So whilst I am busy reading these fab authors books (or the ones I’ve not yet read yet) and prepping questions I thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on them a little and find out a little more about them……
You can also check out what I would put in my time capsule here
Eve Ainsworth is a writer of Adult and YA fiction. She also loves tea (lots of it), 80’s music and most things relating to The Beatles.
Seven Days, Eve’s Young Adult debut, was published by Scholastic Uk in Feb 2015. The Blog of Maisy Malone is a adult comedy novel that has received pleasing reviews on Amazon. Crush, also published by Scholastic will be published in March 2016.
Eve has had short stories published in magazines such as Writers’ Forum and Prima.
She is now working on her third YA novel for Scholastic.
School should be a safe place for Jess, but at the moment it’s everything she dreads. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her. Kez’s life isn’t any sweeter. She has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks… Told from the point of view of the bullied and the bully, this is a taut, powerful story of two girls locked in battle with each other and themselves, spiralling towards a shocking conclusion.
Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.
You can buy Eve’s books here or from your local bookshop.
Also check out this fab character Q&A with Lyn from 7 Day’s here
Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE and InStyle in the UK. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson’s Creek from London College of Fashion and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives in Brighton.
My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .
Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time – back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .
During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.
The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
You can buy The Square Root Of Summer here or from your local bookshop.
Lauren James is 23, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Her first novel The Next Together, a YA reincarnation romance, is out now with Walker Books in the UK and has been translated into over six languages worldwide. The Last Beginning will be published in October 2016.
She is an Arts Council grant recipient, and is longlisted for the 2016 Branford Boase Award. She lives in the West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James or her website laurenejames.co.uk
A powerful and epic debut novel about fate and the timelessness of first love. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.
The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation. Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation? For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.
Winter, 1940: there is a murderer on the loose at Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s most daring codebreaking operation against the Nazis. Can two young codebreakers Kitty and Matthew catch the killer?
This standalone short story can be enjoyed by new readers and existing fans of Lauren James’s The Next Together series.
You can buy Lauren’s books here or from your local bookshop.
NB – The Last Beginning is due to be released on the 6th October2016 and the e-short Another Together on the 2nd June 2016
I was born in 1984, and I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with my parents and our cat. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a writer, actress, or singer. The writing part turned out to be easiest to accomplish, since it turns out I can’t really carry a tune, though I can do a pretty compelling karaoke rendition of “Hey Mickey.”
I wrote and illustrated approximately one million picture books when I was in elementary school, all of them about unicorns or cats or princesses, or princess unicorns who were best friends with princess cats. When I was seven, I wrote a longer story about quintuplets named Marissa, Larissa, Clarissa, Melissa, and Alyssa. The quintuplets were not princesses, but they did get invited to a royal ball.
During middle school and high school, I wrote five unpublished YA novels. I also acted in plays, competed in gymnastics meets and debate tournaments, babysat, and did an awful lot of schoolwork. My favorite school subject was math, and my worst subject was either science or Spanish.
I went to college at the University of Chicago, where I majored in psychology. I also performed in Off-Off Campus (an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe), competed in debate tournaments all over the world, helped judge the world’s largest scavenger hunt, and wrote a humor column for the school paper. And I wrote another unpublished YA novel, for which I was awarded the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Fiction Writing.
After graduating, I got a job at a children’s book publishing company in New York City, where I remain to this day. My first novel was published in 2010, and since then, I’ve just kept working on more. During the daytime I read other people’s books, and during the nighttime I write my own. What more could I need?
Learn more about me by following me on Twitter or befriending me on Facebook.
All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. In a cry for help, she self-harms, and when news of that gets around school, things get even worse for Elise.
But then she stumbles upon a secret warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time, and finding her true passion – DJing.
But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?
Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose: it makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her – including her needy best friend and her absent mum.
Arden stumbles upon a blog called ‘Tonight the Streets Are Ours’, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, and it feels like she’s finally found a kindred spirit. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.
During one crazy night in NYC filled with parties, dancing and music – the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does – Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was either.
You can buy Leila’s books here or at your local bookshop
You can also check out what I would put in my time capsule here
Have you read any of these books or met any of these fab authors before? What questions would you ask if you were chairing the panel? I would love to here from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !
On the 19th March 2016 I was lucky enough to be invited to a fab event at Scholastic!
I was so excited to attend and chat books, books and more books and with a fab line up for the day what more could I ask for?!
We even had a few extra special guests to!
So I got up bright and early and headed down to London!
It’s always an absolute pleasure attending the Scholastic offices and upon entering the fifth floor to be greeted with the awesome red sign we have all come to love over the years.
So we all settled in and helped ourselves to the lovely food and drink that Scholastic had kindly laid out for us!
The lovely Rachel kicked off the day with a little introduction.
And then it was onto the books!
First up the lovely Olivia introduced us to some wonderful upcoming books!
The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep. When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help Errin, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds splits the world as she knows it apart, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom…
The Sleeping Prince is the sequel to The Sin Eaters Daughter. I am lucky enough to have already read this brilliant book and loved it so much! I am craving the third book already!
You can find my review of The Sin Eaters Daughter here
We were lucky enough to have Mel with us for the day who joined for a fab panel towards the end of the day.
The Shadow Queen by C J Redwine
Lorelai, crown princess and fugitive-at-large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. She’ll have to be stronger, faster and master more magical power than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen. When the queen’s huntsman – a dragon-shifting king – tracks down Lorelai, sparks fly between them. Can the king overcome his predator side – and can Irina’s dark magic be defeated?
This book, a Snow White re-telling, sounds amazing! We were lucky enough to have an exclusive video from C J Redwine.
C J chatted to us about the book and how she grew up visiting libraries and reading Grimms fairy tales and after seeing Snow White And The Huntsman she wanted to write her own version where Snow White had her own voice.
C J also told us how much she loves fandom especially English fandom like Harry Potter, Sherlock and Tom Hiddleston…..this made us all chuckle as she produced a huge cardboard cut out….we were all just very jealous really!
You can see part of C J’s video below thanks to the Scholastic UK You Tube Channel.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The fourth and final instalment in the spellbinding series from bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater. All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure any more.
I have heard so many good things about this series, but I am yet to pick it up. The amount of excitement in the room about this fourth and final instalment of the series has made me really eager to pick the first book up asap (I was lucky enough to take home books one and two with me from Scholastic).
Defender Of The Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler
Alfie thought he knew his destiny. He didn’t know the half of it. Fourteen year old heir to the throne, Alfie, didn’t expect to be King so soon. He DEFINITELY did not expect to be …DEFENDER OF THE REALM. A legendary superhero, fighting a secret, centuries-long, battle to protect the nation from monsters and super-villains. An ordinary girl, Hayley Hicks, finds herself fighting alongside Alfie in a desperate struggle to stop a fearsome new enemy, the Black Dragon.
Another book I am lucky enough to have already read and loved!
You can find my review of Defender Of The Realm here
We were lucky enough to have the co-authors, Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler with us for the day and they chatted to us about the book, how they met, other projects they have worked on including Dangermouse and Thunderbirds and writing together.
They made us laugh lots!
There’s also a fab Q&A with Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler on Scholastic’s You Tube channel which I have posted below.
Crush by Eve Ainsworth
Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.
Another book I am lucky enough to have already read!
Crush is Eve’s second book and tells the story of a toxic relationship from both sides brilliantly and is a solid reminder that domestic abuse is never okay in any way shape or form.
We were lucky enough to have Eve with us for the day who joined the panel towards the end of the day.
It was then time for the lovely Lucy to take over an introduce some really exciting upcoming releases!
Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Her parents think that a camp for troubled teenagers might help her process her grief. All of the kids at the summer camp have lost someone close, but is bringing them together such a good idea? And can everyone at camp be trusted? When Skye starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister, she knows it’s time to confront the past. But what if the danger is right in front of her?
I am SO super excited for this book! It sounds fab! I was lucky enough to have already met the author Sue Wallman at a previous event the week before and she is super lovely. I was then lucky enough to meet her for a second time as she joined us for the day.
Sue talked to us all about her writing and her road to publication and there was not a dry eye in the house when she told us the story of when she received her publication deal. This was Sue’s first time speaking about the book to a big group of people and she did amazingly well.
You can find my review of Lying About Last Summer here
The Museum Of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Penelope is a pretty regular sixteen year old girl living in New York City. Except for a few run-ins with her nemesis Cherisse, high school has been fairly drama free …until the day that Keats shows up at school. Handsome, charming, but with an edge, Keats comes in and upends everything. Faced with her first break-up, and her first heartbreak, Penelope decides to put together a collection to tell her story and help her sort out her feelings. Featuring a spectrum of artefacts that chronicle the lives of the curator, her best friends, her first boyfriend and some dinosaurs, the Museum of Heartbreak explores the giddy confusion, inevitable sadness and sheer joy of growing up and falling in love.
This book sounds fab! And that cover super beautiful!
Can’t wait for this one!
Super Awkward by Beth Garrod
Fifteen year old Bella Fisher is an absolute winner…at failing at life. She’s the owner of a mouth that won’t listen to her brain, the most groin-sniffing-y dog ever created, and the ability to majorly embarrass herself in front of every single specimen of boy-dom. So imagine her surprise when she’s abandoned in a caravan park, dressed as a giant cereal box and somehow manages to pull off the most alarmingly un-Bella thing imaginable – having an actual tongue snog with Zac. The world’s fittest boy. When Bella is ripped away from Zac, she logs onto his favourite secret-sharing app to find him. Soon she’s spilling her friends’ most embarrassing secrets on the web…and not as anonymously as she thinks. While juggling her growing list of crushes, an evil ex-boyfriend, a chronically annoying uber-sis, and the leaking of her BFFs’ most cringeworthy moments, Bella finds her life spinning into catastrophe. Will she be able to piece it back together? And more importantly, do it while sorting out the ultimate prom problem?
This sounds like such a fun book that is going to make me laugh out loud!
We were lucky enough to have Beth with us for the day and she talked to us all about her debut book, awkward moments and her publication journey.
Beth made us all laugh lots! You never would have known this was the first time she was talking about the book to a group of people.
You can find a guest post Beth did for my blog with ten facts about Bella Fisher here
Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple’s YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.
I know I keep saying it, but another book I am super excited about getting my hands on!
This is going to be an amazing love story and is based on real life events.
It was then time for all of the authors to sit all together and be grilled by David Maybury and us!
With prosecco in hand we listened to them talk books and inspiration and got to ask so many questions! It was fab!
We then had a chance to listen to David Maybury and Lucy Rogers chat all about the editing process.
It was really fascinating insight to hear about discovering a manuscript, the journey that the editor and the manuscript / agent / author go on and then the finished product.
We then had a chat from the design team at Scholastic.
I was unable to take pictures at this point at the request of Scholastic, but they showed us the design process for The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Salisbury and the new edition of the Hunger Games.
Again this was completely fascinating. I love feeling like we are getting a little glimpse behind the scenes!
It was then quiz time!
Not any ordinary quiz….a Hunger Games quiz!
I clearly need to re-read this series and polish up my quiz skills in this subject as I admit I was useless!
Our team came last, but we were quite proud of that and had a lot of fun with our answers!
So all that remained was to get books signed, have a chat and collect our goodie bag….and what a fab goodie bag it was!
A huge thank you to Scholastic and everyone involved for a brilliant day! It was fab!
Look out for some exciting twitter giveaways coming up soon!
Have you read any of these books? Are you excited for any of the upcoming books we were shown? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !
To celebrate the second UKMG EXTRAVAGANZA which is being held at Nottingham City Library on the 17th October 2015 there is a great big blog tour celebrating the 34 super-duper authors that are attending the event!
The wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery have organised the first UKMG Extravaganza and I am so excited to be attending this fab event! It is set to be such a fun day and with such a brilliant set of UKMG authors attending the event I’m sure it will be a huge success!
In the meantime I thought I would share a bit about each author with links to their twitter and websites and links to their UKMG EXTRAVAGANZA blog tour posts that are being hosted by 34 fab bloggers!
The last UKYA Extravaganza was held in Birmingham and was so much fun! You can find out what we got up to here!
There was also a previous blog tour to celebrate the Birmingham event also – here
So here goes…. *takes big breath*
Want to know more about the upcoming UKYA Extravaganza and it’s authors – click here
Margi comes from Northumberland, is married to a minister, and has three grown-up children. Margi has always loved storytelling and she is the author of the award-winning animal fantasy series, The Mistmantle Chronicles. She is also the author of the Hammy the Wonder Hamster books, which she wrote as Poppy Harris. Margi loves stories, theatre, gardens, wildlife, history, woodlands and warm fires on winter nights.
Her latest novels Fawn and A Home for Teasel are perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo and Lauren St John, heartfelt animal stories unlike any you’ve read before.
You can find out more about Margi on her website here
Teresa Flavin is an illustrator and author of critically-acclaimed fantasy novels for children and young people. Her debut novel, The Blackhope Enigma (Templar Publishing UK), was short-listed for a number of UK book awards and was a Fall 2011 Junior Library Guild selection in the USA (Candlewick Press). The sequel, The Crimson Shard, is published in the UK by Templar and in the USA by Candlewick Press. It was a Fall 2012 Junior Library Guild Selection and was nominated for the 2013 Teen Choice Book of the Year. Templar published The Shadow Lantern, the final novel in the Blackhope Enigma trilogy, in the UK in 2013 and Candlewick published it in 2014.
In 2013 British publisher Barrington Stoke published Yellow Rabbit (Illustrated by Rich Watson) for a reading age of 6 and in 2014 it brought out Teresa’s latest novel, Jet Black Heart, a supernatural time travel mystery for teens.
American-born Teresa lives in West Yorkshire, England. She maintains a studio where she not only writes, but illustrates and makes paintings for gallery exhibitions. She also speaks widely in schools, libraries and at literary festivals.
John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland. He studied psychology at university and then tried his hand at a number of jobs including YMCA hostel worker, factory machine operator, and unsuccessful singer-songwriter, before becoming a primary school teacher (elementary school teacher if you’re in the United States, which he wasn’t).
Whilst John was teaching, his interest in children’s literature was reawakened and he soon began writing stories and pestering publishers with them. After the publication of Zeus on the Loose (2004) he left teaching and took up writing full-time, only with more tea breaks.
His books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards – and one was chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011 – but, more importantly, they make children giggle.
You can find more about John and his books on his website here
Check out my post here on Tales – Which Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face Character Are you? – here
HUW POWELL is a children’s author with an overactive and uncompromising imagination. He was born in Bristol in 1976 during the hottest summer on record and grew up in the village of Pill in North Somerset, where he wrote his first stories for friends and family.
At school, his best subjects were Literature and Art, which he went on to study at University.
Huw started writing while working in London, where he wrote on trains and in cafes using a pen and notepad.
He now lives in Portishead with his wife and two energetic sons. When he’s not writing, Huw enjoys watching films and spending time with his family and friends.
You can find out more about Hew on his website here
Fire Girl author Matt Ralphs has always been fascinated by witches, ghosts and anything that sent a shiver down his spine – and as a child was convinced that his Suffolk home was haunted. His favourite childhood book was Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood, as it was magical, mysterious and a little bit weird – and his goal as an author is to create books that make children feel just as happy, scared and thrilled as he did when reading as a kid. If he had to choose between being a witch or being a demon he would plump for the latter, as he believes it might be fun to be evil for a while – but Shhh – don’t tell anyone!
Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author. Her books include the Red Moon Rising series, The Storm Dragon and The Rescue Princesses. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.
I was born in Bletchley (home of the wartime code-breakers!) and I grew up in Bedfordshire. I always said I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t actually get round to it for quite a long time.
I trained to be a primary school teacher and spent many years teaching. Those years taught me what children like in stories and how they respond to humour and suspense. Reading to an audience of children is just amazing.
You can find out more about Paula on her website here
Originally from America, I moved to London because I wanted to live abroad but spoke no foreign languages. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a serving wench at the Tower of London I found work as an actress and comedy performer. I’ve perfomed regularly at Edinburgh and London comedy festivals. A few years back I got a job touring around the UK as a storyteller and that’s when I discovered that kids liked, laughed at and didn’t fall asleep when I performed stuff that I wrote myself. I was hooked on writing and performing for kids. Some quotes from kids about my storytelling sessions are:
“I guess you were a bit better than the rabbits with big heads that were here last week.” “Can I rewind you and watch you again after lunch?” And “How did you know me to put me in your story?”
I still live in London, still speak no foreign languages (unless you count American) and I still have a sneaking suspicion that the rabbits with the big heads were really better than me but the kid was just being nice.
I wrote lots of stories for kids that nobody published but then I wrote “My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish” and Macmillan said that they were hooked. (couldn’t help the fish pun there, sorry).
Suggestions for fish pun titles are welcome…
You can find out more about Mo on her website here
Linda Chapman was born in Liverpool in 1969. She had many different jobs before becoming a full-time writer in 1999. She worked as a theatre stage manager, a dog trainer, a bookseller, a nanny, a teacher and a research assistant. She has written over 170 books for children, some under her own name, others under different names including the Superpowers series under the name Alex Cliff. Her books have been published in over 20 languages. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, three children, three dogs and three ponies. When she is not writing she likes riding, reading, walking her dogs and visiting schools and libraries. She has written many different series including: My Secret Unicorn, Unicorn School, Stardust, Sky Horses, Not Quite a Mermaid, Skating School and Loving Spirit. She also loves to collaborate with other writers. Her most recent series are Sophie and The Shadow Woods written with Lee Weatherly and the series Dinosaur Land, Wild Friends and Angel Wings written with Michelle Misra.
You can find out more about Linda on here website here
To celebrate the second UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA which is being held at Waterstones Nottingham on the 10th October 2015 there is a great big blog tour celebrating the 30 super-duper authors that are attending the event!
Again the wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery have organised the UKYA Extravaganza and I am so excited to be attending this fab event! It is set to be such a fun day and with such a brilliant set of UKYA authors attending the event I’m sure it will be a huge success!
In the meantime I thought I would share a bit about each author with links to their twitter and websites and links to their UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA blog tour posts that are being hosted by 29 fab bloggers!
Paula’s talent for writing was first noticed when she won the BBC Get Writing competition and her story was read by Bill Nighy on Radio 4. The opening chapters of her teen thriller, The Truth About Celia Frost, led to her becoming a winner of Undiscovered Voices 2010. She was subsequently signed up by Usborne who published The Truth About Celia Frost in 2011. To date Celia Frost has been nominated for 11 literary awards. It was selected as the winner of the Leeds Book Award (2012), Sefton Super Reads Award (2012), and the Nottingham Brilliant Book Award (2013). Her second novel, Blood Tracks, was published on 1st June 2013. It has been shortlisted for several literary awards, winning ‘The Rib Valley Book Award 2014’.
Paula is proud to be a writer in residence for the national literacy charity ‘First Story’. She is also regularly invited into secondary schools around the UK to do author talks and workshops.
Paula was born and brought up in Liverpool and now lives in Nottingham with her husband and three children.
You can find out more about Paula on her website here
I was born in Kent and enjoyed writing stories at school. I was more interested in science though, and gave up studying English at sixteen. I ended up doing Chemistry at university, but my love of reading never went away. The next time I wrote any fiction was decades later, when I decided to write a book for my daughter’s twelfth birthday, and since then I’ve discovered a passion for storytelling. Luckily, other people seem to like my stories too, so I’m getting to produce more of them. I live in Surrey with my family and a very lovely chocolate Labrador.
The award winning and best-selling Small Blue Thing trilogy has been translated into German and Polish and is sold in many different countries all around the world. I’m particularly proud that readers have also twice voted me onto the shortlist for the prestigious Queen of Teen award with some of my author heroes (John Green, anyone?). The parties are also legendary! My new book, The Beneath, is due out in March 2015, and I’m currently busy with my next project.
I love visiting schools and libraries to talk to people about how you can find the time to write, and how I got published.
Lydia Syson has worked with words and stories all her life, in her early career as a radio producer for the BBC World Service, and now as an author of critically acclaimed YA fiction which ‘brings history to life’. A World Between Us (Hot Key Books, 2012), a story of politics and passion set during the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended by the judges of the Branford Boase Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the UKLA Book Award (2014). Her second novel,That Burning Summer (Hot Key Books, 2013), chosen by The Independent as a Children’s Book of the Year, is set on Romney Marsh in Kent during the Battle of Britain. If you want to know what happened in Paris after the events of Les Mis, look no further than Liberty’s Fire, a Telegraph ‘Best YA Novel of 2015’, which tells the unbelievable story of the 1871 Paris Commune. Lydia is also the author of a PhD (2003) about explorers, poets and Timbuktu and Doctor of Love (2008), the biography of James Graham, an 18th century medical entrepreneur who designed an electrical, magnetic Celestial Bed for conceiving perfect babies. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
I was born and raised in Lincolnshire, where the wild North Sea meets the gentle green-gold curves of the Wold, and I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book; ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. I think I was about eight, but I’ve never changed my mind in all the years since then.
I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty-two, but had to wait until I was twenty-four to see my debut novel – The Swan Kingdom – published. It went on to be shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award, and become a USBBY Outstanding International Book, among other honours.
Since then I’ve written many other books and have been lucky enough to win or be nominated for many other awards, including the Great Britain Sasakawa Prize and a second place in the Lancashire Book of the Year Awards. I have also recieved grants from the Royal Literary Fund and the Arts Council England.
I currently live in a little house in a town by the sea, with my two rescued cats, one called Hero after a Shakespearian character and one Echo after a nymph from a Greek myth. I also have a springer/cocker spaniel called Finbar (otherwise known as The Devil Hound).
My favourite colour is green. My favourite food is Chinese dim sum. My favourite songs are ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie and ‘Spem in Alium’ by Thomas Tallis.
R. J. Morgan was born in sunny Cardiff and has wanted to be a writer since she found out Roald Dahl grew up in Llandaff and ate a Mars Bar every day. Knowing they had so much in common, off she skipped to London with her manuscript and eleven short years later she made it to the dizzy heights of having a nervous breakdown in Euston station.
After gaining an ill-advised degree, Morgan gained a highly coveted job in advertising. Just like Don Draper, she moved into a garage in Wimbledon with slugs, rising damp, and a band of foxes that belted across the roof in the dead of night. Morgan didn’t really understand what was going on in work and left it a bit late to ask, so she started spending quality time with friends (especially season 4), travelling to exotic cake shops, and taking long walks on the internet.
Morgan decided it would be fun to be hated by one’s own government, so she became a teacher. Morgan used writing to cope with training in a school affectionately known as ‘hell’s toilet.’ She now works in a fantastic school and lives in the wonderfully triangular Crystal Palace with more foxes and fewer slugs.
Alex Campbell announced she was going to be a writer at eight years old. But no one took much notice. After a nomadic education daydreaming in back rows across Luton, Chester, London, Sheffield and Middlesbrough – and one English degree later – Alex moved into the world of PR and copywriting. Here she worked on getting other people noticed instead.
Now, living near Bath with one husband, two children and an armful of untold stories, Alex’s eight-year-old self’s ambition has finally been realised with the publication of her debut novel, LAND. When she’s not gazing dreamily out of windows, Alex can usually be found, notebook at the ready, in dark art-house cinemas, propping up coffee bars, or worse.
I have probably been a writer for as long as I can remember. I think I may have killed a forest using up all the notebooks I could get my grubby little paws on, including my sister’s workbooks for school. I wrote in everything. And on everything, including our walls in our house in South Africa. Even if it just was my name. Yes, I was obsessed even back then, aged five.
I finished my first ever novel for ages 9+ and had a great time writing it. But in retrospect I realise I was so in love with it, I put too much stuff in it, and it needs stripping down and rebuilding. That will be for another day, I think.
I’m repped by Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group. I’m the author of The Blackhart Legacy trilogy. The first two books in the series – Banished / Vowed – is out now in both ebook format and paperback and can be bought from all good bookshops on the high street and online.
David Owen achieved a first class honours in BA Creative Writing and an MA Writing for Children at the University of Winchester, where he went on to teach on the BA Creative Writing course for three years. He is also an awards-shortlisted games journalist, with a particular interest in the applications for video games outside of entertainment, and he has written about games being used to treat depression, dyslexia and autism. David has been published as a poet in journals including Agenda and Seam. Panther is his first novel.
Hello! I’m Lauren. I’m 23, and I recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a masters in Chemistry and Physics.
I’m a YA author, and my first novel The Next Together is published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia (and soon in the USA, Turkey, Germany and Brazil!).
I have too many feelings about fictional characters, science and dogs. Things I like: intelligent women, Dylan O’Brien, and things with plants on them. My favourite chemical is acetone, my favourite monarch is Queen Elizabeth I, and my favourite drinking game is a Jane Austenone. I’m a ravenclaw.
You can find out more about Lauren on her website here
Check out Lauren’s video interview over on the lovely Lisa over at @City_Of_Ya channel below!
Sheena Wilkinson has been described as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’ (The Irish Times). Since the publication of the multi-award-winning Taking Flight in 2010, she has published several novels for young adults, as well as one middle grade novel. Grounded, her second YA, won the CBI Book of the Year in 2013. Until now, her novels have all been contemporary, but she has had many short stories published set in the early twentieth century, the most recent being ‘Each Slow Dusk’ in Walker’s The Great War anthology (2014). Name Upon Name (Little Island) is her first historical novel, set in Belfast 1916. It follows this spring’s YA novel, Still Falling. Sheena is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and lives in County Down.
Lucy Coats writes for children of all ages. Her first picture book was published in 1991, and in 2004 she was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Prize for ‘Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths’. Lucy read her first book of Greek myths at the age of seven, and has been hooked on stories of all kinds ever since.
Lucy’s latest picture book, ‘Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party’, has just been published by Nosy Crow. Coming for 2015 are: ‘Beasts of Olympus’ an exciting myth-based series for 7-9’s from Piccadilly Press (UK) and Grosset and Dunlap (Penguin) USA; ‘Cleo’ a gripping YA novel about the young Cleopatra from Orchard Books; and ‘The Little Green Drum’, an Early Reader from Orion.
Lucy lives in rural Northamptonshire and writes looking out over green fields full of sheep. She has a deskdog called Hero who generally lies between her screen and keyboard and is very good at encouraging Lucy when the writing is going slowly.
Lucy also teaches regular Masterclasses on How to Write for Children at The Guardian (see events) and writes for Publishing Talk and Mslexia magazine.
L. A. Weatherly is the author of the bestselling Angel series, as well as almost 50 other books for children and teenagers. She’s originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and lives in Hampshire, England with her husband. Her books have been translated into over 10 different languages.
You can find out more about Lee Weatherly on her website here
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became THE LOST GIRL, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu now lives in Norwich, England with her husband and two young sons.
You can find out more about Sangu on her website here
Lisa Williamson was born in Nottingham in 1980. She spent most of her childhood drawing, daydreaming and making up stories in my head (but never getting round to writing them down). At 19 she moved to London to study drama at university. Following graduation, she adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally getting paid to pretend to be other people. Between acting roles she worked as an office temp and started making up stories all over again, only this time she had a go at writing them down. One of these jobs was at The Gender Identity Development Service – a specialist NHS service for young people struggling with their gender identity. The patient stories she heard inspired her to write The Art of Being Normal.
You can find out more about Lisa on here website here
Sophia Bennett won the Times/Chicken House Fiction competition in 2009 with her first novel, Threads, set in London’s fashion world. The two sequels in the series were published in 2010 and 2011 and Threads has since been published in over a dozen languages. Sophia has also written two contemporary YA titles, The Look and You Don’t Know Me, and an adventure story for girls, called The Castle. She lives and writes in London, and you can find her on Facebook, and at sophiabennett.com and threadsthebook.com.
Rachel is from West Yorkshire and now lives in Cheshire. She has worked in the USA as well as Spain, where she taught English and wrote travel guides and features. Rachel’s passions are modern literary fiction and live music – she’s a fanatical gig and festival goer. She writes contemporary YA fiction with a highly original voice.
Rachel’s debut, Me and Mr J, about a girl who falls in love with her teacher, is published by Egmont.
Helen was born in London in 1964. She showed an early leaning towards the arts, having been told off for writing stories under the desk in maths lessons at school.
Helen went on to read Classics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and then worked in marketing for ten years to fund her love of travelling. Her two most memorable travelling days were the one spent exploring Damascus in Syria and the day she went to the Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur to see the romantic blockbuster Beta.
In 2001, she and her family moved to Bad Münstereifel in Germany. It was exploring the legends of this beautiful old town that inspired her to write her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, which is set there.
Helen now lives in Scotland with her husband, her two children and her two cats.
You can find out more about Helen on her website here
Mike Revell used to be one of those kids who didn’t like reading. He was more inclined to run home and play video games than dive into a book.
Then Harry Potter came along. The series didn’t just make him a reader, it made him want to be an author too; he wanted to give to people the same feelings of wonder and enjoyment that J.K. Rowling gave to him as a young boy.
Stonebird is Mike’s first novel and is influenced by the real experiences of seeing his grandmother suffer from dementia, as well as his love of myths.
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember; she reckons it’s the most fun you can have without attracting attention from the authorities. She wrote her first novel, aged 13, in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. After school, she went to art college, but soon realized she wasn’t cut out to be a painter and decided to stick with writing.
By day, Emma works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the North East Midlands.
Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!
You can find out more about Emma on her website here
I grew up in Croydon and worked in a bank for a year. But this is true of so many writers it has become a cliché. So let me tell you about some of the other stuff.
My dad, Peter, was a sheet-metal worker; my mum, Marjorie, a wages clerk. I have no brothers or sisters. We never had a foreign holiday till I was 17. They took me to Belgium for a week, to prove I hadn’t been missing anything. I loved them both. They’re dead, now, but I still love them.
I went to a big comprehensive school and enjoyed my time there so much I wrote my first adult novel about a disturbed man who takes revenge on his former teachers. Made a mess of my A-levels (too much snooker, too little effort) and had to do a re-sit to get into journalism college.
Learned my lesson, though – I spent much of the journalism course drinking, playing pool or going on protest marches. “Home” was a caravan in a field with two mates from the course. Take my advice, don’t live in a caravan. Even so, it still rates as just about the best year of my life.
For the next 15 years I worked as a news reporter, football correspondent, features writer and sub-editor on newspapers all over England (and one in Wales).
Between jobs I went backpacking in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. I taught English in Hong Kong, despite speaking no Cantonese and being unqualified to teach English (or anything else), and returned from India with dysentery, hepatitis and pneumonia, having lost a quarter of my body weight. Happy days.
All this time, through my 20s and early 30s, I wrote fiction – short stories, a couple of abandoned novels – did creative writing classes, joined a writers’ group … until it dawned on me that I wanted to be a writer more than anything. So, I quit my job and enrolled on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. That was where I began Acts of Revision.
I’ve been writing novels ever since – first for adults, now for teenagers – and when I’m not doing that, I teach creative writing (even though I still have no teaching qualifications.) Best of all, though, I have a wife, Damaris, and two daughters, Josie and Polly. And I don’t live in Croydon anymore.
YA Author of A Brighter Fear (shorlisted for the Leeds Book Award) and A Dream of Lights (nominated for the Carnegie Medal, awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at North East Teen Book Awards, and shortlisted for the Hampshire Independent Book Awards).
Kerry Drewery has always had a passion for writing. She was a finalist in a BBC script-writing competition in 2009 and is currently hugely involved with Bookstart. Kerry lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and children.
The story of A Brighter Fear was created through Kerry’s own fascination with the Iraq war. Kerry’s sensitive approach creates a beautiful, contemporary fairytale that will stay with teen readers for a lifetime.
Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!
David Massey’s varied career has taken him from teaching and music journalism to presenting, producing and writing for radio.
As the Romanian revolution was ending, David led a team taking supplies to Bucharest and Timisoara. On the way home he stopped near Checkpoint Charlie to help chip holes in the Berlin Wall. Rather fittingly, David and his wife Debi now run Globehuggers Emergency Supplies – a business specializing in bespoke grab bags and emergency equipment.
In his spare time, David is an accomplished classical guitarist and has spent the last few years tapping away on his keyboard writing books for Young Adults. His debut young adult novel TORN was published on August 2012 in the UK on the Chicken House label. TORN has already been shortlisted for lots of awards and won the Lancs Book of the Year 2013. On July 30th 2013 the amazing hardcover edition was released in the USA.
David’s second book – TAKEN was released on World Book Day – 6th March 2014. He is now busy planning book three…
Teri Terry has lived in France, Canada, Australia and England at more addresses than she can count, acquiring four degrees, a selection of passports and a silly name along the way.
Moving constantly as a child, teenager and also as an adult has kept Teri on the outside looking in much of her life. It has given her an obsession with characters like Kyla in Slated and Luna in Mind Games, who don’t belong or find themselves in unfamiliar places.
Teri left her job with Buck’s libraries to write full-time and complete her research MA on the depiction of terrorism in recent young adult dystopian literature. She has also at various times and in various countries been a lawyer, an optometrist, a teaching assistant, and a science technician.
Slated has won twelve awards, including the North East Teenage Book Award, the Leeds Book Award, the Angus book award, the Portsmouth Book Award, the Rotherham book award and the Rib Valley Book Award. It was the most voted for YA title in the 2012 international Edinburgh Book Festival Anobii First Book Award.
You can find out more about Teri on her website here
Having completed his degree in sculpture back in 1985, rather than face the artist’s traditional garret Nick took the plunge into, what was then, the emerging computer games industry. For more than 21 years Nick worked as a graphic artist and creative director, helping to create over forty published titles, including many chart-topping hits.
Nick has a passion for science and astronomy, often blogging about the latest mind-blowing discoveries made in quantum physics. He once even soloed a light aircraft, an experience he’s tapping into now for Cloud Riders. Not needing any excuse to travel, he recently completed a writing research trip to the volcanic landscape of Iceland for the second book in the Cloud Riders’ trilogy, Breaking Storm.
You can find out more about Nick on his website here
Sarah Benwell lives in the picturesque city of Bath. Which is nice, but she’d much rather be off exploring deserts and jungles elsewhere. Having seen a good chunk of the world, Sarah is a keen advocate for diversity in life and on bookshelves, and she loves nothing more than acquainting herself with both.
I was born in Leicester in 1971 and grew up in a multicultural, multi-racial community close to the city centre. As a child I dreamt about three things – playing football for Liverpool FC, being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of eleven I read the book that would inspire me to write. It was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. Other authors had inspired me to write for fun (Roald Dahl in particular) but it was Sue Townsend who became a true role model. From that point writing became an important hobby and I practiced almost every day. I read countless books, often copying an author’s style in order to find my own.
Since those early days I have continued to write stories about teenagers and also branched into the younger market with my Soccer Squad series. I am often asked to go abroad to talk about my work and have also appeared on television and radio. In 2010 Rani & Sukh became a set-text for GCSE, something that I never thought would happen. My aim has always been to write the sort of books me and my mates (many of whom didn’t read) would have loved at school. Reading for pleasure is a passion for me and I try to instill that in everyone I talk to. I hope to continue writing for a long as I can.
I am a massive fan of reggae music and Liverpool FC. I also read every day (my favourite genre is crime fiction) although not always fiction. I believe that non-fiction, graphic novels, comics and newspapers etc…are just as valid as forms of reading. I also love to cook, to travel and to watch film.
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House) and MONSTER (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on her second novel for Mira Ink.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Helen Maslin lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two young sons. She has studied English, history and art history, which remain her chief interests. She also runs an art club at her children’s primary school.
Helen’s art club is fun but always very messy. Her favourite things are brightly-coloured hair, Peter Lorre’s voice, the smell of new books, Roy Lichtenstein’s art, niceness and cake. Darkmereis her debut novel.
Rhian was born in Swansea but moved to the Brecon Beacons where she went to school until 11. She then moved all the way across the border to Hereford. She returned to Wales to study English Literature at Aberystwyth. She trained as a Drama and English teacher and wrote her first novel during her first few years in teaching.
She got her first publishing deal at 26 and went on to write three more novels for Bloomsbury. She took a break to have three children and during this time taught Creative Writing and also a Children’s Literature course for the Open University.
She is a National Trust writer in residence at Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood. She currently lives in Rutland, the smallest county in the country, with her family and their two very lively spaniels.
So that’s it! All 30 wonderful authors that are appearing at #ukyaextravaganza on Saturday 10/10/2015 in Nottingham and all 30 super awesome bloggers who have been part of the tour. What a fab blog tour and I cannot wait for the event!
*Blows off cobwebs and curses my was broken now fixed laptop*
Back in July 2015 I was lucky enough to have taken part in a blogging workshop at YALC!
This was thanks to the UKYABA where I won an award for Champion Newcomer back in March 2015! It was an unexpected, nerve wracking, lovely added bonus to winning the award and an opportunity and experience that I feel so honoured and thankful to the UKYABA and YALC for.
You can find out more about when I found out about the Blogging Panels at YALC here
You can also find out about the UKYABA awards and why I love UKYA here and also find out what we got up to at the UKYABA awards night here
Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop
So the panel I was on was called Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop and I was with the fabulous Andrew ( @PewterWolf13 ) and lovely Laura ( @SisterSpooky ) and chaired by the brilliant Andy Robb !
The scene was set and we all wondered how one earth all these seats would be filled! I mean who would want to come and see us yapping on about blogging?!
I mean look how terrified we were!
But people did come! I know! How did that happen?! It was so wonderful to see all these people enthusiastic about blogging and books if I wasn’t so nervous I think I would have shed tears of happiness (okay so this may have happened afterwards)!
My lovely husband filmed the workshop! There was quite a bit of back ground noise so the quality of the video is not the best, but it gives any one who could not attend a chance to see what was discussed. I have not edited the video so it is the full 45 minutes long.
I present to you the Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop!
At the end of the workshop I gave out some goodie bags which I put together specifically for the workshop. I popped books, bookish swag, copies of reviews and a mini review guide (which I will pop up on my blog soon) into the bags.
A huge thank you to Jessie at Stripes Publishing and Jazz at Chicken House for providing me with some swag to pop in the bags and an even bigger huge thank you to the lovely Maggie at Egmont for offering and providing me with two of my favourite books of 2015, Seed and The It Girl to pop into the bags also. I am so so thankful for all of your kindness and generosity xx
Also huge thank you to my husband and son, Corey who helped carry 80 books and swag across London and helped me pop the bags together in the Green Room at YALC as well as lovely Lucy Saxons lovely Mom who helped us pop the items in the bags!
I stayed to watch this panel and take some pictures! It was a brilliant workshop full of advise and again it was wonderful to see so many people come to the workshop all interested in blogging and books!
Again my lovely husband filmed the workshop (I took over for a bit at the start)! There was quite a bit of back ground noise so the quality of the video is not the best, but it gives any one who could not attend a chance to see what was discussed. I have not edited the video so it is the full 45 minutes long.
I present to you the Taking your Blog to the Next Level Workshop
At the end of this workshop I had arranged with the other blogging workshop panellists to put together a little thank you to Andy Robb for all his hard work for the UKYABA and for providing us with support during the lead up to the workshops and always! He is a top man and one that I am very proud to have got know through my time blogging.
Love for the Blogging Workshops
It’s also been AMAZING to see the people who attended the workshops reaction and response on twitter! I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that this has been truly amazing and we are so so thankful to everyone for their support and kind words.
The UKYABA Blogging For Beginners Workshop was also featured on the Booktrust Website – check us out here !
I wrote about the Blogging Workshops and UKYABA prior to YALC here
Check out this fab article in the Guardian about taking your blog to the next level by @lucythereader – here
I also loved this blog post by panelist Viv about taking your blog to the next level that she wrote prior to the workshops here
Fab blogging workshop panelist @sisterspooky wrote a lovely post about her workshop experience here
We are here to help in anyway that we can so please do feel free to contact us at anytime 🙂
Before I go….
Before I go I just wanted to thank every one who came to either of the blogging workshops! It was amazing to see everyone there!
A huge thank you to Andy Robb, UKYABA and YALC for making this happen, supporting bloggers everywhere and giving me the some confidence in public speaking back!
Thank you to the publishers who helped me put together the goodie bags in a short amount of time and to Maggie at Egmont who attend the blogging for begginers workshop and live tweeted!
Thank you to my lovely husband for filming the workshops, Lisa over at @City_Of_Ya for taking lots of photos on my phone and also providing me with photos she had taken too.
Thanks to my workshop buddies Andrew and Laura who made the workshop so much fun and made me laugh so much and to Jim, Lucy and Viv for an inspiring, fun second panel.
Most of all thank you to the UKYA blogging community! I feel honoured everyday to have met and know such wonderful people. Sometimes I have to pinch myself! The bloggers, publicists, authors and friends I have made! You are all wonderful and I am so so proud and thankful to be a part of it!
On the 5th of March I had the absolute pleasure of attending an event at Waterstones Birmingham High Street…it was a book talk and signing with Melinda Salisbury author of The Sin Eaters Daughter!
You can find my review of The Sin Eater’s Daughter here
Now I have met Mel a few times before and she is awesome (check out one time at the Scholastic Blogger Brunch here )! I feel we have become friends through twitter and meeting up at a few previous events and as this was her first book shop event I wanted to come and show my support for this wonderful, lovely lady!
Waterstones did a fab job of laying out lots of copies of The Sin Eaters Daughter for us to buy….so much so that even though I already have a copy I bought another one!
Mel turned up at the event early and immediately started to interact with everyone that had turned up to see her, not wanting to make a grand entrance, but just mingle and relax…this was awesome and so refreshing and gave the evening a very personal feel which was lovely.
During this time myself and Mel swapped presents…Mel gave me a fab The Sin Eaters Daughter necklace and I gave her a mug with a picture of The Sin Eaters Daughter on and….well basically a picture of Mel holding her book! I got the impression Mel was more chuffed at having her face on the mug than her actual book! 🙂
Now the seating at Waterstones was laid out traditionally, as normal, in rows all facing the big comfy leather chairs that the author normally sits in to face the audience. That was until Mel changed EVERYTHING! Making the event even more personal and with a comfy feel we all moved the chairs into a semi circle around the authors chair. It was a brilliant idea and far more intimate…just perfect!
And so the event began! Mel read her favourite extract from the middle of the book! I had never heard her read before and it was so relaxing and soothing the way Mel told the story…I defiantly am booking Mel to read me bedtime stories…recommended for a good nights sleep 🙂
We then got to hear some fab stories including a little about Mel’s life pre writing the book. Even with some of Mel’s family members in the audience she opened up and was brutally honest it was endearing! I loved the fact that upon asking the audience who had not read The Sin Eaters Daughter yet to ensure no spoilers were given away during the talk her own brother put his hand up and confessed he hadn’t read it yet! I think Mel was plotting revenge for this act of treason later!
Jamie from Waterstones did a fantastic job with the questions she posed to Mel! We got to hear about how Mel likes to write….in her pyjamas in bed, who she would cast in a movie of The Sin Eaters Daughter with one character from the book Merek being the gorgeous Aneurin Barnard and about travelling and how people should get out there and travel as much as they can. Mel also spoke briefly about how she is writing book 2 and how she has control over her world in The Sin Eaters Daughter with a cryptic message…I’m sorry! *cries at what this could possibly mean*
All in all fantastic questions!
We then got to hear Mel read from the start of the book…*plays lullaby music and listens to soothing story telling voice*
Then onto the audience Q&A! It was met a little by silence to begin with so I thought I would break the ice and ask Mel if there were any songs that influenced the book or that she could relate to The Sin Eaters Daughter.
This was her answer. Perfect!
A few more questions were then asked and Mel answered them all.
Now I thought I was being a good friend by buying another copy of Mel’s wonderful book…so to get this dedication whilst having the book signed….well just how rude….
Okay okay….maybe I deserved it just a teeny weeny iccle bit….okay maybe a lot! You see during the Q&A a question to beat all questions popped into my head! Some of you may be aware that Mel is a huge fan of King Richard III and Sirius Black from Harry Potter…..so I thought I would be a bit Slytherin of me …. actually I should probably think before I speak and not just say the first thing that pops into my head!
(Note to all other authors….I only asked this as I know Mel and I knew she would find it funny and take it on the chin…please don’t fear my questions lol)
The question I asked was this…
Who would you snog, marry, avoid out of – Richard III, Siruis Black and Aneurin Barnard!
Mel recoiled in horror!
Of course I didn’t make her answer it…I was only joking…I mean I couldn’t be that cruel! He He He
Then it was time for the signing and again Mel being Mel did things a little differently and it was fab! Instead of sitting at the normal signing table Mel pulled up a comfy chair and took time to chat to us all individually whilst signing our books! And when I say chat I mean chat. There was no pressure or rushing to get to the next person. Mel chatted to everyone for as long as they wanted! So lovely!
It was also lovely to have time to chat to other bloggers or people I have met on twitter recently….thanks for all being awesome!
All in all it was a fantastic evening and Mel did such a fab job considering it was her first bookshop event! She was relaxed, fun, confident and friendly. Everything and more that you could ask one of your favourite authors to be!
This is the Mel I have come to know and love!
A fantastic lady through and through!
Thanks for being you Mel! Your awesome!
Oh and for those of you wondering….I did get revenge for my comment in my book signed by Mel.
May I present to you my son, Corey….waving a flag….a Henry VII flag *evil laugh*
If you don’t already follow Mel on twitter please do – she is hilarious – @ahintofmystery
Also you can find out more about Mel on her website – here
Check out Mel talking about this event and what she got up to in the month of March – here
Find out more about The Sin Eaters Daughter or why not buy The Sin Eaters Daughter here
You can find my review of The Sin Eater’s Daughter here
Or the second in the trilogy, The Sleeping Prince here
Or find out what we got up to at The Sleeping Prince launch in Birmingham here
Did you attend this event or have you met Mel at any other events before? Have you read The Sin Eaters Daughter? What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment by using the reply button at the top of this post or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!
Happy reading….and thinking up possible snog, marry, avoid questions for Mel! 🙂
In a room full of wine, nibbles, authors, publicists, bloggers, friends and family!
The first ever UKYA Blogger Awards 2015!
The dream child of super fabulous organiser of the awards, author and all round cool guy Andy Robb laid on a huge celebration to beat all celebrations! A celebration of bloggers! The 1st in its kind and here’s hoping for many more!
I couldn’t wait to attend the awards, not because I was up for an award, but to finally meet authors, publicists and other bloggers who I have been talking to for a while and had never met! I have to say I wasn’t disappointed!
So on the tube I got from my hotel dragging my husband and my son along for the ride to! My son was only interested in one thing….to support his Mom I hear you cry….well nope…..it was meeting The Dreamsnatcher author Abi Elphinstone! Bless Him!
The night was filled with laughter, hugs and chatting and upon arriving it was great to mingle with everyone……I spent most of the night going…..Oh hello I recognise you from twitter *hugs* or OMG ITS ACTUALLY YOU *hugs* quite a few times! 🙂
Then the awards presentation started! The awesome Andy Robb did a fab job of announcing the awards, the nominees and the presenters of the awards and everyone cheered for each other! So much love and support in one room! It was amazing!
I think even if you were not there the love could be felt all over twitter on the hashtag #ukyaba – everyone supporting everyone! One big loving community!
Okay *gulps* ….something awesome and I can honestly say unexpected may have happened!
I won the award in my category! Champion Newcomer 2015!
How the you know what did that happen?!
With my legs turning to jelly at the mention of Tales Of Yesterday the lovely Jessie from Stripes Publishing read out my blogs name as the winner!
I was in complete shock and started shaking immediately upon walking up to get my award. I even forgot to put my wine glass down! Classy eh?!
With dry mouth I was asked to make a speech! A speech? On the spot! With the randomness that comes out of my mouth! and with my broad brummie accent! Oh dear! This could have had disastrous consequences especially as wine was involved! But I kept it together (phew) and said a lot of sensible for me thank you’s !
As well as this wonderful trophy, that still makes my tummy flip every time I look at it, I won a fab £50 Waterstones Voucher from Stripes Publishing and an unbelievable prize of exclusive content on all of their books for a year! Wow! Speechless is the only word I can think of to describe my feelings on this as well as pure excitement!
After the award presentations were over we got to drink, mingle, congratulate people, hug and be merry! It was awesome!
(In July 2015 I was kindly asked due to winning this award to be a speaker on a Blogging For Beginners Workshop….at YALC! – find out what it’s all about here)
Also the #ukyaba hashtag trended on twitter for 3 hours!!! Wow!
And I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly if I didn’t put a photo montage together!
Don’t forget to check out the awards from a 10 year old view a bit further down too!
As I said in my speech on the night…thank you so much to everyone for their support since I started blogging in November 2014! Only 5 months ago! You are all bloomin fantastic each and every one of you. Bloggers, publicists, authors! You know who you all are! I cannot believe that my name was up on a list with bloggers I admire and am in awe of let alone winning a trophy! *wipes tears from eyes*
Thank you to the awesome blogging community for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel all warm inside – yes all of you! I have got to know a lot of you through twitter and have had the absolute honour in meeting some of you and you are all the most kindest, genuine, enthusiastic people I have ever met and I am honoured to know you all!
Thank you to all of the authors for writing such fab awesome books that I get to write my feelings and emotions that they stir up inside me down on my blog! Thank you all for being so supportive, awesome and approachable to talk to! #UKYAFOREVER!
Thank you to all the publicists for sending me awesome books to review! My postman’s back will never be the same….I think he hates me! 🙂
Thank you to my husband Kevin, who nowadays watches TV on his own and puts up with tripping over above book post when we come home from work. Thank you to my son Corey for loving books as much as I do and being a fab ten year old! And to my family and friends for the support and reading my blog posts! 🙂
A huge thank you to Stripes Publishing for my amazing prizes also! It literally has blown my tiny mind! Thank You!
I felt very emotional the next day after the event and was very said to leave London….that’s how special the night and the awards were to me….I will forever remember it!
Well done and thank you to Andy Robb for organising and the wonderful hosts Waterstones High Street Kensington! You put on one heck of a celebration!
Also a big thank you to all publicists involved for sponsoring the awards, presenters and for Curious Fox Books for sponsoring the drinks for the evening events…hic hic hic
*chinks glass at everyone*
My highlights of the night!
There were so many highlights but some of them made me chuckle my little socks off and smile a lot – here are a few 🙂
Serendipity Viv’s first words on winning her award for Champion of Content – “Oh Crap!”
Andy Robb’s pronunciation of Hachette! 🙂
My son, Corey’s little face looking at me when I won my award – it melted my heart!
But most of all the main highlight was the amount of love in the room for ALL bloggers! It was truly heart warming!
The UKYA Blogger Awards from the view of a 10 Year Old!
As you may be aware my 10 year old son attended the awards with me! Now rather unexpectedly he decided to record his first ever video for Tales Of Yesterday and record nearly all of the presentation and some of the evening! *gulps*
I have put the footage together as best as I can and I will now hand over to Corey…..please bear in mind that this was unexpected and the footage is rather shaky in places with some heads cut off too….but for his first ever video I thought he did fantastic!
I think he captured the night brilliantly and hopefully will remind everyone who was there what a fab night it was and anyone who wasn’t there…it will show you how much love for bloggers there was!
On Saturday the 28th February at Waterstones Birmingham High Street a celebration of all things UKYA took place and it was AMAZING! The event sold out in hours of the tickets being on sale and everyone was excited about the event!
On the 4th floor of the fabulous Waterstones building 33 awesome authors (originally a whooping 35 authors, but due to personal reasons 2 authors could not attend) gradually entered the room! That’s right! 33 creative minds all unique and diverse in their own way! All in one room and all organised by the wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery. Wow!
What an amazing accomplishment!
What was clear from the offset is that this was a celebration! We are British and our authors are amazing and awesome and full of diversity so to celebrate Emma and Kerry organised one memorable afternoon that I, as well as everyone who attended I’m sure, will remember for a very long time to come!
To find our more about why and how Emma and Kerry set up the event click here
The afternoon was full of fun, laughter, readings, stories, signings and CAKE! Yes there was cake! And lots of it too! Nom Nom Nom
What more could we ask for?
Well okay… books of course and my my my there were sooooo many books to buy from all of these wonderful, amazing, diverse, authors that I actually heard my bank account cry…or maybe that was just my husband who knew I wouldn’t be able to resist!
I think I can honestly say that most people attending this event, myself included, left with shoulder ache or bags upon bags of books and swag which included bookmarks and postcards also.
I actually broke my husbands precious bag that I “borrowed” as “it would be a sturdy bag for books” I said and just as I got home “snap!” went the bag. “Well at least it didn’t happen whilst I was at the event” I said, cheesy grin on my face whilst my husband mourned his poor bag! RIP BAG! Thank you for not breaking on me at the UKYA Extravaganza! Phew!
The day flowed really well and was kind of informal in a way which was ace. We were able to mingle with authors, bloggers, friends and family, have our books signed, pictures taken, have a good natter and eat cake! For me this gave the day a very personal relaxed feel and made it super fun as all the authors were so approachable, fun and easy to talk to. I got to meet so many new people and authors and also people and authors I already knew and just mingle and eat lots of cake!
There were also reading panels every 20 minutes or so enabling us to sit down and enjoy if we wanted or carry on mingling. The reading panels were fun as authors were given a few minutes to read a passage from their books or tell a story. One great story that I sat and listened to was from Alexander Gordon Smith who made the audience howl with laughter with a story about a horrifying game in P.E at school which he told with such comical tone it was hilarious! It was also fun seeing the authors under pressure with the count down timer counting their minutes down till their time was up.
The end of the day bought us some fab speeches from Emma and Kerry, where they were presented with presents of thanks from the other authors. I was touched completely by being mentioned in their speech I almost did a Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars and started crying 🙂
It was an absolutely amazing day as you will see below!
When Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery asked me to do a write up of the UKYA Extravaganza following the event I was completely over the moon! Immediately my mind began racing about things I could possibly do for the write up or feature on the write up and with Emma & Kerry’s approval I started mapping out exciting ideas. So here’s some of those ideas bought to life!
35 Authors & 35 Bloggers
The full UKYA Extravaganza line up was revealed on #ukyachat which is run by Lucy over at Queen of Contemporary. Upon hearing about the blog tour from Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass which was the idea of Sofia who runs The Reading Fan Girl I wanted to create a place where people could catch up on the tour, read about the authors, find the authors links and see what the authors actually look like.
The Big Blog Tour post was born! 35 authors and links to websites and the 35 fab bloggers websites and guest posts all in one place including a link to an awesome reading list!
Check out some pictures from the day mainly taken by my lovely husband, Kevin in a super UKYA Extravaganza Picture Montage! With Music!
Myself and Kevin also collated some videos throughout the day to share with you all especially if you were unable to attend. Check it out!
I managed to find some willing victims….I mean authors to sneak into a corner and film them answering some quick fire random questions to help us get to know them a little better! What I didn’t bank on was that some of the answers would be completely random with hilarious reactions. Check out the video below!
A huuugggeee thank you to the authors I managed to grab and take part in this!
I hope this gives everyone an insight into the day and how fab it was!
I also posted a question on twitter asking what new authors people had discovered following the UKYA Extravaganza event – here are some of the responses 🙂
For me I discovered Kendra Leighton and Kate Ormand and Bryony Pearce as new to me authors….well basically I will be making sure I own a book written by every single author from the event asap as they were ALL awesome!
I also asked about what people enjoyed the most about the UKYA Extravaganza – here are some of the responses I had 🙂
As you can see UKYA, it’s authors and the community are so important and special! What Emma and Kerry and all of the authors and every one who attended including Waterstones Birmingham who hosted have created a warm, welcoming fun way of sharing our love of books, their authors, each other and has proved that the UKYA community opens it’s arms to everyone, whoever you are and gives us all one big tight squeeze of love!
Well done Emma and Kerry for an extraordinary event – you should be so so proud of yourselves!
Well done and thank you to all the authors who attended, thank you to the lovely staff at Waterstones Birmingham for doing such a fantastic job in hosting and most of all thank you to everyone who attended! We have all made this a huge success…..and with that in mind I can now reveal I have an awesome exclusive!
**EXCLUSIVE ALERT! EXCLUSIVE ALERT!**
There will be another UKYA Extravaganza! *jumps up and down in excitement!!!!*
I will pass you onto Kerry and Emma for the reveal!
Yes that’s right! Nottingham will be the next host for the UKYA Extravaganza in October 2015 at Waterstones Nottingham with date and time to be confirmed asap! Wow! UKYA can only get stronger and bigger from here on in!
For more buzz and love about the UKYA Extravaganza check out the hash tag on twitter – #UKYAextravaganza on follow the official account – @UKYAX
I also have quotes from the organisers of UKYA Extravaganza the lovely Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery about the event –
“What’s really made organising the UKYA Extravaganza worthwhile for me is all the people saying how much fun it was, and how great it was to be able to chat to authors and discover new books they might not otherwise have known about. It’s so great to have been able to bring authors and readers together like this.”
“I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the UKYA Extravaganza. I think what’s stuck in my head the most is the wonderful sense of community and belonging, the friendliness of everyone involved and the huge support and love for all things UKYA from teens, authors, readers, bloggers and grown-ups too”.
Also there have been some fab blog posts about the event with some super photos and details – here’s the links to some of them 🙂
And the UKYA Extravaganza now has its very own website – www.ukyax.com! Check it out for all the latest news!
Did you go to the UKYA Extravaganza? What was your highlight? What books did you buy? What new authors did you discover? Are you excited for more events? I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy ?
Happy reading and eating cake as all this talk of cake as made me hungry! 🙂
Last Friday, the 5th December, I had the absolute privilege of meeting the wonderful E Lockhart at Waterstones Birmingham High Street who were hosting the event which included a talk, question and answers and a book signing! I also got to finally meet up with fellow blogger Rosie from EatReadGlam – it was lovely to finally meet someone I’ve been chatting to on twitter and have a good bookish chat in real life and trying to resist buying more books!
E Lockhart was visiting the UK from America after being invited over by her publisher, Hot Keys Books. A lady full of confidence she started the book talk off with a bang welcoming us all and telling us what she has been up to whilst over in the UK which involved visiting schools and book stores for book events just like this one.
E Lockhart took us on a wonderful journey firstly talking about We Were Liars. She talked about how her own childhood growing up in the 70’s in a communal house influenced her writing. When E Lockhart was younger she used to catch a boat with her Mother over to a place in America called Martha’s Vineyard and she described how the scenic views of the remote islands with the private houses inspired We Were Liars as she always wondered what was going on on those islands where no one could see.
E Lockhart also described childhood memories of some illustrated books that her Mother had kept for many years having received them off her Father. The wonderful illustrations in the books helped inspire her as well and also gave the influence of the treasured possessions idea in We Were Liars.
E Lockhart explained how We Were Liars is her first book to have a map in which she has always wanted in her books.
E Lockhart spoke about her new book that has been released in the UK – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. She explained how in America this book came out before We Were Liars. As the book is set in a college she began to reminisce about her own college years, about the fact that after being accepted on a writing course she ended up hating writing with a teacher who gave little feedback. Once finishing college she and her Father, who is a playwright began writing things back and forwards by the good old fashioned snail mail back then which was fun and she started enjoying writing again.
Before writing YA E Lockhart explained that she wrote a few adult fiction and essay guides before finding her niche in YA writing.
E Lockhart read out a passage from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Questions and Answers then followed which were initially started by Alice from the Waterstones staff and then the audience. Some great questions were asked and it was nice to hear no spoilers.
It was also announced that E Lockhart’s next book, How To Be Bad which is written with two other authors, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle is due for a paperback release by Hot Keys Books on the 4th June 2015. It sounds amazing and I cannot wait for this release! The kindle version is available now by clicking here.
E Lockhart also revealed that she is writing her next book but is unable to release details although she gave away one tiny clue….that it involves a little murder! Literally cannot wait!
It was then time for the book signing and hand stamping time! If you haven’t read We Were Liars (see my review here) there are some motivational quotes in the book that are truly lovely and E Lockhart explained that everyday throughout her UK book tour she has been writing a different saying on her hands (hence the black marker pen on her hands in the pictures above). The hand stamps were these quotes taken from the book We Were Liars and I was over the moon that they were still working – thank you Rosi from Hot Keys (It’s the little things in life).
I was even given a fab poster which E Lockhart signed too! So as well as taking over my husbands office with books I have now begun with posters!! (Evil Laugh)
It was a great evening and a big thank you goes out to the team at Waterstones Birmingham High Street, Hot Keys Books and the wonderful E Lockhart who it was an absolute pleasure to meet.
I also have a little give away to commemorate the event. I purchased an extra copy of We Were Liars and an extra copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks whilst I was at the event to do a giveaway on twitter and I am over the moon to announce that the wonderful E Lockhart signed these for me for my giveaway and also stamped the copy of We Were Liars with the hand stamp! I will be running two seperate retweet, follow and win on twitter which will end at 11:59pm on 16th December 2014 with winners announced on the 17th December 2014!
Please note that if you win I will need your address to enable me to post the book out to you and if your quick I may even be able to get it to you before Christmas although I cannot guarantee this. This will be requested via private DM on twitter. The winners will be selected at random for each competition and my intention is to enter all entries for each book into a hat and draw the winners out – the old fashioned way!
Please be reminded there will only be one winner of each book and I only have one copy of each book to giveaway all you have to do is follow me on twitter and retweet the tweet for whichever book you would like to win or retweet both.