Category Archives: monthly favourites

My most nerdy dorkdoms

I recently read and loved this blog post by the Reading Rambo, where she lists her four most nerdy interests: the things she could talk about uninterrupted for hours at a time. I’m gonna steal her idea (which she stole from a podcast called The Dork Forest!) and write about my four most TERRIBLY EMBARRASSINGLY NERDY NICHE INTERESTS. Let’s go.

(Also: I’m gonna go ahead and tag this as my July favourites, because it’s nearly September and I have not done that yet. So….this counts.)


ONE. Fandom Culture

Listen. Whenever I’m ill, I do three things: read some fic, order sweets on Amazon Prime, and spend eight hours in the #babygate tag on Tumblr. It’s my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. I’m not really a big ‘shipper’ of real life people like Louis and Harry or Taylor and Karlie or Dan and Phil, but I’m freaking obsessed with the mindsets of shippers.

They are so immersed in every aspect of their interest, to the point of delusion. They invest endless time and energy meticulously analysing every detail of the political, economical and social details of their celebrity’s life/relationship, and ignore the moral grey areas that it involves (like keeping tabs on the social media accounts of celebrities’ young family members for any accidental slips of information).

Fans are the worst and best kinds of spies, and I have so much respect for that level of obsession about anything – but the intersection of obsession and celebrity particularly interests me. Like, read this post, where a Larry blogger explains why they do not, in fact, ship Larry. There is an incredible amount of information about that person to unpack there. I will one day write a novel from the point of view of a tumblr conspiracy theorist shipper. tumblr_nn4jtidFbG1u019nmo1_500.jpg

Other connected interests: fanfic as a genre (which I discuss a little here) and really old school  LiveJournal drama, such as the Harry Potter BNFs intrigues of the early 00’sI could literally talk about this (and I do) for hoursandhoursanddays.

TWO. Arrested Development 

I will watch and adore any zany, meta/intertextual American comedy. But Arrested Development holds a special place in my heart.  I have goalsandaspirations to be a screenwriter one day, and I want to write a show like Arrested Development: weird and clever and rewarding of obsession.

I rewatch the entire series once a year, minimum. All of the characters are problematic and awful and I adore every single terrible one of them, from Gob to the Perfect Michael to Lucille to Maebe to – oh god, I’m getting all emotional – George Michael.

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Listen. If you’ve never watched this show (or anything similar like Community) give it a go. It may change everything you thought you knew about what clever writing can do. It perfects the art of foreshadowing, the art of comedy, the art of character development and character unravel-ment, the art of sly and knowing narration, the art of just being super super amazing in general. If you need a quick introduction, my tag on tumblr is a good place to start.

I adore Arrested Development. I’ve adored other tv shows in my time, like Hannibal and Doctor Who and Brooklyn Nine Nine and Broad City and Jekyll, but my love for other things wanes and flows depending on how recently I watched it (or who the current showrunner is). My love for Arrested Development is constant and eternal and pure and utterly forgiving (even during the last season, which was….not the best.) It deserves a place on this list because I can’t see that ever changing.

THREE. The Raven Cycle

I limited myself to only one book on this list, because otherwise all four of them would have been, like, HP, HDM, JS&MN etc. So….here’s my One Book Choice. It was a tough one, but in the end I went with my most recent and hardhitting obsession.

I read a lot of books. Like, a lot. But none of them have got me hooked so much and so quickly as Stiefvater’s quartet since I was a kid. I’m so obsessed with this series that I forced all my friends to reread the series and have monthly discussion meetings in the run up to the release of The Raven King. They were good sports about it.

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Art by cassandrajp

Thinking about these characters literally makes my heart hurt. I love them all, Ronan and Adam and Gansey and Noah and lovely, fiesty, underappreciated Blue. I want to be friends with them. I would love to read the strange, magical prose of more books about the rest of their lives. It’s an art to get readers to care so deeply about characters, and Stiefvater has pulled it off. She’s also the queen of foreshadowing.

While I do have a lot of opinions about the end of the series, the fact that I care so deeply that I have such strong opinions is a sign of a true obsession. On the list it goes.

FOUR. My Characters

Like, obviously. COME ON. I’m a writer! Of course i’m obsessed with my babies! From Kate and Matt to Clove and Ella, and the ones you haven’t met yet, like Romy and Leah and Rima and Felix and Harriet……sigh. I could talk about them for the rest of my life without pause (luckily I get paid to do just that!).

It’s a strange kind of obsession, since they literally came from myself, but once a character is created they are their own being, and I want to know every single thing about them. I love the act of creation and the depth of feeling I can conjure up for these fictional people, and that feeling is addictive. I am obsessed.

BONUS, obsessions that I considered adding to this list: My dogs. The website The Toast. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. This article about mozzarella sticks. Vampire Weekend. Dinosaur Comics. Sterek fic. Annie Edison. Selling things on eBay. Casey Neistat. UKYA. Stationary. Jillian Holtzmann. Oscar Isaac’s chopsticks. Hannibal. Stoker. Tumblr user “sashayed”. The Hamilton soundtrack. My mum’s garden. Hark! A Vagrant. The Shoebox Project. My bookshelves. Baking recipes. Jenny Slate & Chris Evans. Pride & Prejudice. We have always lived in the castle. Rey. Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. This recap of the Back to the Future Novelisation. And, as of now, making lists of my obsessions.

FINALLY: I persuaded my mate Sarah to do this blog post too, because if there’s anyone who can get truly obsessed about things it’s her. I don’t know what she’s gonna pick, but my guesses are Animorphs, Hamilton, Hannibal and books (her blog is called SarahLikesBooks, so I feel like this one is a pretty safe bet.) You can check here to see if I was right.


In other news: I’m doing an event this Thursday at Waterstones Piccadilly at 6.30pm! Come along!

The Czech cover of TNT was revealed!

Eek!

Summary of my week:

Last week I also turned 24, and celebrated by going to see The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the West End. It was intense. I cried more times than I am willing to admit.

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June Favourites

It’s time for another one of these! They’re still my favourite blog posts to write, so enjoy.

I spent most of June backpacking around Cambodia and a bit of Thailand. It was tiring but brilliant and I’m so glad I went. I think next time that I’ll choose a nice hotel over hostels though, at times it was a bit…….rural. Hah.

Anyway here’s me doing some cool stuff there:

Okay, now you’re suitably jealous, here’s my faves.


Play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

tumblr_o9l3vwLkqd1qa24muo1_400.jpgYES, I’VE SEEN IT. IT WAS SO GOOD. INCANDESCENTLY GOOD!! I’ll probably talk about it more after the script is released because #keepthesecrets, but: Scorpius is my favourite, Rose is too good for him, Albus needs a good long hug, grown-up Harry is smoking hot (my friend Madi spent the whole show whispering #DATASS in my ear), HERMIONE!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s just so magical and lovingly created and I have NO idea how they did some of the magic special effects. And the ending!! It’s so JKR! It’s literally the eighth novel, and anyone who’s bracing themselves for disappointment does not have to worry at all.

(But I would recommend waiting to see it live, if you can avoid reading the script. I KNOW THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE. But it will make the experience about 1000% better. Trust me.)

Book: The Yellow Room by Jess Vallance

27809137.jpgSixteen-year-old Anna receives a letter from her father’s girlfriend telling her he has died and asking to meet. Anna is drawn to Edie: her warmth, her character, her ability to rustle up delicious meals, all of which her own mother is seemingly incapable of . . .
and the way she can tell Edie the secret that is buried inside her.

A tautly told, compelling tale about mothers and daughters and the lengths that some will go to, to make their dreams come true.

I read this in one sitting. It’s another incredibly dark story of obsession, revenge and love. Jess Vallance is one of the most underrated UKYA authors and she’s an auto-read for me.

 

TV Show: Gilmore Girls

This has just gone on Netflix, and I’m watching it for the first time. I’m already on series 2. Luke and Lorelai just need to kiss already, obviously. And I’m unashamed to say I’m wholeheartedly shipping Rory/Paris. #noregrets

(Also, Dean is the official Worst. And I love Emily. I HAVE SO MANY GILMORE GIRLS FEELINGS, HELP ME.)

Blog Post: ON THE SLOW PURSUIT OF OVERNIGHT SUCCESS by Victoria Schwab

This post hit me hard in my deepest fears, and it really calmed them a lot. It’s very inspirational to learn that the worst things that can happen to an author – having your series cancelled, not selling enough books – never mean it’s the end. As long as you keep writing good books, they will get published. And one day you might be Victoria Schwab!

At 25, I was scarred, terrified that my career was over, because I’d given something everything I had, and it wasn’t enough, and I didn’t understand how or why or what I was supposed to do next, and part of me wished I’d walked away back when that first book didn’t sell, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. And my anger, my frustration, my stubborn resolve was louder than my fear, so I sat down and wrote something else.

It was a book for me. A book to restore my joy, to remind me why I did this masochistic thing. And it was a secret, a sheltering of the creative process so that that no publisher could take away what the writing of it gave me.

 

Film: Ghostbusters

Okay, this only came out in July, but I cAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT, so it’s going in my faves this month. I watched the whole thing in wide eyed amazement. Four strong women, who aren’t objectified or body shamed! Three of whom are SCIENTISTS! The other of whom is a historian! A loving, feminist sense of humour what doesn’t mock anyone! Fake geek guy Chris Hemsworth! KATE MCKINNON.

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I JUST WANT TO WATCH IT EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. BEST FILM EVER.


In other news: I did a really emotional interview over at Siobhan Curham’s brilliant new website – check it out here at the blog.

I also did a short radio interview over at the Gateway YA Book club here: https://gatewayyabookclub.tumblr.com/post/147852145393/

My big giveaway, where I’m offering query critiques and signed annotated copies of TNT, is open here until the 6th August.

I’m going to be staying in London for all of August. I’m so excited, and I’m going to see ALL THE MUSICALS. If you have any suggestions for cool things I should do, or you’re going to be around and want to hang out, hmu!!

A reminder about some of my upcoming events: I’m going to be at YALC ON Sat 30th, doing a workshop with Alice Oseman at 2pm on ‘Fandom Vs Creator: Authors on social media’, with a signing afterwards. I’ll be around for the rest of the day too, and I’d love to see you all if you come along! (Related: Alice posted her uni dissertation on her blog! It’s so good, you should read it if you’re at all interested in something called “Words were different when they lived inside of you’: Queering Genre in Young Adult Fiction”.

I’ve also got an event at Waterstones Oxford on August 14th at 4pm. It’s a Historical Fiction panel with Rhian Ivory, Katherine Woodfine, Emma Carroll and Helen Maslin.

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April Favourites | The Raven King | Jane the Virgin | MY FIRST CAR

Happy May! I’ve been an outrageous blogger and only posted once since my last monthly round up. In apology, here is an extra long April faves for you. Enjoy.


Mode of transportation: My first car (!!)

Far and away my favourite of this month was my most expensive purchase ever – I bought my first car! It’s beautiful and shiny and I’m in looooove.

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I may or may not do this every single day.

TV Show: Jane the Virgin

jane-celebrate.jpgI have become unbelievably obsessed with this series, so fast. It just sucked me in from the beginning. It has the kind of affectionate teasing of its characters which I love, and with every episode the plot gets more and more cheesy and intense and complicated. Basically, this is the tv epitomy of the word outrageous. In the first series finale, I was in absolute buckets of tears, which I totally didn’t expect. I got so attached to everyone.

The first series is on Netflix. Run, don’t walk.

Book: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

17378527.jpgThis was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, and it completely lived up to expectations. I did have a few issues with it, which I am very interested in discussing with my RCBC (Raven Cycle Book Club).

But overall, it was a very satisfying and emotional end to the series and I just love them all, okay? Gansey remains now and forever my ultimate fave, but I think Adam has started to give him a run for his money.

I want more. Please, Maggie? Please?

 

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ALSO:

Place: Libraries

A shout out should also go to libraries in general. Now I can drive (!) I’ve joined three local libraries and got so many books. Like, for free?!!? It’s amazing!

Recipe: Iced tea

As it’s getting warmer I’ve been perfecting the art of making iced tea, English style. My current favourite version is this:

  • Make a full pot of tea using half PG Tips and half Earl Grey loose tea leaves
  • When brewed, add to a jug with the juice of an orange and a lemon, 4 tsp of brown sugar and a few chopped mint leaves.
  • If you have it, I usually add some of this peach flavouring too.
  • Add a Spiced Masala Chai tea bag. Leave to chill overnight.
  • ENJOY.

Advert:  Good Morning Alice

Tumblr had been developing a horror story around this short advert/story featuring Gwenyth Paltrow. It rivals genuine spooky films for creepiness, and I’m so into it. First read this and then have a look through this tag to see how d e e p this gets. Amazing. I want a film/book/tv series about Alice.

Forum: bodybuilding dot com thread where two guys argue about how many days are in a week

In a similar internet-weirdness vein, I recently came across this forum thread again. I first read it a few years ago, and I think about it probably more frequently than I should.

Blog: Jim’s Recent Links Round up

I’ve been loving Jim at YAYeahYeah’s round-up posts – and not only because he adds my stuff! It’s a great catch up on the UKYA world, especially if you’re like me, and terrible at keeping up with Twitter. Everything he recommends is interesting and well written and I usually end up with so many tabs open that my computer crashes.

Short Story: THE ABRIDGED HISTORY OF DISNEY, 2015–2040 AD

I’m so into this semi-real, semi-dystopian satire story about Disney/Marvel’s world domination.

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Someone write the full novel of this, before I do.


In Other News: There is a giveaway to win a query + first chapter critique by me, running here, along with lots of other authors and editors!

I’ve become an admin for the UKYA blog group Author Allsorts. I’ll be doing general management things and coming up with blog ideas alongside Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery, now that the lovely Kate Ormand is sadly stepping down. I’m very excited to be part of such a lovely team!

It’s been announced that I’m appearing at YALC this year on the Saturday. I’m also joining the My Kinda Book tour in June!

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The ticket office for YA shot, which I am also appearing at, is now open here!

This month I got to do a panel with Alice Oseman, which was amazing – it was definitely the best event I’ve ever done. #laurenandalicetourplease 😉

Brum Radio Book Show discussed TNT this week, and were very lovely about it. You can listen here, from 44 mins onwards. I also got very excited about this Guardian site review. Thank you, guys!!

I hit the halfway point in writing my fourth book this week too – hurray! I always get convinced I’ve forgotten how to finish a story about 20k words in, so I’m relieved to have remembered how it all works. It’s (hopefully) all easy going from here.

I’m so into it and it’s so intense and the characters are really being stretched more than any I’ve written before and I’M VERY HAPPY. I went through a couple of weeks where I couldn’t write at all because of stress/anxiety but I’ve got over it finally. Now I’m racing through it!! And I wish I could tell you what its abouuuuuut! (I posted a book playlist here)

Finally, this happened.

Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September |October | November |December | January |February | March

March Favourites | Community | Wells&Wong | Oliver Bonas | Aurora

 

Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September |October | November |December | January | February

It’s April, which means it’s nearly summer ! Every day I keep putting on skirts and then having to add leggings because it’s just a little too cold still. One day soon it will be warm again, I hope…

I spent most of March writing the first draft of Book 4, and I’ve just hit 25,000 words. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing a novel, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Twitter even got involved in naming one of the characters!

However much I love writing novels, though (which I really do) I wish I could pay someone to get the first 20k out of the way for me. It’s always AGONY. It’s so infuriating, because I know exactly what is going to happen, down to the minute, but I haven’t worked out how to TELL it yet. I have to write and rewrite and rewrite trying to adjust it until the right format and structure makes itself known.

It’s like chipping away at marble, then realising what you really need is a shard you chipped off, and having to glue it back together. FOR EVERY WORD. Basically: I’ve spent a lot of this month writing the same scenes five different times over, and I’m probably about to do it again. Wish me luck!


TV Series- Community

Honestly, I’ve spent this whole month rewatching Community.

Book 4 is quite funny, and has an ensemble cast, so I’m considering this as ‘research’ instead of ‘time-wasting’, as Community is expert at ensemble humour.

I have dreams of one day writing for TV, and if I would love to work on something like Community. I love brick jokes and running jokes and foreshadowing jokes, and basically anything that you have to watch three times before it makes complete sense. Broad City and Arrested Development do this very well too.

My favourite jokes: Notches | Beetlejuice | Nicholas Cage | Conspiracy gunfights | Blanket fort chase | the Darkest timeline

Also:

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Because this is my life now.

26810258Book: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

I miss physics a lot, so I’ve been meaning to pick up this cute tiny book since I first saw that stunning cover. It’s a really amateur-friendly introduction to some difficult concepts, and it gets very philosophical at times, for example, my favourite page:

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Special mention also goes to Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, because even though these books are MG, I am obsessed with them. I read every single one in a one sitting, and they just get better and better. The friendship between Daisy and Hazel is getting more complicated and messy as they get older, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Short Film: The Ministry by Khyan Mansley

I love this surrealist short film – because isn’t it every writers dream to get paid £60 a day?

Homeware: Metallic Wine Glasses – Oliver Bonas

951999_oliver-bonas_homeware_copper-honeycomb-wine-glassOkay, so I kind of have a problem? The problem is that I really want to have a cute little flat and fill it with nice things. I’m desperate. So I keep buying pretty dinnerware and things, even though….I am not in place where I can use them in my own kitchen yet! The latest addition to my collection of waiting-to-be-used beauties alongside my Denby plates and vintage weighing scales are these metallic rose gold glasses. SO CUTE.

My justification is that when I do get a place, I will probably be too broke to afford nice things, so I should spread out the cost and buy them now. That makes sense, RIGHT? Right.

Music: Aurora – All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friendvideo-premiere-aurora-conqueror-1452860962

I’ve just discovered Aurora, and she’s boss. She sings eerie, Scandinavian music that reminds me of Of Monsters and Men. I like Runaway. Just wait for that beat to kick in!

Stationery: Moleskine Recipe Journal

I got one of these recently, and I spent hours and hours writing all of my favourite recipes in it. I love it. If you’re into cooking, but have far too many recipe books to ever remember where you found a cake or pie, this is for you.

Article: How The World’s Most Beautiful Typeface Was Nearly Lost Forever – Hayley Campbell

This is the greatest thing I’ve ever read, A+++++. I wouldn’t even put this much work into improving my OWN NOVELS post publication. He’d already finished the font!!!

People obsessed with obscure things to the point of un-relatability is my favourite thing to read about. I can’t IMAGINE loving a font this much. And I feel like I experience life in less vibrant colours because of that.

28204534.jpgComic: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson

This is like LUMBERJANES for grown ups, I love it! Foul mouthed teenage girls roaming the streets at night in a regimented squad, delivering papers and getting into alien shenanigans. I would like another 20 volumes, please.

The girls’ voices are so realistic and fun, and the drawing style is stunning – the starry night sky especially took my breath away. A huge, huge recommendation.

 


 

In other news: I had a lovely time last week talking Historical Fiction at Waterstones Birmingham. My friend Kate did a great write up of the panel here (she also introduced me to the world of Pop Funkos, of which she is Queen. I got my first one – Hannibal Lecter, of course.)

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L to R: Helen Maslin, me, Rhian Ivory, Katherine Woodfine and Emma Carroll.

Pic by pippamum888!

This is your final* reminder that Alice Oseman and I are doing a panel there on the 16th! Alice made a silly promo trailer about it.

*Probably not final – I’m pretty excited about it.

It has also been announced that I’ll be appearing at YA Shot again this year in October. Whoo!

My friend Hannah spotted this lovely note about TNT in Foyles – another whooo!tumblr_o54oohIFJz1tgwgi1o1_500

And while I’m bragging about cool things, I love this graphic made by Angel_reads:

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As there’s only 6 months until it’s release, and I’ve been getting lots of enquiries about this – if you would like to review The Last Beginning, you can request a review copy here. If you are an American blogger who would like to review The Next Together, you can also sign up to be notified when review copies are available from Sky Pony Press here!

Finally, this is the future I aspire to:

Have a great April, guys!

Things I enjoyed in February | Broad City | Curtis Sittenfeld | Hamilton

tumblr_o3ifmkZE4K1qa24muo1_500.jpgPreviously: April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November |December | January

I can’t believe it’s Maaaarch! Where did time go? The most important thing in the universe happened in February, and I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST (finally) (third time lucky). Hurray for transportational freedom!


 

tumblr_o38zitx7d71qhwnzlo1_540.jpgTV Show – Broad City

It’s back!! Ilana and Abbi are my favourite, favourite pair of female friends in all of fiction. I wish each episode was longer than twenty minutes, because it’s nowhere near enough. It’s so refreshing, unignorably feminist and proud.

Book – American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

2807199Over the last few months, I’ve read every one of Sittenfeld’s books. A lot of them have similar themes, but I love, love, love all of them. Even this one, which is a fictional account of George Bush’s wife Laura. It’s super weird reading a book where the dorky love interest is literally George Bush, but once you get past that it’s just a bloody good read. Laura is one of the most complicated protagonists I’ve read in a long time (it reminded me a lot of the Neapolitan novels). She has to resolve having met someone who is basically her ideal man, with the fact that he is running for office….and she disagrees with all of his political views. Yeah. If you like House of Cards*, give it a go!

*I’M HALFWAY THROUGH THE NEW STUFF. WILL UPDATE MORE IN MARCH FAVES, SOZ.

 

Musical – Hamilton

OKAY. WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. Every single person in the world knew I was gonna get into this. And I am, okay? I admit it! It’s my thing. I am completely mainstream. Dear Theodosia is my Book 2 writing jam, for reasons which… are probably obvious if you’ve read TNT?

Website – Futurelearn

I found this website because I was looking for a website to teach me more about writing screenplays. I took a free 4 week course on Scriptwriting, which was … okay. (The BBC Writer’s Room Script archive is more useful). But! I ended up taking some really cool other courses, like this Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds course on Maritime Archaeology. It was free, and amazing, and I got to learn about something I’d never get a chance to otherwise. It’s possible I just really miss uni, but if you’re into learning stuff, check it out.

Article: How to Write About Characters Who Are Smarter Than You

I made Kate and Matt scientists in The Next Together as a response to awful media portrayals of scientists, so this article is HELLA GOOD. I also love that the writer of The Imitation Game’s script did it for free, whaaaat?


 

In other news: I made a Venn diagram copying a cute idea done by Mackenzi Lee to compare the differences and similarities between her books. So here’s the things in both The Next Together and The Last Beginning (out in October!). 😶

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My agent Claire Wilson has been shortlisted for Agent of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards! She is 100% GONNA WIN, because she deserves it.

Also a reminder that I’m doing an event with Alice Oseman in April at Waterstones Birmingham, and tickets are still available!

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Things I liked in January | Captive Prince | X Ambassadors | The Rec Center

Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

I can’t believe it’s February already, and I’ve been making these posts for almost a year! I’m proud of myself for keeping up with it. I still really enjoy collecting tidbits for them, so I’m going to carry on.

January was a month of lots of writing for me, and lots of waiting. In publishing, you have to play the long game, and I’m definitely coming to realise that. I’m full of feelings about stuff I’m working on, but I’m not allowed to share any details about it for at least a few more months. BUT THERE’S LOTS OF EXCITING STUFF COMING UP, GUYS. I can say that, at least.


 

YouTube channel – A Case for Books By Anna James

I love Anna’s new youtube channel. She’s got a very original style, and her taste in books is always spot on. I’ve bought several excellent books based solely on her recommendations – for example,  A Ghost’s Story, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty and The Ecliptic.

You can read my interview with Anna here.

 

Non-fiction book – Ice Age Art by Jill Cook003.jpg
I’m kind of obsessed with this stuff at the minute. I keep telling anyone who will listen all about these sculptures and paintings and clay models from FORTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO which are still intact now. I can’t wrap my head around that age, and what these people’s lives would have been like.

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Fiction book – King’s Rising by C. S. Pacat

The Captive Prince trilogy is finally complete! I’ve been following this series since it was posted on livejournal in 2008. Almost a decade! It was definitely worth the wait, and I have so. many. feelings. HELP.

Newsletter –The Rec Center

This new email letter is about recommending articles and fics related in some way to fandom. They showcase a different fandom each week (so far, Star Wars, X-Files and Sherlock). This is so much My Kind of Thing that you might not believe me when I say I don’t write this. Here’s an example of their latest recs:

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A lovely easy way to find new things to read. Related: at the minute I’m doing research into early nineties fandom for a New Project, and I collected some of my favourite internet archaeology findings here.

Cosmetics – Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Blusherbb_prod_E38105_415x415_0

I have this in Rose, and it’s the best blusher I’ve ever used. I have very pale skin and don’t wear much foundation, so blushers usually look very red on me. This is beautifully subtle, with a healthy glow and some shimmer. I like mixing all the shades together too.

Music – Hozierhozier

I went to see Hozier live this month! He was spectacular. We had a lot of fun mimicking his extravagant hair flips too.

Single – X Ambassadors – Renegades

This is my ‘listen to on repeat until I’m sick of it’ song of the moment.


 

In other news: Rights have sold to the Czech republic! The Next Together will be released in Czech on November 30th, and you can preorder it here. If anyone’s keeping track, that means that TNT will soon be available in 7 languages – English, American English (yes, that counts!), German, Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian abbtnd Czech! Swooooon. I can’t wait to have those lovely editions lined up on my desk!

Sara Barnard’s debut Beautiful Broken Things was released, and there’s a quote from me in the front! She’s the new star of Contemporary UKYA, so make sure you check BBT out if that’s your thing!

And Cat Doyle listed TNT in the Guardian as one of her favourite doomed romances – thanks Cat!

Things I liked in December | And then there were none | Oscar Isaac | Podcasts

Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

It’s mid-January! I’m very late with this post! Let’s get on with it!


 

Podcast – Fiction Addiction

My friend Sarah records this, and it’s really thoughtful and broad, and I’m very into it. Recently, she and her co-host have discussed Jessica Jones, Code Name Verity, Hannibal and Bakkhai. Good work, Sarah.

Book – Juniper Lane by Kady Morrison

9780990484431.jpgAfter a breakup she’d rather not talk–or think–about ever again, Mim Robinson has nowhere to go: distanced from her friends, estranged from most of her family, she finds herself against all odds on Juniper Lane, surrounded by an eccentric aunt and her wealthy, uptight neighbors. Among the catty gossip and quiet rhythms of the suburbs, Mim finds herself striking up a strange, unexpected friendship with the intimidating Nadia Bahjat, the only other twenty-something on the street. Nadia, a professional chef and perennial disappointment to her parents, had to leave a promising career in the city to return home when her father grew sick–but she’ll soon realize that her parents may not be as perfect as she’d always imagined. A queer romance that encompasses both a cutting satire of suburban American life and a nuanced depiction of the aftermath of abuse, Juniper Lane is above all an ode to the freedom that comes from embracing the uncertainty of adulthood.

I’m a huge (HUGE) fan of Big Bang Press’s A Hero at the end of the world, so as soon as their second release landed on my kindle I devoured it whole.  It’s lovely and romantic in a hazy summer kind of way. Intensely character focused, with a great critique of suburban America. I really enjoyed this one. This isn’t released until April, but it’s up for preorder here.

TV series-  And Then There Were None
tumblr_o08pd4MkMz1ruxfazo1_250.giftumblr_o08pd4MkMz1ruxfazo2_250.gifThis sinister BBC adaptation of the Agatha Christie
mystery was my favourite part of Christmas tv, tbh. It was ominous and slick and perfect – and Aidan Turner is in it, with a lot of Female Gaze cinematography going on. It reminded me a LOT of my fave tv show Hannibal, in terms of elegant murder, dinner parties and fashion. Watch it.

I also really enjoyed this interview with the Production Designer discussing the design of the figurines, this analysis of the Murder Order of the cast at The Toast and this fannish character analysis. Clearly I follow the best people on social media because everyone was Big Into this 3-episode series.

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Quiz – Will You Make A Suitable Bride For Oscar Isaac?

As you may be aware, since Star Wars came out, Oscar Isaac has become tumblr’s new boyfriend (exes include: Tom Hiddleston, Dylan O’Brien, Benedict Cumberbatch, Natalie Dormer etc. etc.). My fave satire website was quick to jump on this internet-wide crush and make a quiz about him. I have read novels with less production quality. Let me hire this person to write for me.

 

oscar

Even though I have yet to see Star Wars (I know! What am I doing!), I approve. Wholeheartedly.


 

In other news: I’ve added all of the extra scenes and short stories that I’ve written about Kate and Matt to Wattpad. You can now read Chapter 1 from Matt’s POV, a medieval short story, some deleted scenes and a ton of drabbles.

In a very fun blog interview recently, I got to choose my favourite quotes, characters and more from The Next Together.

I reviewed Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge for a series on Bollywood that the lovely Sofia is running.

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