Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What I'm Writing

It feels like it's been a long time since I've really blogged (and I can't sugar coat it, it has been a long time). I had such good blogging intentions this year, but blogging fell by the wayside as I had to organise my time and focus on my actual writing in the time that I had. So I haven't blogged as much as I should have. And I don't know why. It's not like it's hard to sit down and write a post. But it hasn't happened. I've planned out a few posts, so we'll see how that goes.

For this post, I wanted to share with you all what I've been working on, writing wise.

I'm sure you all know (and if you saw my earlier post about the Writer's Voice) that Treading Water is done and I'm currently querying it - so I won't bore you with that.

For now, I'm sticking with YA contemporary -with a few small deviations and new formats! My MG stuff has taken a back seat for a moment.

I finished another edit of another YA contemporary a little while ago - called Sweet Little Lies. I've also been editing a more paranormal-esque boarding school YA, which at the moment is called Wildfire.

But that's been put aside for some first drafts that have just demanded attention. They are both rather different: one is a road trip across Europe, and involves royalty, Royal Weddings, and boarding schools. I still haven't come up with a title that I'm completely happy with, but I'm having fun writing it.

The other one is more of a writing challenge - set over twenty four hours and with four points of view. So far, it's proving interesting and I keep wondering if I should make it just one point of view, but I think the four different ones make it more interesting and different - although I'm thinking of changing it ever so slightly, but for now, I'm going to stick with it and see what happens! This one is called The Longest Day - rather fitting title I think.

What are you all working on writing wise?

Does anyone else work on far too many projects at one time, like I seem to do? Let me know!

Friday, 22 May 2015

2015 book releases I can't wait for!

I haven't blogged in a while and I feel bad about that. I keep meaning to blog about things I've been doing, but it hasn't happened, and I apologise.

Instead, I decided to put together a list of ten books being released in the next few months that I can't wait for. Already this year we've had some amazing book releases, and it seems that every month there's just plenty more books that I can't wait to read, making my TBR pile more and more worrying. These are roughly ordered in release order.

1. Sarah Dessen - Saint Anything
Okay, so I cheat slightly, because this book was released a couple of weeks ago, but this was one of  my most anticipated books of the year and it certainly didn't disappoint. This made me sob, laugh, wish I could write as well as Sarah, and long for pizza. One of my new favourite Sarah Dessen books!

2. Liz Kessler - Read Me Like A Book 
This is another cheat, because this book was released recently, but I've been looking forward to this for a long time - since I first heard about it and I can't wait to get it.

3. Giovanna Fletcher - Dream a Little Dream 
I've loved Gi's previous two books, so I'm looking forward

4. CJ Daugherty - Endgame
I have adored the Night School series from the moment I picked up the first book and so I can't believe we're at the end of the series. I'm both excited and apprehensive - but I can't wait to read.

5. Robin Stevens - First Class Murder
I feel like we're incredibly lucky to be getting another one of these wonderful books this year. Arsenic for Tea was released in January of this year, and this summer, we're being treated to another!

6. and 7. Meg Cabot - Notebooks from a Middle School Princess and Royal Wedding 
This is two in one, and just because I was so incredibly excited to hear that Meg would be writing more books related to the Princess Diaries world. The Princess Diaries was the first proper YA I read, back when I was about twelve, and it seemed such a different but wonderful world, I adored it. I was also worried that my teacher wouldn't let me read it! So I couldn't have been more excited for these two books!

8. Lucy Clarke - The Blue
Lucy's first two books were full of wandering, travelling, the sea, and gripping stories, and so I can't for this next one!

9. Emylia Hall - The Sea Between Us 
I absolutely adored Emylia's first two books, which were so beautifully written, and I feel that this one, set in magical Cornwall, is not going to disappoint. I can't wait!

10. Rainbow Rowell - Carry On 
I don't want to wish the summer away, but I really can't wait for this book! I adored Fangirl, so I was super excited when this was announced (I think excitement is a recurring theme of this post).

And a bonus -

11. Lisa Glass - Air
I love Cornwall, surf stories, and UKYA so I adored Blue. Can't wait for this sequel!!

What a list!

What book releases are you all looking forward to in the next few months?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Writer's Voice: Query and first 250 (Treading Water)

Query and first 250 words of my YA novel, Treading Water, for an online competition, The Writer's Voice. (Also good if anyone wants to know how my novel opens and the query I've written!).


I am writing to you to seek representation for my young adult contemporary novel, TREADING WATER. Treading Water is a story about what happens when everything you know is about to change, as well as family, growing up, and first love. It is complete at 64,000 words.

Eighteen year old Marian Key and her famous artist father have always lived in the same old crumbling farm house. Marian has been looking forward to returning home from school for a summer of swimming and solitude all year, and she can’t wait to shed her winter self.

But when her father announces that he is selling her childhood home and moving to America, everything Marian knows is threatened. Suddenly, the summer is fraught with the prospect of change and losing everything that she loves. She is desperate to hold onto her home, no matter what the cost, but she doesn’t know how. Time is beginning to run out, as the house is invaded by family, including a cousin who she doesn’t see eye to eye with. As Marian finds enemy forces moving in, she struggles to remember what it is she loved about her home.

Then there’s the mysterious boy Marian comes across in the woods. Sebastian Hawk is a student and artist, who is fascinated by fairy tales and finds a magic in Marian’s home that she thought had gone. After an uncertain start, Sebastian and Marian team together, as Marian tries to come to terms with growing up, moving on, and ghosts from the past, as well as falling in love for the first time. Can Marian save her home before it’s too late?

I recently completed a Creative Writing MA at the University of Exeter. I am a member of SCBWI and write for MuggleNet. In 2013 I had a short story, ‘Tide’, published in an eBook, Jam, and another short story, ‘If I Remember’ was a runner up in a YA short story competition. I was also shortlisted for an IdeasTap and Writers Centre Norwich fiction mentoring scheme in 2014 and have been awarded a Young Writer’s scholarship for the Winchester Writers’ Festival this year.

FIRST 250: 

We found the ants in the honey the morning my father made an announcement at breakfast. It was two days into the summer holidays. This seemed important, although the ants stick more in my memory. After all, it wasn’t every day you came across drowned ants in a honey jar. The morning sun bounced off the gold lid, lighting up crumbs that were scattered across the table.
 ‘Marian,’ my father said, the rejected honey pot in front of him. He laid his knife down on his plate. His voice was hesitant and hoarser than usual. His movements were slow. I paused as I buttered my toast.
 I didn’t want to look at him, nor did I want to hear what it was that he had to say. I stared at that honey pot, with the tiny black bodies floating in the thick mix. They were small dots that could have been breadcrumbs or bits of dirt. How had they even got there? They were ants on a suicide mission. It was sad to see that they had all followed one another, like a group of soldiers who trusted their leader implicitly, not realising that they were heading to their death. I shuddered.
‘Marian.’ My father cleared his throat. ‘I’m going to sell the house.’