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.

What I read in May

Unknown-1I planned this year to read (or re-read) all of Maya Angelou’s memoirs. I’d only managed one, but as soon as I heard that she’d died, all I wanted was to hear her voice in my head, so I read Gather Together in My Name. And it was wonderful.

I also read her picture book, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, to Joe. We both loved it.

Unknown-1Joe and I re-read all the Oliver Jeffers books we have and we got a couple more from the library. The Incredible Book Eating Boy was Joe’s favourite. Stuck remains mine.

Once David finished reading Matilda to Harry, I read him Susie Day’s Pea’s Book of Best Friends. I’ve read it before (I adore the series), but loved rediscovering it with Harry.

9780307739766_p0_v1_s260x420I really enjoyed Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield and it made me want to re-watch a bunch of TV shows and to finally get around to watching Seinfeld (yes, I know) and Mad About You. So interesting.

Another book I’ve been meaning to read for years is Anne of Green Gables. So many of my friends love it so much that I knew I’d love it too and I really did. Can’t wait to read the rest.

Unknown-1Eloisa James is one of my favourite authors – and one I probably never would have discovered had her books not been sent to me for review – and Three Weeks With Lady X was another fantastic read. (And another one just turned up yesterday. I’m very happy she’s so prolific.)

 

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…

9781846471841

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!

#countdownYA Author Interview: Lisa Glass

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I’m really excited to welcome Lisa Glass for my stop on the Countdown to 5th June blog tour.

Lisa’s new book, Blue – a summer surfing romance – sounds right up my street. I can’t wait to read it. But first, some questions…

lisaglass7Can you tell us about your writing day?

I have two little kids, one a tiny baby, so whenever the eldest is being looked after by someone else and the youngest is asleep, I rush over to the computer and tap out a few hundred words.

What’s been the best moment of your writing career so far? And the worst?

The best moment was being offered the three-book deal with Quercus. The worst was finding out that interest in my previous novel, which I thought was going to get a publishing deal, had ebbed away.

Have you got any abandoned manuscripts no one will ever see?

Loads. About a million words of abandoned manuscript, more’s the pity.

Have you ever experienced writers’ block and, if so, how did you get past it?

Yes. When I’m pregnant I find it really difficult to write. I just can’t make myself care about the characters. I become really intolerant of them, and have to fight the urge to kill them all off in the next chapter. The way I got past it was by giving birth. Once the babies were out, I was able to write again. I don’t know why pregnancy makes me so hostile to my own imagination, but it does.

blueHow is being a writer different from what you imagined?

I thought it would be a more serene endeavour. I didn’t realise how hard it would be to get published, and paid. Also, I thought I would be prouder of my job. By which I mean: I have always admired writers, but now that I am one, I feel almost embarrassed to admit it, or acknowledge that it is even a job, even though I work very hard at it. But, I am from a line of bricklayers, cleaners, lorry drivers, seamstresses, and saying ‘I’m an author’ makes me feel as if I am betraying my working class roots, which is ridiculous, but there we are.

If you had to live within the confines of one book, and only interact with its characters (but you would still be yourself), which book would you choose?

This is a great question. I think I’d go for It Chooses You by Miranda July. It’s not a novel. It’s about the author’s experiences of interviewing people who advertise stuff they want to sell in a weekly circular. The people she interviews are all really interesting, and I think I’d enjoy hanging out with Miranda July. She seems like a lot of fun and I think she’d be great in arguments, really quick-witted and fiery.

Which three books would you take to a desert island?Friday-Gospels

London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave, because she has the most beautiful prose and I’m still trying to figure out how she manages that. The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth because she has incredible insight into human behaviour and Very British Problems by Rob Temple, just for the lolz.

If a film was made of your life, who would you want to play you?

I had this conversation with my friend Rosy once and she answered Jack Black. So now I naturally want Jack Black to play me. We have the same glint of crazy in our eyes and we both have extremely mobile eyebrows. But can he do a Westcountry accent? I just don’t know.

Thanks, Lisa. (That’s a film I’d want to see!)

Throwback Thursday – Della Says: OMG!

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.

Always take my books out for a drink…
In the Bliss mag chart
In the Bliss mag chart

What I read in April

I’m falling way behind with the books I’ve always meant to read list. I should probably dedicate May to catching up on that. (I probably won’t though.)

51e3flT3mlL._SY346_My favourite adult book this month was The Days of Anna Madrigal which I finally made myself read. I’d been putting it off because I didn’t want the series to be over, but at the same time I worried that I might die without finishing it. (“That, my friend, is a dark side.”) I adored it, of course.

I also really loved We’ll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir by Jennifer Coburn. Jennifer Coburn started taking her daughter on extended European holidays – just the two of them – from when her daughter was just eight. The travelogue and the mother/daughter relationship is interspersed with stories of Coburn’s relationship with her late father – often painful, but also beautiful.

UnknownMy favourite YA book this month was The Savages by Matt Whyman. It’s a story of a cannibal family and David thought it sounded disgusting and couldn’t understand why I was reading it, but I thought it was funny and creepy and thought-provoking. Looking forward to the sequel!

If I hadn’t read the Armistead Maupin, then Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens would have been my absolute favourite book of the month. It’s the first in an MG mystery series, set in a girls’ boarding school, and I absolutely loved it. My friend Cait said she wanted to live in it and I completely agree – I didn’t want it to end. Can’t wait for the next one.

Harry and David have been reading Matilda. I don’t think they’re enjoying it as much as Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, but I’m hoping they’ll enjoy it enough that we can all go and see the musical.

9780552567787-largeOur favourite picture book this month was Little Answer by Tim Hopgood – about an answer looking for a question. So cute and funny and thought-provoking.

To my horror, Joe says he doesn’t like the Mo Willems Pigeon or Elephant & Piggie books (he likes the Knuffle Bunny books, thank goodness) so I was very relieved that he loves Oliver Jeffers’ books. We re-read them all this month: Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me are our favourites.