Monday, 14 April 2014

Ouch!

Hello lovely blog readers! I know, I know, it's been a while again. In my defence, I've been rather busy doing school visits (LOTS of school visits) and preparing for the publication of THE FEARLESS, which is out in ten days. Eek! It's all very exciting in a nerve-wracking kind of way.

Yesterday was pretty exciting too – for all the wrong reasons. I managed to slice a chunk out of the end of my finger and it wouldn't stop bleeding, which meant I had to go to A&E to get patched up. Luckily I got seen quite quickly, as when I went to the desk the admitting nurse misheard me and thought I'd cut my finger off (shudder), but, yeah. I'm going to be staying away from sharp objects for a while…

At least I can do some impressive pointing for a while… 
Anyway, you didn't come here to listen to me moaning about my hurty finger. Let's get back to THE FEARLESS.

First of all, there have been some amazing reviews coming in - hooray! If having a debut out in the world is scary, having your second book published is doubly terrifying, because what if everyone thinks it's a letdown? What if you're just a one-hit wonder and, actually, you can't do this all over again? Luckily, these reviewers seem to think otherwise (click on the links for the full reviews, I'm just going to quote my favourite bits here):

From World of Children's Books:

I love that we’ve got a strong YA writer using dystopian Britain as a backdrop, especially when it’s writing about local areas that I recognise… It’s a different type of dystopian feel to ACID, which is good, because it means there isn’t any re-treading of previous steps, and shows Emma’s breadth of writing ability. She’s got a damn fine imagination, and a damn fine way of making me skip back a few lines just to make sure I read her correctly, such are the OMG moments that regularly crop up… I’ve not read a virus-esque dystopian thriller this good, ever.

The latest offering from Emma Pass had me gripped from the very first page… I knew it was going to be brilliant and I was not disappointed… something Pass excels in is writing a kick-ass heroine… THE FEARLESS is a fantastic read, in my opinion for ages 12+, maybe a little older depending on the child and definitely on into adulthood!

From Goodreads (thanks, Marta!):

This is a fresh take on zombie fiction… I live in England and have visited several of the places mentioned in this book but the newly named area in Sheffield had me laughing out loud! No spoilers here but those like me who've traveled to that part of the uk will surely get the joke and that surprised me if honest. Amidst all this chaos the author still managed to bring a lighter touch and we even get a canine companion whose bravery will melt the hardest heart.

And there's this one, too (thank you, Beth!):
Thrilling UKYA dystopian/post-apocalyptic combo with very scary zombiesque creatures, a worthwhile (but highly dangerous) quest and some brilliant characterisation (including a lovely hound). Definitely recommended for lovers of YA thrillers, dystopias and the post-apocalyptic.

*happy dances*

With publication day fast approaching, some wonderful author friends have offered to host a blog tour for me. Once I have my blog tour banner I'll post it here, so keep an eye out for it. There'll be guest posts, interviews and giveaways galore! I'm also going to be guest blogger over at Totally Random Books in May, which I'm really looking forward to.

I've also got a couple of VERY exciting pieces of news (not book deal-related, but equally smile-worthy!) which I'm hoping I can share soon.

And tonight, if you're on Twitter, join me for one of Project UKYA's #ukyachats at 7pm, where I'll be the featured author. Search for the hashtag to keep up with the chat, and if you want, you can follow me @EmmaPass.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Happy Book Birthday, WEREWOLF PARALLEL!

Happy Book Birthday to Roy Gill and Werewolf Parallel! I've been waiting impatiently for this book to come out – the first in the series, Daemon Parallel, is a favourite of mine and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.


"The wolf is woken..."
Cameron's life of shifting between the Human and Daemon worlds is under threat.
Two sinister figures want to destroy the Parallel - the realm between the worlds populated by daemons, dark creatures, old gods and werewolves - and everyone in it.
To save the Parallel, Cameron must make the ultimate sacrifice, but what is he prepared to lose?

After the lifechanging events of Daemon Parallel, things have returned to normal for Cameron – well, as normal as they can be when one of your friends is a werewolf, the other is a girl who was once the prisoner of a sinister daemon, you're running a business that trades artefacts between the human and Daemonic worlds and, at will, you can cross over into a realm known as the Parallel, a void between the two worlds where anything could happen, and frequently does. Oh, and you're now a werewolf yourself, too…

But Cameron's routine is about to be rudely broken. One day, a pair of sinister visitors arrive at the shop and Cameron, Morgan and Eve realise they must fight for what is theirs – a fight that turns into a battle to save the Parallel itself as a sinister plan is uncovered that could cost Cameron everything he holds dear.

I adored Daemon Parallel, but I loved Werewolf Parallel even more, if that's possible. The writing is sharp, gripping and darkly funny, and the magical world hidden just beneath the surface of modern–day Edinburgh is brilliantly realised. Some of the descriptions are wonderful and, in the case of one particularly revolting character, wonderfully disgusting (almost Dahl-esque, in fact): A strange sickly odour, like mushrooms cooked in sugar, hung in the air. *shudders deliciously*

I love the use of myth in Werewolf Parallel, too – one of my favourite chapters features Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings. But what captivated me the most about this book was the page-turning tension created by dilemmas Cameron, Morgan and Eve face. Sometimes books that are packed with action suffer a little on the character front, but this is most certainly not the case here. Cameron, Morgan and Eve are all hugely believable and sympathetic and at various points, I was reading through my fingers, praying everything would turn out alright for them… though whether they do or not, though, I'm not saying. You'll have to read the book to find out!

It's hard to say much more about Werewolf Parallel without giving away major plot spoilers, but if you're looking for a magical read with the perfect blend of mystery, excitement, humour and tension – a read which will keep you turning the pages well into the small hours of the morning – this is the book for you. I urge everyone to get their paws on a copy now!

Buy Werewolf Parallel from AmazonBook Depository or Waterstones

Head on over to Author Allsorts to read my book birthday interview with Roy, and find out more about how he wrote WEREWOLF PARALLEL!


Roy Gill was born in Edinburgh, grew up in Kirkintilloch and Kirkcaldy, and studied at Stirling, Strathclyde and Glasgow. He is now living in Edinburgh again.

In 2008, having completed Glasgow University’s Creative Writing MLitt, he was shortlisted for the Sceptre Prize.  In 2010 he was the winner of a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust.

The manuscript of his first novel, Daemon Parallel, made the shortlist for 2011 Kelpies Prize. It was then published by Floris Books in 2012. A sequel, Werewolf Parallel – alongside a new edition of Daemon Parallel - will help launch the YA imprint KelpiesTeen in Spring 2014.

Roy’s other writing includes a season special – ‘The Prime of Deacon Brodie’ – for Big Finish’s audio drama series The Confessions of Dorian Gray, and short stories for iconic adventurers Iris Wildthyme and Sherlock Holmes.

In another life, Roy researched media fandom at Stirling University, but is now happier making up his own stories…

He is currently working on more scripts and a third novel.

Follow Roy on Twitter
Visit Roy's website and blog
Find Roy on Tumblr


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Happy US Book Birthday, ACID!

Today is a very exciting day – it's the day ACID releases in the US from Delacorte! It's being published as a gorgeous hardback and an audiobook and I'm really happy with how it's turned out.

If you haven't seen it already, here's the cover (Delacorte decided to use the same image as the UK edition, because after all, who could top Larry Rostant's amazing portrayal of Jenna?):


Here's the blurb:

The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.


And here's a picture of the gorgeous book itself! Isn't it pretty?


So all that remains is to say a ginormous THANK YOU to the team at Delacorte for bringing Jenna Stateside – editors Michelle, Jodie and Rebecca, and publicity assistant extraordinaire Sadie. And, of course, to everyone at Random House UK (who published ACID here last year) for helping to make this happen in the first place!

Happy US Book Birthday, ACID!

P.S. – Should you wish to purchase ACID in book, ebook or audio format, it's available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebound.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Blog Meme – #MyWritingProcess

I've been tagged by the lovely Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall (out now from Faber) in the #MyWritingProcess blog meme! Just as well, because this blog has been a tad neglected recently… *blows away cobwebs* *dusts with sleeve*

So, here goes.

1. What am I working on?

Having just finished checking the proof pages for THE FEARLESS (out in less than 8 weeks - eep!) I'm now trying to come up with some ideas for new books. It's quite a strange place to be in as I haven't written anything 'new' since 2011, when I started TF (and before that, I was working on ACID). I am horribly superstitious about new ideas and believe that if I tell too many people about them before I've written a first draft, I'll jinx them, so I'm not going to say anything more than both ideas are thrillers, one has a fantasy element and the other is contemporary, and right now, sample chapters and outlines are with my agent, so I'm waiting to hear what she thinks… 

2. How does my work differ from others?

The sort of fiction I write – gritty, dystopian and post-apocalyptic thrillers, is often set in the US. My books are very 'British', with settings I hope a lot of my UK readers will be familiar with. For example, a lot of ACID is set in London… although it's very different to the London of today, having been divided into 'Outer', 'Middle' and 'Upper, with people being placed in the different districts according to their social standing. And Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield plays a major part in THE FEARLESS.

3. Why do I write what I do?


I love fast-paced, entertaining, exciting reads. My stories play out in my heads like films – in fact, it was films that got me writing in the first place – so when I write, I try to capture that 'film' on the page. Thrillers are the perfect vehicle for this sort of writing because they lend themselves to big, dramatic action scenes which (I hope!) create strong images in my readers' minds.

4. How does my writing process work?

I'm going to quote Elizabeth Goudge in her autobiography The Joy of Snow here, as she sums up my writing process perfectly: 


"…what a crazy way to earn a living, making dirty marks on clean paper. Of what use can they be to anyone when made? None. Yet what else can I do? What else am I fit for? Nothing. Better make a start, turn the tap on… see what comes. Nothing comes. There is an airlock somewhere. No good. Try again tomorrow. One tries again tomorrow for several days and then the airlock suddenly yields and there's a small trickle of water. A couple of pages are made a mess of. Next day they are read over, found to be hopeless and torn up. The process is repeated and then suddenly one happy day the tap is running freely; unbelievably one is once more writing a book. For a short while that is. Then comes another airlock, and then another, until the first draft of a book is finished at last. Now it is there, out of us… The rewriting of a book, and when the time comes the correcting of the proofs, is pure joy."

So that's my writing process! And I'm going to tag fellow Lucky 13s Kelly Fiore, author of TASTE TEST, and Rachele Alpine, author of CANARY, to share theirs with you next.