Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fainting and amazing authors

I wanted to share a couple of quotes from a couple of amazing (SERIOUSLY amazing) authors who have read Entangled.

The first is from Simmone Howell, author of Everything Beautiful and Notes from the Teenage Underground:

"I was glued to the page. Smiling one minute and getting all choky the next. Grace's voice was so clear, tough and tender - I didn't know if I wanted to shake her or hug her (in the end I settled on hugs).

Next up is Courtney Summers, author of Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be:

"ENTANGLED is an intense and thrilling story of love and betrayal that goes places you don't expect and Grace is a narrator you won't forget. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down."

I am beyond thrilled that Simmone and Courtney enjoyed my book. They both happen to be writers I hugely admire, which makes it extra-specially thrilling. If you haven't read their books, I suggest you do so.

In other Entangled news, I found out this week that someone FAINTED while reading it. And not just cos she had low blood-sugar levels or summat like that... She fainted because of the actual words on the page! Um... Wow. When I first heard this, I was horrified. I mean, no one expects/wants their book to cause anyone bodily harm, do they? But then I thought about it some more... And I hate to admit this, but I got a bit of a kick out of it. Does that make me a little bit evil? Actually, don't answer that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New life: Day 1

Yesterday I began my new life as A Person Without a Day Job. The day began earlier than expected, given that I was planning on lying in till at least nine. I woke up around seven, but forced myself to stay in bed and read Mockingjay. Who needs sleep when you've got Katniss, Peeta and Gale?

I spent the rest of the day reading, watching cookery programmes, and attempting to get the cats accustomed to the cage luxury accomodation I've borrowed for the nine-hour journey next weekend. Strangely enough, they are highly suspicious of said accommodation. I think we're in for some fun and games.

I'm trying my best to focus on the good things ahead, instead of the fear that threatens to overwhelm me every five minutes or so.

Good things:
1. Spending time with my dad, brother and nephews.
2. Running on the beach.
3. Writing.
4. Starting the Top Sekrit Business.
5. Getting my Scottish accent topped up.
6. Not having to commute on the tube. No more face-jammed-in-someone-else's-armpit (unless it's by choice!).

Bad things:
I am choosing not to think about the bad things. I'm all about the positive. (If you know me in real life, this might make you laugh.)

Anyone got any tips on positive thinking?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My very first interview

Just a short post today, you lucky people. I was interviewed on the Quercus blog, and you can have a look here if you like. I even managed to mention cheese (yes, I'm very proud of myself).

In other news:

1. Someone on TV the other day said 'The sky's your oyster', which made me laugh. A lot.
2. This morning on the tube I sat opposite one man with extraordinary ears, and another with the longest toenails I have ever seen.
3. Today I will be WRITING.

What will you be doing?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The finish line

A wee while ago (OK, a long while ago), the lovely Becky asked me to write a post about finishing a novel. That's the tricky bit, you see. Starting is easy peasy. Well, it was for me. That's the exciting bit, when the possibilities are endless and you're going to create a MASTERPIECE. So you write, and you write some more, and you do horrible things to your characters and rub your hands together with glee. If you're anything like me, you add in random plot twists as and when the mood takes you. The words are stacking up, and before you know it, you have half a novel. YAY! Go you! This is a huge achievement.

And then it hits you. 'Whaaaaat? I actually have to tie up all those plot twists? Can't someone else do it for me? It's haaaaaaard.' This is exactly how I felt when I was writing Entangled. And it was bloody hard to overcome. You see, I'm all about creating problems - not so much with the solving. I very nearly gave up. But I didn't. And neither should you. Just keep on keeping on. One word at a time. You'll reach the end eventually. And it doesn't matter if you look back and think your novel is bobbins with a capital 'B'. You can rewrite the whole thing if you like. But at least you'll have something to work with - a beginning, a middle and an end.

It's true that I'm not particularly qualified to talk about how to finish a novel. I've only finished one thus far. But one is more than none. And hopefully I'll finish another one in the next few months. Hopefully.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

John Green Day of Awesomeness

Yesterday was John Green Day. You should have been there. Oh wait, some of you were. In addition to getting to see the AMAZING John Green, I got to hang out with...

Kaz Mahoney (author of The Iron Witch, out Feb next year), Liz of My Favourite Books, Ana of The Book Smugglers, Jenny ('the FAMOUS Jenny' said Mr Green himself!) of Wondrous Reads, Carla of The Crooked Shelf, Sophie of So Many Books, So Little Time, Becky aka The Bookette and Caroline of Portrait of a Woman.

If you haven't come across the awesomeness of John Green before, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? As a starting point, go buy Looking for Alaska right this second. It's bloody brilliant. Then watch this...

Highlights of yesterday included:

1. John talking insightfully about that moment when you realize that other people are human beings too and that you are not actually the centre of the universe. This is something I think about A LOT, so it was nice to hear someone talk about it in such a blimmin' articulate fashion.

2. John asking me the title of my book and me momentarily forgetting it.

3. Carla managing to NOT barf on John.

4. Jenny's utter horror at the fact that I'd bent back the corner of a page in Looking for Alaska.

5. Going to Foyles. FOYLES!

6. Being persuaded to buy books outside my usual favoured genres by Carla, Kaz AND Sophie. I'm so easily led astray. Sigh.

It was a Good Day.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Entangled: the back cover blurby bit

I've noticed there are a few different versions of synopses for Entangled floating around t'interweb. So here's the official, final (probably) back cover copy. Hot off the press from Quercus about five seconds ago...

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:

What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

Oooh! Loving that last line!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Case of the Writer Who Does Not Write

I have a confession to make. I haven't written a word in two months. Now, if you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I've had a pretty decent reason not to write. I just... haven't felt like it. Plus, my WIP is all kinds of depressing and upsetting, so that doesn't exactly help.

BUT I am going to start writing again this week. This is my promise to you. That means I can't go back on it, right? If I do, I'll have to write a lame blog post full of excuses, and I don't want to have to do that. I'm 40,000 in, and planning to write about 70,000. I know how the story is going to end, and I've even got an idea of some of the scenes I need to write between now and then e.g. 'poignant dad scene' and 'big fight between X and Y'. (N.B. My characters aren't actually called X and Y. They have normal names like normal people.)

So, 30,000 words to go. EASY! I'll start... um... tomorrow. Maybe.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I'm very pleased to announce that the lovely Lynsey over at UK Book Tours is hosting the ENTANGLED UK ARC tour. If you'd like to join in the fun, please head over here.

I'm hoping to host another ARC contest or two over the coming months, so please watch this space. (Please don't watch this space ALL the time though. Your social life might suffer as a result, and I will not be held accountable for this.)

I'm reading the ARC at the moment, and I must say it feels mightily weird to be reading your own book on a crowded train.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do you judge a book by its cover?

No idea why the topic of book covers is on my mind today. Oh wait, it's cos I HAVE A BLIMMIN' AWESOME ONE. I am in love with my book cover. And it seems like lots of other people like it too, which is A Very Good Thing.

I still can't quite get over how beautiful it is. And it's going to be wrapped around my book. I feel incredibly lucky, because I am mega-picky about covers (as I've mentioned on here before). I'm not sure I thought it was possible that the designer would come up with something I was 100% happy with. I was sure there would be something I'd want to change. But nope. Not. One. Thing.

So... how important is a book's cover to you? Would you ever buy a book based solely on the cover? Do you still buy a book even if you don't like its cover? Which is your favourite YA cover of all time?

Please share!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We have a winner!

OK, this was a really hard decision. I wish I had ARCs for each and every one of you, I really do. But I don't. Sigh.

Sooooooo the winner is... CarlyB:

I need to read Entangled right this second because...I'm passing the time until Entangled's release date by watching endless episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras to dull the pain of having not read it yet. I've now become so obsessed with child pageants that I actually just wept when one of the kids retired from pageantry. It's bad, Cat, it's bad - particularly bad that I just used the word 'pageantry' without batting an eyelid. Only you can save me.x

I hope you'll all agree that I couldn't possibly leave Carly to this tragic fate. It's just too... tragic. This is clearly a girl in need of an intervention, and if the Entangled ARC can do some good in the world by making one less person watch the horror that is child pageants, then my work will be done.

Congrats, Carly! DM me your address, and let me know if you want the book signed. Oh, and you have to PROMISE never to watch Toddlers & Tiaras ever again. We have a deal, right?

Notable mentions must also go to the following entries:

I need to read Entangled right this second because if not I will scream so loud every single glass shoe in the universe will smash and then what will the princesses do? They'll just have to go right back home on a pumpkin and sweep floors with only singing birds for company. Do you want that on your head? The DESTRUCTION of every "would be" princess in the world? I dont think you do, so this is the only sensible option. (Carla)

I need to read Entangled right this second because it will be more inspiring to me than a pep talk by Coach Taylor.
Also, Tim Riggins wants me to read it, you wouldn't want to let him down, would you?! (Kristy)

I am loving the pink ARC and everyone knows I am slightly obsessed when it comes to that colour (what am I saying, "the" colour, the rest are coffee stains), but the real real real reason why I want to read Entangled (aside from you being awesome and me wanting to read what the awesome you writes) is because you are the most incredible defender of the cause of cheese in the UK at the moment (if not the world!) and this makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. *blinks* What do you mean, my answer has nothing to do with the book? :) (Caroline)

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the contest. Hopefully I'll be able to hold another one in the not-too-distant future.