Spotlight On Sunny is out today!


It’s the second book in the Reel Friends series, the follow-up to Starring Kitty. Don’t they look gorgeous together?!

Are you brave enough to rewrite the script?

After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course – in London! Sunny can’t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day…) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend – lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don’t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that’s not even the biggest thing on her mind – there’s also the big secret she’s hiding from her best friends…

You can read the first chapter here and a wonderful first review (that made me cry) on The Overflowing Library, and my editor has written this gorgeous post – 10 Things I Love About Spotlight On Sunny (also made me cry).

Blogaversary (and why I don’t really blog much anymore…)

sesame12I’ve been blogging for twelve years today. Twelve years. I had to double-check when I thought about it this morning because how can it be twelve years? But I know it must be, because I started blogging before I had a book out (and that’s five years this May) and I started blogging before I had any kids (and my oldest is eleven in June) and I started blogging before I started writing professionally (and I’ve been self-employed for ten years in October), but still… twelve years. Blimey.

It seems a bit odd to celebrate it though, because I hardly blog anymore. The type of stuff I used to write on my blog I now mostly put on Facebook. And the rest of the time (pretty much all of the time) I’m just chatting away on Twitter. I’m also on Tumblr a bit (mostly for the Harry Styles gifs, ngl) and I’m loving Instagram.

sunnyI’m also writing, writing, writing. Just not here. The second book in the Reel Friends series, Spotlight on Sunny, is out next month. Counting Stars comes out with Hot Key Books in September. And then there’s another as-yet-unannounced book at the end of the year. And plotting and planning for more more more.

Things have changed a lot in twelve years…


I wasn’t planning to do NaNoWriMo this year – I’ve got one book to rewrite and another to finish by the end of December – but then I realised that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the first time I took part, which was also the first time I finished a novel. Which led to me writing another novel. Which led to me getting an agent. And a book deal. And being what I am now, a professional writer. (Apparently I’m not professional enough to write that without wanting to add some sort of disclaimer, but I’ve managed to stop myself.) (Sort of.) So, in the spirit of nostalgia, I thought I’d hunt out the first thing I ever wrote about NaNoWriMo, on my (old) blog on 1 November 2004:

squirrel-winner-100.jpg.htmlPosting may be a bit erratic over the next month, now that NaNoWriMo has started. I’m only allowing myself to post on here once I’ve written the day’s NaNo. I’m aiming for 2,000 words per day – it has to be more than 1,666 which is 50,000 (words) divided by 30 (days in November).

You can read it here [not anymore you can’t] or if you click the ‘Chick Lit’ pic [Chick Lit!] or the link over there (assuming I’ve got it to work). The working title is Be My Baby. [This was an adult novel I never managed to get past 50,000 words. Last year I finally reworked it and it was published as an ebook novella by Hot Key Books – All I Want for Christmas under the name Esme Taylor.] Let me know what you think. [You could still do that if you read the novella. I’m really proud of it.]

David’s doing it too and he’s being interviewed by Mark Lawson for Front Row on Radio 4 this afternoon. I think the interview will be going out tonight between 7.15 and 7.45. [David still brags about this.]

So that we can both do it, I have to write in the day (how that’s going to work when I go back to work next week, I don’t know) and he’ll have to write at night. Which means I have to cook tea. Luckily David got the new Jamie Oliver for his birthday and it’s wonderful, so I’ve already planned out this week’s meals (and we’ll get a takeaway on Fridays as a reward!).

Anyway, I managed 1,854 words this morning while Harry was napping (although I forgot he was supposed to be having his jabs today and I missed the appointment – bad mother) [baby Harry!]. Will have to think tonight about what I’m writing tomorrow.

The rest is history. Well, not history. But four published novels (and two novellas) and two more novels coming out next year. (And I don’t cook anymore. That very Jamie book is in the charity shop pile in the corner of my office right now. Sorry, Jamie.)

Some exciting news

I’m happy and proud to announce that I’ve been awarded a Grant for the Arts by Arts Council England. The purpose of the grant is to support me in writing my next novel, All Together Now (due out next year), which is, of course, completely brilliant (the support, not the novel) (that’s only ok so far) (although I am really enjoying writing it), but I’m also thrilled to feel like my writing is worth supporting.

I first heard about Arts Council grants about ten years ago when I was first starting to really take my writing seriously. I looked at the form with its questions about ‘artistic development’ and who will ‘benefit’ from your ‘art’ and went “Pfft, god, I don’t know” and decided it was not for me, it was for Proper Artists. So applying was a pretty big step and I really didn’t think I’d be accepted. I sobbed my head off when I got the letter.

So thank you Arts Council England and thank you to lovely Zoe Marriott for all her help and encouragement.


Touring without moving

Keris Starring Kitty coverLots of lovely bloggers are currently hosting me on a blog tour for Starring Kitty.

You can read the first two chapters of the book on my publisher’s blog, Catnip Books…

Learn why I do love to be beside the seaside with Rachael Lucas…

Lovely Stephanie Burgis asked me some probing questions

I picked my Top 5 Fictional Couples for Peter Jones…

Told Sister Spooky why book people are the best people (plus bonus random questions)…

Shared my dreams and regrets with Jax at Live Otherwise…

And answered yet more probing questions, this time from Carly at Writing from the Tub

A fab chat with lovely Rhian Ivory – who got me to reveal lots of writing secrets (spoiler alert: I’m rubbish at making stuff up) – at Author Allsorts

I wrote about why Kitty’s mum has multiple sclerosis for my lovely friend Laura’s blog, Littlestuff….

Another interview, this time with Caroline at Their Queer Materials

And finally, I share my five favourite films with Jim at YAYeahYeah.

Starring Kitty has a cover (and I love it)

So my next book has got a cover. And I totally and utterly love it. You know, like I, um, just said in the title to this post…


The book is out 10 July and here’s the description:

The first in a new series about first love and friendship by much-loved teen author Keris Stainton

Sometimes the greatest love stories happen behind the scenes…

Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with her mum’s illness. And how she’s falling for the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?

You can pre-order it on Amazon or Hive.

I’ve made a Pinterest board (of course I have) featuring some of the settings.

Hope you like it!