Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DEMENTION is live! 

Demention is an exciting new space for fans of dystopian and futuristic fiction. If you love The Hunger Games or other edgy, on-the-brink novels then this is the place for you. It's a group blog by myselfTeri Terry and Julienne Durber. There's lots more coming up soon plus guest blogs by other authors. 

We've just launched with some great giveaways and prizes

Drop by and join in...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So where was I?

Good question. Where have I been all this time? What have I been doing? 

Last autumn, we escaped to travel around Europe for weeks, after I'd spent some time doing this. I came home re-charged and full of ideas and launched into writing RIVEN, my new book (a kind of cosmic dystopia) only to remember that I'd organised a whole lot of events for AURORA

This is the strangest thing about writing books - you're trying to write the next one while still talking about the last one! 

Sometimes I feel I need two heads.


I travelled through blizzards, snow and hail, several times, to reach Manchester to do trailblazer events for the Future Manchester science festival and its writing competition, and had a great time sparking inspiration among hundreds of very imaginative young Mancunians. I'll be back for the Manchester Children's Book Festival in July, after judging the competition winner (which won't be easy going by all the exciting ideas I heard...) 

There were more storms, even Superstorms, to struggle through to visit schools across Scotland. Luckily there were also some fairly local events, which didn't involve packing extra warm socks and emergency chocolate, in case the train broke down amid blizzards and floods... 

But I had to watch out for terrorist trampolines at all times.

It made for a great opening line when, out of breath and somewhat bedraggled, I told wide-eyed young audiences I'd battled the elements to reach them and talk about the books I'd written about a future Earth devastated by storms! 

While I was away on one of those stormy visits I discovered I'd caused quite a storm myself with a blog I'd written for The Guardian about the crazy war between some YA authors, readers and young book bloggers - there are still sparks flying. This little blog of mine zipped around the planet, tweeted and retweeted to over half a million people, once US blogs and authors like Maggie Stiefvater picked up on it and began debating it with her readers on her website. My Twitter feed reached boiling point as people all across the world debated and quoted bits from it, like this:

'Whose book is it anyway? The hardest thing a writer has to learn is that once you publish a book, it's no longer truly yours – even though it's got your name on the front and it lives inside you. It belongs to the readers now.' 

So what do you think? Who does a book belong to once it's published? 

Do readers and reviewers have the right to be as nasty, or honest, as they like about a book? Should authors get involved in debates about their books, if they feel an opinion or review is vicious or unfair? Or should they take my advice: 'Don't Google yourself.'

There were some other interesting events, like this online round table with sci-fi mag Strange Horizons, where I got to debate futuristic stories on the theme of climate change with an author who was quite an influence on my Exodus trilogy, Maggie Gee, and the authors of other fascinating books - well worth checking out on the link above.   

Children's Literature in Context by Fiona McCulloch has a whole chapter on the Exodus trilogy - which she dissects so brilliantly I feel as if she's been sneaking about the inside of my head. Perfect for anyone who reads, teaches or writes children's and YA lit, it's a fresh and brilliant discussion of some of the greats of children's literature: Alice In Wonderland, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman. So what am I doing in there? Truly, I don't know, but I'm hugely honoured to be among such classy company. 

And then, there was this...

You can read all about my Gap Spring in Paris on this new blog, Paris Pause. More posts still to come...