Monday, 27 October 2014

FRAIL MORTAL HEART COVER REVEAL

Hello, hello, hello, my lovelies! This post was originally supposed to be for yesterday, but I've been miserably ill since Saturday and today's the first day that I could be bothered to do more than tap out 140 characters on Twitter. However, I think the under-lying fabulosity of the post kinda makes up for the delay, so I'm just going to go ahead and call it even (especially since even now I know that 99% of you are busily scrolling past my words to get to the shiny shiny cover reveal below, you impatient heathens, you).

So, anyway: The Name of the Blade Book Three - FRAIL MORTAL HEART. It haz a cover and it is beautimous, and since it was shared with the lovely guests - hey guys, it was amazing to meet you! - at the blogger tea at Walker Books on Saturday (wherein I made my second flying visit to our country's fine capital in as many weeks and picked up this weird bug which may have been down to the salmon sandwich I ate on the train, and that's a lesson for you, my children - if they don't have ham then just say no to train sandwiches) and there are slightly blurry, not-really-forbidden glimpses of it circulating all over Twitter, I've now got permission to rip away the veil of secrecy officially.

And yes, that was the longest sentence that's ever been written on this blog. Yes, I am doing it on purpose to mess with you, oh patient and rare 1% who are actually wading through all this before getting to the image. I love you, my babies! Never change!

Fine, fine, I'll shut up. Here it is!


It's coming right up, right next!


Well, just a bit further down.


And a little more.


Leeetle more.


Just a bit


Tiny bit.


Now!


Um. Yeah. Do I even need to describe the amount of flailing, squeeing and unbearable smugness that is emanating from Marriott Towers right now? No? I thought not. As I said at the blogger tea - my cover has a dragon on it. LIVE ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.

Also, this:

Click to embiggen. Do it. DOOOO IIIIITTT.
That is my trilogy guys. It's *this close* to finished. And actually being serious for half a second here - I am so, so proud of Walker Books for once again kicking #racefail and whitewashing in the soft dangly bits and giving my books cover art that not only accurately reflects the ethnicity of the characters within, but celebrates it with an airpunch and a HELL YEAH WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS BABY. At my publisher they not only acknowledge that they need diverse books, they really and truly want them, and treat them with the respect they deserve. How awesome is that?

Thank you to Annalie (Wonder Editor) and Maria (Delightful Designer) and also Larry Rostant, the photographer (who doesn't have a nickname because I haven't met him so it seems like it would be taking a liberty) for making my dream covers a reality. Wow, guys. Just. Wow.

OK, before I go, a final reminder that I, along with amazing fellow YA authors Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery, will be at the Lincoln High Street Waterstone's this Wednesday doing a panel event - Heroines of Teen Lit - with readings, a Q&A, signing, and super special swag (although I'm not bringing sweeties this time because... well, I've been too ill to go and buy any. Sorry *Sad face*). No need to book tickets or ring ahead - just turn up at 6:30 and we will be delighted to see you! 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

COME AND SEE ME!

Greetings, Dear Readers! Don't check your calendars - I know it's not my normal posting day, but I'm joining you early this week because I have EXCITING NEWS.

So, you remember I posted about the Heroines of Teen Lit panel and signing in Lincoln on the 29th of October? Well, if you can't get to that (and I know that sadly it was a bit far to travel for many of you) then weep not - I'm doing another event, this one in London, and it's on the 19th. That's right - this coming Sunday. I know it's not much notice, but that's because I literally only learned about it myself on Friday afternoon. It's been a bit of a whirlwind.

Details! you cry. Give us details! Patience, young Padawan - details follow.

Remember the YALC - Young Adult Literature Convention - which was organised by the amazeballs Malorie Blackman and which took place in July this year? Well, YALC is returning with a smaller 'pop-up' event at the winter London Film and Comic Con this very Sunday, and I will be there doing an event on Female Characters in Fantasy Fiction, along with YA superstars Laure Eve (author of FEARSOME DREAMER and THE ILLUSIONISTS) and Samantha Shannon (of THE BONE SEASON fame). I am polishing my tasteful yet kickass Feminist boots as I type. Figuratively. I don't want to get boot polish on my keyboard. But you get the idea: mouthy awesome ladies being mouthy and awesome. Live!
Here is the official press release, which also gives details of the other YALC panel event. Both the YALC events are free to attend, but you will need to have an LFCC ticket to get in. If you're only interested in the two YALC events, you can get a cheaper late day pass, rather than an early bird or all weekend LFCC ticket.

Here is the website for the LFCC where you can learn more about the venue, purchasing tickets, and other stuff going on at the larger con (Princess Leia FTW!).

After the panel, as the press release notes, we'll be doing an hour long signing. I will be there with my special signing pen and I will sign anything you ask me to, not including private parts (because I love you, but I feel we need to get to know each other better before we take that step). I will also be giving away my usual swathes of swag and HUGS. Always, always hugs.

Ettiquette from my previous event still applies: Internet Friends and Dear Readers MUST APPROACH. There is no need to lurk and feel sad about it later! I want to see you, that's the whole point of why I am there. And remember that if know you online by KittyGirl567 and you come along and introduce yourself to me as Sally, I will still be delighted to see you, but might look a bit blank-faced if you bring up our Twitter discussion about fanfic. If we know each other,  please, please DO NOT BE TOO SHY to tell me who you are online before you introduce yourself with your real life name, so that I can greet you with all the genuine warmth, pleasure, in-jokes and snuggles you deserve. Above all: don't worry that it will be awkward! Of course it will, because I am awkward at all times, which means am totally used to it! You cannot possibly embarrass yourself as much as I can embarrass both of us, and that is a guarantee.

Extra information: last night I had an incredibly vivid dream that during the panel event I spontaneously burst into song and ended up leading the other panelists and audience in an a capella rendition of Taylor Swift's Shake it Off, culminating in a fierce dance-off. So, I'm not saying that will definitely happen but, you know. You don't want to miss it if it does, right? Just putting that out there.

Finally, two new reviews showed up on the Amazon page for Darkness Hidden this week after my appeal in last week's blog post. I am overjoyed to see them - thank you my darlings! See you hopefully on Sunday, and if not, then on the blog next week :)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

THE NAME OF THE BLADE: US EDITION!

Hello and happy Wednesday, my lovelies! Today is a fine day for...book p*rn!

Yes, that's right, a precious finished copy of the Candlewick Press edition of The Night Itself - retitled THE NAME OF THE BLADE for US release, and due out in November of this year - has arrived and it is a hardcover of surpassing prettiness if I do say so myself. Get out your smelling salts, lock yourself away somewhere private, and prepare yourself for sexeh sexeh book shots (I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM I MAY HAVE A PROBLEM SEND HELP):
 

So, here is the front. Which, you may note here, is incredibly shiny and has more coloured foils on it than you can shake a stick at - dusky purple for the Nekomata, gold for its eyes and the lettering, a bit more gold and some black on the grip of the katana, and silver for the blade itself. Its rather shockingly lovely in the flesh. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE:


Let's hear it for brightly coloured endpapers I love them so. This is one of the best things about hardcovers, I swear. So bright, so yellow, my preccccious...

And what colour goes the best with dusky purple dust jackets and bright yellow endpapers? Why it's pale dove grey and silver, which is the exact shade chosen for the binding, as you can see.


But what's that? A strange symbol on the spine? Let's check the dust jacket again!

It's there too! And all shiny and silver and purple again, hubba hubba.

Also, it feels worth mentioning that this is a super dinky little hardcover - it's smaller than a trade paperback here in the UK and not much bigger than a mass market paperback. I've never seen such a petite hardcover edition - it's practically dwarfed by the Candlewick Press hardcover of, say, Daughter of the Flames or Shadows on the Moon. I'm not sure why that is, but it's kind of precious, honestly. I want to slip it in my pocket, just because I can.

Anyway, this is a case where the little thumbnails you see of a cover online do not do the book justice in any way. It's simply scrummy in the flesh, and I hope that lots of people notice this and pick it off the bookshelves of their local shop come November. Lucky for me, the book's already had two lovely reviews, one of which was featured in the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf Newsletter (and I had no idea until it popped into my inbox and I was reading it as normal and suddenly there was my book staring out at me, leading to much flailing and squeaking at Casa Marriott).

In the meantime, I'd like to ask a favour of any Dear Readers who have a few spare moments: if you've written a review of Book Two of the Trilogy: Darkness Hidden for your blog or your Goodreads, or you were thinking of doing so? The Amazon page for this book is looking a bit sparse in terms of reviews. It's got four absolute stonking ones, which I'm very grateful for - don't get me wrong! - but since the first book has over twenty it kind of looks like no one is reading the next in the series which isn't the impression I was hoping the book would make, you know?

However, there's no pressure to do this, and I'm not guilt-tripping anyone who doesn't want to or doesn't have the time, so feel free to ignore my neediness, oh delightful chickadees. I love you all regardless! *Mwah*


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

HEROINES OF TEEN LIT

Hello, hello, hello Dear Readers!

I'm back today to bring you a bit more detail about the event that I'm doing in Lincoln on the 29th of October. Here, courtesy of the mad skillz of the lovely Kerry Drewery herself, is all the information you should need in order to know how cool it's going to be that and YOU WANT TO BE THERE:

Each of us will be reading from our books, taking questions from the audience, and signing. I plan to read a bit from book three of the Name of the Blade Trilogy - Frail Mortal Heart - which isn't out until July of 2015, so that will hopefully be a valuable sneak peek for those who've enjoyed the first two books. I'll also be bringing my special signing pen to autograph and personalise any books that you bring or buy, signed bookplates for you to take home, various pieces of exclusive and delightful swag and, most important of all, *sweeties*.

Plus, of course, my usual suffocating and inescapable hugs. Those are non-negotiable.

Lincoln is a delightful place - which I know well because it's only an hour away from my hometown by train and I've spent a lot of time there. The best scone and cup of tea in the North of England is available right there on Lincoln High Street by Stokes Cafe. They also sometimes do a sticky toffee pudding which is... *Drools* Nomz. Anyway, Lincoln is small and easy to navigate, full of fascinating little independent shops and well worth a few hours of anyone's time even if there wasn't going to be this pretty mad awesome book event there, too. If anyone's ever wanted to see one of these fabulous multi-author panel events that always seem to be going on in London, but find the capital a bit expensive or difficult to get to, now is the time to take advantage of the more Northernly location of THIS book event and book your train tickets/get your dad to give you a lift/look up the bus timetables.

So, in summary, reasons everyone should come and hang out with us in Lincoln on the 29th of October:
  1. Frail Mortal Heart spoilers/sneek peeks
  2. Signed and personalised books
  3. Signed bookplates
  4. Exclusive swag
  5. Sweeties
  6. Hugs
  7. Gorgeous location (with optional scones)
I think I've made a compelling case here, but let me know if you want anymore details, my ducky darlings, and I shall, as the Black Widow would say persuade you.

*Smooches to all*
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