Saturday, November 28, 2009

Five reasons to read GIRL, ALOUD by Emily Gale

1. It's completely hilarious. Example: '...I don't think I've ever been more aware of my teeth. I feel like a very nervous horse.' This is when our heroine, Kass, is meeting a boy she likes for the very first time.
2. It's got Simon Cowell in it. Book Simon is much better than Actual Real-life Simon.
3. Kass's little brother Raff is a particularly well-drawn character. I heart him a little bit.
4. When you're reading this book, you have no idea how it's going to end. This is RARE and AWESOME.
5. It deals with some pretty serious (and surprising) issues very sensitively. V. impressive.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Back to work

I've just started reading through my WIP with a view to jumping back in and GETTING ON WITH IT. So far it's looking OK, making me smile in all the right places. I haven't even cringed once. That's got to be a good sign, right?

After last week's excitement it feels good to be getting back to the business of actually writing. I'm not going to lie though - I'm feeling a wee bit of pressure. This book HAS to be good. It just has to. Eek. I'm scaring myself. The best way to proceed is probably to ignore The Book Deal (which will be impossible because... YAY! BOOK DEAL!) and carry on as before: just trying to write a story I would like to read.

So I'm going to try my best. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it.

Song of the day: Man in the mirror, by Michael Jackson
Non-disappointing lunch of the day: leftovers from last night

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The post-I've-got-a-book-deal post

Three days have passed. And no, the news still hasn't sunk in yet. The idea that my book is going to have a cover and pages with words on them and EVERYTHING is possibly too big for my tiny brain to process. But that doesn't stop me being absobloominlutely thrilled that my book is going to be published by Quercus - a publisher comprised entirely of awesome, as you can see from these beautiful covers:

Can't wait to read these. And doesn't Strange Angels look just like a super-cool movie poster?

So I'd like to thank a couple of people for making this dream happen for me. They are (in no particular order, just like the X Factor results):

1. Ma and Pa. Thanks for believing that this could happen... or at least not telling me it was a completely ridiculous idea. And thanks for your patience - I let you read it EVENTUALLY, didn't I?

2. Non. My BFF and BWC buddy and general Keeper of the Faith. Quite literally couldn't have done it without you - you know it's true!

3. My agent, Marvellous Victoria. Thanks for seeing something in my writing, and reading my ms more times than any person should have to, and doing all your complex agenty stuff and finding me and my books a lovely publishing home. And big thanks to Awesome Nancy, too.

4. My new blogging and twitter buds. Over the past few whirlwindy months there's always been someone out there with a kind word, some fab advice or a blog post that I could relate to.

5. All the friends I've bored over the years, talking about this writing malarkey.

6. My ninja cats, Jem and Scout, for being supremely squishable.

Thank you thank you thank you, one and all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So... um... it's actually happened.


I still kind of feel like whispering it, in case it turns out that I'm dreaming, but I reckon the only way to get over that is to shout it really, really loudly:


I must go and lie down now.

A teeny-tiny Thursday rant

Yoo hoo! I’m back!

I’ve been mulling something over for the past couple of days... 
I stumbled across a review/ill-tempered rant about Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater on an industry blog. I’m not going to link to it, because quite frankly, it was MEAN. And we don’t exactly need more mean in the world (unless it’s fictional mean, in which case, the more the better in my opinion). So Blogger X didn’t like Shiver. Like, really REALLY didn’t like Shiver. Which is fine, because life would be mega-boring if we all liked the same books. And Blogger X really really REALLY didn’t like Twilight. In fact, the ‘review’ of Shiver rapidly descended into an anti-Twilight diatribe.

BX’s main gripe with both Twilight and Shiver was the supposedly ‘pathetic’ heroines, who constantly have to be rescued by their supernatural boyfs. Apparently this sends out a ‘bad message’ to teenage girls. Interesting point. And it may well be true in the case of clumsy Bella (bless her!). But anyone who’s read Shiver (at least with their eyes OPEN) can see that Grace is a very different character. SHE’S the strong one in the relationship. Wolf-boy Sam is always getting himself into wolfy scrapes that Grace has to save him from. Hmm... maybe BX didn’t actually read Shiver after all.

The second gripe is that Bella and Grace both turn into googly-eyed crazyheads when they fall in love with their vamp/wolf fellas. Crikey! A teenage girl falling obsessively in love! Shocker! That NEVER happens in real life.

I for one don’t believe that writers for teenage girls have a responsibility to create perfect, strong heroines for their readers to emulate. That. Is. Patronizing. In. The. Extreme.

To sum up: it’s fine to have an opinion, but let’s not attack individual authors for not writing the book we want them to write. If we feel so strongly about it, why don’t we just write something ourselves?

Rant over.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gratuitous cat photo

OK, OK, my next post will be a REAL one, with words and everything. I promise. My brain is still not fully functioning, and I still sounds like I might cough up a lung at any moment, but I'm on the road to recovery, so YAY!

In the meantime, here is a pic of my gorgeous cat Atticus, who died last year. He was a prince among cats. And clearly had very good taste in shoes. Hmm... those shoes are awesome, right? Note to self: need to find an occasion to wear them soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hey y'all

This is Tim Riggins here, linebacker of the mighty Dillon Panthers. Cat asked me to step up to the plate (aw crap... that's baseball, not football) to apologize sincerely to you good people for the lack of blogging action over the past few days. See, she's been real sick, unable to even think, let alone type out words for y'all to read. But don't you fret now, 'cos she'll be back before you know it. Trust me (even though I do wear double-denim, like, A LOT). 

OK, that's all for now. Bye y'all.
Remember: Texas forever!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cough... splutter... urgh

I didn't plan on being ill this weekend - I had fireworks to watch, family to see and delicious food to be eaten. But all that went up in flames (much like the bonfire I missed out on last night I expect) when I got pretty poorly pretty quickly on Friday.

But it's OK, don't worry, the weekend hasn't been a total bust. I have managed to achieve some things (OK, achieved might be pushing it a little). I:

1. Got started on Friday Night Lights, season one. Tim Riggins, where have you been all my life? You sort of look like one of the main characters in my novel.

2. Got thinking about Christmas cooking and how to make brussels sprouts more palatable.

3. Read more of Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan. Beautiful and disturbing in equal measures. That lady can do amazing things with words.

4. Consumed more orange Lucozade than can possibly be good for a person.

5. Read lots of blogs. Children's/YA writers are ace. Fact.

Song of the day: Fortress, by Pinback

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Original UK cover for Twilight

I'm saying nothing. Not one thing. Nope. I really, really want to though.

Thanks to Wondrous Reads for the image!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A playlist for your ears

So here's the playlist I made for my first novel. It's a bit of an odd one, 'cos I made it when I was very near the end of writing the book - just to spur me on to reach the end. It also helped me through the pain of editing. A lot of the songs are ones I listened to again and again when I was writing the novel, and some of them are just songs that fit the mood of the story. It's a long list, but that's because I get bored very easily.

Yes, I know Avril Lavigne is on there. Please don't laugh.

Sk8er Boi Avril Lavigne

I Wanna The All-American Rejects

Beat It Fall Out Boy

Bruised Jack's Mannequin

Save Tonight Eagle Eye Cherry

Real World The All-American Rejects

Supermassive Black Hole Muse

I'm Ready Jack's Mannequin

Navigate Me Cute Is What We Aim For

Believe Yellowcard Ocean Avenue

Move Along The All-American Rejects

A Beautiful Lie 30 Seconds To Mars

The White One Is Evil Elliot Minor
Since U Been Gone Kelly Clarkson

Another Heart Calls The All-American Rejects

Dance, Dance Fall Out Boy

Together Avril Lavigne

Suicide Is Painless (Theme from M*A*S*H) Manic Street Preachers
Map Of The Problematique Muse

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs Fall Out Boy

Empty Apartments Yellowcard

My Life Would Suck Without You Kelly Clarkson

The Mixed Tape Jack's Mannequin

Dirty Little Secret The All-American Rejects
Stay (I Missed You) Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories

Bring Me to Life Evanescence

Papa Roach Getting Away With Murder

Second Chance Shinedown

Thank You For The Venom My Chemical Romance

The Kill 30 Seconds To Mars

Fall At Your Feet Crowded House

Can't Take It The All-American Rejects

My Happy Ending Avril Lavigne

Assassin Muse

( I Just ) Died In Your Arms Cutting Crew

Life Got Cold Girls Aloud

Genie In A Bottle Christina Aguilera

It Ends Tonight The All-American Rejects

Roses On My Grave Papa Roach

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams Green Day

Because Of You Kelly Clarkson

New Born Muse

I Want To Save You Something Corporate

Rescue Me Ultra

Learning How To Smile Everclear

In The End Linkin Park

Here I Stand Madina Lake

One More Sad Song The All-American Rejects

Untitled Cute Is What We Aim For

Disappointment explained

My fabulous father forwarded me a link this morning that may go some way to explain why I'm forced (yes, forced) to whinge about my disappointing lunches. Here it is.

Maybe it's time for me to start making packed lunches after all... But I'm working from home today and the fridge is mere steps away from my desk. (Mind you, there's not much in there apart from some withered spring onions and an old pot of chilli jam.)

The cats are acting strangely today. I fear there may be a mouse behind the sofa. Let's hope not. Last time a cat of mine caught a mouse, I stepped on its still-warm corpse. Yikes.