Tales Post – UKYA Extravaganza Nottingham Blog Tour
To celebrate the second UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA which is being held at Waterstones Nottingham on the 10th October 2015 there is a great big blog tour celebrating the 30 super-duper authors that are attending the event!
Again the wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery have organised the UKYA Extravaganza and I am so excited to be attending this fab event! It is set to be such a fun day and with such a brilliant set of UKYA authors attending the event I’m sure it will be a huge success!
In the meantime I thought I would share a bit about each author with links to their twitter and websites and links to their UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA blog tour posts that are being hosted by 29 fab bloggers!
What a huge blog tour!
The last UKYA Extravaganza was held in Birmingham and was so much fun! You can find out what we got up to here!
There was also a previous blog tour to celebrate the Birmingham event also – here
So here goes…. *takes big breath*
Want to know more about the upcoming UKMG Extravaganza and it’s authors – click here
Paula’s talent for writing was first noticed when she won the BBC Get Writing competition and her story was read by Bill Nighy on Radio 4. The opening chapters of her teen thriller, The Truth About Celia Frost, led to her becoming a winner of Undiscovered Voices 2010. She was subsequently signed up by Usborne who published The Truth About Celia Frost in 2011. To date Celia Frost has been nominated for 11 literary awards. It was selected as the winner of the Leeds Book Award (2012), Sefton Super Reads Award (2012), and the Nottingham Brilliant Book Award (2013). Her second novel, Blood Tracks, was published on 1st June 2013. It has been shortlisted for several literary awards, winning ‘The Rib Valley Book Award 2014’.
Paula is proud to be a writer in residence for the national literacy charity ‘First Story’. She is also regularly invited into secondary schools around the UK to do author talks and workshops.
Paula was born and brought up in Liverpool and now lives in Nottingham with her husband and three children.
You can find out more about Paula on her website here
I was born in Kent and enjoyed writing stories at school. I was more interested in science though, and gave up studying English at sixteen. I ended up doing Chemistry at university, but my love of reading never went away. The next time I wrote any fiction was decades later, when I decided to write a book for my daughter’s twelfth birthday, and since then I’ve discovered a passion for storytelling. Luckily, other people seem to like my stories too, so I’m getting to produce more of them. I live in Surrey with my family and a very lovely chocolate Labrador.
The award winning and best-selling Small Blue Thing trilogy has been translated into German and Polish and is sold in many different countries all around the world. I’m particularly proud that readers have also twice voted me onto the shortlist for the prestigious Queen of Teen award with some of my author heroes (John Green, anyone?). The parties are also legendary! My new book, The Beneath, is due out in March 2015, and I’m currently busy with my next project.
I love visiting schools and libraries to talk to people about how you can find the time to write, and how I got published.
Visit Sue’s website – here
Lydia Syson has worked with words and stories all her life, in her early career as a radio producer for the BBC World Service, and now as an author of critically acclaimed YA fiction which ‘brings history to life’. A World Between Us (Hot Key Books, 2012), a story of politics and passion set during the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended by the judges of the Branford Boase Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the UKLA Book Award (2014). Her second novel,That Burning Summer (Hot Key Books, 2013), chosen by The Independent as a Children’s Book of the Year, is set on Romney Marsh in Kent during the Battle of Britain. If you want to know what happened in Paris after the events of Les Mis, look no further than Liberty’s Fire, a Telegraph ‘Best YA Novel of 2015’, which tells the unbelievable story of the 1871 Paris Commune. Lydia is also the author of a PhD (2003) about explorers, poets and Timbuktu and Doctor of Love (2008), the biography of James Graham, an 18th century medical entrepreneur who designed an electrical, magnetic Celestial Bed for conceiving perfect babies. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Visit Lydia’s website – here
Check out Lydia’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post which was featured here on Tales!
Lydia also wrote about the UKYA Extravaganza here
I was born and raised in Lincolnshire, where the wild North Sea meets the gentle green-gold curves of the Wold, and I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book; ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. I think I was about eight, but I’ve never changed my mind in all the years since then.
I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty-two, but had to wait until I was twenty-four to see my debut novel – The Swan Kingdom – published. It went on to be shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award, and become a USBBY Outstanding International Book, among other honours.
Since then I’ve written many other books and have been lucky enough to win or be nominated for many other awards, including the Great Britain Sasakawa Prize and a second place in the Lancashire Book of the Year Awards. I have also recieved grants from the Royal Literary Fund and the Arts Council England.
I currently live in a little house in a town by the sea, with my two rescued cats, one called Hero after a Shakespearian character and one Echo after a nymph from a Greek myth. I also have a springer/cocker spaniel called Finbar (otherwise known as The Devil Hound).
My favourite colour is green. My favourite food is Chinese dim sum. My favourite songs are ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie and ‘Spem in Alium’ by Thomas Tallis.
Visit Zoe’s website here
R. J. Morgan was born in sunny Cardiff and has wanted to be a writer since she found out Roald Dahl grew up in Llandaff and ate a Mars Bar every day. Knowing they had so much in common, off she skipped to London with her manuscript and eleven short years later she made it to the dizzy heights of having a nervous breakdown in Euston station.
After gaining an ill-advised degree, Morgan gained a highly coveted job in advertising. Just like Don Draper, she moved into a garage in Wimbledon with slugs, rising damp, and a band of foxes that belted across the roof in the dead of night. Morgan didn’t really understand what was going on in work and left it a bit late to ask, so she started spending quality time with friends (especially season 4), travelling to exotic cake shops, and taking long walks on the internet.
Morgan decided it would be fun to be hated by one’s own government, so she became a teacher. Morgan used writing to cope with training in a school affectionately known as ‘hell’s toilet.’ She now works in a fantastic school and lives in the wonderfully triangular Crystal Palace with more foxes and fewer slugs.
Alex Campbell announced she was going to be a writer at eight years old. But no one took much notice. After a nomadic education daydreaming in back rows across Luton, Chester, London, Sheffield and Middlesbrough – and one English degree later – Alex moved into the world of PR and copywriting. Here she worked on getting other people noticed instead.
Now, living near Bath with one husband, two children and an armful of untold stories, Alex’s eight-year-old self’s ambition has finally been realised with the publication of her debut novel, LAND. When she’s not gazing dreamily out of windows, Alex can usually be found, notebook at the ready, in dark art-house cinemas, propping up coffee bars, or worse.
Check out Alex’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where Alex talks about why she likes to write about big issues in her novels over on pewterwolf.blogspot.co.uk run by bloggers blogger Andrew ( @PewterWolf13 ) – here
I have probably been a writer for as long as I can remember. I think I may have killed a forest using up all the notebooks I could get my grubby little paws on, including my sister’s workbooks for school. I wrote in everything. And on everything, including our walls in our house in South Africa. Even if it just was my name. Yes, I was obsessed even back then, aged five.
I finished my first ever novel for ages 9+ and had a great time writing it. But in retrospect I realise I was so in love with it, I put too much stuff in it, and it needs stripping down and rebuilding. That will be for another day, I think.
I’m repped by Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group. I’m the author of The Blackhart Legacy trilogy. The first two books in the series – Banished / Vowed – is out now in both ebook format and paperback and can be bought from all good bookshops on the high street and online.
Check out Liz’s website here
David Owen achieved a first class honours in BA Creative Writing and an MA Writing for Children at the University of Winchester, where he went on to teach on the BA Creative Writing course for three years. He is also an awards-shortlisted games journalist, with a particular interest in the applications for video games outside of entertainment, and he has written about games being used to treat depression, dyslexia and autism. David has been published as a poet in journals including Agenda and Seam. Panther is his first novel.
Check out David’s website here
You can check out my review of Panther here
A Q&A with David Owen here
I’m a YA author, and my first novel The Next Together is published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia (and soon in the USA, Turkey, Germany and Brazil!).
I have too many feelings about fictional characters, science and dogs. Things I like: intelligent women, Dylan O’Brien, and things with plants on them. My favourite chemical is acetone, my favourite monarch is Queen Elizabeth I, and my favourite drinking game is a Jane Austen one. I’m a ravenclaw.
You can find out more about Lauren on her website here
Check out Lauren’s video interview over on the lovely Lisa over at @City_Of_Ya channel below!
Sheena Wilkinson has been described as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’ (The Irish Times). Since the publication of the multi-award-winning Taking Flight in 2010, she has published several novels for young adults, as well as one middle grade novel. Grounded, her second YA, won the CBI Book of the Year in 2013. Until now, her novels have all been contemporary, but she has had many short stories published set in the early twentieth century, the most recent being ‘Each Slow Dusk’ in Walker’s The Great War anthology (2014). Name Upon Name (Little Island) is her first historical novel, set in Belfast 1916. It follows this spring’s YA novel, Still Falling. Sheena is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and lives in County Down.
Lucy Coats writes for children of all ages. Her first picture book was published in 1991, and in 2004 she was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Prize for ‘Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths’. Lucy read her first book of Greek myths at the age of seven, and has been hooked on stories of all kinds ever since.
Lucy’s latest picture book, ‘Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party’, has just been published by Nosy Crow. Coming for 2015 are: ‘Beasts of Olympus’ an exciting myth-based series for 7-9’s from Piccadilly Press (UK) and Grosset and Dunlap (Penguin) USA; ‘Cleo’ a gripping YA novel about the young Cleopatra from Orchard Books; and ‘The Little Green Drum’, an Early Reader from Orion.
Lucy lives in rural Northamptonshire and writes looking out over green fields full of sheep. She has a deskdog called Hero who generally lies between her screen and keyboard and is very good at encouraging Lucy when the writing is going slowly.
Lucy also teaches regular Masterclasses on How to Write for Children at The Guardian (see events) and writes for Publishing Talk and Mslexia magazine.
Find out more about Lucy on her website here
L. A. Weatherly is the author of the bestselling Angel series, as well as almost 50 other books for children and teenagers. She’s originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and lives in Hampshire, England with her husband. Her books have been translated into over 10 different languages.
You can find out more about Lee Weatherly on her website here
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became THE LOST GIRL, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu now lives in Norwich, England with her husband and two young sons.
You can find out more about Sangu on her website here
Lisa Williamson was born in Nottingham in 1980. She spent most of her childhood drawing, daydreaming and making up stories in my head (but never getting round to writing them down). At 19 she moved to London to study drama at university. Following graduation, she adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally getting paid to pretend to be other people. Between acting roles she worked as an office temp and started making up stories all over again, only this time she had a go at writing them down. One of these jobs was at The Gender Identity Development Service – a specialist NHS service for young people struggling with their gender identity. The patient stories she heard inspired her to write The Art of Being Normal.
You can find out more about Lisa on here website here
Check out my review of The Art Of Being Normal here
A Q&A with Lisa Williamson here
Sophia Bennett won the Times/Chicken House Fiction competition in 2009 with her first novel, Threads, set in London’s fashion world. The two sequels in the series were published in 2010 and 2011 and Threads has since been published in over a dozen languages. Sophia has also written two contemporary YA titles, The Look and You Don’t Know Me, and an adventure story for girls, called The Castle. She lives and writes in London, and you can find her on Facebook, and at sophiabennett.com and threadsthebook.com.
Rachel is from West Yorkshire and now lives in Cheshire. She has worked in the USA as well as Spain, where she taught English and wrote travel guides and features. Rachel’s passions are modern literary fiction and live music – she’s a fanatical gig and festival goer. She writes contemporary YA fiction with a highly original voice.
Rachel’s debut, Me and Mr J, about a girl who falls in love with her teacher, is published by Egmont.
Find out what happened at the Electric Monkey blogger day where I met Rachel here
I was born twenty-eight years ago. I was a baby at the time.
Between then and now, I’ve done loads of stuff – learned to use the big boy toilet by myself, got married and wrote a book.
Incidentally, all of those things happened in the last three years.
Before The Private Blog of Joe Cowley, I wrote jokes and sketches for radio. Remember that Numberwang one? Really funny wasn’t it? Yeah, I had nothing to do with that.
These dats I live in Tamworth with my wife and my dog. Sometime I put him in funny costumes. I am an awful human being.
You can find out more about Ben Davis on his website here
Helen was born in London in 1964. She showed an early leaning towards the arts, having been told off for writing stories under the desk in maths lessons at school.
Helen went on to read Classics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and then worked in marketing for ten years to fund her love of travelling. Her two most memorable travelling days were the one spent exploring Damascus in Syria and the day she went to the Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur to see the romantic blockbuster Beta.
In 2001, she and her family moved to Bad Münstereifel in Germany. It was exploring the legends of this beautiful old town that inspired her to write her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, which is set there.
Helen now lives in Scotland with her husband, her two children and her two cats.
You can find out more about Helen on her website here
Mike Revell used to be one of those kids who didn’t like reading. He was more inclined to run home and play video games than dive into a book.
Then Harry Potter came along. The series didn’t just make him a reader, it made him want to be an author too; he wanted to give to people the same feelings of wonder and enjoyment that J.K. Rowling gave to him as a young boy.
Stonebird is Mike’s first novel and is influenced by the real experiences of seeing his grandmother suffer from dementia, as well as his love of myths.
To find out more about Mike visit is website here
Check out the Q&A I carried out with Mike on Tales here
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember; she reckons it’s the most fun you can have without attracting attention from the authorities. She wrote her first novel, aged 13, in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. After school, she went to art college, but soon realized she wasn’t cut out to be a painter and decided to stick with writing.
By day, Emma works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the North East Midlands.
Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!
You can find out more about Emma on her website here
I grew up in Croydon and worked in a bank for a year. But this is true of so many writers it has become a cliché. So let me tell you about some of the other stuff.
My dad, Peter, was a sheet-metal worker; my mum, Marjorie, a wages clerk. I have no brothers or sisters. We never had a foreign holiday till I was 17. They took me to Belgium for a week, to prove I hadn’t been missing anything. I loved them both. They’re dead, now, but I still love them.
I went to a big comprehensive school and enjoyed my time there so much I wrote my first adult novel about a disturbed man who takes revenge on his former teachers. Made a mess of my A-levels (too much snooker, too little effort) and had to do a re-sit to get into journalism college.
Learned my lesson, though – I spent much of the journalism course drinking, playing pool or going on protest marches. “Home” was a caravan in a field with two mates from the course. Take my advice, don’t live in a caravan. Even so, it still rates as just about the best year of my life.
For the next 15 years I worked as a news reporter, football correspondent, features writer and sub-editor on newspapers all over England (and one in Wales).
Between jobs I went backpacking in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. I taught English in Hong Kong, despite speaking no Cantonese and being unqualified to teach English (or anything else), and returned from India with dysentery, hepatitis and pneumonia, having lost a quarter of my body weight. Happy days.
All this time, through my 20s and early 30s, I wrote fiction – short stories, a couple of abandoned novels – did creative writing classes, joined a writers’ group … until it dawned on me that I wanted to be a writer more than anything. So, I quit my job and enrolled on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. That was where I began Acts of Revision.
I’ve been writing novels ever since – first for adults, now for teenagers – and when I’m not doing that, I teach creative writing (even though I still have no teaching qualifications.) Best of all, though, I have a wife, Damaris, and two daughters, Josie and Polly. And I don’t live in Croydon anymore.
Find out more about Martyn on his website here
YA Author of A Brighter Fear (shorlisted for the Leeds Book Award) and A Dream of Lights (nominated for the Carnegie Medal, awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at North East Teen Book Awards, and shortlisted for the Hampshire Independent Book Awards).
Kerry Drewery has always had a passion for writing. She was a finalist in a BBC script-writing competition in 2009 and is currently hugely involved with Bookstart. Kerry lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and children.
The story of A Brighter Fear was created through Kerry’s own fascination with the Iraq war. Kerry’s sensitive approach creates a beautiful, contemporary fairytale that will stay with teen readers for a lifetime.
Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!
As the Romanian revolution was ending, David led a team taking supplies to Bucharest and Timisoara. On the way home he stopped near Checkpoint Charlie to help chip holes in the Berlin Wall. Rather fittingly, David and his wife Debi now run Globehuggers Emergency Supplies – a business specializing in bespoke grab bags and emergency equipment.
In his spare time, David is an accomplished classical guitarist and has spent the last few years tapping away on his keyboard writing books for Young Adults. His debut young adult novel TORN was published on August 2012 in the UK on the Chicken House label. TORN has already been shortlisted for lots of awards and won the Lancs Book of the Year 2013. On July 30th 2013 the amazing hardcover edition was released in the USA.
David’s second book – TAKEN was released on World Book Day – 6th March 2014. He is now busy planning book three…
Teri Terry has lived in France, Canada, Australia and England at more addresses than she can count, acquiring four degrees, a selection of passports and a silly name along the way.
Moving constantly as a child, teenager and also as an adult has kept Teri on the outside looking in much of her life. It has given her an obsession with characters like Kyla in Slated and Luna in Mind Games, who don’t belong or find themselves in unfamiliar places.
Teri left her job with Buck’s libraries to write full-time and complete her research MA on the depiction of terrorism in recent young adult dystopian literature. She has also at various times and in various countries been a lawyer, an optometrist, a teaching assistant, and a science technician.
Slated has won twelve awards, including the North East Teenage Book Award, the Leeds Book Award, the Angus book award, the Portsmouth Book Award, the Rotherham book award and the Rib Valley Book Award. It was the most voted for YA title in the 2012 international Edinburgh Book Festival Anobii First Book Award.
You can find out more about Teri on her website here
Having completed his degree in sculpture back in 1985, rather than face the artist’s traditional garret Nick took the plunge into, what was then, the emerging computer games industry. For more than 21 years Nick worked as a graphic artist and creative director, helping to create over forty published titles, including many chart-topping hits.
Nick has a passion for science and astronomy, often blogging about the latest mind-blowing discoveries made in quantum physics. He once even soloed a light aircraft, an experience he’s tapping into now for Cloud Riders. Not needing any excuse to travel, he recently completed a writing research trip to the volcanic landscape of Iceland for the second book in the Cloud Riders’ trilogy, Breaking Storm.
You can find out more about Nick on his website here
Sarah Benwell lives in the picturesque city of Bath. Which is nice, but she’d much rather be off exploring deserts and jungles elsewhere. Having seen a good chunk of the world, Sarah is a keen advocate for diversity in life and on bookshelves, and she loves nothing more than acquainting herself with both.
I was born in Leicester in 1971 and grew up in a multicultural, multi-racial community close to the city centre. As a child I dreamt about three things – playing football for Liverpool FC, being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of eleven I read the book that would inspire me to write. It was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. Other authors had inspired me to write for fun (Roald Dahl in particular) but it was Sue Townsend who became a true role model. From that point writing became an important hobby and I practiced almost every day. I read countless books, often copying an author’s style in order to find my own.
Since those early days I have continued to write stories about teenagers and also branched into the younger market with my Soccer Squad series. I am often asked to go abroad to talk about my work and have also appeared on television and radio. In 2010 Rani & Sukh became a set-text for GCSE, something that I never thought would happen. My aim has always been to write the sort of books me and my mates (many of whom didn’t read) would have loved at school. Reading for pleasure is a passion for me and I try to instill that in everyone I talk to. I hope to continue writing for a long as I can.
I am a massive fan of reggae music and Liverpool FC. I also read every day (my favourite genre is crime fiction) although not always fiction. I believe that non-fiction, graphic novels, comics and newspapers etc…are just as valid as forms of reading. I also love to cook, to travel and to watch film.
Check out Bali’s website for more here
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House) and MONSTER (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on her second novel for Mira Ink.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Helen Maslin lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two young sons. She has studied English, history and art history, which remain her chief interests. She also runs an art club at her children’s primary school.
Helen’s art club is fun but always very messy. Her favourite things are brightly-coloured hair, Peter Lorre’s voice, the smell of new books, Roy Lichtenstein’s art, niceness and cake. Darkmere is her debut novel.
Also check out Helen’s fab blog here!
PS – I get a mention #TEAMMASLIN!
Check out my review of Darkmere here
A deleted scene and Darkmere Inspiration here
An extract from Darkmere here
Rhian was born in Swansea but moved to the Brecon Beacons where she went to school until 11. She then moved all the way across the border to Hereford. She returned to Wales to study English Literature at Aberystwyth. She trained as a Drama and English teacher and wrote her first novel during her first few years in teaching.
She got her first publishing deal at 26 and went on to write three more novels for Bloomsbury. She took a break to have three children and during this time taught Creative Writing and also a Children’s Literature course for the Open University.
The Boy who drew the Future is her fifth novel and she’s recently finished writing her sixth.
She is a National Trust writer in residence at Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood. She currently lives in Rutland, the smallest county in the country, with her family and their two very lively spaniels.
So that’s it! All 30 wonderful authors that are appearing at #ukyaextravaganza on Saturday 10/10/2015 in Nottingham and all 30 super awesome bloggers who have been part of the tour. What a fab blog tour and I cannot wait for the event!