Friday, 24 May 2013

The Totally Random Blog Tour!

Drum roll please… I'm really excited to share details of the Totally Random Book Tour, which I'll be taking part in along with Amy McCulloch and Karen Mahoney, starting this Monday! Woo-hoo!

Here's where we'll be and what we'll be doing:

Mon 27th May – “Our Top 5 writing tips!” – MOVELLAS
Tue 28th May – “Book Reviews” – SUGARSCAPE
Wed 29th May – “If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…” – CHICKLISH
Thurs 30th May – “Dream Cast” – BOOKS FOR COMPANY
Fri 31st May – “Group Discussion” – GOODREADS 6pm-7pm

Mon 3rd June – “Dream literary dinner party guestlist” – BOOK PASSION FOR LIFE
Tue 4th June – “Places that inspire your writing” – SABLE CAUGHT
Wed 5th June – “Webchat” – TOTALLY RANDOM FACEBOOK (5-6pm)
Thurs 6th June – “Soundtrack to your writing” – WONDROUS READS
Fri 7th June – “Group interview” – TOTALLY RANDOM BOOKS 

See you there!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

I'm The Totally Random Author In Residence!

Head over to Totally Random Books now to read my first post, which is about my writing rituals – and tell me about yours!

Also, the Totally Random Tour starts on Monday! I'm going to be doing a blog tour with Amy McCulloch and Karen Mahoney (apparently we're "responsible for some of the coolest teen and YA books around", which is rather nice to know!). More details very soon!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Guest Post and AWESOME giveaway - the INSOMNIA Pre-Order Blog Hop with Jenn Johansson!

Today, I'm welcoming fellow Lucky 13 Jenn Johansson onto the blog! Jenn's debut YA thriller, INSOMNIA, is out on 10th June from Flux, and is also being published in Italy (Newton Compton) and Germany (Heyne Fliegt). Read on to find out more about INSOMNIA and which part of it Jenn enjoyed writing the most, plus you can enter an epic pre-order giveaway!

Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness. 

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can’t take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he’s made eye contact with. If he doesn’t sleep soon, Parker will die.
Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that’s utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker’s furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he’d go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker’s memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

My favorite part of writing Insomnia
 There are so many things that I love about writing, but one is a more recent discovery. My first book wasn’t a thriller. I thought I wanted to write paranormal or contemporary, something a little more mainstream. I fought the surge of excitement I felt every time things got scary or intense. I tried to love writing the kissy scenes, I really did—but it’s just not in me. I love me some creepiness. I love the cathartic release after a scary book has tied me in knots and it finally lets go. And I love writing intense scenes. Everything a reader feels when reading a particularly tension filled scene, I feel while writing it. My pulse pounds and my head spins. My fingers ache from being held too tightly around a pen or over the keys. There have even been times when I’ve freaked myself out so badly over a particularly suspenseful scene that I had to walk away before it became too much. It’s incredible. It’s exhilarating. It’s a true rush.
Insomnia helped me learn to embrace the rush. 

J.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/Macmillan. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she's not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she's nearly drowning in testosterone. Find her on Twitter, her blog, website, Tumblr, Facebook and on Goodreads

Thanks for such a great post, Jenn! And now, drum roll please…

Preorder INSOMNIA from any of these retailers:

Why? Because if you do, you could WIN a NookHD 16GB with a blue case! Enter the INSOMNIA Pre-Order Rafflecopter giveaway here:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Great Big Book Launches Post!!

Yes, you read that right. LaunchES. As in, more than one. ACID ended up having THREE, which is probably why I'm only just getting round to writing this post. Why does no-one tell you that having a book published is so exhausting?!

The first launch was on publication day, an event for schools at Chesterfield library. I read from ACID, talked to Julie Potton, Children's Services Manager, about the book, and then answered  questions from the audience. There were some great ones! My agent and editor travelled up for the day, which was awesome, and some friends and colleagues came along too. It was lovely to finally meet DARK DAYS author and fellow Author Allsorts blogger Kate Ormand in person, too, and to see members of Brookfield Community School's writing club again, who I'll be doing another workshop for soon.
Me talking to Julie

A big heap of ACID!

Me and the lovely Kate Ormand
The book signing queue!
After that, there was much dashing around to be done before the book launch proper at the library where I work that evening. When I got there, these were waiting…

…cupcakes with a colour scheme that matches ACID's cover (including silver cake cases!)! Although this photo is a bit small, the spines of the books have 'ACID' written on them. So cool! The evening was fantastic – the library was packed and I was absolutely overwhelmed by all the support and good wishes from everyone who came.

Me with members of my writing group, Cathy Grindrod, the first Derbyshire Poet Laureate (3rd from R) and Hubby (first L)
But that wasn't the end of it! Because last Tuesday ACID had another launch party, this time at my local village hall, for everyone we couldn't fit in at the library. This one was a bit special because my parents were having a holiday up my way for the week, which meant they could come along. It was lovely to see so many people there, and I'm really grateful to this community for taking me to their heart since I moved here eleven years ago.

Signing more books!
So now it's time for some thank yous… to Duncan and our families for helping me get here in the first place; to my agent Carolyn Whitaker and Nat, Jess, Ruth and all the team at Random House Children's Publishing for making my dream of being a published author come true; to Julie and Sue and all the children's team at Chesterfield for organising everything on the 25th; to Kim Morris for the ACID cupcakes and for sorting out all the food and drinks for both the evening dos; to Pat Pass, Tracey Swift and Keelie Crowe for all their hard work on 30th April; and to everyone who came along, bought ACID, gave me flowers and hugs and helped make all 3 launches really special!