Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Kiss Date Love Hate - Luisa Plaja

Published: February 2nd 2012, RHCB
Pages: 278 pages, paperback
Series/standalone?: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review

Summary (from Goodreads): What if you could change your friends' lives and loves through the settings of a computer game...?

Lex Murphy's group of friends have all dated, hated, ignored and lusted after each other for the last few years. If only there was a way of matching people perfectly to avoid all the unrequited love, dumping and drama! Then Lex's friend George is given a mysterious Sims-like game by his software-testing dad which involves building character profiles in the categories of Life, Looks and Love. Lex and George populate the game with avatars for all their mates, making a few 'wishful thinking' adjustments to the settings - and find that the next day these tinkerings have come true! But how long can this new calm, loved-up atmosphere continue?

My review: Hooray - another Luisa Plaja novel! It's always such a treat when one of her novels is released, they're guaranteed fun and laughs and everything that's great about YA. She's a true talent and one of the best contemporary YA writers we have in the UK. The very first book I ever reviewed was her second novel, Extreme Kissing, and I've been a huge fan ever since.

Kiss Date Love Hate is pure fun from beginning to end. If you're in need of an escape from the outside world and want to curl up in another world for a few hours then don't hesitate to pick up this book. I promise you'll finish it with a smile on your face and you wouldn't be able to stop yourself falling in love with at least one (or probably more) of the boys. Plaja is a pro at creating gorgeous, sweet, funny heroes and the male characters in Kiss Date Love Hate are definitely no exception - watch out for Drew, you'll be hooked.

I love the premise of Kiss Date Love Hate, that your looks, personality and relationships can be controlled via a video game. I think anybody who grew up addicted to the Sims (and weren't we all?) will understand just how exciting that might be. It was really interesting to see Lex and George debating whether or what to change about themselves and the other characters and I loved the dynamic between the two of them. Gemma was a great 'mean girl' as well, managing to be a little bit evil but still human at the same time.

Lex is a wonderful protagonist and a fantastic character for teen readers to relate to. Kiss Date Love Hate definitely brings some important issues to light and I think this one's a lot more powerful than people first think - especially as you get further into the story and more details about the characters are revealed. Luisa Plaja's done it again - this is another wonderful novel that's even better than the last. Awesome!

First line: 'It's just another lunch time on the Chairs of Doom outside Mr Trench's office.'

Read if you liked…: The Future of Us - Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Rating:
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 17/20 (A)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Review: Real Live Boyfriends - E. Lockhart

Published: December 27th 2011, Ember
Pages: 222 pages, paperback
Series?: Yes, this is the fourth and final installment
Acquired: Purchased myself

Summary (from Goodreads): In this fourth hilarious episode of Ruby Oliver's high school career, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of The Boyfriend List and its companions The Boy Book and The Treasure Map of Boys interviews her friends for a documentary on love and popularity. While doing so, she turns up some uncomfortable truths—and searches for a way to get back what she had with Noel.

Roo has lost most of her friends. She's lost her true love more than once. She's lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she's never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

My review: Most of you will know I'm a big contemporary YA fan. It's my absolute favourite genre and, because of that, I think I'm usually more critical of contemporary books in my reviews. I've made no secret of the fact I prefer standalone novels to series but the Ruby Oliver series is one series I have always adored and every installment is even more charming and hilarious than the last. Real Live Boyfriends is the final installment in the series and it's absolutely the best - a completely perfect way to end one of my favourite series. I'm sad it's over but I couldn't think of a more lovely ending - big, massive cheers to Lockhart for crafting such a wonderful and entertaining series. Huge fan right here.

Ruby is her usual neurotic but loveable self in Real Live Boyfriends and her lists are back and better than ever. Her footnotes never fail to make me laugh and are such a great addition to the story, they really help the reader get to know Ruby a little better than the standard narrative allows. It's the attention to detail like this that makes the Ruby Oliver books go from fun to fantastic and I'm convinced these books have staying power - I'm sure girls (and maybe boys) will be reading and enjoying them for years to come, I certainly hope so anyway.

Noel is gorgeous as ever and absolutely one of the best YA heroes in a long, long time. Forget your Edward and Patch and those paranormal, brooding bad boys - sweet, funny, kind Noel is the kind of boy we should be celebrating.

Importantly, every character in the Tate Universe (including the parents and older siblings) has flaws and, while it can be frustrating to see characters make bad choices, it serves as a reminder than they are human; they make mistakes, they don't always make the best decisions but it makes them leap off of the page as real people, rather than character sketches that are yet to be developed.

The Ruby Oliver series is one I know I'll reread so many times. Whenever I'm in a book slump I can always pick up one of the books, flick to any page and be laughing within minutes. Books like this just renew my love for reading and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this series to any YA fan. Contemporary YA at its absolute finest.

First line: 'A definition: A real live boyfriend does not contribute to your angst.'

Read if you liked…: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Rating:
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 18/20 (A)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Review: The DUFF - Kody Keplinger

Published: April 5th 2012, Hodder Children's Books
Pages: 341 pages, ARC
Series/standalone?: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

My review: I am absolutely in love with this novel. The DUFF is a fun, sexy story about body image, self confidence and finding love (or lust) in the most unlikely place. Kody Keplinger is a strong new voice in YA fiction and I'm so happy The DUFF is being published over here in the UK. I picked up a copy of Keplinger's second novel, Shut Out, while I was in the US last year and I'm definitely going to get cracking with it asap.

I have so much praise for Keplinger - she took so many risks with The DUFF and they all paid off. There's swearing, sex, underage drinking; with another novel this might not have worked or could have felt gratuitous but here it just works and makes The DUFF stand out as one of my favourite contemporary reads of 2012 so far.

Bianca is a gorgeous heroine and if she wasn't dreamed up in Keplinger's head I would absolutely be taking her out for a glass of wine, just because she's so damn awesome. She's snippy and cynical and prone to bitchy one liners but never steps over the 'annoyingly quirky' line so many YA heroines stumble across at the moment. Wesley is brilliant - a bad boy who stops just short of being an actual douche bag but with so much personality and history. All of the characters in The DUFF read like real, developed characters with back stories and families, hopes and dreams - I genuinely cared about all of them and that's the strength of this book.

Keplinger is flying the flag for realistic YA and I'm so happy to find such an exciting new writer. So young as well! Love her - she is one talented lady. Oh, and I have to give her major kudos for the sexytimes - bang on, excuse the pun.

First line: 'This was getting old.'

Read if you liked…: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood - Eileen Cook

Rating:
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 15/20 (B)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Interview: Eve Marie Mot (A Breath of Eyre)

Hello chaps! I've got the lovely Eve Marie Mot here with me for an interview today. She's a debut YA author of A Breath of Eyre, a historical novel inspired by Jane Eyre, which is due out April 1st.


Hi, Eve! In case any readers haven’t read the book yet, can you tell me a little bit about A Breath of Eyre?

In 10 words or less: Gothic settings. Stormy friendships. Brooding lovers. Difficult decisions. One destiny.

In 100 words or less: Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. But escape soon arrives in a leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre. When a lightning strike catapults Emma into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story or in the unwritten chapters of her own.

In young adult fiction in particular, it’s important that readers bond with the characters - what do you think is the most important thing to get right when you're creating a character?

I’ve heard it said time and again, but the two most important elements for a YA novel seem to be authenticity and voice. By authenticity, I mean that teens should feel immersed in a story and world and not feel they are being lectured or condescended to. I teach high school English, and teens can spot a phony a mile away. An author should write YA because they love all the possibilities the genre offers or they enjoy reliving those heightened moments of youth, not because it happens to be a hot genre. The other critical element for YA is voice, but voice is so elusive. Agents and editors often say, “I can’t define voice, but I know it when I see it.” Voice can encompass narrative personality, point of view, style—so many things! I know that when I’ve worked on projects in the past that haven’t worked, one of the main reasons is that I haven’t found the right voice to tell that story.

The YA book market is a competitive place. What do you think sets A Breath of Eyre apart from the pack?

Instead of a straight literary retelling, my book has the protagonist actually enter the world of Jane Eyre, causing a struggle over whether to change the outcome of the book and the outcome of her life. She’s also able to travel back and forth between Jane’s world and her own, which makes for some interesting dilemmas. I’m hoping what sets my book apart is the mash-up of genres: historical, retelling, contemporary, and a dash of magical realism.

Some writers take great inspiration from music while they’re writing. Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what artists/bands do you like to listen to while you write?

I usually can’t write with music playing, but I’ll often play a song to get me inspired and tease out the ideas while the music’s on, then shut it off so I can do the actual writing. But the song will still be echoing in my head, and it definitely helps me set the right tone and mood for a scene. Those are the chapters that tend to be the most cinematic, which I love! For A Breath of Eyre, the bands that were most influential were Coldplay, Thirteen Senses, Barcelona, and Embrace. Embrace’s “Gravity” became sort of the unofficial love theme of the book. You can listen to the entire playlist on my website.

What did you hope to accomplish by writing A Breath of Eyre? Do you think you have accomplished what you set out to do?

Really, I wrote the book for me. I’ve always wanted to live in the world of Jane Eyre, so I created a character who could. I wasn’t setting out with any agenda, but now that the book is finished, I hope readers see it as a respectful and worthy tribute to a beloved novel. I also hope readers enjoy a few hours of fun, escapism, and romance. If it makes them want to read Jane Eyre, so much the better!

Do you think your teenage years have influenced you as a writer? If so, how?

Definitely. I was kind of a shy, cautious kid in high school. I played sports and did well in school and was altogether normal. But I secretly envied my best friend who hung out in the art room with the kids who sported tattoos, Doc Martens, and asymmetrical hair. I always felt like I floated in the margins, never really belonged to a particular clique. Consequently, I felt lonely a lot of the time, but this became my strength because it allowed me to observe and save up all kinds of great details for later. Now I get to re-envision those adolescent years, and my characters can try things I was too scared to try, date boys I never had the nerve to talk to, and live adventures I only got to experience in books. Writing YA is so much fun! (Except when it’s not. But that’s another topic…)

What books do you think we should be looking out for in 2012?

Wow, there are SO many books I’m looking forward to. I belong to the Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies, groups of debut authors with releases coming out in 2012. I am so anxious to read all of their books, even though I know it’s impossible. In terms of standouts, I am dying to read Katherine Longshore’s Gilt and AC Gaughen’s Scarlet (historicals), Heather Anastasiu’s Glitch and Kristen Simmons’s Article 5 (dysopians), and I have to give a shout-out to another Jane Eyre-inspired book, Tina Connolley’s Ironskin, a steampunk retelling with fairies—awesome!

Thank you so much for your time, Eve. Before you go, could you tell me about any projects you have in the pipeline we can look out for?

A Breath of Eyre is the first in a trilogy so the next book will be A Touch of Scarlet, inspired by The Scarlet Letter (lots of secrets and scandal), and the third book is A Phantom Enchantment, set in Paris and inspired by The Phantom of the Opera!

Thanks so much for the great interview, Carly!

*

Brilliant - I'm so excited about this one, I can't wait for my pre-order to be dispatched!

For more information about Eve and A Breath of Eyre take a look at the following links:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Favourite Covers: Tramp Stamps

So I know we're not supposed to judge books by their covers but I just can't help myself! My laptop is full of folders of pretty covers so I've decided to post a few of my favourites up - the theme for this post is: Tramp stamps. Ah yes, the good old lower back tattoo. And take no offense by my use of 'tramp stamp' - I have one, so I'm allowed to say it, yo.

When I decided to do a cover feature with these theme I actually thought there would be a lot more books than I found - if you know of any more do let me know!

Unclean Spirits - M. L. N. Hanover

Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs

Stray - Rachel Vincent

The Devil Inside - Jenna Black

Speak of the Devil - Jenna Black

*

So, that's it for this week - what do you think? Which is your favourite?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Giveaway: Kindle Fire


The Barrett Company Hollywood Book Publicity Tour + Win FREE Kindle Fire!


Well known, experienced, professional Hollywood book, TV and movie publicist Charlie Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1991 as a full service publicity and media relations agency to serve books/authors/publishers, television and motion picture industry clients. The Los Angeles headquartered publicity firm offers 21st century publicity and media relations services to celebrities, authors, actors, directors, screen writers, filmmakers as well as film and television producers.

Charlie’s author clients have include LA author-screenwriter Carla Malden, author of Afterimage, Kindle’s John Locke/Lethal People, Julie Sinatra/Under my Skin, Warren Adler/War of the Roses, David R. Fett MD and Steve Langford/White Sleeper, Deby Eisenberg/Pictures of the Past, Marty Jurow/See’in Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey, actor George Kennedy/Trust Me, Peter Ford/Glenn Ford: A Life and Dr. Ken Nedd/Power Over Stress as well as many, many others.

Since it’s inception, TBC has served as publicists to such companies and celebrities as CBS, Simon & Schuster, ABC, Globe Pequot Press, Harper Collins publishers, Norton publishers, Paramount studios, Oxford University Press, PBS, Warner Brothers, American Movie Classics cable channel (Mad Men), Bravo, Life Time Television, NYU Press, Ben Bella Books, Fox Television Network, Little Brown publishers, Fox News, CNN, self-published author service firms such as Xlibris, Author House and i-Universe as well as numerous celebrities from Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon to Kevin Costner, Tatum O’Neal, Tim Curry, Martin Landau, Robert Stack, Rod Stewart, Gary Conway, Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Big Give television series on ABC) and numerous other stars.

Mr. Barrett started up The Barrett Company publicity firm after serving in top PR positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards.

When earlier basing in New York City, Mr. Barrett served as a book publicist to many major publishers with publicity campaigns for a number of best-selling authors from large trade book publishers from Scribners to Random House.

Mr. Barrett has also held executive media relations posts with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in New York and Capitol Records in Hollywood, New York and London, where he helped launch recorded music by The Beatles, The Band and many other music artists including Joe South, Freda Payne, Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell.

You can visit his website at www.thebarrettco.com. Visit them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thebarrettco.

About The Barrett Company:

Media expert & advisor Charles Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1991 as a full service media relations and media marketing/communications agency. The Los Angeles headquartered firm offers 21st century integrated media outreach and media marketing expertise with an emphasis on the entertainment and leisure time industries serving authors/publishers, Hollywood celebrities, motion pictures, and television. Since inception, TBC has served such companies as Simon & Schuster, Globe Pequot Press, Norton Publishers, Warner Brothers Studios, American Movie Classics cable channel, ABC TV, CBS TV, Fox Television, self-published author publishers such as Xlibris, Author House, I-Universe and numerous celebrities from Johnny Carson to Ed McMahon to Kevin Costner to Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Big Give television series on ABC).

The Barrett Company also assists attorneys and their clients, managing media coverage in civil and criminal cases from California to New York in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Barrett formed the firm after serving in top public relations positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for The Tonight Show and Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards.

Mr. Barrett has also held executive media relations posts with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in New York and Capitol Records in Hollywood, New York and London, where he helped launch recorded music by The Beatles, The Band and many other music artists.

When earlier basing in New York City, Mr. Barrett assisted major publishers with publicity campaigns for a number of New York Times best-selling authors, serving such publishers as Scribner’s, Simon & Schuster, Norton, John Wiley & Sons, Warner Books and Golden Books, among many others.

The Barrett Company serves major publisher and self-published authors with Harper Collins, Little Brown, Penguin Press, i-Universe, Oxford University Press, Viking Press, Xlibris, Random House, Holm Press, Ben Bella Books, Author House, SMU Press, NYU Press, creating and performing a range of publicity services and media outreach for both fiction and non-fiction book releases.

Charles Barrett began his media career as a reporter with The Associated Press in New Haven, CT and later served on the editorial staffs of both The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles and Billboard Publications in New York. He has also authored numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on the performing arts and travel as well as appearing as a contributor on major U.S. radio talk shows discussing celebrities, films, television and books. He was voted the Book Publicist of the Year award by the Southern California Book Pub Society recently. Charles is a member of The Publishers Association of Los Angeles, The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (Emmy Award) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (The Oscars ®).

The Barrett Company is well known and regarded among the world’s media outlets for its credibility and creativity. Through years of client assignments we have developed remarkable and successful campaigns for our wide range of authors/publishers, Hollywood creatives, companies and celebrities, which have paved the way for us to produce media, consumer and trade events of all descriptions both in the United States and overseas, from Book Expo to NATPE (the renowned annual television program executive conference) to Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Frankfurt Book Fair to filmdom’s Show West as well as MIP in France, The Beverly Hills Film Festival and The Cannes International Film Festival.

TBC’s experience, skills and knowledge in various professional disciplines have enabled the company to offer programs we are proud of, including trade and consumer publicity campaigns, Internet publicity campaigns, crisis communications management, new company and celebrity launches, trade show media awareness, marketing communications solutions, and consultancy to in-house publicity firms in publishing, film and television. No assignment is too big or too small. TBC possesses a keen awareness of the workings of the global media – - including but not limited to print, broadcast and digital – - and has demonstrated over the years the ability to create stunning and effective media outreach models for valued clients, be they well established, or start-ups, or beginning careers as authors and celebrities.

Barbara Wall, a specialist in media marketing and media research, serves as Vice President of TBC. She has accomplished extensive assignments, ranging from technology to entertainment to printing/publishing and has working relationships with a wide circle of book media contacts including reviewers at major US newspapers to Internet book reviewers including NY Times, USA TODAY, Midwest Book Review, BookPleasures.com, BookReview.com, writers at select men and women’s’ magazines and online social media bloggers covering authors and publishers. Ms. Wall formerly served as an executive in two Fortune 500 companies (Xerox, Experian) and has worked with a range of clients including BMG Music Service, The Fox Network, Eddie Bauer, Levi’s, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice. She holds both BA and MBA degrees and formerly taught high school English in Colorado.

A key professional on The Barrett Company team is Vice President John Michaeli, who offers international and domestic public relations/communications expertise with a proven track record of developing, implementing and directing strategic marketing campaigns. Mr. Michaeli is a crisis communications specialist, having served many studios and networks dealing with a range of public issues in both personnel to products areas. Mr. Michaeli has held senior management posts with PR agencies and companies in the entertainment, technology, new media, network TV and public relations industries, including Walt Disney Studios, Fox Family Channel, Warner Brothers, Pax TV and Hanna-Barbera, the renowned animation studio in Hollywood where he served as VP of Marketing.

Representing TBC in New York is publicist and author Ward Morehouse III, who served as media contact at NBC for NBC Nightly News and was also was a Vice President at Jack Raymond & Associates, a top New York public relations firm. Mr. Morehouse has authored several books on the world’s top hotels from The Plaza to The Waldorf Astoria and most recently released his latest book, London’s Grand Hotels. He also created and maintains the New York City web portal www.broadwayafterdark.com.

TBC is proud of its association with renowned film marketing professional Jerry Pam. Mr. Pam’s accomplished film marketing career ranges from his days with The Beatles on their hit films, A Hard Day’s Night and Help, to films like Chocolat, Cinema Paridiso, Cider House Rules, the Oscar ® winner Shakespeare in Love and Good Will Hunting, among many, many other pictures. He earlier created remarkable film marketing campaigns for Apocalypse Now, Last Tango in Paris, American Graffiti, The Conversation and Midnight Express. Jerry has represented numerous screen and television personalities, including Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Jaclyn Smith and Robert Stack, in addition to well known authors such as Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz and Morris West. His corporate clients have ranged from Rolls Royce to Mouton Cadet Wines, and Faberge to General Mills.

Books…

The Barrett Company represents author Carla Malden (who co-wrote her father Karl Malden’s biography When Do I Start?) for her forthcoming book Afterimage from Globe Pequot Press. TBC created the media marketing campaign for film producer/agent Marty Jurow (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther and Terms of Endearment) and his tales of Hollywood’s Golden Age — Marty Jurow Seein’ Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey, a hardbound work published by Southern Methodist University Press. In his book, Mr. Jurow tells riveting vignettes and stories about Jack Lemmon, Karl Malden, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, author Truman Capote, Katharine Hepburn, Elvis Presley and Gary Cooper, among others. Mr. Malden said about the book, “Anyone who wants to know what happened behind the scenes in theatre, film, and TV during the 30s, 40s and 50s must read this book.” Other author clients include Julie Sinatra author of Under My Skin, entrepreneur Gary Fong’s The Accidental Millionaire and Do You Really Need Back Surgery by noted Santa Monica neurosurgeon Dr. Aaron Filler to Before You Say I Do Again by California family law and divorce expert attorney Ben Berkley.

Motion Pictures…

In motion pictures, The Barrett Company’s numerous client accomplishments include media outreach for the Showcase for Oscar ® Nominated Shorts that played to full theatres in Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., as well as publicity for movie openings and key industry awards for top feature films from Warner Brothers, MGM (Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan)), Paramount, Sony, Universal and Columbia Pictures. TBC as also served national theatre chains, feature film distributors and alternative cinema theatres with special regional movie openings and promotions including The Kids Are Alright, September Dawn, It’s Complicated, The Scoundrel’s Wife, Million Dollar Baby, Insomnia, The Aryan Couple, Master of the Game, Never Again, Blair Witch Project, multi film festival winner Smoke Signals and many film festival winners in various award categories.

TBC has served filmmakers at a wide variety of film festivals, including The Cannes Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, The Hollywood Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival, The Toronto Film Festival, The Sarasota Film Festival, and the San Diego World Film Festival. TBC introduced the world media to the inaugural Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2001 with director/author Henry Bromell (Panic with Donald Sutherland).

Television…

Our notable TBC television projects include campaigns for reality-based TV productions such as Oprah Winfrey’s Oprah’s Big Give on ABC and CBS’ The Amazing Race to shows on American Movie Classics (Mad Men) to Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker to NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries to Paramount TV’s Wild Things to Fox TV’s Cops and numerous other productions. We also launched the success of Ed McMahon’s Star Search at Walt Disney World in 1995. Our PR campaigns for various television productions resulted in across-the-board media attention and awareness in a wide range of outlets from USA Today to the New York Times as well as The Wall Street Journal, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Multi Channel News, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E! TV, Today, Good Morning America and The Tonight Show just to mention a few.

~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and The Barrett Company are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

This giveaway is part of the Barrett Company Hollywood Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book. There are a lot of great blogs participating in this Kindle Fire giveaway. After you enter, check out the other stops on the Barrett Company Hollywood Publicity Tour and enter there too!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Kindle Fire promotion will run March 5 – 23, 2012. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on March 24, 2012.

To find out who else is participating and more chances to win, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/02/09/the-barrett-company-hollywood-virtual-book-publicity-tour-march-2012-kindle-fire-giveaway/.

Contest is only open to U.S. and Canada residents.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Interview and Cover Reveal: Sara Wilson Etienne

Morning all - happy Thursday! Not too long to go until the weekend, phew. Lucky for me my working week has already ended; it's actually mine and my (long suffering) boyfriend's two year anniversary today, so we're spending the next two days celebrating, hooray!

I've got the awesome Sara Wilson Etienne here today to share the beautiful cover art of her debut novel, Harbinger, reveal the next illustration as part of her brilliant Follow the Path feature and after all that I've got a great interview to spoil you all with as well. Busy post, indeed!

I really am seriously excited about Harbinger. It sounds atmospheric and dark and and very unsettling - right up my street. We need more YA like this, people! I'm sure most of you have seen the cover for Harbinger but if you haven't feast your eyes below. This cover is stunning; there's so much to look at and take in and I cannot wait for my copy to arrive so I can see it for real. I know we're only in March but this is definitely one of my favourite covers of the year, just gorgeous.


Walk the Path! Explore the whole gallery of HARBINGER-inspired artwork at www.holbrookacademy.com/sketchbook.php. This is such an exciting and unique project, I really do urge all of you to click the link - I did and spent farrrr too long looking at all the amazing illustrations. It's made me so excited for the book and I think it's a wonderful way to celebrate the release of Harbinger.

Today's image is available below but click the picture for more information and to see a bigger version.



Follow Sara: @wilsonetienne
Visit Sara: www.sarawilsonetienne.com
Watch the Harbinger book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPLHl1Urjnk

And now, if all of that excitement wasn't enough, here's the interview I carried out with Sara about her writing process, Harbinger and some of her thoughts about the YA market:

Hi, Sara! In case any readers haven’t read the book yet, can you tell me a little bit about Harbinger?

Sure! I’m totally going to crib from the flap copy from Harbinger, because I like the way it reads.
Plagued by waking visions and nightmares, inexplicably drawn to the bones of dead animals, Faye thinks she’s going crazy. Fast. Her parents think Holbrook Academy might just be the solution. Dr. Mordoch tells her it’s the only answer. But Faye knows that something’s not quite right about Dr. Mordoch and her creepy prison-like school for disturbed teenagers.

What’s wrong with Holbrook goes beyond the Takers, sadistic guards who threaten the student body with Tasers and pepper spray; or Nurse who doles out pills at bedtime and doses of solitary confinement when kids step out of line; or Rita, the strange girl who delivers ominous messages to Faye that never seem to make any sense. What’s wrong with Holbrook begins and ends with Faye’s red hands; she and her newfound friends—her Holbrook “Family”—wake up every morning with their hands stained the terrible brown red of blood. Faye has no idea what it means, but fears she may be the cause.

Because despite the strangeness of Holbrook and the island on which it sits, Faye feels oddly connected to the place; she feels especially linked to the handsome Kel, who helps her unravel the mystery. There’s just one problem: Faye’s certain Kel’s trying to kill her—and maybe the rest of the world, too.

Talk me through an average day when you’re working on a novel. Do you have a set number of words you have to write per day or do you set yourself different targets?

I usually set myself weekly goals. A couple chapters a week, when I’m writing early drafts. More, when I’m revising. That way I can be more flexible with my schedule...if I get done early, I get rewarded with a day off! On the other hand, if I need more time, then I can work during the weekend too.

In young adult fiction in particular, it’s important that readers bond with the characters - what do you think is the most important thing to get right when you're creating a character?

Voice. I tend to write in first person, so a main character’s thoughts and dialogue set the whole tone of the book. What kinds of details do they notice? How do they describe things? How do they speak? In fact, dialogue for all the characters is crucial. Word choice, hesitation, something left unsaid...these are the things that make you fall in love with some characters and be wary of others.

What sort of research did you have to do for Harbinger? How did you go about doing this?

For Harbinger, I got to talk to archeologists, astronomers, speech therapists, librarians, and doctors. Strangely, I love research...it’s all about finding that one little, bizarre detail that surprises you in a sea of facts. I always hit the books first, but my favorite way to research is to talk to the experts. Email is definitely my best friend...I’m not sure how writers did their research before the internet. More than that, I’m endlessly impressed by how generous people are with their time.

The YA book market is a competitive place, what do you think sets Harbinger apart from the pack?

Well, my favorite part about YA is that you aren’t forced to put yourself in a genre box...you can create something new and unexpected. Harbinger is a thriller, a romance, a fantasy, a mystery...it gets to play in all the genres.

Some writers take great inspiration from music while they’re writing. Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what artists/bands do you like to listen to while you write?

I listen to the same music over and over while I’m working on something. While I was writing Harbinger, I listened to the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks... thundering taiko drums and epic crescendos... it really helped me see my world in front of me. Plus, Bear McCreary is a genius! With my new book, it’s the beautiful, bleak music of Sigur Ros.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you always been this way?

A bit of both. I always know the beginning and end of my stories, so I can outline the skeleton of the story. But the middle is a surprise to me. And my stories evolve over many, many revisions, become something different than I ever imagined!

Can you tell me a bit about your journey with Harbinger? When did you first come up with the idea and what were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?

When I came up with the idea for Harbinger, I’d just graduated from College of the Atlantic in Maine. I moved out to California, but I was still haunted by the rocky coastline and these castlelike old buildings on my college campus. Harbinger started out as a longing for a place and a time I no longer had, but it became a new world where I wanted to live.

In my first draft, written ten years ago, Harbinger was only 90 pages, was told from a different POV, and had almost no dialogue. Even though I didn’t know how to tell it then, the story stuck with me. And over the years, I picked it up again and again as I learned how to write, how to create three dimensional characters, how to get the complicated plot to play nice and make sense. And each time I rewrote and revised it, I found something new in the story. Something new about Faye. And as writing so often works, something new about myself.

How important do you think social media (i.e. Twitter/Facebook/blogging) is in today’s market for a writer?

I think it’s an amazing way to get real world feedback from readers. Writing can be such a solitary activity, so it’s wonderful to have this link with the outside world: to readers, other writers, editors. It’s like a giant conversation and, sometimes, it’s about your book! Of course, there are times when you have to tune out and go back into your writing cave to work. But it’s nice to know you have company whenever you need it.

What would you say is your worst bad habit when it comes to writing?

Well, right now, I’m trying to retrain myself to write first and check email later, so that I’m fresh and ready for the creative stuff. But email is such a flirt. It always promises such lovely things. Just stay another few minutes...just write one more...

Is naming characters important to you? What processes do you go through to come up with names for your characters?

Yes, I’m very careful with my main characters’ names, so I get them right the first time. A character’s name is such a symbol of their identity. But as my secondary characters evolve, I change their names over and over through the drafts. I borrow names from friends, baby books, even brand names I see around the house!

What did you hope to accomplish by writing Harbinger? Do you think you have accomplished what you set out to do?

Honestly, I didn’t set out to accomplish anything. I had a story and I felt compelled to to tell it. But the struggle is trying to get what is in your head down on paper so that other people see what you see. The best is when an agent or editor can see exactly where you’re trying to go, what you’re try to say, and can then help you get there.

Do you think your teenage years have influenced you as a writer? If so, how?

So much! For me, during those years, so much was out of my control. Parents told me what to do, school told me what to spend my time on, and the world seemed to expect things of me that I wasn’t sure I even wanted to do. As an adult, I get to make my own decisions, but this is never more true than when I’m creating a world of my very own.

There is a lot of argument within the young adult market as to what is appropriate for teens to read. Where do you stand on this matter? Do you think teens should be protected from reading about taboo subjects or do you think they should have the freedom to choose their own reads?

Well, in life, teens are dealing with pretty much the same crap adults are. So it doesn’t make much sense to me when people say they should be protected. Life is frightening and uncertain, maybe even more so for teens since they can’t always walk away from the situations they find themselves in, and stories are mirrors that tell us we are not alone. Other people have thought this, have experienced this, and they have survived!

Only a couple things bother me when I see it in YA. Books that handle violence lightly or casually...I’m not against showing violence in books, far from it, but I want readers to feel the weight of a character’s actions if they choose that path.

And books that end without hope. Life can already feel hopeless enough during those years. I don’t need happy endings, or hearts and unicorns, but I do think the role of YA is to show characters that find a way to survive and triumph, at least emotionally if not physically.

What books do you think we should be looking out for in 2012?

Well, a couple of ARCs I’ve read and loved recently are Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (coming out in May) and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (coming out in June). Both books have heroines that kick-ass and were fantastic to read! Another book I’m psyched about is Ten by Gretchen McNeil. It doesn’t come out till September but I love murder mysteries, so I can’t wait!

Aside from writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Well, this year has been almost ALL about writing. But I love to run off and go camping, play games (all kinds...strategy and party games and more casual video games), and I love some good sci-fi/fantasy escapism—Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Buffy.

Thank you so much for your time, Sara. Before you go, could you tell me about any projects you have in the pipeline we can look out for?

Sure. I’m currently writing a new book working with the same editor... the wonderful Stacey Barney at Putnam. My new book is completely different. Different characters, different story, and that’s exciting. And scary. I lived inside the world of Harbinger for so long...it’s strange to step into a new story. But honestly, there is nothing more fun than to get lost inside a world that you’re creating!

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Blimey, bit of a bumper post, that one, I'm just knackered writing it up! I just want to say another massive thank you to Sara for a wonderful interview and letting me get involved in such a great feature, I really am grateful and now I can't wait for my copy of Harbinger to arrived to get started on it!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Cover Reveal: Meant to Be - Lauren Morrill

Due to be released on November 13th 2012, Lauren Morrill's Meant to Be has just had its cover revealed (well, a few days ago) and it's a beaut! I'll definitely be picking this one up when it's released later this year; the story sounds so much fun and I think the cover will definitely help this one fly off the shelves. Sorbet colours, Big Ben and potential sexytimes - what's not to love about this cover?


Summary (from Goodreads): It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for - gasp - the wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's the queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her ... well, pocket. Julia also believes in fate, and that Mark, her childhood crush, is her MTB - her meant-to-be.

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts ... from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to live a little along the way. And thus begins a wild-good chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Favourite Covers: Palms

So I know we're not supposed to judge books by their covers but I just can't help myself! My laptop is full of folders of pretty covers so I've decided to post a few of my favourites up - the theme for this post is...in the palm of your hand, or covers that feature an object being held in the palm of the model's hand.

I know this one might sound like a bit of an odd theme but there are a tonne of covers that fit into this theme - of course Twilight is the most popular and best known but so many Alyson Noel covers feature this as well.

Between Here and Forever - Elizabeth Scott

Night Star - Alyson Noel

Ember - Bettie Sharpe

Wild Roses - Deb Caletti

Let It Snow - John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

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So, that's it for this week - what do you think? Which is your favourite?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Interview: Jill Hathaway - Slide

Hi everybody - I'm here today with a fab interview with Jill Hathaway, a 2012 debut author (yay for debuts - confetti, joy etc). Her first novel 'Slide' is due out March 27th 2012 and I'm really excited about this one - I pre-ordered it on Amazon back in September 2011!

Without further ado I'll hand over to Jill.


Hi, Jill! In case any readers haven’t read the book yet, can you tell me a little bit about Slide?

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Talk me through an average day when you’re working on a novel. Do you have a set number of words you have to write per day or do you set yourself different targets?

Since I'm a high school English teacher, I write a lot during the summer. I have a small daughter, and my husband usually watches her in the morning so I can go to Panera or the library and write. I usually set a goal of about 2,500 words per day. Once I'm finished, I'm free to go do whatever--browse at Barnes & Noble, walk in the park, or get a burrito for lunch.

In young adult fiction in particular, it’s important that readers bond with the characters - what do you think is the most important thing to get right when you're creating a character?

I rely a lot on the little details. The Green Day poster on Vee's wall. The black, chipped nail polish on Vee's fingers. The Sharpie marker that Rollins is always twirling. These tiny things, to me, are the most important because they can reveal a lot about a character by showing and not telling.

What sort of research did you have to do for Slide? How did you go about doing this?

I actually did quite a bit of research on narcolepsy that didn't make it into the book. I learned about these things called orexins that stimulate wakefulness. And I researched the drug that Vee is supposed to take to control her narcolepsy, Provigil. But the thing is, Vee doesn't really have narcolepsy. To the observer, it just APPEARS that Vee is falling asleep. What she actually has is much more complicated and can't really be explained by science.

The YA book market is a competitive place, what do you think sets Slide apart from the pack?

Because Vee is able to see through other people's eyes, Slide has a unique narrative style. It's written in first person, but I have more flexibility because Vee can slide into places and witness things she shouldn't be able to see. I know a couple of other books have come out recently where someone switches bodies with someone else, but Vee can get into virtually anyone's head. And therein lies the fun of the story.

Some writers relate take great inspiration from music while they’re writing. Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what artists/bands do you like to listen to while you write?

I do like to listen to music while I'm writing! I listen to a lot of artists from the nineties. I just finished writing the rough draft of SLIDE 2, and I listened to "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters over and over.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you always been this way?

I'm definitely more of a pantser, but I'm trying to be more of a plotter. I have to start actually writing to figure the story out. Then I go back and try to outline it so I can make the novel actually make sense during revisions.

Can you tell me a bit about your journey with Slide? When did you first come up with the idea and what were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?

I came up with the basic premise of Slide in spring of 2010 when I was brainstorming concepts for a story I could write along with my creative writing class. I sent query letters out way too early and got some requests in May. In early June, I decided to work with Sarah Davies. She warned me I had a lot of work to do, but I was ready to dig deep and challenge myself as a writer. I revised all summer, and we went on sub in the fall. I think we sold after about a month.

How important do you think social media (i.e. Twitter/Facebook/blogging) is in today’s market for a writer?

I think it's important to be accessible, but I don't think writers should kill themselves trying to do everything. I've heard the most important thing a writer can do is work on his/her next book, and that makes the most sense to me. Tweeting all day long is not going to help your career in the long run, although I've certainly been guilty of that some days.

What would you say is your worst bad habit when it comes to writing?

My worst bad habit, I would say, is craving instant gratification. That's what I wanted when I sent out my manuscript way too early, before revising it properly. Now I get my fix of early feedback from my critique partner, Megan Miranda. She's wonderful in that she'll read my first drafts and encourage me to keep on going, but she'll definitely let me know if I'm going off course.

Is naming characters important to you? What processes do you go through to come up with names for your characters?

I'd like to say that I put a lot of thought into my characters' names, but I usually just pick ones that I like. My husband and I have a hard time agreeing on baby names, so I tend to use the ones he won't let me give an actual child. I do consider things like age, but that's about it... Sometimes I name characters after my friends, just because.

What did you hope to accomplish by writing Slide? Do you think you have accomplished what you set out to do?

I wanted to write a story in which a girl gained empathy for others by actually literally being inside their heads. Also, I just wanted to write a good mystery.

Do you think your teenage years have influenced you as a writer? If so, how?

Certainly. Part of the reason I write young adult fiction is because that time was so crazy for me. I had a hard time figuring out who I was and what I wanted out of life, and the extreme emotions I felt during that time haven't completely faded away. Writing is kind of therapeutic for me because I can sort through all that junk I haven't been able to leave behind.

There is a lot of argument within the young adult market as to what is appropriate for teens to read. Where do you stand on this matter? Do you think teens should be protected from reading about taboo subjects or do you think they should have the freedom to choose their own reads?

I think teens should have the freedom to read what they want. When I was a teen (or a lot younger, actually), I read books by V.C. Andrews, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, and Stephen King. Books were an escape for me, and I never had trouble telling the fantasy of the stories from the reality of my life. I think a writer's primary responsibility is to tell a great story, and it's hard to do that when you keep thinking about what censors would consider "acceptable."

What books do you think we should be looking out for in 2012?

Here are some great 2012 books I've read recently: Fracture by Megan Miranda, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, and Everneath by Brodi Ashton.

Aside from writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

I like to play Settlers of Catan with my family, eat burritos, and watch terrible reality television.

Thank you so much for your time, Jill. Before you go, could you tell me about any projects you have in the pipeline we can look out for?

Right now there is a SLIDE 2 in the works. Not sure about a 3. I'm also working on a horror novel.

Thanks for having me!!! So much fun!

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So there you have it! Massive thanks to Jill for taking the time to visit Writing From the Tub and for giving me such a great interview - big yay for the Foo Fighters reference. Have a lovely day everybody!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Blog Tour: The Look - Sophia Bennett

Good day, chaps! As promised, I'm here today with a guest post from the lovely Sophia Bennett as part of my stop on the blog tour for The Look.

As you may or may not know I'm an aspiring YA writer, so I'm always interested to hear about the writing process of my favourite authors. I'm a super huge fan of Sophia's so, of course, I wanted to hear all about how she wrote The Look and the process she went through from coming up with the initial idea to the launch date. I love this guest post and I hope you guys do as well!


The timeline for writing The Look

Carly asked me to write a timeline for this post. I’ve never done one before, and I’m always fascinated by how other authors approach the process of writing, so I hope you are too. I mean, I always imagine that Meg Rosoff and Cathy Cassidy get an idea, sit down and pretty much transcribe it for a few weeks. But maybe they don’t. And I certainly don’t. This is what really happened …

May/June 2010

Finishing the edits on the last of the Threads trilogy, Sequins Stars & Spotlights. Need to pitch a new idea to Chicken House and my goal is to have it written by Feb 2011, when Sequins will be launched. Ideally, I always like to be one book ahead.

Not sure the first idea I pitch will work. Meanwhile, a fan called Lizzie emails me to ask my advice on whether she should be an English teacher or a model when she leaves school. This gets me thinking ...

Summer 2010

I don’t know much about modelling. My initial reaction is that it’s seedy and dangerous for teenage girls. But the only model I actually know is delightful and had a great experience. What’s the truth? It’s something many of my fans may consider, so I ought to have an informed opinion.

The seed of a new book is forming. Online research. I realise that my main character may need a reality check at the climax of the story, so she can make a decision about what path to choose. Meanwhile, a good friend of mine is bravely battling cancer – a reality check if ever there was one. I remember a girl who was diagnosed with lymphoma when I was a teenager, and how shocking I found it. I want to write about her.

The story starts to emerge. On the street, I see a tall girl with very short hair, looking like a boy. My main character is born, and also the key scene in the book. And the title. Normally, titles are a nightmare, but this one was easy.

I pitch the idea to Chicken House. They like it. Now all I have to do is write it.

Autumn 2010

Angst. Writing this book is really hard. My main character only really comes into herself in the second half of the book, so how do I make her engaging in the first half? I don’t know.

More research. Meeting models, finding out about their daily lives, and learning about the latest treatments for lymphoma. Also, my internet research throws up the many modelling scams out there, aimed at fleecing teenagers of their money. I’m shocked. That has to go into the story.

I go on tour in Ireland with the fabulous fellow writers Sarah Webb and Judi Curtin. We have a completely wonderful time, but I whinge frequently about how difficult the new book is proving to be.

Back in London, I rewrite the opening a million times. Original deadline approaching.

Winter 2010

I get past the opening hump. Things speed up. I write the key scene in the middle, where Ted grows into the girl she’s destined to be. It takes an afternoon, makes me cry and is hardly touched in any of the many subsequent rewrites. If I don’t cry at least once in each book, then it’s not working. I finish draft one just in time.

February 2011

My editor likes it! And Barry and Rachel, my publishers. Rachel is in charge of covers and already wants to get going on creating this one, even though the book isn’t scheduled to come out for A YEAR. (For more on this, you can read the post I’ve just done for Wondrous Reads on this blog tour.) They just need a few minor changes to the beginning…

Meanwhile, I do a quick launch tour for Sequins, and say goodbye to the Threads series.

Spring 2011
Link
Rewrites of The Look. Those minor changes they needed weren’t so minor.

Meanwhile, Steve Wells puts the cover together in what feels like a couple of afternoons.

More rewrites. They are so painful. Never be a writer.

Summer 2011

June: we finally get to the line edit stage. Normally for me this is just a question of changing a few words, but this time it’s really intense.

August: the copy edit! Finally! A year since I really started working on the story. By now, we’re just looking for mistakes. (It was at this point in the writing of Threads that we realised, for example, that I had three characters called Henry.)

Meanwhile, Rachel gets a copy from the printers of how the book will look with its cover and bright pink page edges (her idea). It looks so good that she decides to run the print early and give reviewers etc. the finished version, rather than a rough advance reader copy.

Autumn 2011

The book is printed. I get fifty copies to sign for reviewers etc. They are so preeeety. I take pictures. Then I have to give all of them back so they can be sent off. Augh!

The other books then sit in the warehouse until publication date. Even my mother doesn’t get one yet. It’s agony. Meanwhile, I’m having the usual problems trying to find the voice and characters for my new book. It never gets any easier.

March 2011

Launch day. At last. Still at the planning stage for the new book I want to write. Looking back, the writing process for The Look seems relatively simple by comparison, but that’s not how it felt at the time!


So there you have it - this writing lark isn't easy, is it?