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An existing interest: exploded

I’ve always been a journal person. I’ve always written down story ideas, made notes and such, but I’ve never done it creatively before, or kept diaries or planners or even kept that crucial dream diary by the side of my bed.

I never quite grasped the possibility of journalling, of creating art-journals or anything like that. I thought my days were too monotonous for it.

Liz hugging penguins is boring!
Liz hugging penguins is boring!

I got up, I wrote, I had lunch, I wrote some more. I’d walk the dog and on weekends we’d do weekend things like shopping or going to the big country park and walking and talk about writing and reading and everyday stuff. We’d watch a movie or two, go to dinner or lunch with friends, nothing wildly exciting like base jumping or canoeing down rapids.

I looked at my life and saw colours of beige and found it uninspiring. It worried me, because I am not a dull person (or so I’d like to think) and I fretted about it. I needed to do something that wasn’t writing or the usual stuff I do every day. So I sat down and I thought about what I liked doing for me, for no one else. I allowed myself to be selfish and I realised, I can’t help it, I like writing. But I wanted to do something extra, something different with it. And no, I did not opt to do slam poetry (because people would pay me not to write poetry, that’s how bad I am at it!) but I did remember something and I went upstairs and went looking. And I found all my old notebooks and journals.

The pretty!
I went all nostalgic when I stumbled across this old journal of mine. Paperblanks do some amazing notebooks!

 

I rediscovered my Midori Traveler’s Notebook. I’d bought it back in January this year but I’ve not really used it or looked into what people did with them. I took it out, brought it downstairs and after reading the instructions, I put it together.

I've been bit hard by the Midori bug. #midoritravelersnotebook #ephemera #tinyenvelopes

A photo posted by Liz de Jager (@lizdejagerwriter) on

 

As you know, dear reader, I have always been a Moleskine girl. I have a great many of these notebooks (and a few other brands, but always returned to Moleskine) on my bookshelf upstairs in the spare bedroom. I used the Moleskines exclusively for writing. I’d have an IDEA notebook for each year. I’d write down well, story ideas, I’d get and if an idea warranted it, I’d transpose those ideas for a story into its own Moleskine journal. The story would get a name and LIVE in that notebook whilst I wrote it.  That’s how I’ve worked for say the past ten years and it worked okay.  But what bugged me about this was that I needed partitions in my notebook: I wanted a section for Characters / Setting / World Building / Plot / Names / General Thoughts etc., and I hated trying to divvy up my Moleskine into these partitions because it didn’t feel natural to do so because it doesn’t lend itself well to being partitioned. Not in my mind anyway. Especially if you outgrew the divvied up section for that subject then you’re stuck with a half-finished section and nowhere to go … *starts breathing heavily* No. Just no. I had to find something else that worked for me and a Pukka Subject Book just wouldn’t work, either.

So, here comes the Midori onto the stage. Not with a loud flourish or anything, he just kinda turned up and went ‘Hi, I’m kinda cool and you’re kinda cool and we should hang out because I can do stuff other notebooks can’t.’ And I was all: “Bro, I’ve heard it before!” And Midori was all: “Bish, listen to me. I have skills you haven’t even dreamed of!” And so I parked my doubts and I hit up websites and YouTube and I realised, slowly at first, that I was falling in love with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook as a journaling system that would work really well for me, creatively and well, sensibly?

Here’s what I discovered:

The Midori system is hugely flexible and can be used for a great many things. The set up / core Midori bit of kit you buy consists of:

The leather jacket with its elastics – you have a choice of three colours, brown (pictured), camel (it was a limited edition but demand was so great they made it a regular colour), and black.

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The notebook itself / insert – when you buy the kit, your included insert is plain. But the inserts themselves, like other notebooks, come in plain paper, grid (squares), lined,  kraft paper or artist’s paper.

Everything in you first kit
Everything in you first kit

The leather jacket, if you will, looks beautiful the more you use it, especially on the brown.

My first Midori is a brown. It’s my everyday journal where I do Morning Pages and record thoughts and try out my hand at being creative and arty. Yes, I’m terrible at it but who cares, it’s for me to play around with and being able to make something using washi tape / inks / fountain pens and stamps is incredibly liberating. You’ll see it’s the one I most take photos of and put on Instagram. This one is crammed full of inserts, including a plastic wallet that houses postcards and bits of ephemera that are ideal for on the spot journaling in coffee shops! I love it utterly and it goes with me everywhere. It went all over France with us when we were on holiday a few weeks ago and I kept a dedicated notebook for everything that we did, and I included notes, receipts, stickers and photos too.

 

I can see you thinking: but what if your insert / notebook gets filled, what then? Well, the Traveler’s Company came up with a solution to that and you can store our filled up notebooks in a special folder. And the inserts themselves aren’t ruinously expensive, so you just swap out the old insert for a new one.

 

The one you won’t really see, and the one that prompted me to write this blogpost is my Blue Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The blue is a near-sold-out and very rare limited edition the Traveler’s Notebook company brought out a few years ago. I found a store in the Netherlands with a small cache of these and got one couriered to me via Mieneke visiting the UK, which was great.

 

The blue (the one on the left, pictured above) is really my workhorse for writing / working on the new novel.

I have 3 inserts in this one – the first insert is my general ideas insert for writing down thoughts and things on new stories or just random throwaway ideas I get whilst cooking or doing the dishes. I enjoy this notebook as it’s without any embellishments and it’s not for anyone to see and is for my eyes only.

The second insert is The Business: I’ve completed the new novel, the first draft at least, and what I’m currently doing is reading through it, intensively, chapter by chapter. In this notebook, as I’m reading I will make notes under my chapter headings (again, it’s ugly and not for anyone’s eyes except mine) about things to fix or watch out for. I make notes of repetitions or jarring bits that don’t flow properly.  It’s the overall big scheme of things edit that I’m using this for.  If there’s anything wrong or what I know I need to adjust, I make notes about it in this one.

The third insert is what I call the Story Bible. Here lives my map (so ugly even my agent laughed at it) and everything about my world I’ve created. Fantasy worlds, man, they really make you use your noggin. In this insert I have details about my CHARACTERS, who they are, what they’re doing in the story, their overall histories, basically.

I also have everything about the world in here as I know it THUS FAR, which is the important bit! I know the age it’s set in, the technology, the magic, the politics, the socio-economic classes, the religions, the everything basically. As I’m reading the draft through, I can add details down I’ve added in the novel but it’s not in my bible or I can take it out in the draft if it jars with what I’ve already got down in my journal. A very handy thing, this.  In this notebook, working from the back, I have a Randomly Met Character List of characters my characters run into. I write down their name, where they met them, why they met them (to give it context) and it’s also a handy way to log what names I’ve used. Otherwise everyone my characters meet will be called Gekoski or Rachel or whatever.

The view from the top.
The view from the top.

 

And this is what I like about my Midori Traveler’s Notebooks – the fact that I can curate the inserts, what each one would ‘do’ i.e. if I want to include my bullet journal insert, my daily writing journal and my art journal within one cover, I can. I’ve found that 3 inserts work well for me within one cover as it doesn’t make it too bulky and there’s space to add a dashboard or a set of plastic folder for cards and things, which is ideal for receipts and business cards.

My blue with its 3 inserts and its pretty dashboard is great. I look at it and I know that everything contained in that little set up is the best it can be and it will help my current writing project become the best it can be, in turn. I still love my Moleskines but I’ve not written in a single Moleskine since around May this year, which, if you know me, is a revelation.

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Working on edits in the sun, Summer 2016.

 

There are a great many videos about the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks, how people set them up, what they use them for, and I sort of became addicted to watching as many as I could. The one thing it did teach me really well was how to cram the most inserts in using only a few elastics!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my walk-through of the notebooks and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I talk about the overall awesomeness of the MTN!

Mirrored from .

August, the busy month!

Hello mateys!

August really is one of the busiest months when it comes to writerly eventsand things so here’s a bit of a run down what I’m up to. Please note that all the highlighted bits will open in new linked pages if you click on them.

Oh, but before I get to that, allow me to toot a little horn.  My rather splendid husband, Mark de Jager, now not only has a fully functioning website, but his book INFERNAL was launched on the 4th at Goldsboro Books in London’s West End.  I couldn’t have been prouder.  I am really excited for this epic and brutal fantasy as I know how much hard work’s gone into it and it is something a little different to the usual faire.

infernal hi res

So, apart from his launch, this Thursday, 11 August is his official launch day. wOOt! And by coincidence it is ALSO Fantasy in the Court at Goldsboro books and both Mark and I will be in attendance, amongst a whole host of other splendid writers.  Most of us are fans of one another’s work, so there will be overexcited chatter for sure.

Goldsboro

Oh, and! Infernal is Goldsboro’s Book of the Month for August and they commissioned 600 limited editions (signed) and I think they’ve mostly sold out.  There could be a few more in the store, so if you’re interested, do contact the store directly for your limited edition.

Then, after Fantasy in the Court it will be NineWorlds.  Again, both of us will be in attendance.  This is my schedule for the weekend.  So do come and find me, or visit the panels for loads of us gabbing on about everything, but come say hello if you do.

So, it’s going to be a busy few days but it’s also going to be so much fun.  Both Mark and I will also be at FantasyCon By The Sea later this year and I am so excited as this is the first time in ages we’ve attended AND this time it’s being held at Scarborough and I’ve never been. If I’m missing I’ll probably be the one fighting off the seagulls on the beach as they’re trying to steal my fish and chips.

I’ll catch up more next week after all these events and tell you about my newly burgeoning love for bullet journalling and my Midori notebook obsession that is getting out of hand.

Mirrored from .

The importance of friends…

Hello folks

I’ve decided to pop along and talk to you today about the importance of friends. I’ve talked about this before briefly but really, I’d like to iterate a bit more.

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Firstly there’s Sarah Bryars. I’ve known Sarah for, wow, I’m not sure how long. But it’s been at least…since around 2006 or so. Sarah is a writer too. She’s talented and so gifted. What I admire most about Sarah, apart from her glorious curls, is her ability to get on with stuff. She’s just this incredibly capable human being and she makes me want to be that capable too. Whenever we meet up we talk about writing and editing and the process and as we invariably scoff food we put the world to rights. We spend hours in bookshops together and when I say bye to her at the end of the day it’s like she takes a bit of a spark of me with her, but in turn I get a bit of her spark to take away with me. She has never let me down and does Real Talk really well. Sarah is very dear to me and I would fight anyone Hunger Games style if she’s ever hurt.

So when Sarah and I started ‘going steady’ as friends, we met online another friend called Sharon Jones. Sharon I’ve only met face to face a few times as she lives in distant places like Exeter and Birmingham so she hardly comes to London or surrounds. Sarah and Sharon have never met IRL either but I think that if they did there’d be an event horizon and just no coming back.  Sharon, like Sarah has this amazing head of hair and she’s gorgeous and has such a filthy infectious laugh. Sharon is equally important in my life. She’s written books for Orchard Books, the Poppy Sinclair mysteries and these are just SO BLOODY GOOD I <3 them to bits. Now Sharon has had a busy few years in her day-job and has recently resettled in the North (Liz gestures to the place above St Albans which to her constitutes the rest of the UK and North) with her gorgeous poodle, Harvey. We try and chat via Skype most days and even if the other one doesn’t answer, that’s fine, because the message went out in the aether and the other will eventually see it. Sharon keeps me grounded and honest. We talk a lot of Real Talk too about process and writing. We talk about anxiety and that thing that’s almost depression but never quite tips into the black dog’s jaws to be fully fledged. I’ve had tendencies these past few months and really, without Sharon and Sarah’s help and encouragement I think I would have fallen down that spiral and it would have taken me a long time to get back.

Scared
Mom: watch out for the scary monsters who lurk online!

Both these ladies I met online and we have become such good friends. We share a great many things as we have so much in common and yet we each live such different lives. Without them I don’t think I would have a trilogy published. Without them backing me up I don’t think I would even consider sitting down at my desk every morning to write more words. Mostly they are terrifying when they shout and threaten violence against me if I don’t do my words, but really, it’s more than that. It’s solid friendships that’s built on trust and loyalty and there’s that give and take involved that I think is most important of all.  Sarah and I have had such intense discussions about writing that we let our tea get cold. Laugh if you will but tea is important.  Sharon and I have talked about process and the inability to continue writing if you don’t have THE EXACT right word for that one thing you’re trying to describe.  They get me and I get them and that’s really rare.

This blog is really a celebration of these two important women in my life and really, what I want to say to you is, if you’re writing or if you are an artist of any sort, make sure you don’t do your art alone.  Surround yourself with a handful of select friends who get what you’re trying to do. Push away the poisonous ones, the ones who undermine your ability or who make you feel small and belittled. Those aren’t humans you deserve in your life. Life is pretty crappy most of the time for all of us and really, you deserve to have amazing people in your life and not people who suck the life out of you.

And because so many of us are online via social media, it’s something else really, you should consider: cull the people who disturb your calm. I’m not talking about culling people who challenge you or your perceptions in a healthy way, no, we need those sparks to fire off of, but cut out the people who you know are just being crappy about you and about others because they’re full of snark for themselves. Self-loathing is ugly and it’s easy to be infected so before you do get infected, walk away. I realise this is an awful thing to say in a time when people are all: oh but lets help everyone in need.  No, what you ought to do is be selfish occasionally and take care of yourself first. Build yourself up, realise your own worth and surround yourself with those unique individuals who see you for the clever, talented, funny, weird, quirky, batshit silly person you really are.  And then, really, take care of those friends first in turn.  My dad had this old adage he never lived by: charity begins at home. I saw him do some stupid things to help others and it was always to the detriment of us, his family and we suffered for it.  I was little but I learned my lesson because really, charity does begin at home and you need to tidy your own house before you can even think about helping others.

So, in a nutshell, the takeaway from this blogpost is: cherish your friends, the ones who get you and who will help you through thick and thin. But don’t be a dick, don’t be selfish. Remember to help them too because together you’re all really super strong and can withstand whatever life throws at you.

And remember, most of all, to be kind to yourself first because hot damn, human bean, you’re bloody awesome!

I am significant

 

Mirrored from .

The above is a quote by Frank Herbert. He wot wrote Dune. I suspect he knows what he speaks of.

The reason I used the quote? Judged, the final book in the trilogy is done. It’s been sent off to typesetters just this week past and well, it’s really kind of terrifying, you know?

I’ve written a trilogy in two years. It almost broke me, but I did it.  And I loved it most of the time. The time I didn’t I was probably falling asleep typing…this happened during Vowed a lot.

And I must apologise for the long delay between blogposts. It is really bad form and not like me at all.  I promise to do far far better in the future.

Here’s what’s happened over the past few months:

31st of March was my last day at my job in the West End. I spent April 2015 editing Judged and being at home.  It was a tremendous change of pace. I got to know my local area really well as I took Sparrow for a lot of very long walks and actually managed to get a tan.  And by tan, I mean I am slightly less milky white than before.  Sparrow is sleeker than before.  I discovered that I’m not cut out to be at home but it was silly trying to look for a job when I know I couldn’t start till June / July anyway because…

In May 2015 Mark and I travelled to South Africa where I was part of the Franschoek Literary Festival.

Here are some photos:

Cape Town
Cape Town
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We had an amazing time. I fell in love with Cape Town all over again.  I fell in love with Franschoek again.  The area is majestically beautiful and treated us wonderfully well.  I miss it so much but then I missed London a lot too whilst we were gone.  I loved visiting the local schools and giving talks. I am desperate to go back and do some more talks.  The children were so enthusiastic and so much fun to hang around with afterwards.  We argued about movies and books and heroes and villains.  I felt right at home!

The week after the Franschoek Literary Festival we travelled to Johannesburg where I got to hang out with my family.  I got to know new great-nieces and great-nephews and catch up with family I’ve not seen in five years.  It was a lot of fun.  We also got to visit some touristy places in and around Johannesburg, including the Lion Park. We made friends with some lion cubs under the careful supervision of their handlers and a gorgeous cheetah found Mark to be very comfortable and snuggled with him for a while.  His handler was slightly alarmed by that.  Mark naturally assumed he was the next Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.

I was a guest at Kingsmead Literary Festival too and it was as much fun as the Franschoek Literary Festival.  I got to meet and be on a panel with Fred Strydom and Edith Bulbring, both authors I’ve fallen in love with. Do look them up, people of earth – you won’t be sorry.

Once we got back to London my copy edits had turned up so I tackled that with enthusiasm. I got that back to Macmillan in a timely fashion.  Then I set about and tidied up my CV and went to meet with recruitment agencies and did a handful of interviews. I started my new full time job on the 15th of July and it’s in the City, rather than the West End, so to me that’s a big change!  And I’m enjoying it so much.  It’s a fun diverse role with some genuinely great people to work with and I like that I’m being pushed and made to think and am allowed to be a little creative.

This coming weekend is Nine Worlds!

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I am doing a few panels and I’m running a writing workshop too. I’m only slightly terrified.  These are the panels I’ll be on.  Please do come and listen to us talk and sign up for my workshop. It’s free! And you can watch me panic and forget the name of my characters.   Yes, that’s been known to happen.

But before Nine Worlds, there’s Fantasy in the Court, hosted by David Headley, owner of Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court and Mark’s super cool agent. I’ll be in attendance, along with a swathe of swashbuckling fantasy authors from a variety of publishers.  Last year’s event was tremendous fun and I think there must easily have been around 150 people or so in attendance.  Writers, readers, fans, editors, agents…all the good folk, in other words.  So, definitely check out the link, buy a ticket and come along.  There’ll be books and people and wine and soft drinks and a lot of fun.  I’ll be the one carrying around a bottle of Evian water, like usual.

What am I doing now that Judged is done and in essence I’ve said goodbye to my characters and the Blackhart world?

I’m taking a tiny break. It’s been crazy writing the trilogy this fast.  So I’m playing a little bit of Playstation/Xbox and watching movies and tv shows and reading. I’m reading so much. I missed reading. I can’t read fiction when I’m writing so I tend to either not read at all or I read fact-stuff or old mythologies or WWII treaties…stuff that I can turn to without having to think/concentrate on.

I’m kicking around potentially five ideas:

  • A MG fantasy completely inspired by niece Liane’s daughter, Kayla.
  • A YA heist
  • A YA thriller
  • A YA quest (with strains of my first ever novel I wrote which was MG)
  • Adult epic fantasy

What I’ll do is write a synopsis for each (I’ve done that with almost all of them) and the opening three chapters of each, and send it on to my agent, Juliet to look at then we decide which to go for. And who knows what’ll happen after that!

And I think that’s essentially me, caught up.  I promise to be far more prolific on here in the next few months.  I’m redesigning the site too with the help of a designer so that it will look more like a website rather than a blog – that’ll happen in the next few months and I’m quite excited about that.

In the meantime, be sure to chat to me via twitter @LizUK.

Oh! And, in case: Banished is on sale for ridiculously cheap over at both Amazon and iBooks – both sites have the e-book selling for less than £1.  Do check it out if you haven’t.

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

Imaginative title here

- I really am so bad at titles for blogposts, and you know, I feel bad because in theory I should be able to word and word hard.

Anyway, let’s do a quick game of catch-up:

I finished writing Judged, the last book in the Blackhart trilogy. *gulps* I sent it off to my agent to read and then went off on holiday to the Dordogne, France.  It was a working holiday in that we didn’t do a lot of touristy things and instead wrote and edited.  Now that Mark has an agent – did I mention that before? No? Yes, my amazingly fab husband landed himself an agent for his fantasy novel for adults and he’s currently working on rewriting it. I keep being asked by people: what is it about and all I can say is: honestly, it’s like nothing you’ve read before.  So, just wait and see.

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So, holiday in France – it was amazing and hot.  We stayed here and Allison and Alex are amazing.  They treated us, on our final night, to a huge smoked bbq at their house and basically made me smoked pulled pork. OMG. It was delicious. We also did an eight hour round trip during the week and visited Carcassonne and I have never been in a stranger and more atmospheric place.  Definitely worth a visit.  So the week in France was truly lovely – we stayed over en route back to London in Chartres and they had their Festival of Lights happening and it was just pure magic. I’ve never been so enamoured by a light display before. Truly magical.

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Anyway, the edits came back from my agent (there was a lot of anxiety on my behalf) but her comments genuinely made sense, even when she was all NO LIZ YOU CAN’T WRITE THIS IT MAKES NO SENSE and I was all: I WROTE THIS AT 2AM OKAY GIVE ME SOME CREDIT I WAS HIGH ON SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

So I sent the edited manuscript off to Bella the end of September and have since then been working on two short stories – one for Tor introducing a new character called Dante who appears in Vowed and I’ve also been working on another Team Mushens Halloween short story which is going too slowly for my own liking. I may scrap it and just write The Walking Dead fanfiction, I think? Whilst that’s happening, I’m waiting for Bella to send the edited manuscript back to me – this is the first time she’s read it, so I’m super nervous!  I’m also thinking about what to write next so if you find me in a coffee shop scowling at my notebook making furious notes, you’ll know why.

This weekend past, I was lucky enough to be invited to A BUNDLE OF BOOKS in Herne Bay, Kent to give a talk to a group of teens and younger readers about Banished and about writing. It devolved into talking meta about fanfiction and how you can use meta to help develop your character and story arcs.  It was great fun.  So a huge thanks to Ellie and Andrea for a great afternoon and fantastic cake.

This coming Sunday, I’ve been invited to chair a fantastic panel as part of the London Film and Comic Con YALC strand – the panel is called Women in Fantasy and we’ve got Laure Eve, Zoe Marriott and Samantha Shannon as the panelists. I am really thrilled to be part of this as I love these three ladies so very much and I’ve known Laure and Zoe for years and I think Ms. Shannon’s rather sparkly and am looking forward to meeting her.

Then, in November, firstly we’ve got Vowed’s release happening. *runs around full of emotion* I am so excited, you guys, I cannot begin to tell you.  Bella showed a picture on twitter today of finished copies she received from the printers today and just look at them.  Just. *strokes screen*  So, very soon I shall have some author copies.  #smug

Vowed

Then, after the exciting release for VOWED I’m over at Tower Hamlets for their brilliant WRITE IDEA FESTIVAL 2014 where I will be doing two things: I’m taking part in their fringe event talking to attending visitors about fandom in all its glory.  I am so looking forward to it.  Then, later, I’ll be doing a talk about writing books for teens.  The event is free, so be sure to check it out and if you’re around town, do come along!

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Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

Where does the time go?

Oh, I know: it goes into nonstop writing and worrying and biting nails.

What’s been happening lately? Well, the second book in the trilogy got a cover reveal.  And it’s rather epic.  Isn’t it the most gorgeous thing (apart from Banished’s cover, that is!)?

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And this is the bit of cover write-up on what it’s about.  Prepare for the feels, folks. Seriously. This book made me laugh and cry and feel loads of emotions for Kit and Aiden and Thorn and Dante.

The Blackhart Code:
Don’t let the monsters grind you down

A Blackhart can see the supernatural behind everyday crimes. But some crimes hide even greater evils…

Kit Blackhart must investigate why children are disappearing from a London estate. However, their parents, police and fae allies claim to know nothing. And as yet more children disappear, the pressure mounts. Luckily, or unluckily, government trainee Dante Alexander is helping Kit with the case. Yet just as her feelings towards him begin to thaw, his life falls apart. As Kit struggles to unravel his problems and dangerous secrets, she meets fae Prince Thorn in her dreams – but their relationship is utterly forbidden.

Then Kit digs too deep, and uncovers a mystery that’s been hidden for one thousand years. It’s a secret that could just tear down our world.

What can we deduce from this? LOTS of shenanigans.  And no, there’s no love triangle or love quadrangle. Just no. Well, at least not for Kit. *smirks* I really enjoyed writing VOWED. It threw up a lot of challenges which I’ll speak about more nearer release, but for now, know that it’s up for pre-order at Amazon, the Book Depository as well as Waterstones, and it should be available from your favourite independent book store too.  If it’s not, it should be easy enough to ask them to order it in.  As of TODAY there’s EIGHTY SEVEN DAYS TILL RELEASE. Holy smokes, I didn’t actually realise that.  *gulps* 87 days.

Anyway. Before then, I’ve got some fun things coming up.

Tomorrow night I’ll be attending the Fantasy in the Court at Goldsboro Books, which is one of my favourite events.  It’s really informal and you get to mingle with authors and readers and pretend to be grown up.  There’s be books to buy and everyone will be signing.  This is the link – I mean, look at all these authors in attendance. It’s a bit like insane.

This coming weekend is Loncon and I will be attending as Author Liz. I’ve even got events and panels I’ll be appearing on.  So if you’re around, please do come hang out and chat to me.  I’d dearly love to meet more people and just realise that I will no doubt be terrified out of my tree so be sure to Speak Loudly As If I Am An Elderly Personage so that I can figure out who you are. *coughs*

Here’s my schedule:

Reading: Liz de Jager

Friday 14:00 – 14:30, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)

 

Autographing 5 – Liz de Jager

Friday 15:00 – 16:30, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

 

Mining Magic

Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)

From Percy Jackson to Harry Potter, to the vampire-infested streets of Urban Fantasy, YA novels have often created their worlds by strip-mining ancient mythologies. Are these new works made more powerful by the resonances they draw on or is it a sign of failing creativity among our writers? What are the books that make best use of their borrowings? And which, if any, most deserve to form the basis of entirely new mythologies for future generations?

 

Kaffeeklatsch

Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Liz de Jager

 

Coming of Age in Game of Thrones

Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)

In a world were life and death hang in the balance for every character no matter how despised or loved, it is the children who pay the heaviest price. Their parents’ plots and intrigues sit squarely upon the shoulders of the Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen children, snatching their childhoods away and forcing them to wield their own power to survive the game of thrones. But have the adults underestimated their children’s value as players? Who will survive? Who will gain power? Will they have a chance to be children again? And who will be the biggest surprise? At what point do these children, despite their tender ages, take on the mantels of their parents and become adults themselves? Panelists will examine issues surrounding childhood and coming of age during a time of conflict where familial normalcy is gone and the rules of their world are in the process of being rewritten. *Spoiler Alert: Discussion will include all previously published books within the series.*

On The Blogs: Bloggers Discuss their Roles in the World of YA 

Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)

Bloggers have become an integral part of YA book promotion. How do authors find these bloggers? Why should readers trust their opinions? What are the best book blogs out there right now and what makes them so useful?

Exciting bunch of panels these and so much is happening in general. If this is your first convention, this is my advice:

1. Hydrate
2. Talk to people. I know it’s scary but I promise you, everyone attending cons remembers what it’s like being a noob, so embrace the noobness and talk to people. Everyone is there to have a good time. If you feel harassed or unsafe at any stage, find a member of staff and talk to them about it. Don’t hide it.
3. Attend as many panels as you can but don’t sweat it if they’re full. Remember, a lot of the con happens in the corridors and in the various bar and eating places. This is where you hang out and take a breather and yes, this is where you gossip. It’s allowed.
4. Eat. Don’t skip meals. Take snacks to nibble on between panels and talks and readings. Being around a lot of people is super tiring, especially if you’re not used to it.
5. Draw cash. Give yourself an allowance. Don’t blow it all at once.
5. Take a loot bag and I don’t mean a plastic carrier bag, either. *scoffs* No, I’m talking backpack or tote bag to place purchased loot within. Tote bags are the handiest of items you can carry with you at cons.
6. Hydrate. I can’t stress this enough. It’s very important to drink loads of aqua. Aircon dries you out and it will give you sinus headaches and make you feel uch. So, water!

And erm, just have fun. Talk to folks, meet up with friends. Put your twitter handle on your ticket once you get it and be sure to hold onto your ticket at all time.

So, there’s that.

Okay, what else have I been up to…this weekend past was Nineworlds and like last year it was a roaring success.  I only attended on the Friday due to deadlines for Book 3 and a few other things, but the panels I did sit in on were super fun and interesting. It was great seeing everyone and the atmosphere was super relaxed and the cosplay folks were just amazing as usual.  We got home at 2am on Saturday morning and let me just say, knowing I could take a nap on my comfy couch on Saturday was the best thing ever. :D  Also, just a huge shout-out to the Nineworld’s Fanfiction stream.  These guys had the smallest room but the most dedicated of runners and audience.  It was beautifully inclusive and so much fun. Uch, guys, next year, sign me up and kick my ass when I turn you down due to deadlines.

We also went to see Guardians of the Galaxy the other weekend and really, it’s ridiculously good.  I bought the The Art of the Guardians of the Galaxy slipcase and like the other slipcase editions it’s worth every penny.  I love looking through these art books – it gives you a clear understanding of how the film was put together but also: as I’m a visual person but I have zero artistic abilities it lets me think about my own writing and characters and so I sort of visually find inspiration from these books for my own writing.

I’m also super glad that The 100 tv show is doing so well in the UK.  It really is such a great show with a great bunch of people working on it and I admire how hard they work to put this show together.  I also love their friendly rivalry with the folks from the Arrow tv show.  It makes you realise there are humans behind all of this!

I’m still utterly in love with Teenwolf.  Season four is currently airing and man, it’s good. The horror tropes are even more pronounced this season and we’ve got some great new characters in this series too, along with the existing characters returning back to their friendly sass and camaraderie.  Character arcs are interesting too and it’s interesting to see what the writers are doing and how far they’re pushing things.  Teenwolf’s fandom is some of the most vocal and these guys get themselves raked over the coals if they do stuff the fans don’t agree with.  It’s actually terrifying!

Mark and I are rewatching Dexter too – we watched the first two seasons when it originally aired, but then sort of lost track of it.  Now that it’s on Netflix we’re getting down to watching that.  And it is so good. I’ve been spoilered for the final season, sadly, but you know, hopefully I’ll have some kind of memory loss by the time we get to it and I forget about it entirely. *grins*

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 17.16.15

And I think, that’s it for now.  Oh! Book 3 – JUDGED (yes maybe I am a little obsessed with 2000AD, shut up) – is, as of today, at 91k.  I’m not sure how long it’s going to be.  I reckon I’ve got another 20k or so to write on this first draft? So yes, lots of stuff is happening and so far my beta readers seem to like where it’s going and mostly they are just: don’t hurt them too much, okay? And I’m all: okay bae, I’ll try…and then I go away and laugh like an evil dictator.

I’ll be back after Loncon to tell you how things went.  In the meantime, check out this amazing steampunk video my mate Paul made. He’s rather splendid. Follow him on Twitter as @guanolad.

 

 

 

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

Long time no blog!

I am so sorry that I’ve not been to blog – last time was over two months ago in APRIL.  Holy smokes, where does the time go?

What have I been up to?

Well: there was another edit of Vowed with my editor Bella, then we did a copy edit with the copy editor (copy editors are the best, true story) and in the meantime I got stuck into book 3 and am writing all the words (sitting on around 30k words).  Page proofs are coming up for Vowed in the next week or so, so writing will take a back-burner for about two weeks.

Then straight back into writing book three which is exciting and sad because I’ve put these characters through the ringer and really, all I want to do is hug them and pet them and make shushing noises and tell them everything’s going to be okay.  But you know, I can’t, because book 3 is <REDACTED> but there’s also <REDACTED> because of what happens in Vowed and I’m so sorry, I hope you’ll forgive me.  I’ve had a beta-reader (Jenni!) read the first 26k of book 3 and apparently it has feels and she’s worried about everyone, so that’s great, because it’s the right reaction.

Anyway.

Stuff I’ve been watching / going to see before falling into writing all the words:

1. America: Winter Soldier

I’ve fallen, or rather re-fallen in love with Steve and with Bucky and Natasha and Sam so hard.  I’ve subsequently gone, in true fan-girl fashion and spent money on Funko Pop figures and the art of the movie book.  Because really, who needs money for food and rent, right?  Also, I possibly may have seen the movie more than once. *coff* I also have the comics and have been re-reading them and well, Ed Brubaker <3

Proof of obsession:

Natasha and Bucky

Captain and Bucky

Captain america

2. Hannibal:

This show. I can’t even begin to cover how much I love this show. It’s dark, it’s packed full of meta and I love it utterly.  Basically: Brian Fuller is an evil genius and I want his brain.  Yes, there are levels of violence / gore that will put some people off but it’s the characterisation of Will Graham, Hannibal and Jack Crawford that’s so important here.

Hannibal - Season 2

Picture courtesy of http://www.nbc.com/hannibal

The sets are designed with minute detail as is everything about the show.  For instance, something I noticed is how Hannibal’s suits hanged throughout Season 1 and Season 2.  They are sartorial elegance, always, but the designer has been so clever choosing the colours he wears so that it enhances each scene – he (both designer and Hannibal as character)  literally uses his suits to foreshadow his actions, going from lighter themes to darker.  Maybe this is just me seeing stuff where there isn’t anything, but in my headcanon, this makes complete sense.

3.  Game of Thrones:

I am in an abusive relationship with GoT.  Last week bad things happened to Oberyn Martel (I know, I’ve read the book, I was supposed to be prepared, I wasn’t) and I sobbed.  This is a sign of creators doing it properly: taking a secondary character and lifting them from the background and making them real and having readers and viewers identify and feel for them.  I hate them for doing that to me.   Last night’s episode bad things happened. I hate them for doing that to me. But I was ready.  I still cried.  Thank the heavens the season finishes next week.

3. The 100

The-100-cast-season-one

This show is eventually coming to the UK after it doing great things Stateside. I’m very excited about it.  The core concept is:

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet.

The above is taken from IMDB – trailer below

http://youtu.be/ia1Fbg96vL0

What makes The 100 such an interesting show is (bypass the ridiculously attractive cast) the fact that we get to see what happens to the one hundred who made it down to earth…but we also learn about those left behind on the spaceship.  And none of it is passive watching either – people have emotions and thoughts and they all do what they think is best, for various convoluted reasons.  Again, it shows that the writers are doing it right.  There are characters you hate, characters you love and characters who are so bad it breaks your heart because you want them to redeem themselves but then stuff happens and there’s explosions and kissing and death, so much death, and threat and well.  I can’t wait to own this series on DVD.  Again: really pleased we’re getting it in the UK and unlike Star-Crossed (politically heavy show about aliens on earth) it got a renew for Season 2.  So hurrah to Akela Cooper and her team of writers.  You guys are ace.

4. Teenwolf 

Teen Wolf - Season 4 - Cast Group Promotional Photo

Yes, I’m still fangirling about Teenwolf.  Season four starts in less than two weeks. I am not ready.  I am totally ready.  Sadly for the UK we never got to see Season 3 on our tv screens BUT iTunes bought it so you can rent / buy it through them which is something at least.  I think it’s a shame that it’s not being shown in the UK as it has a massive following with supremely dedicated fans.  The characters are great, the storylines are great and the fact that they delve into little known myths and lore, and not just Western myths and lore, makes such a superb change from the usual fare.  The cast has ridiculously pretty people but it also has a solid team of strong female characters who are so great and who hold their own when it comes to the intelligence and kick-ass stakes.  I’m totally Team Lydia who, if fandom is correct, will one day take over the world and rule it as our benevolent queen. I can get down with that.

So Teenwolf and The 100 are two great shows that get a lot of flack from haters – in the end, I do think viewers should give them a chance and try to go into watching these shows without prejudice – suspend your disbelief and have fun.  That’s what you’re supposed to do when you want to be entertained.  There’s a reason the studios are making these shows and I’m very grateful to them and all involved because they are fun and entertaining!

***

I’ve also been reading a lot during my commute.  I’ve been tackling a lot of my research books for the Blackhart series but I’ve also been reading a lot of fun contemporary romance.  My favourites at the moment:

Anna and the French Kiss 

Lola and the Boy Next Door 

So much love for these two books.  My fear, always, when I start a contemp romance is that the heroine will be someone I can’t relate to.  In both Lola and Anna the books are very much about them and it’s character driven stories where the romance feels natural and part of the bigger scheme of things.  So much love.  *kisses the books because they are lovely*

 

Dark Hollow

I’ve also been reading John Connolly. More people need to read John Connolly, okay? Listen! No, seriously, listen: John Connolly writes crime, okay…but crime that makes you feel like you should check your back often, not necessarily because someone’s there to stab you or shoot you (that happens too) but because there’s bits of his books that veer into the HELLISHLY creepy and supernatural and it gives me shivers.  He has a turn of phrase that sometimes just punches you in the gut and leaves you reeling.  I remember reading Every Dead Thing and freaking out because it managed to get under my skin so much, but especially when Charlie Parker (our main character) experiences this really peculiar incident whilst on a plane (the least supernaturally freaky place ever) and it left my mind going: wut? In Dark Hollow, page 55 of the pb, just…it’s far better than Stephen King at his creepiest, trust me.  And then there’s this one scene in Dark Hollow on the train and I actually had to put the book down for a few seconds because I went through both blind panic but also feels.  Man, that’s hard to do.  Just really, pick up John Connolly’s books.  You won’t be sorry.  Also: he’s a really nice guy.  The bastard.

I think that’s it for now.  Obviously I can spend more time wittering on about going to the movies and seeing more stuff and reading more books, but really, this is the core of it.  Oh, and one more thing: DO go to the Natural History Museum for their fantastic Mammoths: Ice Age Giants exhibition because it is fantastic.  I’ll leave you with this snarly picture from their website because it’s aces.  And snarly.

events

 

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

Launch, comp news, edit news!

Last week Friday I was like this, basically, for most of the day. 

Because Thursday had been the amazingly fantastic well attended noisy fun crazy loud launch for Banished in the Gallery at Foyles and I am not used to:

  • Socialising
  • Staying awake with people till after midnight
  • Talking
  • Laughing
  • Being an outside talking person (most of the talking happens inside my head)

It was huge amounts of fun though.  We had cookies.  And popcorn.  There was wine and books and people and talking and I felt like a rockstar basically.

Some pics (nabbed off my agent Juliet’s FB page!)

Window

Window display at Foyles

Banished table

Cookies and popcorn!

Team Liz

Juliet, me, Bella

A huge thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate with me.  And Mark.  It really was magical.  And for all my gorgeous presents.  I was truly spoiled.  And between Mark and I we managed to eat an entire red velvet cake and it was perfect. I regret nothing. 

And a big thanks to my friend Bev for dragging me out on Friday night to go and see Versailles at the Donmar.  I loved it utterly.  It’s made me resolve to go and see more theatre, that’s for sure!

The #banishedswag competition went RIDICULOUSLY well and the lovely Karen / @LOLintheLibrary got randomly chosen by random.org which is fab.  We’ve been in touch and K’s opted for the Kindle.  So once I’ve got the parcel put together, I will take a snap and add it up.

Below are the links to the Banished blog-tour that happened all of last week and the weekend.

Thanks so much to everyone hosting me and being patient as people waffled via twitter about the blog posts etc.

Earlier this week I met with my lovely editor Bella and we got to sit down and chat about book 2 (Vowed) and the shenanigans and fall-out that needs sorting out in book 3.  It was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure because it means that, almost sooner than what I’m ready, I have to write book 3 and wow, that’s just…wow.

Yes, I’m the writer. I have incredible strong word power skills. Shut up.

Anyway.  This is exciting. I got this email late last night from Bella:

Vowed

Editing book 2 will be happening over the next few weeks which is *flails*.

I’ll also be talking on the Tor blog later this month, more about the how Blackhart trilogy acquisition happened and we’ll also be talking about the editorial process and a few other things at a later stage.

If you’ve missed the first blogpost I did for Tor on getting an agent, do check that out here.  I even scraped my courage together and supplied them with my query letter I sent off to Juliet.  Juliet also kindly commented about the letter and what she thought of it.  The blog’s been getting a really positive response and I hope it helps newbie writers out there in some way.

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

Q&A with Kit and Aiden

I wrote this up for Becky from Becky’s Barmy Book Blog but I thought I’d repost it here as formatting is a complete bitch on the these blogs.  It’s a small script I wrote for Kit and Aiden, basically being forced to interview one another.  It goes a bit weird and hits the fourth wall.

ACT 1

FADE IN:

EXT: GREENWICH – AN ABANDONED WAREHOUSE – NIGHT

Two cars pull up.  One is a red Mini Cooper.  The other is a black SUV with tinted windows.  The doors open and close in unison.  Two people get out.  From the Mini Cooper, a pretty tall brunette, dressed in dark grey form fitting combat trousers and black ankle boots. The black polo-neck she’s wearing is partly covered by a military stab vest. She carries a sheathed sword in one hand.   This is KIT BLACKHART.  She looks over at the youth who got out of the SUV and gives him a slow nod of acknowledgement.

The youth – AIDEN GARRETT – returns the nod with one of his own and moves towards her.  Although Kit is tall (at least 6ft in her socks) Aiden is taller still with broad shoulders and a lean physique. He’s dressed in dark jeans, boots and a v-neck Henley.  Unlike Kit he carries no weapons.

KIT

You got the call too?

AIDEN

I did. Not happy about this though, you know? I was heading into town to hang out with Leo. We had plans. Clubbing, kissing girls. And now this.

KIT

(annoyed)

Sorry to cramp your social life.  Let’s go see what she wants.

AIDEN

Ladies first.

KIT

(scowling at him as she unsheathes her sword)

Watch your six.

AIDEN

Are you ever not armed to the teeth? And convinced people are out to get you?

They walk towards the half-open doors of the warehouse.  The whole area looks unsafe and unsavory.  A place where bad things happen.  The shadows are thick near the door and both Kit and Aiden go into tactical mode as they crouch low before entering the warehouse.  They clear the corners but there’s not sign of anyone.

AIDEN

                                                                       Did you bring a gun?

 KIT

                                         No.  I didn’t think I’d need it. You know, she said she just wanted to talk.

AIDEN

(mutters darkly)

Good, because you suck at shooting. I still have the scar where you hit me the last time.

KIT

Shut up.  You weren’t even supposed to be there.  It’s not my fault you’re allergic to silver, wolf boy.  Can you smell anything?

 

Aiden moves away from Kit, further into the dark and echoey warehouse, his head raised, drawing the air into his lungs.

 

AIDEN

No, but someone’s been here. Check that out.

 

Kit walks up to him and follows the line of his arm as he points.  She still couldn’t quite make it out.  Annoyance crosses her features as she closes her eyes.  There’s a faint HUM and we suddenly see the world from Kit’s perspective.  The darkness in the warehouse has taken on a green sheen, very much like you’d see through night vision goggles.

 

A table with a TV and camera has been set up, along with two chairs and a single light, like on a photo shoot.

 

KIT

What the hell is this about?

AIDEN

I have no idea, let’s go check it out.

 Keeping an eye on the shadows around them, they move swiftly to the table.  There’s a NOTE on the table, written in a neat hand.

Note2

 

KIT

She’s kidding, right?

 

AIDEN

No, she’s serious! (sighs)

Writers, they’re all off their heads on power or something. Lording it about. (mimics) If you don’t toe the line I will kill you or torture you in my next book.

 

They look annoyed but eventually they get the camera working and linked to the TV screen.  They settle down on the chairs, shifting about uncomfortably.

 

AIDEN

She could’ve left a heater or something in here.  I’m freezing.

KIT

God, you must be the whiniest werewolf I’ve ever come across.  She didn’t say how long the interview was supposed to be, did she? How about five questions each? That should cover it.

 

They high five to that before settling down and fiddling with the camera so that the red light shows that it’s recording.  They can see themselves on the TV screen.  Kit reaches up to tidy her hair but then shrugs and lets her hand drop.  Instead she fiddles with her sword until Aiden nudges her.

 

AIDEN

You go first.  You’re the star of the show.

KIT

Uh, hi.  My name is Kit Blackhart and I’m the main character in Banished and this is just really awkward and weird and I basically hate Liz right now.  But uh, well, we got to do what she says.  So with me today is Aiden.  He’s a secondary character in Banished.  And he’s a friend. (she narrows her eyes at him) Unless he annoys me then I may have to shoot him full of bullets or something.

KIT

(continued)

So, as I’m the one starting this, my question to Aiden is about your werewolf shape: why do you change into a wolf and not some half man-beast like in Wolfman?

AIDEN

Smooth, Blackhart, really smooth. Hi guys, nice to meet you.  The reason I don’t look like a Hollywood freak, is well, I’m a purebred werewolf.  My shape is either human or wolf.  It’s usually the guys who get bit who turn into these rabid half-human beasties you hear about in the news.  Oh, hold on a second. (he leans closer to Kit to hear what she’s whispering) Oh right, those things you hear about in the news? Not really real.  Sorry.

AIDEN

(continued)

My turn to ask a question now, to Kit.  Uhm, Kit. (laughs) Sorry, everything I can think about is really inappropriate. Okay, how about this: out of all your cousins and uncles and aunts, who’s your favourite and why?

KIT

Crap question, wolf boy.  Thanks for that. (thinks a bit) I think I will have to say my Uncle Jamie.  I mean, he’s the one who came to find me in hospital after my Nan died.  He’s the one who told me who I was.  What the Blackharts did. He’s also the guy who’s been training me and my cousins.  So yeah, right now? Uncle Jamie is my favourite.

AIDEN

Are those tears, Blackhart?

KIT

Is this my fist in your face?

AIDEN

Is that my question? Then yes, it is your fist in my face.  Put it away, Kit.  Here’s a handkerchief.  You cry ugly; no one wants to see that.

Kit turns away from the screen after accepting the handkerchief to wipe her eyes before turning back.

 

KIT

Stupid allergies, sorry about that. (crappy smile) Okay, Aiden, I must know: if my cousin Megan ever said yes to a date with you, where would you take her and what would you do? I mean, basically I want to know what your idea of a romantic date would be?

AIDEN

(he looks terrified)

Megan? Why are you even asking this? Do you think she’d go out with me if I asked her? Did she say she liked me like that? Kit? Stop laughing.  Ow, that hurts.  Okay.  Fine.  I’d take her for dinner at one of the really swanky places in Mayfair.  Then I’d take her dancing at Milton’s. Then, when she got bored of dancing, I’d take her to St Paul’s and we can sit on the roof and watch the sun rise.  Then, because I know you Blackharts have a thing about eating, I’d take her to Brick Lane and feed her fresh bagels.  Then I’ll get a taxi and we’ll head back to your place.  Where I will leave her with a chaste kiss on the cheek and then I will go home to my place.

AIDEN

What do you think of that?  I’m a classy guy.

KIT

You’ve got it bad.  (laughs)  Okay, what’s your next question?

AIDEN

But seriously, feel free to tell Megan I’d like to take her out. Any time she’s in the mood, you know? Man, she does things to my head.  (sighs) Okay.  Next question: if you never found out about being a Blackhart and if your magic never manifested, what would you do with your life?

KIT

I’d be a set designer, working in movies or TV.  Or a costume designer. Something creative like that.  How about you? What if you were Aiden Garrett bad ass werewolf, what would you be? What would you do with your life?

AIDEN

I don’t know. I’ve not actually ever thought about it.  I suppose it would be weird being just a normal guy.  With no pack to relate to.  Maybe I’d be a doctor? I think I’d like to work with kids.  You know? Look after the kids who really have no one else to look after them.

KIT

You’re just a big old softie, aren’t you? Ouch! Okay, stop, I won’t laugh at you anymore. Sorry.  Your turn now. I’ve lost count how many we’ve done now.  How about two more?

AIDEN

Each? Or me one and then you one?

KIT

Me one then you one. If Liz isn’t happy with this then she can just you know forget about screwing with my life some more cos I’m done.  Done. (determined stare to camera)

AIDEN

That’s fighting talk, crazy girl.  Okay.  My turn.

 

He narrows his eyes at her thoughtfully.

 

AIDEN

What is the thing you miss most about your normal life? Your life pre-Blackhart?

KIT

Seriously? Do you enjoy being an idiot?  (heavy sigh) Okay, so…I really miss being honest with my best friend, Karina.  She lives in Germany.  We had all these great plans to travel after school, doing a gap year.  Travel in Europe and then go on to America, you know? Now, that’s not possible. I’ve not ever been able to tell her about what I do really.  Can you imagine the postcard: Dear Karina, just hung out in Prague for the weekend.  Fought a gargoyle and went to dinner with a werewolf.  Wish you were here.  All my love, Kit xo xo

AIDEN

(after a few seconds) So, on a scale of one to ten, how hot is Karina?

KIT

Oh my god, Aiden, seriously? Are you even for real?

AIDEN

What? Enquiring minds need to know, Kit.  Come on.  Is Karina hot?

KIT

Her brother is super hot.  I’ve been half in love with him all my life it seems like.  (stupid grin on her face before she remembers herself and sits upright in her chair)  Okay, forget about Karina for now.  Last question, then we’re outta here.  My turn.

AIDEN

I can’t wait.

KIT

If you could change anything that happens in Banished, what would it be?

AIDEN

(huffs out a breath)

Wow.  That’s not a loaded question at all.  I think I’d change the whole thing with Scarlet.  That was really unpleasant and made me feel powerless and useless.

KIT

I know.  Our lives are messed up.

AIDEN

Look, wanna get out of here? Leo’s waiting at Milton’s. We can party till dawn?

KIT

Sounds like a plan.  Kyle’s not expecting me back at the house.  Uncle Andrew’s calling from New York in the morning though.  Apparently there’s a rumour of faerie drugs doing the rounds in nightclub. No doubt he expects me to investigate it.

AIDEN

Oh great.  Faerie drugpushers.  That’s all the human world needs.

END OF ACT 1

Thanks so much to Becky for letting me hang out!

This little Q&A takes place between Banished and the second book ,Vowed, out in November this year, if all goes well.  Hopefully it’s given you an idea as to who the characters are and the way I set the scene is fun and aimed to be read as if it’s a movie / tv show.

 

 

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

T-minus 9 days and counting

There are nine days left till publication of Banished.

This is me right now:

 

Only not quite as calm.  But it is exciting and not at all terrifying*

What is very exciting to me though is that I get to take part in a blogtour, as set up by Lucie at Tor UK, for the release of Banished.   As being on the receiving end of a blogtour as an new author…well, let me just say, it is a completely different animal to what I expected.  And I enjoyed it hugely, putting it all together and I think what helped is that some of the subjects I chose to write about aren’t your run of the mill subjects.  So, sorry about that. 

More importantly, here is the stonking banner Lucie put together.

Banished Banner

*whispers: that is my book wot I wrote that I get to talk about

On the 24th, I will also launch a bit of a giveway on here.  I won’t say much about it right now apart from the fact that it will be big and fat and stuffed full of swag.  I have no idea even how to ask for entries. I will have to figure that one out. Maybe do it via here and twitter with the hashtag #banishedswag ? That could work! But, I will see what comes together when it does happen.

For those of you who are looking into various options buying a copy of Banished, here are some links.  Just to be clear: I’m not affiliated to any of the stores I’m linking to so I make no money and get no kickbacks from anyone for linking to these.  Naturally I’d love for you to support your local indie store, so definitely do that, but I also know we’re all pretty much cash-strapped so order from wherever you want to suit your pocket!

Here we go:

Amazon – paperback 

Amazon – kindle 

Waterstones – paperback 

Hive stores – paperback & ebook 

Obviously Banished will be available in actual shop stores too so pop by and ask for copies. After the launch on the 27th Feb, there should be signed copies in Foyles on Charing Cross Road and I am thinking, there will be signed copies at Forbidden Planet (Shaftesbury) if I’m a truly lucky author, but I’ll keep you updated on that, at a later stage.  It’s all rather (OMGIAMSOTOTALLYFREAKINGOUTRIGHTNOW) cool.

Sword and book

So, that’s the end of me going promo-Liz about Banished coming out in a few days’ time. What am I up to at the moment?

Waiting for edits on Vowed to come back and to keep myself busy I’m obsessing about Teen Wolf (Stiles, I love you more than I love Isaac and Derek and Lydia and well, all the cast, basically) / Beauty and the Beast (Catherine you are my hero) / The Tomorrow People / Game of Thrones Season 4 (House Targaryen forever!) / The Walking Dead (omg, Rick please don’t die).

I am also fully loving tumblr and basically fan-girl to my heart’s content on there – follow at your very own peril.

I also got to visit, on my birthday no less, the very cool National Theatre’s prop department to look at props for the Foyles windows display.  Now, this is an opportunity very few authors are given, and I am genuinely flattered that Banished will be displayed in the Foyles “Staff Picks” window.  In the end we opted not to take anything from the National Theatre purely because we realised we could “fund” the window with stuff from our insane Tiny Tardis House and with the help of Mark’s sword tutor.  So, here we go:

Display stuff

Very excited to see the finished display – the one above was on our couch – in the window so I’ll definitely pop that onto the blog once I get sent a picture.

I’ve also just been writing in bits and pieces on a small contemp YA cross-over.  Not sure where it’s going but there are no explosions (!?) and no supernatural characters or elements (!?) but I am liking the characters and it’s making me laugh.  I’m taking this as a win.  And basically, really, that’s it, for now!

Mirrored from Liz de Jager.

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