mardi 29 octobre 2013

Gemini Falling Out

Gemini Falling is out today!

Here's what you might like to know:

  • It's a novella.  This means it's really short compared to a full-length book (although it's longer than a short story).  I think it came out at around 11,000 words.
  • I really enjoyed writing it.  Part of this was related to the point above - it felt quite liberating to be able to tell a story without worrying about filling a whole book.
  • It tells the story from the point of view of Amie and Lexy, characters from my original novel Gemini Rising.  It was great to look at events from a totally different perspective - if you have read the first book, you may remember that Amie and Lexy were the supposed 'mean girls'.  They were characters that intrigued me, but it's nice to get to show them in 3D.
  • The events of Gemini Falling run parallel to the first book (i.e. they take place in the same timeframe).  A few lingering mysteries are cleared up.
  • It's basically a stand-alone title.  You don't have to have read the first book to read this novella, but you might enjoy it more if you have.
  • Although this is a totally different set-up, I was really inspired by Lauren Oliver and the different short stories and perspectives she explored around her amazing Delirium saga.
  • You can find out more (or buy it) here.

vendredi 25 octobre 2013

Project UKYA

Project UKYA is a really cool new thing.  It's kind of self explanatory - a project and website founded by the really excellent Lucy, aiming to discuss and promote YA books by UK authors (or with a UK flavour).

You can read me here talking about what I think UKYA means.  Unsurprisingly, mine is the hippie-est answer of the bunch.

mardi 22 octobre 2013


This is something I find myself asking more and more.  Mostly at work.  Occasionally about fashion.  What to cook for dinner.

Yes, I am currently slightly obsessed with Janet Street Porter.  I think she is magnificent.  Her hair!  Her voice!  Most of all, her attitude.

I have recently read her two volumes of memoir and I am honestly inspired.

‘Baggage: My Childhood’ chronicles the life and family of a girl called Janet Bull, up until the time she (spoiler alert, kind of) told her mum to fuck off and ran off with a photographer/hipster called Tim Street Porter.

I found this particularly interesting because JSP (as I like to call her) went to the same school as my mother.  Although my mum was there some years later, Janet was still legendary among the girls of Lady Margaret’s in Parsons Green.  Of course she was!

Its follow-up ‘Fall Out’ has the very intriguing subtitle ‘a memoir of friends made and friends unmade’.  As she explains in the preface, she is in the habit of culling her friends and falling out with people.  I can relate.  However, I have improved on this in recent years – I don’t lose friends or feel the need to cut them off nearly as often as I used to.  Maybe it’s just because I’m pickier these days.

Anyway, this memoir only covers the period until the early 70s – JSP’s first marriage, the start of her career, John and Yoko turning up at her first wedding (really).  So, I hope she loses friends less often these days as well.  And that she writes another volume of memoir soon.

jeudi 17 octobre 2013

Black Velvet

Here I am on Brighton beach, drinking a Black Velvet with my oysters, on a lovely day out with my mum.

I like this photograph because it reminds me of being constantly mistaken for a Turk(ess?) whilst in Istanbul, which I very much enjoyed.

dimanche 13 octobre 2013

Gemini Falling

Some actual news from ECW HQ!

I have written a novella (i.e. it's quite short) called Gemini Falling and it is going to be published by Harlequin/Carina on 29th October.

As you may have gathered from the title, it's a companion piece to my original novel, Gemini Rising.  The action runs parallel to the first book, and this time is told from the point of view of Amie and Lexy - the supposed 'mean girls' of the first story, according to Sorana.

It clears up a few lingering mysteries and further explores the theme that you can never presume to know what another person might be going through behind closed doors.  In Gemini Rising, Sorana was convinced that 'The A-Team' had it easy compared to her - but we all know that perception (particularly in teenage years?) can be a very subjective thing.  I was left fascinated by Amie and Lexy, having seen them only through Sorana's eyes before, and I loved giving them voices of their own.

In fact, I adored pretty much everything about writing Gemini Falling - to be honest, it was kind of a treat (as well as, in some ways, a challenge) to write something with a shorter wordcount than usual.  The result is kind of a snapshot but - I like to think - an illuminating one.

For a proper synopsis and a look at the gorgeous cover, you can have a look here:

mercredi 9 octobre 2013

Reading, recently.

A couple of great YA books I've read recently...

My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by Rae Earl
I loved this - Rae and her real-life (non)adventures kind of reminded me of Caitlin Moran at her best, with a bit of Morrissey and every teenager everywhere.  So funny and poignant without being overdone.

The New Girl by Paige Harbison
I am a big fan of both Daphne Du Maurier and teenage novels, so how could I resist this modern-day boarding school retelling of Rebecca?  (Answer: I couldn't.)  There is a tiny detail at the end (I won't ruin it for you by elaborating) that made the whole book for me, updating the original story and giving a modern nod to the second 'Mrs De Winter'.  Clever.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Another one based on something I was already interested in: I have to confess to being horribly intrigued by the Meredith Kercher murder case.  Mostly just because, from pictures of her, she looked like a lovely girl I would be friends with.  And I can't get over the fact that there are so many awful mysteries that will never be solved - I don't think we will ever know what really happened.  So, this book could have seemed nasty and exploitative, but it was fascinating.  It was not only based on the one real-life murder case, but it was definitely an amalgamation of a few true-story inspirations.  And it was very, very well done.  Gripping.

dimanche 6 octobre 2013

Something's Coming Over

Everyone thinks I'm bonkers but this is my favourite-ever Madonna song and I still want to look exactly like her in this video.

jeudi 3 octobre 2013

On Being Clever

It's better to say clever things than to tell people that you're clever.

These words came into my head a while ago and, ever since, I have been trying to live by them.  Hopefully I already was.  I think it's a good motto.  I love a motto, generally.

This one applies to most things, I think.  As a basic rule, it's better to do a thing than to talk about doing a thing.  I believe a lot of people could learn from this.

mardi 1 octobre 2013

Autumn Common

If, like me, you are looking for some comfort in the autumn days - I can't recommend anything more highly than 'The Common Years' by Jilly Cooper.

Yeah, yeah - we know all about me and my love for Jilly, which you may or may not share.

This, like many of her early non-fiction works, is cosy and domestic - basically a dog-walking diary of the years she lived around Putney Common, with gossip of neighbours and notes on nature.  Being Jilly, it's also very, very funny.

It's perfect for right now - even more perfect with a whisky and a hot bath, or maybe a comfy sofa and some manner of crumble.