3. Going on tour! I visited a number of schools in and around London in February. It was awesome and exhausting.

4. Going to New York! I visited a number of shops and restaurants and spent a ridiculous amount of money I don't have. I bought these boots:

Aren't they amaaaaazing? I also met up with Nova Ren Suma and Victoria Schwab and Barry Goldblatt. It was officially Good Times.

5. Seeing The Hunger Games. I may have been a little over-excited about this (to the extent that I said 'OMG' out loud while sitting at a restaurant table all by myself). I saw it on an IMAX screen, so even tiny Peeta looked huge. I liked the film a lot, but loved the book MOAR. My thoughts: Jennifer Lawrence is spectacularly good; Lenny Kravitz is nothing like the Cinna in my head; Rue may well be the cutest person I have ever seen with my eyes; I wish the film was at least fifteen minutes longer; Stanley Tucci makes everything approximately 57% better.

I think that just about brings us up to date. I trust you are all well? If there's anyone out there still interested in what I have to say, that is...