Monday, 30 July 2012

Andrea Cremer News

As you guys are probably aware, I love Andrea Cremer's Nightshade trilogy. I love it and I want the prequel, Rift, like yesterday (but it's not out for another week. Excuse me while I sulk in the corner over there...)

But, news has reached me that Andrea Cremer will be writing another trilogy set in the world of Nightshade for adults. HORRAY! But wait... hold on to your horses, I have a sentence that might throw you all in gasps of horror. The trilogy will be adult erotica.

Now, I know I've lost half of you by using that one word and, like you, I see that word and want to run. Run and hide under my bed. But as this is Andrea Cremer, I'm not really running away. I'm actually intrigued over where Andrea could go with this. As it's going to be for an adult target audience, she has more freedom to write sexier and more violent scenes (if you've read Nightshade, you understand how violent it gets...)

We have two books to come before we have the new trilogy thrust upon us (Rift [out next week in the UK] and its sequel, Rise [sometime next year. Summer at the latest]) and I am intrigued over what Andrea writes, I do hold some worry that this might mess up my love for the series.

But, until I actually read the book (oh yes, I'm going to read this), which is coming out in the US around October 2013 (no news if this trilogy will/has been picked up by a UK publisher), I will hold judgement. All I know is old and mew characters will feature and there will be kick-ass leads. This makes me happy.

SMILE - How You Read A Book

My thanks goes to CassJayTuck for this video. I totally get this as I do this ALL the time!!!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

GoodRead - Tape-Measure Murder & Motive V. Opportunity

 It's rare (as you know) that I review two short stories in one review but seeing as these are both written by Agatha Christie, and are both in connection with Miss Marple, I will make an exception.

I somehow came across that HarperCollins had released Agatha Christie's short stories individually by sheer fluke. Not sure how but I discovered it and started snooping. I asked some Twitter pals (who are Agatha Christie nuts) on which to read. They suggested a few, and I narrowed the search down to these two: Tape-Measure Murder and Motive V. Opportunity (though a Harley Quin short story, The Shadow on the Glass has caught my eye also...). Plus, both were 49p each and, with my lovely blog pal Emma at Book Angel Booktopia kicking off her Classic Carnival next week (which I am taking part in), it couldn't be more perfect!

With Tape-Measure Murder, Miss Politt has been knocking on Mrs Spenlow's door but with no reply. When a neighbour decides to look through a window, she finds Mrs Spenlow, lying on the floor, dead. The whole of St. Mary Mead is convinced that it was her husband who killed her, as he showed very little emotion over her murder. But Miss Marple isn't so sure...

And with Murder V. Opportunity, the members of the Tuesday Night Club are told a story about Mr Clode, a man who, on his deathbed, wrote a new will. It stated that most of his fortune should go to a spiritualist, and not to his nieces and nephew. But when the envelope containing the will was opened a few months after his death, the will is blank.

I read both of these very quickly. Half an hour each and, with one of them, I think I solve it very quickly while the other surprised me as it felt, almost, like Agatha Christie tricked me, and yet, sadly, all the clues were there. Up to a point.

These are fast reads. Literally spend a few minutes on the journey to work and you're done. It's enough. And it was enough for me. So now, off to read a real novel (but which...).

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Earlier today, Laini Taylor and her UK publisher, Hodder, revealed the UK cover for Daughter of Smoke and Bone sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight. And they are very excited at it. They created an animated cover, just to prove how awesome it is...

For those of you want to see it minus the animating glow, here is the cover:

Oh, how I LOVE this cover! I just love it! It's simple yet gorgeous! And I am very excited for this book. I don't know whether to buy this or wait and see if I get sent a copy (which I think is HIGHLY unlikely), but who cares?! I can't till November 8th! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Will Hill Signs 3-Book Deal!

Ok, I know I haven't read Will Hill's Department 19 series (am saving them for Halloween! SCARY READING aka Me Forwarding Planning!) but this news thrills me SO much. After meeting him at the HarperCollins Book Bloggers Event, I have been a little bit in love with him, so hearing this news is AWESOME! Anyway, here's the press release:

HarperCollins signs three more books from Department 19 author Will Hill
HarperCollins is delighted to be continuing its relationship with YA author Will Hill by acquiring three new titles. Fiction Editorial Director Nick Lake secured UK & Commonwealth rights to two final books in the Department 19 series, plus one untitled YA novel. The deal was concluded by Nick and Charlie Campbell at Ed Victor Ltd.

First launched by HarperCollins in 2011, Department 19 was the number one bestselling YA hardback debut of the year and the series has acquired more than 7,000 fans on Facebook ( The books have also enjoyed sales success as ebooks, with Department 19: The Rising becoming HarperCollins' bestselling children's ebook launch in April. Hill’s writing has also been acclaimed in the press. "High action, fast plot, original and gripping, this is vampire writing without the sparkle – but with lots of blood!" said the Sun, while the Telegraph pronounced that, “Bram Stoker can stop turning in his grave: his 21st-century legacy extends beyond Twilight.”

Nick Lake said: "Will Hill is an incredible talent and we’re tremendously excited to have these new books to look forward to. With The Rising, he achieved that rare feat - a sequel that is richer and more gripping than its predecessor - and the strength of his writing is certain to garner him many, many more fans over the coming years."

Will himself said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have signed with HarperCollins for three more novels - the experience of publishing the Department 19 books with them has been an absolute pleasure. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with my amazing editor Nick and the fantastic sales, marketing and publicity teams, and I'm so thrilled that the Department 19 series will finish where it started; on the best list in the business."

About Will:
Before quitting his job in publishing to write Department 19, Will Hill worked as a bartender, a bookseller and a door-to-door charity worker. He grew up in the north-east of England, is scared of spiders, and is a big fan of cats. He lives in east London with his girlfriend.
Twitter: @WillHillAuthor

GoodRead - Harry Potter: Page to Screen

I treated myself to this BEAST of a book during the Christmas Sale (I had a Waterstones giftcard and Amazon Kindle voucher and yet, this isn't a ebook [thank Goodness - will explain in a bit] and no Waterstones I went to had it in stock. Expect for WHSmiths who had one hidden away in the back so, to that WHSmiths, THANK YOU!] and have been reading it slowly for the past 6 months.

I wasn't going to rush this! And this book needs your time and full attention!

This book details the filming of the Harry Potter movies. Not just talking about the movies themselves but the making of them. The actors, producers, directors, but most of the crew talk openly and frankly about making the movies and the effect the movies had on their lives. Showing concept art, never-seen-before photos and showing how the magic was done, this is really a film buff's book.

I LOVED this book! Of course, I was going to love it. I'M A HARRY POTTER NUT! And I adore the books and movies (maybe not the early movies which my other half is making me watch...), and I always find the "This Is How We Make" stuff quite interesting (I treated myself to The Art of the Avengers... Tiny heads-up).

I'm a geek. I admit it.

Now, the book is split into three parts. The Making of Harry Potter (which talks about in depth about the films and how they were made, which had funny and, often, emotional information like 9/11 and Richard Harris's death), The Art Of Harry Potter (this is why it's not on kindle. The amount of detail in concept art, photographs and notes is high and your eReader won't do it justice) and the Epilogue (am saying nothing about this...).

But, oh! This book was wonderful! *hugs the tomb of a book close to my chest* If not for anything, then for the exercise (weight-lifting) it has done to my arms!

I think if you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies are just a film buff (and if you can find this book - it was a nightmare to find my copy!), get it! Will show some images... enjoy!

Monday, 16 July 2012


You guys have no idea how LONG I wanted to put this on as a SMILE picture! NONE WHAT SO EVER!

My thanks go to Fell From Fiction's tumblr.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Frostfire Blog Tour - YA FANTASY

Oh hello! Thank you for popping on the fourth (and penultimate) stop of the Frostfire Blog Tour. Now, my review to this book was up yesterday (go read it!), and today, Zoe Marriott will be taking over, chatting about the recent evolution of YA fantasy. But before she does that, I just want to thank Zoe for taking to the time to write the post and Hannah from Walker Books for allowing me to take part in the tour.

The next stop in the tour is at Book Angel Booktopia next Friday. Just a small heads-up!

Anyway, will throw it over to Zoe now!


I'm a relatively young author. Young enough that when I attended the Lancashire Book of the Year Awards recently, some of the other authors were amusing themselves by placing bets on how old I was (the answer? Not as young as they thought. But nearly!). I was first published in 2007, which means I've only actually been part of the professional publishing community for five years. I cannot claim to have seen or done it all - and I certainly don't have the t-shirt.

Publishing is generally considered to be an extremely slow moving industry. It certainly feels that way when you're waiting for your edit letter, waiting for your cover design, waiting for your book to come out. But in other ways publishing moves lightning fast, and in the five years that I've been calling myself a writer, I've seen our entire community undergo metamorphosis, seen the profile of children's and young adult writers shoot sky-high, seen the birth of a whole society of adult readers who defiantly and proudly read YA novels in their YA covers, and seen the kind of books that fill the shops sweep from one extreme (brightly coloured middle grade novels chasing Harry Potter) to the other (black and scarlet toned dark fantasies and romances trailing after Twilight). 

Back in late 2005 I finished a fairytale retelling that I titled 'The Wild Swans' after the Hans Christian Anderson story it was based on. I submitted it to an editor who had offered me encouragement after liking but ultimately rejecting my previous manuscript. He told me he thought it was very good, and invited me down to London to meet him and his boss. But, he warned me, although his boss liked my voice and thought I had potential, she wasn't really sold on the book itself.

You see, it was a lyrical, romantic novel. It was clearly the sort of thing that ought to be marketed at girls. And it was a fantasy. The loose framework of the fairytale had been reworked to allow a magically gifted heroine on a quest to save her Kingdom and her brothers, and the plot encompassed magical battles, and shapeshifters and mortal peril. And it was for readers twelve and above, as it had some very dark themes and some extremely scary scenes.

These things, the editor told me sadly, were a hard sell. It was believed that girls didn't like fantasy and wouldn't buy it. Plus, all the recent publishing success stories (like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials) had proved that the 8-12 market was where the real growth was. Young Adult novels were a bit of a poor relation, unless you could gradually shade into YA with later novels of your series as Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling had done. No one at the publisher was really sure where my book would fit into their list. It wasn't like anything that had come their way before. He explained that his boss would probably ask me to write something else for them instead, maybe a novel for younger readers to fit into one of their established imprints.

Looking back at these comments, they frankly stagger me. Can you imagine an editor saying NOW that girls don't like and won't buy fantasy? That YA is a hard sell? But back then, that was the way things were. So I went into my terrifying and exciting first meeting with real life publishing people fully prepared to fight my corner. I talked about Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley, perpetual bestsellers and award winners. I talked about Meg Cabot's '1800-Missing' series and Doctor Who. I talked about the girls who loved Harry Potter as ten year olds turning into twelve year olds and wanting fantasy FOR THEM, fantasy with girl protagonists and strong romantic subplots. 'YA Fantasy,' I said confidently, 'I due for a huge boom'.
Somehow - and I'm still not sure how - my persuasions worked. After listening to me babble on for about forty minutes, the editor's boss said, 'OK. I'm convinced. Let's do some revisions and go for it'. Whooo! Success! 

Well, qualified success. The book got a tiny advance and had no marketing or PR budget. It was given a beautiful, unique cover, retitled The Swan Kingdom and flung into the marketplace quite ruthlessly to see if it would sink or swim. If it had sunk I'm not sure what would have happened to my career. But it didn't. It floated aimlessly for a bit, then developed a slow but strong stroke that allows it to keep selling to this day. So in a way I was right. There was a market for The Swan Kingdom.

But that big huge YA fantasy boom that I had promised my editor and his boss would arrive?

It never quite did.

Twilight came out in the U.K. the very year of my first chat at the publishers office (in an...unusual cover very unlike its eventual iconic re-jacket) bombed, and then exploded worldwide, bringing an overwhelming tsunami of dark paranormal romances and then ripples of urban fantasy which washed up every variety of unearthly boyfriend (vampire, werewolf, demon, angel, elf, pixie, fairy and god). Then the Hunger Games arrived and threw another grenade, opening the way for a Dystopian novels invasion. Science fiction is starting to make a resurgence too.  

All these genres are, in fact, varieties of fantasy. Speculative fiction. Books which embrace the unknown. Some of them focus more on romance, others are gritty in the extreme. Some of them are beautiful works of literature, others guilty reads. But what none of them are is high fantasy - what the average reader would point at when they say the word 'fantasy'. The success of the Game of Thrones series in the U.S. and the intense anticipation for the Snow White the the Huntsman and The Hobbit films seems to hint that there's a demand there for classic fantasy taking place in secondary worlds. But the book that can do for YA fantasy what Twilight did for paranormal romance or Hunger Games for Dystopian, or even what Harry Potter did for the entire middle grade category? It doesn't seem to have been written yet.

I'm waiting for it eagerly. 

In the meantime, I'm left to look around me at the extraordinary landscape of YA fantasy - and if you want to argue with me about whether Hunger Games or Twilight count as fantasy, feel free in the comments - and publishing for children and young people always like this? Does it renew itself completely every seven years as the human body is said to do? Or have I, as a young fantasy writer just starting out in 2007 and just hitting her stride in 2012, been been privileged to witness an extraordinary era of change for my category and my industry?

And most important of all... what's in store for us next? 


Thursday, 12 July 2012

GoodRead - Frostfire

In December last year, I went to the Walker Books' Blogger Event and, without thinking, I mentioned that I hadn't read Zoe Marriott before. Oh my goodness! The reactions and looks I got! It was like I was eating Kettle Chips in the quiet coach of a train... So much so, someone pushed a copy of Shadows on the Moon in my hands and told me to read it.

I haven't read it.

So, when Hannah from Walker Books asked if I wanted to be involved in the Frostfire Blog Tour (tomorrow! Come back tomorrow if you're following the tour...), I went "Sure". And, of course, because I wanted to be involved in the tour, I got a copy of the book and dived into the book!

In this companion (not sequel, companion!) novel to Daughter of the Flames, Frost is possessed by a wolf demon that takes control of her if she sees the sight of her own blood.

While she's fleeing for her life, Frost is captured by a band of warriors sworn to protect the county, and it's here that Frost finds herself slowly being drawn to the charismatic leader, Luca, and find herself being despised by his second in command, Arian. But how can Frost protect the people she's slowly cares about, when the person they should be fearful of is herself...

Right, where to start on this? Er... oh, how I wish I read this author sooner!

I started reading this, thinking it was going to be a thick, slow read and, instead, I flew through this, simply falling in love with this story. I fell in love with the story of Frost as she finds her place in the Hill Guard and her place in the world, while slowly peeling the story away to discover the truth behind her nightmare and why she's possessed with the wolf demon.

And with Luca and Arian... oh, I can't say anything! I fear that, if I do, it will spoil the book!

But I fell under this book's spell. So much so that there was one point that I almost threw the book across the room in fury! "How could Zoe do that to that one character?! I LOVE that character! HOW DARE SHE!"

I adore this book. I know all you fantasy fans will love it and, soon, I will read Shadows on the Moon. I will correct this mistake!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Late last night (and when I didn't have access to my laptop!), Cassandra Clare revealed the cover for the third and final book in her Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Princess!

What do you think? It had things which people were expecting (Tessa and her Clockwork Angel), but fans are already trying to pick clues out of the cover. What's the book Tessa's holding? Why is it glowing? Why isn't she wearing any rings (if you read Clockwork Prince, you understand...)? What has Saint Paul have to do with it? WHAT WHAT WHAT? 

I really like it. I don't love it, but I sense I will warm to it more when I get my hands on an actual copy in March 2013 (I love Clockwork Prince so this has to be EPIC!) And as I haven't read the fourth or fifth books in the Mortal Instruments Saga, this is my next Cassandra Clare read! Can NOT wait!

Oh, while I remember: Earlier in the week, Cassandra Clare revealed the teaser poster for the movie adaptation of City of Bones. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Age Rating for YA Books?

I've been trying to figure out for the past few hours how to write this post as this is a very sticky subject and I have quite strong views about it.

This morning, on BBC Breakfast, two YA authors were asked about their opinions on certification on children and YA novels due to a recent study, in which the study showed that in YA bestsellers had high level of swearing, violence and was more likely to show characters abandoned with either troubled or absent parents.

The two authors were Patrick Ness and GP Taylor.

GP Taylor, a former vicar, stated that he felt that YA fiction had "gone too far" and said that he believed that an age ranging system for books. Patrick Ness rejected the idea immediately and welcomed the darkness in YA, stating that it was "irresponsible" to ignore the darker side of life in YA fiction.

Now, I have strong views on censorship and age rating in YA books, and I'm pretty sure that over this post, I will rant and rave and scream with fury. But the reason I am writing the facts (thank you Guardian website) is because I want to make one point clear: this is their opinions! GP Taylor thinks they should be a rating system and Patrick Ness doesn't. And having an opinion isn't wrong. So I find it a bit... unnerving... to hear people messaging GP Taylor saying "vile" things...

Now that I have that out of the way, let me have my say on this subject (and I apologise if I do lose my temper):

I am COMPLETELY against the idea of age rating books. To me, it's very much like censorship and, again, I feel very strongly about this.

I question who would do the age rating? The parents? The children? The Book Sellers? The Publishing Houses? The Government (the same government who has reduce funding to libraries and museums at a time when we need them the most)? Surely it is up to us, the reader, to decide whether a book is suitable for us. And if we starting a book that we don't like, we stop reading it. This is how it has work for YEARS and, so far, it's been going pretty well.

If we have a new body who acts like the British Board of Film Classification (the BBFC), then they would be called into question over choices of rating. For example, the recent film version of The Woman in Black was rated 12 in the United Kingdom. Now, as someone who saw this film and heard a lot of the cinema goers speaking afterwards, we were all shocked that this film was classed as a 12 and not a 15, which would have been more suitable. So, what were they thinking?

And what defines a YA fiction? Surely being aimed for teenagers, surely these books should tackle teenage themes, and most of these themes are dark.

But if we go the route of classification for books, one has to wonder how far it could go. Who will decide what is deemed acceptable for readers? And how much power should these people have? How long will it be before the power is taken out of the author's, publisher's and reader's hands? And how will it be before will it be before we tackle censorship? How long will censorship take before YA books are banned? And then, what next? Will all books be banned? Will all from of storytelling be banned? Will we say goodbye to all books, all tv dramas, all radio shows, all films, all newspapers? Will we become a storyless country?

That is extreme, but the idea of someone telling me what I can and cannot read and the fact that books should be rated for suitable for its readers upset and angry. I have spoken to several people on Twitter who have informed that books that have been age rated in the past haven't reached their target audience and readers who are less confident won't read those books. Also, in 2008, Scholastic tried to do age rating and this was almost immediately shot down.

I also find it hard to believe that Mr Taylor to say that YA fiction has be darker when he has written a trilogy about vampires in the Second World War, which has been classed as scary horror for YA. I also find it hard to believe that, earlier in the interview, he claimed that he was "dragged" into writing this trilogy. Now, most authors write what they want to write and hope that their editor enjoys it and the same goes to the reader. 

Now, I'm not sure whether this changes your opinion or maybe I wrote this in a God-awful way, but I want to end this on a quote from the movie Matilda which, I feel, sums up why YA books are so important and, if we have age rating on books, this message will be meaningless: "These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.

SMILE - Hey, Listen!

My thanks to Heather Perry (and the person who retweeted this on twitter [can't remember who you are!) for the above image!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone News!

As you are probably aware from other booky blogs, today is the release date of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor in paperback. And, to celebrate this, Hodder is going all out!

Today at 5:30 pm UK time, Laini will be taking over the official UK Twitter feed of Daughter of Smoke and Bone - @SmokeandBone - so if you have ANY questions for her, tweet them to her and she might answer yours!

Also, Hodder is doing 2 competitions! The first (and my fave) is to win an early proof of Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which isn't out in the UK till November (SO FAR AWAY!). All you have to do is tweet a 140 character review of the book & send it to @SmokeandBone and use the hashtag #SmokeAndBone. This contest is open to Sunday 8th July and some of the tweets might be used in online adverts, so you might see your reviews on websites such as

One of my fave tweet review I've seen so far is from @MattLibrarian who has now given Hodder a idea for the cover for book two... Can you go one better?

Also, if you go to their website - - you can enter a chance to win a trip to Prague, where the book was set! I think it's UK entrance only, but not... check Terms and Conditions!

And, because the five teaser trailers for the hardback edition release wasn't enough (no, seriously! They did! I watched and loved each of them!), Hodder has revealed a new trailer... Enjoy!

GoodRead - Grave Mercy

I want to state something before I go into this review. I am not a historical reader. It never really interested me and if when I do read something that has a set of history, I need it to be laced with fantasy. I need something to take the oddness away, if that makes anything.

So, when Eve from Andersen Press emailed asking if I wanted to read this, I was a little hesitant over it. But I read the info and watched the trailer. It was the trailer that changed my mind and made me go "I have to read this!". There's a line in the trailer that goes "Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?" and instantly I thought, "Now that sounds interesting. I shall investigate this..."

In medieval Brittany, there is a convert. The convert of Saint Mortain, and the nuns at this convert aren't normal nuns. They are assassins, doing the work of their saint.

When Ismae is sent to the court of Brittany, she finds her suddenly unprepared for court life. Not only the games of intrigues, treasons and politics, but also of the heart... Soon, her loyalists will be tested...

Now, as I have stated before, this is a historical novel and I don't do historical reads. So, maybe this is me being outside of my comfort zone (as a book blogger, I feel that you have to read books that are in genres you don't usually read), but this book was long and quite intense. I don't mean intense as in it had intense action scene or romantic love sense, but it was just intense. You had to learn EVERY little detail of court life, of poisons, of convert life, of politics. And because of this intense, it took me AGES (at least over half way) before it clicked in my brain and I went "Oh! Ok! I think I get this now!" and because it took so long to understand that, within the second week of reading this (this took nearly 3 weeks for me to read, which is slow by my standards), I had to stop and read a candy floss book to give myself a break from the intensity!

And because of the intensity of the book, the pace felt slow and this is why I felt it was a long read. The pace was slower than my normal reads and there were times I was going "Would you hurry up and get to the point!". On several occasions, I wanted to grab a Basilisk fang and stabbing the book, waiting to see if the book would bleed ink like in Harry Potter and the Chamber and Secrets.

But, with all that said, I can see people liking this. On more than one occasion, I thought that fans of the Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder and The Old Kingdom/Abhorsen series by Garth Nix would like this.

And with everyone else I know seeming to go "This book is awesome", I feel like the odd one out saying "It's good, but not my cup of tea". But I think if you're a reader who likes historical reads with an edge of paranormal/fantasy, you might want to investigate this book. But for me... sorry...

Although I am intrigued on the sequel in the series, Dark Triumph, who follows a character who seems completely broken and flawed (and possibly on the verge of a mental breakdown)... Also, if I see the word "Mayhap" (I think it's "maybe" but not sure) in the next few months, I will not be held responsible for my actions...

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Hot Key Books Launch

Before I go any further, I want to thank Hot Key Books for inviting me. I still get EXTREMELY excited and honoured when I get invited to these events (and for someone who's still waiting for a "Hey! What are you doing here, you're not a TRUE book blogger! GET OUT!"). I, also, has to say sorry in advance. I didn't take notes so am using memory and other bloggers's write ups to refresh my memory...

At Hot Key HQ, a bunch of us Book Bloggers (hi everyone who went! Nice to see you all again and hello to everyone who I met for the first time!) chatted to everyone at Hot Key, all the bloggers and the three lovely authors who were there: Sarah Mussi (author of launch title Angel Dust), Lydia Syson (author of The World Between Us) and Sally Gardner (author of Maggot Moon).

Together in a shiny conference room, Hot Key explained the content guidance ring (which explains the story's main themes) and they chatted about their books coming through 2012 and hinted at some of their titles in 2013 (barring a few titles, all of them sound cool and up my street! And we can't talk about them! Wanna see the Launch List? Here you go!).

All three authors chatted about their books: Sarah Mussi explained how the idea came from a traffic jam at New Cross and explained that her story is about an angel who goes to earth to bring a gangster to the afterlife - but instead, she falls in love with him. Lydia Syson explained about her own grandparents in the Spanish Civil War, talked about how this Civil War isn't taught in schools and briefly touched that this story, while set against the civil war, is a love story. Sally Gardner chatted about Maggot Moon, how it was inspired from her research of her previous novel, Double Shadow, and how she wanted to really show what dyslexia is really like. 

After that, we had a skype chat with S.J. Kincaid, author of Insignia, another launch title for Hot Key. Some of you guys might be aware of this book as most UK book bloggers have raved about this book (once it's released, you'll see their quotes in the front and back covers). The buzz is going to get bigger with the news with 20th Century Fox optioning the film rights to the trilogy (which means I will be reading this soon...). 

It was fun day so, again, thank you Hot Key for the invite! 


Oh, while I'm chatting about Launch Parties, I need to chat to you about 3 events I went to over the last few months and haven't written up yet (sorry for the hijack!). I can't really chat about the Cat Clarke event till Quercus gives us the all clear [though it's common knowledge that her novel will be called UNDONE]. The Cassandra Clare event hosted by Maureen Johnson... well, I have a shocking memory and I blocked out most of the answers she gave as I haven't read City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls so I won't be writing that up (sorry, Neil at Foyles who invited me! You're awesome, FYI). And the Creative Voices event (with Kimblery Derting, Cat Clarke, James Dawson & Tanya Bryne)... I will try and write that up soon!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Casual Vacancy - Cover Revealed!

Earlier today (while I was attacking Zoe Marriott's Frostfire), Little Brown revealed what the cover of JK Rowling's first adult novel The Casual Vacancy would look like:

What do you guys think? Most of people's reactions on Twitter has been "It's a bit underwhelming". 

But I think that's the point. It has to be different from Harry Potter and this is different! Us Potterheads can't pick it apart looking for clues. This is the same reaction to when John Green revealed the cover for The Fault in Our Stars. And look at us now? We LOVE that book and we've grown to love the cover!

This is a grown-up cover for a grown-up book! And I like that! Bring on September! 

Also, more news has been revealed. Little Brown has confirmed that it will be 512 pages long (YEAH!) and the audiobook version will be read by Tom Hollander, who has been in two of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Gosford Park, Pride and Prejudice with Keria Knightley and the BBC2 smash hit, Rev

Like I said before, BRING ON SEPTEMBER!

PS - While researching this article, I have been looking at the Autumn Catalogue for Little Brown this year. Shouldn't have done that! I now have a small list of books I want to read: Scott Mills autobiography, America Pacifica (which I actually have!), Will Young's autobiography, Judy Finnigan's debut novel and goodness knows how many from Atom... Plus with Miranda Hart's "autobiography" (I use the term loosely) being published by Hodder, I sense the latter part of this year and the beginning of 2013 to be a mix of YA fun to meaty "grown-up" reads. Sorry in advance! 

Warner Bros Studio Tour: Making of Harry Potter

I went to this last week, on the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released in the UK by Bloomsbury. I didn't know this till several days beforehand as this was my birthday present.

Yes, "subtle" hinting paid off!

Now, I have been reading since the Christmas Sale (and finishing several days before - review coming soon, I hope!) the Harry Potter: Page To Screen. I've become fascinated by what goes into making a TV show or a film later (on Sunday, on word of Jenny from Wondrous Reads, I treated myself to The Art of the Avengers, and will be reading that over the coming months) and, of course, it's HARRY POTTER! I grew up with Harry Potter! I read the books since I was 11 or 12 so it's been with me through my teen years!

I don't want to reveal too much about the tour - I mean, SPOILERS! (everyone who I talked to before the tour didn't tell me ANYTHING! [Expect buy Butterbeer!]) - so am going to reveal some photos I took. I hope you don't mind, but I would say, if you are a Harry Potter fan or interested on how a film franchise is created, go! The detail in sets, costumes and artwork is INSANE! Even little things that you will NEVER see on the screen had detail!

So... here you go... Enjoy!


PS - Oh, by the way, if you are going or have gone to Making of Harry Potter, what did you think? I LOVED it and I have to thank the PIW (aka my beloved Daniel) for buying me tickets. So, if I haven't told you already, Dan, thank you!

PPS - to those of you who have gone to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida (like Laura from SisterSpooky), I kinda hate you. But Sirius-ly, what was it like? I would love to go and am VERY curious about it.

PPPS - While am on the subject on the Wizarding World, if you have gone to Making of Harry Potter or The Wizarding World, I wanna ask your opinion on the Butterbeer! Did you like it? Did it live up to your expectations? And what did you think tasted it?

PPPPS - LAST ONE, I PROMISE! But, if you're living in the UK and Ireland, have you entered Bloomsbury's competition to find the biggest Harry Potter fan? If not, click here for my post about it!