Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Last week I ran a contest on Twitter, asking people to tell me about a song that perfectly encapsulates ENTANGLED. There were a lot of awesome entries, which made me very happy.

Here is the winning song (chosen by @discolemonkayy), followed by a couple of my other favourites. What do you think? Any more to add?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Big fat punch in the face

I received some bad news on Friday. It was writing-related, but that's pretty much all I can say. It felt a lot like this:

That's Rocky Balboa getting punch in the face, in case you didn't know. Apologies for the grossness of the photo (especially that bloody saliva), but this picture really does illustrate EXACTLY how I felt on Friday. I was knocked sideways in a way I didn't quite expect. I put this down to the fact that I was hoping (expecting, even) the news to be good. Now I'm normally a glass-half-empty sort of person, so this optimism was totally out of character. I have learned my lesson and am returning to my pessimistic ways ASAP.

I'm feeling OK about it now., by the way. I scraped myself off the floor, dusted myself down, checked I hadn't lost any teeth.

Life can keep punching me in the face but I'm going to keep on getting up. Every single time. So there. *blows raspberry at life*

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taking your own advice

People sometimes ask me for writing advice. And I'm happy to give it, for what it's worth. I've always been all, 'Hey! Don't worry about your first draft being crappy. All first drafts are crappy. Power on through to the end and worry about fixing stuff later. That's what the second draft is for!' Pretty decent, not-at-all-grounbreaking advice, wouldn't you agree?

But yesterday I realized I haven't exactly been practising what I preach. I've been lucky, in that the first drafts for my first two books were not crappy (and I do put this down to luck). I didn't have to rewrite whole chunks/excise characters who weren't pulling their weight/throw massive swathes of text out the window. Like I said, LUCKY. So it was all very easy for me to tell people not to worry about things like that during the first draft, because I hadn't had to do it. Ever.

Things are a little bit different with New Top Sekrit Project. I am writing so far outside my comfort zone that I can't even see my comfort zone (not even with binoculars). And it's fun and scary and HAAAAAARD. I'm 13k in and already I can tell that so many things are going to have to change in the second draft, and that the second draft is going to involve a hell of a lot of thinking. Trouble is, thinking hurts my brain (much in the same way that coming up with titles hurts my brain... Clearly my brain is very sensitive). The temptation to try to sort things out now is proving very, very hard to resist. But if I do that, there's a strong possibility that the amount of work that needs to be done will scare me silly and I'll end up not bothering to finish the book. And that would make me a quitter. (Actually, I've always been a bit of a quitter in other areas of my life, but not in writing. Not yet. And I don't intend to start now.)

So... I'm taking my own advice. Powering through the first draft. Not looking back over my shoulder. Ignoring the bits that stink worse than bin juice. It's kind of frightening.

Have you ever given advice and then realized that YOU'RE the one who should be listening to it? Makes you feel a bit stupid, no?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pardon my French (and my Czech)

A bit of bookish new for you this fine evening. French rights to ENTANGLED have been sold to Editions Robert Laffont and Czech rights have been sold to Nava. I'm pretty excited to see my book in languages I can't understand very well (French) or at all (Czech).

In other news, top sekrit project is driving me to distraction. Writing it is like wading through waist-deep treacle at the moment. Sticky.

In other OTHER news (which isn't strictly news, more a recommendation), you should probably go and read this post by my wonderful friend, Nova Ren Suma. It's very interesting. Now shoo!

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's my birthday and I'm on the Guardian site!

Hello, my dears. I hope you are all fine and dandy. If you want to find out my top ten books with teens behaving badly, I suggest you go and have a look here. Very excited to be on the shiny new Guardian children's book site - it's ace.

Here's something that makes me smile. It might make you smile too.