This totally should have been last week’s since last week it was four years since Della Says: OMG! was published. Blimey. Even though it does seem a while since Della came out, I can’t quite believe I’ve been published for four years. Four years! And it’s been a rather brilliant four years.
I was tagged to do this by Catherine Ryan Howard and I said yes because I think she’s completely fabulous (seriously, if you have even the slightest interest in self-publishing you must read her blog) and also because, well, she begged a bit…
1. What am I working on?
I’ve just started the second book in the Reel Friends series. The first, Starring Kitty, comes out in June and there’s a brand new blurb…
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 . . .
Entering a film-making competition with her best 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?
Every book* mentions a Sesame Street character.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Because it’s what I wanted to read when I was a teen. Smart girls, cute boys, gorgeous settings, Sesame Street characters…
Have an idea. Start writing furiously and excitedly. Lose interest. Moan, complain, wonder what else I can do for a living, realise there’s nothing. Force myself to carry on. Eventually drag myself to the end of the story. Procrastinate for anything between a week to a year. Get on with rewriting. Complain, flail, cry. Go to a café and start making notes for the next draft. Realise I have the best job in the world. Regret all the moaning, crying, flailing, procrastination. Finish the novel. Repeat. Every. Damn. Time.
* Except Della Says: OMG!
The writers I invited to take part in this tour** are:
Helen Grant writes contemporary YA thrillers with international settings. She was born in London but has lived in Spain, Germany and Belgium. Her first book, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, was set in Bad Münstereifel in Germany, her home for 7 years, and her latest book, Silent Saturday (an urbex thriller), is set in Flanders. Helen now lives in Scotland where she spends her spare time poking about in ruined churches and castles, and writing ghost stories on the side.
Sophia lives in London, where she loves visiting the shops and museums, and also the writing shed at the bottom of her garden. She has written theThreads series for girls of 9-12 who like high fashion and saving the world. For slightly older readers, Sophia has also written The Look and You Don’t Know Me. Her new book, The Castle, is out in the summer of 2014. You can find her here: sophiabennett.com.
** I know, I know, there’s meant to be three. But I could only scare up two. Sorry.
I have a new Esme Taylor novella out with Hot Key Unlocked. It’s called Baby, One More Time, it’s set in New York and features a flight, a hotel room, lots of food and some sexytimes (so it’s not suitable for younger readers).
I’ve had the basic premise in my mind for a LONG time (maybe ten years?) so I was thrilled to finally write it and it was the most fun to write. I don’t think I did any angsty I can’t do it! whining at all! And I’m always happy to wander New York (on Google Maps rather than in reality, sadly) for research. Plus I’ve nicked the details of a hotel I’ve been desperate to visit for years. How’s this for a hotel room?
(The room is in The Hotel on Rivington, but I’ve never been there so everything else is made up.)
I hope you read it, I hope you love it and I hope you fancy Nick as much as I do (is that weird?).
I am so excited to be working with Catnip and particularly excited to be writing a series. And, yes, I probably should have spent more time today actually writing and less time looking for Snoopy dance gifs, but, you know, woo-hoo!
Catnip Books has acquired World rights excluding US for a series for 11-14 year olds called REEL FRIENDS by Keris Stainton, author of Della Says OMG and the popular ‘Hearts’ series, from Hannah Sheppard of the DHH Literary Agency.
The series centres on a group of three friends who enter a film-making competition, with each book focusing on a different girl’s life, including first relationships, family life and friends. The first book in the series will be Starring Kitty, which Keris has been writing as part of NaNoWriMo and will focus on Kitty as she works out how she feels about another girl.
Liz Bankes at Catnip says, “We are thrilled to be working with Keris on this series, which has the heart, humour and light touch that reminds me of stories I used to love reading in teen magazines. With this book, we saw a refreshing opportunity to create a fun series for young readers that represents more than just the girl-boy romances that are typically marketed to this age group.”
The first book will be published in June 2014, with a second to follow in October. Keris was one of the driving forces behind the recent Authors for Philippines auction website where authors’ donations helped raise more than £55,000 for the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.
Yesterday, I was slightly taken by surprise when this book, which I didn’t think was being published until next week, became available on Amazon. It’s a romantic Christmas novella by Esme Taylor. Here’s what you need to know about Esme:
Esme Taylor spends her days dreaming about romantic scenarios (lately involving Benedict Cumberbatch, but subject to change) and is thrilled to have the opportunity to write them down. She’s been writing fiction since she was a teen (romantic scenarios featuring George Michael), but didn’t finish a novel until 2004 (romantic scenario featuring a thinly-disguised Matt Damon). She lives in Lancashire with her husband (looks a bit like Christopher Eccleston) and two children and is the author of three YA novels under her own name, Keris Stainton.
And here’s a little bit about the book:
25% Christmas 50% romance 25% sexual content
A saucy Christmas novella to heat up your winter nights!
Ella is dreading Christmas. She vowed to change her life this year, and although breaking up with her boring boyfriend was the first step, she’s been too scared to take the next, and her life has become small.
But then, when working at a Christmas party, Ella meets Joe. The attraction is instant and convenient: neither is interested in more than a fling. While Ella’s been stuck, Joe’s been running. He’s been travelling for a year and has no plans to stop, but he’s home to spend Christmas with his huge, loud family. His father wants him to stay and join the family business, but Joe’s not yet ready for that kind of commitment and isn’t sure he’ll ever be. But as the snow and the presents pile up – and Ella and Joe’s clothes come off – Ella realises she needs to start living again. And that maybe all she wants for Christmas is Joe…
You can read an excerpt here.
So… this happened
At one point late last night, As Delightful As a Carrot was No.3 in Parenting, No. 10 in Raising Children, and No. 39 in Humour. It almost made it into the Top 1000 for Kindle (I think it was 1028). When I told Harry and Joe we were nearing the Top 1000 of Kindle books overall they laughed. “Top 1000? That’s LOADS!” But there are 2,310,395 books in the Kindle store so Top 1000 sounds pretty good to me.
It was just so exciting to keep checking back and watching it climb the charts. (This morning, I’ve got a slightly wonky wrist from all the clicking.)
But charts aside, I was so touched by everyone who shared the book on Facebook, tweeted about it, told me how much they were enjoying it, reviewed it (there are some lovely – and funny – reviews on there) and, of course, bought it. Thank you. You’re ace.
The current issue of Look magazine has a feature about The Saturdays in LA and, um, LOOK!
Thanks so much to Rachel Ward for the tip-off.