Category Archives: UKYA

UK Young Adult

Spotlight – Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green


Today is my turn on the brilliant Noah Can’t Even blog tour and I am super excited to be spotlighting this debut book by Simon James Green with a fab giveaway!

Noah Can’t Even was released on the 4th May published by Scholastic and from what I have heard already you will be laughing page after page!

So for my stop on this fab blog tour I am spotlighting this fab author, illustrator and book!

Also do check the bottom of the post for an exciting event announcement and giveaway!


Painfully geeky Noah Grimes is desperate to do whatever he can to survive school. He thinks his best chance at social normalcy is to start up a romantic relationship with the wonderful Sophie, but his plans are hopelessly derailed when his best (and only) friend Harry kisses him at a party. And that’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.

You can buy a copy of Noah Can’t Even here or from your local bookshop!


About Simon James Green

Simon James Green grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire that definitely wasn’t the inspiration for Little Fobbing – so no-one from there can be mad with him, OK? He enjoyed a classic British education of assorted humiliations and barbaric PE lessons before reading Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he further embarrassed himself by accidentally joining the rowing team despite having no upper body strength and not being able swim. When it turned out that being a lawyer was nothing like how it looks in Suits or The Good Wife, and buoyed by the success of his late night comedy show that involved an inflatable sheep, he travelled to London to pursue a glamorous career in show business. Within weeks he was working in a call centre, had been mugged, and had racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt. Finding strength and inspiration in the lyrics of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he eventually ended up working on a range of West End shows and UK tours, co-wrote a feature-length rom-com for the BBC and directed Hollyoaks for C4 / Lime Pictures. After trying really, really hard, he also managed to write Noah Can’t Even. If you are interested in stalking him, he still lives in London, where he spends a lot of time telling people that Noah Can’t Even is only partly autobiographical, and his mum has definitely never done a Beyoncé tribute act.

You can find out more about Simon on his website – www.simonjamesgreen.com

Or why not follow Simon on Twitter – @simonjamesgreen


Event Alert!

You can catch Simon James Green on tour at the following destinations with the super funny Beth Garrod and Stephanie Kate Strohm and I’m chairing the Birmingham Event!

Come along and watch the shenanigans unfold!

Details here……

Join Simon James Green (Noah Can’t Even), Beth Garrod (Super Awkward) and Stephanie Kate Strohm (It’s Not Me, It’s You) for this hilarious panel as they discuss the importance of funny books and reveal their characters’ most embarrassing moments (and a few of their own!) chaired by UKYABA award-winning blogger Chelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday.

Simon, Beth and Stephanie believe that laughter truly is the best medicine in a world that can be increasingly negative, so sign up and get your cure!

We hope you can join us for a wonderful evening fully of awkward, funny and cringeworthy stories!

This is a free event but seating is limited.
To reserve your seat please call us on 0121 633 4353 or buy your ticket here
Email us at events.birmingham@waterstones.com
Tweet us at @bhamwaterstones
Or speak to a bookseller in store.


GiveawayTo celebrate the release of Noah Can’t Even I have decided to host a little giveaway through twitter!

I have one copy to giveaway to one lucky winner!

Head over to twitter here to enter!

UK Only

Ends 31st May 2017!

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Olivia at Scholastic and to Simon James Green for having me as part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Noah Can’t Even?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Let’s Hear It For The Girls by Cat Clarke


I am so excited to have the brilliant Cat Clarke on Tales again today, but this time to celebrate the release of her new YA book, Girlhood!

Girlhood was released on the 4th May 2017 published by Quercus Children’s Books and is set to be an absolute page turner!

Real, compulsive and intense: Cat Clarke is the queen of emotional suspense. For fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Jandy Nelson.

‘Emotive, creepy AND funny. A quality page-turner’ SARAH CROSSAN

‘A new Cat Clarke novel is always something to celebrate and Girlhood could be her best yet’ JUNO DAWSON

Cat Clarke is one of my absolute favourite and hugely talented UKYA authors with a backlist of brilliant books under her belt!

Today Cat talks about some truly inspirational women in this fab guest post……


Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

A darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief.


Let’s Hear It For The Girls

“They’re our future – our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going.’ –Harry Styles

Harry Styles may know the score, but the patriarchy is still alive and well in the twenty-first century. Girls today grow up in a world that consistently patronizes, diminishes and underestimates them. No wonder YA novels are chock-full of girls who smash expectations left, right and centre. The characters I tend to write are ‘ordinary’ girls caught up in extraordinary circumstances. They’re not popular or sporty or super-clever – just normal girls, trying to figure out their place in the world. But what is ordinary anyway? Who gets to decide?

Maybe there’s no such thing as ordinary. Maybe all it takes to change the world is for girls to realize their power, and to make a choice: to take up space in the world; to speak up and speak out; to help others; to protest; to make art. Here are some inspirational young women who are doing just that.

Capres Willow

Capres Willow organized a Black Lives Matter protest in London when she was just eighteen years old. She was spurred to take action in the wake of the brutal murder of Philando Castile, shot by a police officer in front of his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai doesn’t need any introduction. She’s a tireless campaigner for  the education for girls worldwide. Oh, yes, and she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tavi Gevinson

Tavi Gevinson started a fashion blog aged twelve, and went on to create Rookie Magazine. She’s a savvy businesswoman as well as being a writer, editor and actor.  Tavi is a staunch feminist who keeps flying the flag for teenage girls everywhere.

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings is a young transgender activist. She’s been recognized as a Human Rights Campaign youth ambassador, and was named in Time Magazine’s 25 Most Infuential Teeens.

June Eric-Udorie

June Eric-Udorie recently raised £6000 to take 400 girls of colour from low-income backgrounds to the cinema to see the film Hidden Figures. She’s been named Elle’s Female Activist of the Year.

I make no apology for the fact that most of these links lead to Teen Vogue. They are killing it right now. Looking for the most incisive political commentary of the Trump administration? Then you should probably head to Teen Vogue instead of the New York Times. Anyway, back to the point…

Teenage girls WILL save the planet. Just you wait.

You can buy a copy of the book here or from your local bookshop!


About Cat Clarke

Cat Clarke is the bestselling, award-winning author of six YA novels. She was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. Cat lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two ninja cats and two decidedly non-ninja cocker spaniels. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

You can find out more about Cat Clarke on her website – www.catclarke.com

Or why not follow Cat on twitter – @cat_clarke


Celebrate!

Celebrate the launch of Cat Clarke’s GIRLHOOD with a pic of your best mates using the hashtag  #readGirlhood… and win a signed set of books to share!

Old friends, new friends, online friends… show us the people who always have your back, no matter what

#readGirlhood


A huge thank you to Cat for a brilliant guest post and to Nina Douglas for organising and sending me a copy of the book!

You can find previous post by Cat on Tales by clicking on the below links …..

Spotlight – Cat Clarke – The Backlist:  Torn

Have you read Girlhood?  What did you think?  Who would be on your list of inspiration women?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – The Opposite of You – Deleted Scene By Lou Morgan


I am so excited to have another of my absolute favourite authors on the blog today to celebrate the release of her new YA Thriller, The Opposite Of You, Lou Morgan.

The Opposite Of You is released today, 4th May 2017 published by Stripes Publishing.

Happy Books Birthday Lou!

The Opposite Of You sounds amazing and I’ve heard fantastic things already about it and whilst this is a standalone book I hear, if you are fans of Lou’s previous YA, Sleepless, there maybe a little surprise where the two worlds may touch.  So if you pay attention when you read it you may well spot a familiar face or two…

So today I have an extra special deleted scene from The Opposite Of You…..


A gripping psychological thriller for YA readers.

Some bonds should never be broken…
Bex and Naomi are identical twins. They used to be inseparable and play games pretending that they knew just what the other was thinking. But things have changed as they’ve got older and the twins aren’t as close as they used to be. Then Naomi goes missing and all of a sudden their childhood games take on a whole new meaning. Bex knows more about what’s going on with Naomi than seems possible. No one understands Naomi like she does and now her twin sister needs help.

Perfect for fans of Sophie McKenzie, Anne Cassidy and C.J. Daugherty.


The Opposite Of You – Deleted Scene

We originally wanted to have a flashback scene that showed Bex and Naomi deliberately using the link between them for something when they were younger, rather than unknowingly doing so. In the end, however, it didn’t feel like there was a natural place for it to come in their story, so it didn’t quite make the cut. It seemed a shame not to give you that insight into the two of them, though – so here’s a special ‘deleted scene’ which shows that even when you think you know which side of the story you’re on, sometimes things aren’t as straightforward as they appear…

NAOMI: aged 10

Noom!

Her sister’s voice is sharp and clear in her head – and loud enough to make her look up from her maths book. Glancing over her shoulder at the door, all Naomi sees are the lowered heads of the rest of her class working their way through the problem sheet they’ve been given; their teacher sitting at her desk making notes and the classroom assistant writing something on the whiteboard.

No Bex.

Noom!

Bex?

It’s the easiest thing in the world to answer: easier even than talking face to face. It always has been, even when they’ve been fighting.

Especially when they’ve been fighting, because it’s the only way to keep their parents out of their arguments – and there’ve been enough of those lately. Not that it matters, not really: both Naomi and Bex know that they will always find a way to work things out. How could they not?

Can you tell him I was with you? At lunchtime?

Tell who?

Please? I really, really need…

There’s a loud double knock at the classroom door and all around the room, heads look up from their problems. Only one person in the whole school knocks like that: the Deputy Head. Sure enough, the door swings open and there he is, framed in the corridor and beckoning to their teacher… but not before his eyes settle on Naomi.

What did you do, Bex?

Please? Just tell him I was with you all lunchtime.

“Naomi? Could you come here for a minute?” Miss Evans holds the door open and Naomi can feel the hot eyes of the rest of the class on her as she stands up, closes her book and walks over to where the Deputy Head is standing. He leads her out into the corridor and closes the door.

“Naomi. This won’t take a minute – I know you’re in the middle of class, and I don’t want to distract you.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ve been having a chat with your sister about something that happened this morning, and I wondered if you can help me.”

“Yes, sir?”

“You see, two members of staff said they saw a pupil in the staffroom this lunchtime…”

And Naomi knows where this is going. In her head, Bex is suddenly very, very quiet – she isn’t usually the one who gets in trouble…

She goes with what seems like the safest answer. “I was outside, sir.”

“I know. Besides, Mr Leonard says you were by the climbing frame while he was on lunch duty, and he spoke to you. Is that right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you, Naomi – that’s…”

“But – sir – Bex was there too. The whole time. With me.”

“She was?”

“Yes, sir. So she couldn’t have been in the staffroom.” Naomi holds his gaze. She’s never lied to a teacher before, but somehow, doing it for Bex makes it feel less bad than she’d imagined it would be.

“But Mr Leonard didn’t mention her.”

“She went to put her apple in the bin – but she came right back. She couldn’t have been in the staffroom,” she adds, repeating herself. She can see the doubt flickering in his eyes: maybe it wasn’t one of the Harper twins after all, maybe they were mistaken…

“All right. Thank you, Naomi – that helps a lot. You can go back to class now.”

You owe me, she tells her twin as she closes the classroom door and edges her way back through the chairs to her table.

I know. Thank you.

Was it you, though?

There’s a pause, then – reluctantly: Yes.

What were you doing in the staffroom, anyway? Naomi tries to hide her smile behind her hand, hoping Miss Evans doesn’t spot it – and more importantly, that Bex can’t hear it in her thoughts.

Lily dared me.

Dared you to what? Go into the staffroom?

I had to run in and touch the notice board.

Why?

Because they said I wouldn’t. They said I was too chicken. They said you would, but I wouldn’t.

Naomi lets this sink in.

Did you, though?

Yep.

And despite it all, she’s pretty sure she hears pride in Bex’s thoughts.

Thanks for covering for me.

Naomi rolls her eyes, but she smiles anyway.

Like I’d ever tell on you.

You can buy a copy of The Opposite Of You here or from your local bookshop!


About Lou Morgan

Lou Morgan is an award-nominated adult and YA author. Her first novel, Blood and Feathers – an adult urban fantasy – was published by Solaris Books in 2012 and the follow-up, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion, was released in the summer of 2013.

Her first YA novel, Sleepless, is published by Stripes / Little Tiger Press as part of their Red Eye horror series, while her standalone YA thriller The Opposite of You will also be published by Stripes in early 2017.

She has appeared at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and has been nominated for three British Fantasy Awards (Best Newcomer, and twice for Best Fantasy Novel). Her short stories have appeared in anthologies from Solaris Books, PS Publishing and Jurassic, amongst others. She has also written genre novel-related features for magazines including Future Publishing’s SFX and is a long- and shortlist reader for the Bath Novel Award.

Born in Wales and a graduate of University College London, she now lives in Bath with her family.

She tweets as @LouMorgan – mostly when she should be writing – and can also be found on Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook.

Or check Out Lou’s website here


A huge thank you to Lou for sharing this deleted scene and to Charlie at Stripes for asking me to host!

You can catch previous posts from Lou Morgan on Tales by clicking on the links below…

The Babadook

Talking Point

Red Eye Read Along – Sleepless

Have you read The Opposite Of You?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  Did you find the Sleepless Easter Egg in the book?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Tales Post – British Books Challenge – May 2017


Welcome to the British Books Challenge 2017 – May!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

April showers?  Or did we all enjoy the glorious sunshine we had in April?  Either way April zoomed past quicker than we could eat all of our chocolate Easter eggs!

And again I’ve been blown away by all of your amazing reviews linked up for the April British Books Challenge! You all did SO amazing!  I’m so glad to see you are all enjoying the challenge so much!  I heart you all very much!

75 reviews of books by British Authors were linked up in April!

That makes a grand total of 409 reviews of books by British Authors in total since we all started in January!

*group hug*

And thank you so much for embracing our author and debut of the month for April as well as all of the other amazing books you all read!

Thank you all!

Lets move straight over to May!


About The British Books Challenge

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running here on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

I have created a #BritishBooksChallenge17 summary page here which will also keep track of my own progress in the challenge too.

If you have not signed up yet there’s still plenty of time – find out more about the challenge here

Please note you can sign up to the challenge at any time throughout the year but only sign up entries made on or before the 31st December 2016 will be entered to win the sign up prize.

This is the first time I am hosting this particular challenge and I have lots of things planned for us all!

I have been in touch with lots of publishers who have kindly donated lots of lovely prize packs for us throughout the year for the challenge!

Right lets get the ball for May rolling starting with the winner of the April Prize Pack!


With thanks to the lovely people at Electric Monkey / Egmont for April’s brilliant bumper prize pack contained the following five books…..

All valid reviews and links by British Authors that were linked up on the April linky here were eligible to be entered to win the April prize pack. With people who read any books by our Author Of The Month, C J Skuse and/or our Debut’s Illustrator of the month, Emma Shoard, earning extra entries.

But there can only be one winner!

And the winner is…….

**TBA – I’m still catching up on your fab reviews from April so I will randomly pick a winner asap and announce / contact – sorry guys**

Congratulations!

Please email me your address so that I can arrange for your prize to be sent out to you!

I hope everyone also enjoyed all the extra giveaways and posts I ran on my blog or via twitter over April too 🙂


May’s prize pack has been kindly donated by the lovely people at Stripes Publishing and contains the following four books from their Stripes Spring YA collection……

A gripping psychological thriller for YA readers.

Some bonds should never be broken…
Bex and Naomi are identical twins. They used to be inseparable and play games pretending that they knew just what the other was thinking. But things have changed as they’ve got older and the twins aren’tas close as they used to be. Then Naomi goes missing and all of a sudden their childhood games take on a whole new meaning. Bex knows more about what’s going on with Naomi than seems possible. No one understands Naomi like she does and now her twin sister needs help.

Perfect for fans of Sophie McKenzie, Anne Cassidy and C.J. Daugherty.

 A road-trip story about following your dreams and embracing the unexpected.

Megan knows what she wants out of life and she intends to get it, whatever her parents say.
Elliott has given up on all his plans for the future – but then Megan bursts into his life with a proposal that could change it forever.
Together they embark on a road trip to escape their hometown and chase their dreams. But life is a journey and not even Megan can control where theirs will lead…

Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell and Non Pratt.

When Mary Adams sees Millais’ depiction of the tragic Ophelia, a whole new world opens up for her. Determined to find out more about the beautiful girl in the painting, she hears the story of Lizzie Siddal – a girl from a modest background, not unlike her own, who has found fame and fortune against the odds. Mary sets out to become a Pre-Raphaelite muse, too, and reinvents herself as Persephone Lavelle. But as she fights her way to become the new face of London’s glittering art scene, ‘Persephone’ ends up mingling with some of the city’s more nefarious types and is forced to make some impossible choices.

Will Persephone be forced to betray those she loves, and even the person she once was, if she is to achieve her dreams?

Moving from Stockholm to an isolated pine plantation in northern Sweden is bad enough, but when the snows come early and all links between the Strombergs and the outside world are cut off, it gets worse. With only a grudging housekeeper and increasingly withdrawn parents for company, there is nothing to do but to explore the old plantation house. Anything to stay out of the endless pine trees pressing in on them. But soon it becomes clear that the danger within the old plantation house is even greater than what lies outside…

A chilling YA horror, perfect for fans of Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Stephen King.

A huge thank you to Stripes Publishing for donating this super brilliant Prize Pack for May!

I also have a couple of special post from these authors going up throughout May too!

One winner will be picked at random from the list of valid reviews submitted each month and will be announced in the following month’s review link up post. The winner will then have 1 week to contact me to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Obviously the more reviews you enter the greater your chance of winning and don’t forget you gain extra entries for any reviews by Debut or Author of the Month for May! It doesn’t matter if you only review one book (or even skip a month or two in the challenge!) you’ll still be entered for each review you do write.

Please Remember…..

Only participants with a valid sign up page that has been linked here are eligible for entry to the monthly prize packs mentioned on this monthly link up page – you can still sign up here

When you add your link to the Mr. Linky below please make sure you link directly to your review, not just to your blog/vlog (invalid links will be deleted)

Books must have been read and reviewed in 2017 to count towards the challenge so those books you read last year but reviewed in 2017 don’t count!  Only books reviewed in May on your blog will count towards the challenge (you could have read them in earlier in the year though – I’m feeling kind 🙂 )

Also, please make sure that the reviews you link are for books written by British Authors – they can be born in Britain (living here or abroad) or they can be adopted British Authors (who were born elsewhere and now live here) but if they don’t fit into one of those categories then they don’t count. (as above invalid links will be deleted and won’t get you an entry into the prize pack). Please note that Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I’m afraid authors from Southern Ireland don’t count.

Also see the Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month section for ways to gain extra entries each month!

And lastly feel free to share your reviews on social media using the #BritishBooksChallenge17 hashtag – it’s not compulsory but it would be fun to share any great British Books you have loved with others!

Lets get chatting and celebrating all of the brilliant British books and authors that we have and all of the wonderful British books that we are reading!

Always remember – never tweet an author into a negative review and be constructive.

For more information about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 click here

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge giveaways please contact me by email.


And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for May is…….

Kat Ellis!

Kat writes YA thrillery stuff with a touch of fantasy and sci fi thrown into the mix and I’m so happy that she is our May Author Of The Month!

Not heard of Kat and her books?  I have you covered!

Look out for a Spotlight post in the next few days about Kat and her brilliant books!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up any books by the author of the month (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

If the author has multiple books and you read them all you will gain a double entry for each review of each book.

I also have a special treat lined up too!

Look out for a post with the lady herself going live at some point in May!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge author of the month then please contact me by email.


As always there are so many good debuts coming out this month that it was really hard to decide which to pick….

And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Debut Of The Month for May is…….

Mold and the Poison Plot by Lorraine Gregory

I am so hugely excited about this wonderful Middle Grade book and am so happy that it is our Debut Of The Month!

Not heard of Mold and the Posion Plot by Lorraine Gregory? I have you covered!

Look out for a Spotlight post in the next few days about this book!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up a review of Mold and the Poison Plot by Lorraine Gregory (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

I also have some special treats lined up too!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their debut through the British Books Challenge debut of the month then please contact me by email.


As well as the above I have lots of other exciting posts and giveaways going up throughout the month too which I will run through twitter and share using the hashtag so do look out for those too!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

As well as following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge17 I would also suggest following my blog using your preferred feed subscription (by email by filling in the subscription box at the top of my blog , BlogLovin’ etc) in order to keep up with the latest news and posts regarding this challenge throughout 2017!

Here’s to a wonderful May!

Now for the important part, make sure you link all of your reviews using the Mr. Linky form below. In the Your Name field please include your blog name, the title of the book and the author. Make sure the link takes me directly to your review or your entry won’t count and will be deleted from the list.

Name – Please add your name and blog / YouTube channel e.g Chelley Toy – Tales Of Yesterday

URL – Please add a direct link to your review post here




Spotlight – Debut Illustrator Of The Month – Emma Shoard


I am so excited to have announced on April 1st that the hugely talented Emma Shoard is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Debut Illustrator Of The Month for April 17 with her debut illustrated book Pavee and the Buffer Girl by the brilliant Siobhan Dowd!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

This gorgeous illustrated version of Pavee and the Buffer Girl was released on the 2nd March 2017 published by the awesome Barrington Stoke and is beautiful inside and out!

I’m super excited to be shining the spotlight on Emma and her gorgeous illustrations today along with some love from some lovely people.

And remember if you read, review and link up the illustrated Pavee and the Buffer Girl for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entry into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Look out for a special post from Emma herself on Tales in the next couple of days!


About Emma Shoard

Emma Shoard is an illustrator and printmaker who graduated in 2011 from Kingston University’s Illustration & Animation course. She also works part-time as a bookseller. Emma lives in London on a barge on the Thames.

You can find out more about Emma on her website – www.emmashoard.co.uk

Or why not follow Emma on twitter – @EmmaShoard


About Pavee and the Buffer Girl

Jim and his family have halted by Dundray and the education people have been round mouthing the law. In school the Traveller kids suffer at the hands of teachers and other pupils alike, called ‘tinker-stinkers’, ‘dirty gyps’ and worse. Then the punches start. The only friendly face is Kit, a settled girl who takes Jim under her wing and teaches him to read in the great cathedral chamber of the cave below the town. With Kit and the reading, Jim seems to have found a way to exist in Dundray, but everyday prejudice and a shocking act of violence see his life uprooted once again.

You can buy a copy of Pavee and the Buffer Girl here or from your local bookshop!

You can also check out a mini animation po


Praise for Emma Shoard’s Illustration’s In Pavee and the Buffer Girl

I managed to catch some quotes from some lovely people about Emma’s gorgeous illustrations…..


A huge thank you to the lovely Emma Shoard fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  The illustrated Pavee and the Buffer Girl and Emma comes highly recommend as our Debut Illustrator Of The Month!

Look out for a special post from Emma herself on Tales in the next couple of days!

And remember if you read, review and link up the illustrated Pavee and the Buffer Girl for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entry into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Have you read Pavee and the Buffer Girl?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  What did you think of the gorgeous illustrations?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Cat Clarke: The Backlist – Torn


Cat Clarke is one of my absolute favourite and hugely talented UKYA authors with a backlist of brilliant books under her belt!

Cat’s new book Girlhood is due to be released on the 4th May 2017 and to celebrate the lovely people at Hachette Kids have given Cat’s brilliant back list of books a shiny makeover to coincide with it’s release.

(Photo Credit:  Cat Clarke)

Designed by the super talented Sinem Erkas these new reissues of these brilliant books are simply gorgeous!

Today I am shining the spotlight on one of Cat’s backlist, Torn, and Cat has popped by to share a special song that Cat has picked to go with the book….


They didn’t mean to kill her…now the guilt will tear them apart

Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of her dreams when she sets off on a trip to the wilderness with her mates. But when her best friend Cass decides to teach mean girl Tara a lesson, Alice finds herself in a nightmare she can’t escape.

Now Alice is the guardian of a secret too horrific to tell; and a secret too terrible to keep. A secret that will change all of their lives for ever…

Real, compulsive and intense: Cat Clarke is the queen of emotional suspense. For fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Jandy Nelson.


Cat Clarke:  The Backlist – Torn

Street Spirit (Fade Out) – Radiohead

A few of my books deal with the concept of guilt, none more so than Torn. For me, this song embodies the all-consuming dread that accompanies true guilt.

You can buy Torn or any of Cat Clarkes wonderful backlist here or from your local bookshop!

Also check out Girlhood, Cat’s new novel, due for release on the 4th May 2017!


About Cat Clarke

Cat Clarke is the bestselling, award-winning author of six YA novels. She was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. Cat lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two ninja cats and two decidedly non-ninja cocker spaniels. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

You can find out more about Cat Clarke on her website – www.catclarke.com

Or why not follow Cat on twitter – @cat_clarke


A huge thank you to the brilliant Nina Douglas for asking me to take part in this and to Cat for providing a glimpse into Torn which sent me down a Radiohead playlist spiral and relive my youth!

Do check out Cat’s fab books and the beautiful reissued covers!

(Photo Credit:  Cat Clarke)

Have you read any of Cat Clarke’s books?  Which one is your favourite?  Are you excited for Girlhood?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Author Of The Month – C J Skuse


I am so excited to have announced on the 1st of April that the awesome C J Skuse is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for April 17!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

I am a huge HUGE fan of CJ and her books are the best of the best that will leave you craving more.  CJ Skuse is a HUGE UKYA talent and I am so excited to shine the spotlight on her and her wonderful books as Author Of The Month!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of CJ’s books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entries into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Today is also a celebration of CJ’s first adult thriller the delicious SweatPea!

Happy Book Birthday CJ!

Also look out for a fab guest post early next week from the lady herself!


About CJ Skuse

C.J. Skuse 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. Sweetpea is CJ’s first adult novel.

You can follow CJ on twitter – CeejaytheAuthor

You can find previous posts from CJ on my blog or by clicking on the links below …

Hot Boys In My Books!

Hidden Easter Eggs In Books

I also love this article by CJ of 10 Things I’s Like My Readers To Know here


The Books And Why We Love C J Skuse

SIXTEEN-YEAR OLD TWINS IN CANDY-STORE CRIME SPREE Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the ‘wonder twins’, when as six-year-olds they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother’s death -three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life’s not so wonderful. Out-cast and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother they’re still clueless about their dad’s whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That’s when they decide to hit the road – and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints in Las Vegas might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might get the dream reunion they never thought could happen.

‘It’s so good, I’d recommend it to people I don’t like’ – Kevin Brooks on Pretty Bad Things

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she’s caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place! From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of 2010’s super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts.

‘A rip roaring story’ – Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian on Rockoholic

‘sharp, funny and knowing…’ – The Telegraph on Rockoholic

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete’s body and a poet’s brain. But when she’s mocked at a college party, she knows there isn’t a boy alive who’ll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille’s dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

‘The tension and the comedy crack along with a heart-warming hilarity that is impossible to resist.’- Amanda Craig, The Times on Dead Romantic

At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits.

As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild.

Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.

‘Monster is another rollicking adventure … but you might not want to read the final chapter alone in the house . . . or while you’re eating . . . as you find out the truth about the Beast of Bathory. Great fun.’ – Martin Chilton, Telegraph’s Best YA Books 2015

‘CJ does it again, with a boarding school story packed with tension…Nobody captures the darkness of teenage nightmares quite like CJ Skuse.’ – Sophia Bennett, author of The Look

‘This book is a skillfully crafted rollercoaster of excitement, fear and shocks’
Reading Zone

‘The book has one of the best endings I’ve read.’ – 4.5 stars
The Bookbag

‘Fiendishly dark, with a sense of humour. CJ Skuse always inspires deep author envy’ – Keren David, YA Book Prize Nominee on Monster

‘It’s an absolute page-turner! I gobbled it up in one sitting, and it kept me guessing right till the end. A deliciously creepy horror story, served up with CJ’s trademark humour.’ – Cat Clarke

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves

THEN
Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane.

The Fearless Five, inseparable as children growing up in a sleepy English seaside town. But when Max’s older sister is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

NOW

Only Max and Ella are in touch, still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things – like why she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level. And when underdog Corey is bullied, the Fearless Five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them.

But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

‘A tale of revenge, righteousness and recovery with a heart-stopping twist – The Guardian

’Electrifying, bold, brilliant’ Amanda Craig

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

‘This isn’t a book for the squeamish or the faint-hearted … think Bridget Jones meets American Psycho’ – Red

You can buy any of C J Skuse’s books here or from your local bookshop!


A huge thank you to the wonderful C J Skuse fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  I highly recommend all of these books with all of my heart and soul from our April Author Of The Month!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of CJ’s  books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entries into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Are you a C J Skuse Fan?  Do you have a favourite book?  Are you new to C J Skuse?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Keep Calm And Look At The Stars by Jenny McLachlan


I’m super happy to have one of my absolute fave YA authors, Jenny McLachlan, on Tales today to celebrate the release of her brilliant new shiny dazzling book, Stargazing For Beginners!

Stargazing For Beginners was released on the 6th April published by Bloomsbury and is simply a must read!

And that’s not all!

I am over the moon to be chatting to the lady herself along with Katy Birchall and Perdita and Honor Cargill at Waterstones Birmingham on the 3rd May at 6:30pm!

Friendship For Beginners

Join us for an exciting evening with Jenny McLachlan, Katy Birchall and Honor and Perdita Cargill in conversation with award-winning blogger Chelley Toy.

Our authors will not only be discussing their inspiring books but also friendship, life and their own personal laugh-out-loud moments that remind us all that we’re only human after all!

Jenny McLachlan writes the best kind of real life fiction, with big themes and irresistible characters. If you haven’t yet discovered her, you are in for a treat. Get ready to fall in love with Meg, Elsa, Annie and the rest of the biscuit club in Stargazing for Beginners.

IT Girl, Katy Birchall, is the author of the incredible series of the same name focusing on lighthearted teen heroine, Anna and the awkward and funny moments that make up her life. Katy is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen and World War II spy biographies. She currently lives in Brixton with her much cooler and funnier housemate.

Mother and daughter writing team, Honor and Perdita Cargill are the authors of the hilarious Waiting for Callback series. Honor, who is currently studying at Oxford, has dipped her toe into the world of acting as a child, giving them some unforgettable experiences to draw on for their novels together which follow 15-year-old Elektra James as she attempts to make it as an actress.

I am so excited!  Come and join us!

To book your FREE ticket:
Call: 0121 633 4353, click here or
Tweet: @bhamwaterstones
Email: events.birmingham@waterstones.com
Pop in store and speak to a bookseller.

So today in double celebration Jenny is chatting about looking at the stars in this gorgeous guest post….


Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions .

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters, it goes straight to your heart.


Keep Calm and Look at the Stars

When I knew that I wanted to write a book about a girl who loved astronomy, I started to look up. Before I wrote ‘Stargazing for Beginners’, I had taken the cosmos pretty much for granted. Like most writers, I gobbled up the detail of what was going on around me like a kleptomaniac, but I drew the line at what was beyond the sky. The stars, the moon and the sun were beautiful, but to me they were complex and unknown. Best to stay focussed on what I understood: teenagers, schools, families and matters of the heart.

But as Meg, the narrator of Stargazing for Beginners, understands the cosmos far better than she understands worldly things, I had no choice but to look up and get stuck in. How do you undo 39 years of astronomical ignorance in a short space of time? I watched documentaries, read books, trawled the internet, visited the physics department at a university and went to stargazing events at Herstmonceux Observatory.

And gradually, I started to recognise stars and constellations, and the vast distances between stars took on some meaning. One night at Herstmonceux, I saw the Orion Nebula, a massive stellar nursery. I saw it through binoculars, but it’s actually possible to observe it with the naked eye which is pretty incredible when you consider that it’s 1,344 ± 20 light years away (that’s 8.8 trillion miles to you and me).

Around this time, I started to notice that stargazing was incredibly relaxing. The more I learnt about the vastness of the universe, both in terms of its size and age, the calmer I felt. I discovered that sitting in a deckchair in my back garden, wrapped in a duvet, staring through binoculars was the perfect antidote to modern life. Yes, I might need to edit a book, start another one, do the washing, make the packed lunches, worry about my children, clean the rats out, etc, etc….But when you’re staring into space, these worries seem rather insignificant.

Stargazing stops me from feeling like I’m the centre of the universe and reminds me that I’m just a tiny part of the universe. A speck. A blip. If you’ve never done it before, I’d urge you to give it a go. Even with small binoculars you can see as much in the night sky as Galileo saw looking through a telescope – craters on the moon, Venus, the moons of Jupiter – and with the naked eye it’s possible to see the Andromeda Galaxy which is around two and a half million light years away. Just go outside, look up, and give it time. It takes around twenty to thirty minutes for our eyes to adjust to the darkness and for the wonders of the universe to be revealed.

Then sit back and enjoy the wonderful sensation of feeling insignificant.

You can buy a copy of Stargazing For Beginners here or from your local bookshop!


About Jenny McLachlan

I have always loved reading and I studied English at university just so that I could read a bit more.  Next I found my way into secondary teaching and discovered that I loved it too: I got to read more books, show off and hang out with very funny teenagers.  What a great job!

Teaching English also encouraged me to write.  Soon I had planned and started lots of different stories, but they were all abandoned and shoved to the back of a drawer.  Then, one day, the plot for Flirty Dancing came together; Bea’s story was so alive it was like a film running in my head and I knew it was a story I would finish.

Over the next few years, various exciting events distracted me from Flirty Dancing: I got married, travelled the world, was chased by an angry elephant (and a pack of dogs) and I had two babies.  While I was sitting on trains, swimming in the Outback and raising two crazy girls, I kept thinking about Bea, and her friends, Betty, Kat and Pearl, until I realised I had planned three more books.

In 2013, after attending the Winchester Writers’ Festival, I plucked up the courage to send Flirty Dancing to Julia Churchill, a brilliant children’s fiction agent at A.M. Heath.  With dazzling speed I was then signed by Bloomsbury to write the four books in the series.

You can find out more about Jenny on her website – www.jennymclachlan.com

Or why not follow Jenny on twitter – @JennyMcLachlan1


A huge thank you to Jenny for such a wonderful post that’s made us all want to go stargazing and to Emma at Bloomsbury for organising and asking me to host!

Don’t forget to join us at Waterstones Birmingham on the 3rd May 18:30pm for a brilliant panel with these fab authors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more info or grab your tickets here

Have you read Stargazing For Beginners?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  Have you read any of Jenny’s other books?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Guest Post – Japanese Fantasy By Dan Walker


Love Pirates of the Caribbean? Then prepared to be swept away by this new swashbuckling adventure series.

Sky Thieves by Dan Walker is released today on the 6th April published by OUP and set to be full of swashbuckling adventure with book two being released later this year.

I’m over the moon to have the author himself on Tales today!

This book looks all the awesome!  Check out this fab book trailer below….

Today Dan chats about inspiration and Japenese Fantasy that inspired Sky Thieves in this fab guest post…


Love Pirates of the Caribbean? Then prepared to be swept away by this new swashbuckling adventure series.

Talented debut author, Dan Walker, creates an imaginative world where thieves sail the skies in flying galleons-an action-packed adventure of epic scale.

Zoya DeLarose has no idea her life is about to change forever when a band of sky thieves ‘steal’ her away from her orphanage, landing up in the clouds, on board The Dragonfly’s deck. There, Zoya discovers a world of meteorite storms, sword fights, midnight raids, floating islands, and long lost treasure. But with a deadly enemy closing in, will Zoya find the strength to face her fears and unlock the key to her destiny, or will she fall from the skies with no one left to break her fall?


Japanese Fantasy

One question asked of every writer at some point is where we get our ideas. There are a few ways, I think. Sometimes, stories pop up like toast from a toaster. The idea for The Hobbit came to J.R.R. Tolkien when he was grading exam papers and came across a blank sheet. Tolkien wrote down the first words that came to his head, (“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,”) and an entire world was born. Sometimes, stories come in dreams. At 16, C.S. Lewis dreamed of a half-man, half-goat creature scurrying through a snow-dusted forest carrying an umbrella and some parcels. Sometimes, stories are based on real-life. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn was a childhood friend in all but name.

I got the idea for my first book, Sky Thieves, whilst sitting at my writing desk on a summer’s day, gazing up at the blue sky and wondering to myself ‘what would it be like if there were giant airships flying around?’

But the thing is, this is only half true.

In reality, the genesis for this story came decades earlier, back when I was running around in Bermuda shorts, taking books off my local library shelf, devouring them and going back for more. The genesis came later too, I suppose, when I’d go to the bookshelf in my cousin’s room and steal enough of his science-fiction books to last me the few weeks until I’d see him again. It came from all the films I watched, and the plays and pantomimes I saw, and the video games I played.

For me, computer games have always been a huge influence. Specifically, Japanese games. I can pinpoint the exact date of the start of this love affair. It was early 1998 and I’d hit that age where when my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said ‘money!’ Because of this, I had £40 to spend on a game for the Sony Playstation system I’d bought the year before. The big game of the time was Tomb Raider, the second of which had been released a few months before. Tomb Raider was made by Core Design, a company based in my hometown. Naturally, I planned to buy this. But a chance conversation with a friend at school opened my eyes to another game, one that has come to mean an enormous amount to an enormous number of people since. Final Fantasy VII. My friend’s passion for the game was so intense, particularly with regards to its story, that he won me over. I took my £40, marched to the nearest Woolworths and bought my copy.

This remains one of the best decision I’ve ever made, in that it revealed to me an entire avenue of storytelling I’d likely have missed had I not made the purchase. For those uninitiated, Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing-game, or an RPG, in which the player takes on the role of a character. Specifically, FFVII is a Japanese RPG. JRPGs normally take place in fantasy worlds. But these are not the fantasy worlds of the west – the elves and the dwarves, the trolls and the faeries. These are Japanese fantasy worlds, with exotic environments, strange mechanical weapons, huge mechanoid creatures and airships prowling the skies. The characters in JRPGs are normally young and naïve, tasked with saving the world without the skills to do so. Over the course of the story, they must develop these skills, and obtain the magic boon needed to face the final challenge.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s because it probably is. Indeed, with their young characters and richly-drawn fantasy worlds, JRPGs resemble modern kids stories. Phillip Pullman with his His Dark Materials trilogy springs to mind. But JRPGs have also influenced adult storytelling – with movies like the modern Star Wars films, Pacific Rim, Avatar and the Marvel movies all taking cues from Japan.

Of course, Japanese fantasy stories stretch beyond the confines of video games. Japan has its own fairy tales, its manga books and its colourful anime. It even has its own Disney in the shape of the academy-award-winning Studio Ghibli. I would encourage everyone reading this to explore the Japanese realm of fantasy storytelling.

You never know, in twenty years’ time you might find yourself staring up at the sky, dreaming of those stories you read two decades before, when an idea for a book pops into your head, and a new writer is born.

You can buy a copy of this book here or from your local bookshop!


About Dan Walker

Dan lives smack-bang in the centre of the UK, just outside of a city called Nottingham, with his lovely, patient and supportive wife Dominika.

​Dan spent his childhood being dragged up and down the hills of the Peak District, frantically hammering away at computer games and raiding his cousin’s bookshelf for anything with a colourful cover. He later tricked the University of Derby into allowing him admission, before graduating with a degree in English. Since then, he has worked with a procession of wonderful people in bookshops, libraries and schools. He currently helps to run a specialist Autism centre.

​On the rare occasion you find Dan away from the computer, he can normally be found trying to tease a melodious sound out of his guitar, re-reading his favourite books for the eighty-eighth time or fighting off everyone nearby for the last blueberry in the pack.

You can follow Dan on twitter – @sky_thieves


A huge thank you to Dan for such an awesome post and to Hannah at OUP for organising and asking me to host!

Have you read Sky Thieves?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab copies?  Do you like fantasy computer games?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Where Do Ideas Come From? By Katy Cannon


I am over the moon to have one of my favourite authors on Tales today with a fab guest post for a brilliant blog tour!

And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon is released on the 6th April 2017 published by Stripes Publishing and is set to be an unforgettable road trip!

I’ve been a huge fan of Katy’s for a few years and I love her writing so much!

So today Katy is sharing a little about ideas and where they sometimes come from in this fab guest post…..


A road-trip story about following your dreams and embracing the unexpected.
Megan knows what she wants out of life and she intends to get it, whatever her parents say.
Elliott has given up on all his plans for the future – but then Megan bursts into his life with a proposal that could change it forever.

Together they embark on a road trip to escape their hometown and chase their dreams. But life is a journey and not even Megan can control where theirs will lead…

Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell and Non Pratt.


Where Do Ideas Come From?

There’s a pretty standard list of questions you tend to get asked, once people find out that you’re a writer. After a while, a party full of new acquaintances becomes a bit like a game of Writer’s Life Bingo, as you cross off all the questions and comments you’ve heard a million times before.

Things like:

“Oh, so you’re going to be the next JK Rowling then, huh?”

“Boy, you must be loaded,” or it’s more realistic counterpart, “So what do you do for money?”

“I’ve always wanted to write a book, when I have the time.”

And, my personal favourite:

“I’ve got a great idea for a book. How about we collaborate? I’ll give you the idea, you write the book.”

The fallacy at the heart of this question is the belief that getting the idea is the hard part of writing a book.

In fact, ideas are the easy part. I can have a dozen ideas for books in a single day, if the world around me is particularly inspiring.

That’s also the problem with the other top five question: “Where do you get your ideas from?”

Because the truth is, ideas aren’t something I go shopping for. I don’t have a secret online store I can order them from, £5.99 for two and free shipping. I don’t steal them from other people’s brains with a machine my husband made in the garage (not least because I don’t have a garage). I don’t even breed them in captivity, in an inhumane idea farm.

If I’m lucky, ideas come to me. The basic premise for my latest novel, And Then We Ran, emerged complete in my head when I woke up one morning: two teens elope to Gretna Green, even though they’re not in love.

Other ideas are given as gifts – a comment from a friend, an article in the newspaper that starts me thinking ‘what if?’, a tv show that does something I disagree with, and start thinking of alternative stories I’d have preferred. Or even my agent saying, “You like baking. How about a baking book?” (That one became Love, Lies and Lemon Pies.)

Sometimes, ideas float up from my past – a memory, twisted. For instance, I performed in a lot of plays in high school, and later on, working as a production assistant in London, I helped out backstage in a costume department. Those two memories merged into one to become Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines.

Some of the best ideas don’t even have a real starting point. They’re the ones where the things you see every day, or hear, or observe, slowly come together in your mind and make something entirely new. And suddenly, from nowhere, you have a new idea.

What you’ll notice in all these cases is that the initial idea is only the very beginning of the book’s journey. It’s where the real work starts. 

That real work – building up the idea, improving it, adding contrast and conflict and characters, finding a way to make it feel new, different to what else is out there; developing the backstories and the plot and the story logic; outlining the scenes, writing them, revising them, revising them again; submitting the book, selling it, editing it, copy editing it, proof reading it, promoting it… and a million other things I’ve probably forgotten – that’s the truth of being a writer. Because while it might start with an idea, unless it’s actually written, then that’s all it will ever be.

Where do I get my ideas? When I hear that question, here’s what I really want to answer:

“Anywhere and everywhere. Same place you can get yours. 

 But you’re starting with the wrong question. Getting ideas isn’t the important part. 

 It’s what you do with them that counts.” 

You can buy a copy of And Then We Ran here or from you local bookshop!

You can find a previous post from Katy on Tales by clicking on the below link….

Much Ado About Shakespeare

Bake Club Christmas Wish Lists

Review – Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines


About Katy Cannon

Katy was born in Abu Dhabi, grew up in Wales, went to university in Lancaster, spent a few years splitting her time between London, Hertfordshire, and an assortment of hotels across the world. She now lives in a little market town not far from Cambridge. She has a husband, two children, a goldfish, and far too many notebooks.

Katy likes to write stories about the importance of friends and family, and especially those friends who become family. She considers herself most fortunate to have been blessed with an abundance of all three.

As a teenager, Katy was constantly in trouble for reading when she should have been doing something else. These days, she mostly gets in trouble for dreaming up new stories when she should be writing the ones she’s already working on.

Katy’s debut YA novel, LOVE, LIES & LEMON PIES, has been translated into eight languages. Her next book, AND THEN WE RAN, will be released in April 2017.

Katy is represented by Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency.  

You can find out more about Katy on her website – www.katycannon.com  

Or why not follow her on twitter – @KatyJoCannon


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Katy for such a wonderful post and to Beth at Stripes Publishing for organising and having me as part of the tour!

Have you read And Then We Ran?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab copies?  Have you read any of Katy’s other books?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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