Sunday, 19 February 2017

Guest Post: Alice Broadway's Journey into Becoming a Published Author


Hello everyone!

I have the lovely Alice Broadway on the blog today with a very exciting guest post in order to celebrate the release of her debut novel - INK! I'm so excited to read this one guys and it has one of the most gorgeous covers ever! Hats off to the incredible design team at Scholastic for that one...

Now, the synopsis sounds absolutely incredible for this book and I couldn't help but feel intrigued about Alice's writing journey on how she became a published author and the birth of INK. So, she has agreed to share her story with us all! She's absolutely lovely. Thanks for this wonderful beautifully written post Alice! A pleasure to have you on my blog. 

Hope you enjoy everyone!

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Synopsis of INK

Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora's father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.

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Depression isn’t a great thing; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone - but it’s something I live with. When, in 2013, I finally admitted I wasn’t OK and began taking medication, I wanted to do something that might make me feel more hopeful. I decided to give Nanowrimo a try. In hindsight, this probably isn’t the course of action I would recommend to everyone with a recent mental health diagnosis, but it sort of worked for me. I didn’t ‘win’ Nano, but I did finish the month with words that hadn’t existed before and with a secret, excited feeling that the novel idea that had been swimming around my head for the past year might just work.

Fast forward to the following September and my youngest child was starting school. I decided to revisit those 12k words and give myself a year to see if I could make this writing thing work. My process included lots of faffing about, naps and reading self-help books about how to write a novel. With the help of friends who read my work and gave me feedback, in September 2015 I ended up with a manuscript that I was ready to send. By some miracle, four days after sending my work out I had signed with my dream agent, the incredible Jo Unwin at Jo Unwin Literary Agency [http://www.jounwin.co.uk/]. Jo helped me rework the manuscript (it needed it) and at the end of January 2016 she sent it out on submission to a number of publishers.

A month or so later I travelled to London and met Genevieve Herr from Scholastic. Hearing someone who absolutely ‘got’ Ink and who had great belief in the world was incredible. Even better, Gen had all the insight and instinct to nurture me as a new writer and make my scrappy manuscript much, much better. There was no question that she was the right editor for me and that Scholastic would be a creative and supportive publishing family to be part of. It took more work than I imagined but now I have a book that I am so proud of. Writing is often thought of as a solo-gig, but without the expertise of so many amazing people Ink just wouldn’t exist.

I’ve had a pretty straightforward ‘getting published’ experience and I’m very thankful for that. I think, if you had asked me, way back in 2013 what my hope for my writing would be, I would have said that I wanted to write my way out of depression. That hasn’t happened: I still have it, although I am vastly better because of good meds, good GPs and good therapy. I am learning that writing doesn’t fix things, that even achieving your dream doesn’t magically make all the hard stuff go away. But I’ve learned that in writing I open a door to hope and allow it to come in and make its home in me, and hope doesn’t seem to mind the mess.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Alice Broadway drinks more tea than is really necessary loves writing in her yellow camper van. She hates being too cold or too hot, and really likes wearing lipstick and watching terrible Christmas movies.

LINKS:
@alicecrumbs | Goodreads | Website | Wordery

Check out all the other posts during the Blog Tour!


Friday, 3 February 2017

REVIEW: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HeartlessI received an ARC of this book from the publisher for free, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect the content of my review in any form.

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books on 9th February 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | Hive | Kindle

Summary:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. 

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.


Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.




Can we just crown Marissa Meyer as the Queen of Retellings? Was there any doubt that I would love this book? Nope. Although, I wasn't sure what to expect either because I've never been one for Alice in Wonderland retellings, or the original tale in general. But the idea of writing what I call, the origins, of a well known character with a twist is vastly impressive and Meyer nailed it with this glorious standalone.

Heartless focuses on the story of the Queen of Hearts, before she became the ruthless ruler that screams 'Off with the head!' and was overcome by shadows. We know her as a young Catherine in Meyer's retelling, with a talent for baking the most scrumptious treats. Warning: As the reader, you will feel great aching need to consume desserts of all kinds. Your mouth will water. You will feel starvation because you cannot have Catherine's delicious lemon tarts. The descriptions are INSANE.

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I was sucked in by the world building, the carefully thought out string of words Meyer put together to tell this tale of hers. It fascinated me to see her version of the Queen of Hearts story, and then breathe life into a whole new cast of characters, each with her own touch. I loved each and every character, they felt real, and I would gladly accept for this to be the true origins of each Wonderland character. Meyer has a great knack for writing retellings that sucks readers into the rabbit hole to which they would never want to leave. You'll be so invested into the story, the sizzling romance with chemistry that will shake hearts (Jest is truly enchanting. Who wouldn't want to fall in love with a court jester? SIGN ME UP) and then you'll be completely blown away by the end. 

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You will never be prepared.

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It's a weirdly, fantastical and magical tale with a generous amount of intense storytelling and a narrative that you will adore. Catherine's voice is one of many of Meyer's characters that I really enjoyed. She manages to make words flow like silk across the pages and that is true talent. Meyer just continues to bring out amazing and highly imaginative stories that we are lucky to read. And I shall continue to read them and all future stories she has to share.

Rating:
Gold Wreath