Category Archives: the next together

3 days to go! Fancasting my characters

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish, a playlist and the book as different genres. 

If you preorder The Next Together before September 3rd you can get a free signed bookmark! Details here. The last person to email me with their preorder information before midnight GMT on September 2nd will receive an extra special gift with their bookmark!

Today, I’m sharing my character fancasts!

THIS IS MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE THING TO DISCUSS, SO HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS GUYS. THERE’S GONNA BE A LOT OF CAPITAL LETTERS AHEAD.


aLRIGHT ALRIGHT SO MATTHEW GALLOWAY, MY MAIN MAN.

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Preferably, all of these lovely gentlemen would play him together, at the same time. If (tragically) that weren’t possible for some reason, I would narrow it down to:

BEN WHISHAW. BEN FREAKIN WHISHAW.

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HOW’RE YOU DOING THERE, BABYCAKES. MMMM.

We’ve got futuristic scientist Matthew:

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SAFETY SPECS AND TERRIBLE CARDIGANS AND NERVOUS CONFIDENCE AND….COME HERE LET ME CUDDLE YOU AGRESSIVELY.

And historical journalist babe Matthew:

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CHECK OUT THAT VULNERABLE BEAUTY. THAT POETIC INTELLIGENCE. THAT GENTLE SWEEPING CURL OF HAIR.

THAT’S MY MATT.

Although I think Corentin Renault also deserves a little shoutout:
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Kate Finchley. My girl is a lot harder to cast, because she has to have the kind of face that is androgynous enough to pass as a boy when in disguise, but also super curly ginger locks.

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I think the most likely choice is Rose Leslie, who was introduced to me via this beautiful The Next Together gifset.

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tumblr_nt8rfp7y2k1uz5qdeo8_250 SO ELEGANT. SO DIGNIFIED. SO LIKE KATE, WHO IS ALL THOSE THINGS (UNTIL SHE OPENS HER MOUTH).

Although Jessica Chastain is also a frontrunner.

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LOOK AT YOU SOLVING MYSTERIES AND BEING COMPETENT AT EVERYTHING, URGH.

MY BABIES, I LOVE YOU.

Also, here they are as mermaids, because why not?

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So then we have the secondary characters, who are a lot harder to cast because I haven’t spent almost three years thinking about them inside out.

Tom Galloway. I’m thinking smirky, cocky? Stubble. Dylan O’Brien.

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Sexy hacker older brother Dyls O’B.

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And finally Anise is Ellen Page

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If you want to know more about Kate and Matt, you can read the first chapter of The Next Together here, and buy the book in the following places:

Amazon UK | Waterstones |  The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Wordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks |  Goodreads

In other news: I did an interview at That Artsy Reader girl‘s blog.

The Next Together was featured in yesterday’s Sunday Express! Honestly, I can’t believe this is real life sometimes.

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A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.

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4 days to The Next Together: Fashion, baby!

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish, a playlist and the book as different genres. 

If you preorder The Next Together before September 3rd you can get a free signed bookmark! Details here. The last person to email me with their preorder information before midnight GMT on September 2nd will receive an extra special gift with their bookmark!

Today I’m sharing some FASHION. These are the clothes that Kate and Matt wear in all of their many different lives. I made these using Polyvore, which is a very fun website which will suck away all of your time. Would recommend, 10/10.


First, the 2039 versions from the recent future (recent as in: these are basically just modern clothes) both Kate and Matt are university students. Their clothing choices definitely reflect this.

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Then we get the fun, historical get-ups! In 1854, Matthew is a fancypants journalist and Katy is in disguise as a boy.

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I want to dress exactly like 1854!Matthew, please.

In 1745, Matthew is a coachman and Katherine is a noble lady. They look like this:

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I see that Batman-esque sneaky cape, Katherine. I see it.

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If you have any suggestions for clothing for Kate and Matt, please show me because I am now OBSESSED.


If you want to know more about Kate and Matt, you can read the first chapter of The Next Together here, and buy the book in the following places:

Amazon UK | Waterstones |  The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Wordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks |  Goodreads

A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.

5 days to The Next Together: Deleted scenes

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish, a playlist and the book as different genres. 

If you preorder The Next Together before September 3rd you can get a free signed bookmark! Details here. The last person to email me with their preorder information before midnight GMT on September 2nd will receive an extra special gift with their bookmark!

Today I have two deleted scenes to share with you! I have lots and lots of scenes which were cut out of the final book, but I think these two are the ones I miss the most.


The first is from the timeline set in 2039. In this version, Matt is suspicious of Kate, and thinks she’s spying on him. That plotline was cut out of a very early draft, which meant that this scene didn’t fit with the story any more. I still really love it though, so I’m sharing it now! 

University of Nottingham campus, England, 2039

As they wandered out of the library,  Kate took a deep breath.

“So, Matt. Can I ask you something?”

He took a deep breath, looking resigned. “I guess,” he mumbled, which wasn’t encouraging.

She forced her voice to behave and not embarrass her with a tremor. Lightly she smiled at him. “Do you maybe, want to go out for a drink now? Like- a date?” When she plucked up the courage to look, he seemed a little blind-sided.

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Behind the book: Cover designer Jack Noel

More in this series: Agent | Ghostwriter | Editor | Library Assistant  | Publicity Assistant | Typesetter | Cover Designer | Foreign Rights Manager | Blogger |Scout |Translators | Book charity | Copyeditor

Today’s interview is with a cover designer at Walker Books, Jack Noel. Jack is the genius behind the cover of The Next Together, which I personally believe to be the greatest work of art that humanity has ever created. (But I might be biased.)

This is my favourite interview in the series so far, not only because Jack is very funny, but because he shares some of the abandoned cover designs for The Next Together with us!


What does your job involve? 

I design covers for books. The process is: read, discuss, think, sketch, research, visualise, trial, error, copy, paste, discuss, refine, refine, discuss, refine … and that’s it.

How did you become a designer? 

Before working in publishing I spent a few years as a freelance designer/illustrator doing occasional fun things like album covers but mainly less-fun things like corporate logos.

My dream was to work in children’s books so I wrote to my top two publishers – Walker Books and Nosy Crow – and asked if I could come and meet someone to talk design. Nothing happened for ages but then, about six months later, a junior position came up in the Fiction department at Walker. I applied and somehow ended up getting the job.

Do you have any favourite illustrators/cover designs that you remember from your childhood?

Yes! These ones:

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What are your favourite and least favourite things about working in cover design?

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How did you go about designing the cover for The Next Together?

I started by reading the manuscript and discussing ideas with the editor, Annalie. We also pulled together relevant book covers and other imagery for reference. This stage is important. Fun too!

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I noticed that time-travel themed stories are often represented as layers. (I guess because time is linear and the layers are like different dimensions? I’m not 100% clear on the physics.) I knew I wanted to play on this for The Next Together as it fit well with my reading of the story,  with the characters being consistent through the different time periods.

I started playing around with layers to represent the time-periods from the story.

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I created dozens of variations. The whole way through I discussed the progress with Annalie as well as David, the Walker Books fiction art director, and our Sales and Marketing teams. We also occasionally shared it with you, the author!

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final coverOne breakthrough (though it seems incredibly obvious now) was switching to the vertical bands. We read images like text – from left to right – and so this arrangement makes a lot more sense. The bands are made up of a mixture of old artwork, textures and stock imagery.

It took many many iterations to get the balance between the high-concept stuff and the romance but I think we got there in the end. I’m definitely pleased with how it all came out. I hope it lives up to the scope and emotion of the book.

Has being involved in publishing changed how you read books for pleasure?

Yes – now I always start by checking the copyright page for credits.

What trends do you predict will become more common in cover design?

Most covers now are encountered online, so I think there’ll be more and more moving and interactive ones. I hope so. I like them.

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Do you have any advice for anyone looking to get into cover design?

Decide exactly what kind of books you’d like to work with and then make your portfolio as focused and as relevant as possible. Then keep showing it to people and listen to any feedback you can get. Also: good choice! It is fun.


Jack is an illustrator/designer type from London/Brighton. He was the Brighton Cooperative Beautiful Baby winner 1986. He also knows some words in Spanish. 

You can follow him on twitter @jackdraws and see his work at his tumblr.

A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.

7 day countdown to The Next Together: A medieval short story!

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish, a playlist and the book as different genres. 

This is not the gift. I’m sorry.

Today I’m sharing a tiny little look at another of Kate and Matt’s lives – one which isn’t mentioned in the book. It’s set in a vaguely medieval time, and is 100% inspired by this picture I found, which looks exactly like Kate.

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Photograph by Vestal Magazine

In the story, Kate is a midwife with a secret place in the woods where she keeps her herbs and medicines, because the villagers are suspicious of magic and witches. Matthew is the village hangman, mainly because I just couldn’t resist a ‘Matthew Galloway’ pun.

You can read this short story by subscribing to my newsletter. 

 

 

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Still from ‘The Hired Man’ at Octagon Bolton theatre


If you want to know more about Kate and Matt, you can read the first chapter of The Next Together here, and buy the book in the following places:

Amazon UK | Waterstones |  The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Wordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks |  Goodreads


In other news: I’m going to be doing a panel at Waterstones Birmingham on 12 September! at their Book Blogger Bonanza! Tickets are available now by calling 0121 631 4333. You can see all of the events I’m attending here.

8 days to The Next Together: Playlist

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish and the book as different genres. 

Today I’m sharing the playlist for The Next Together with you. I listened to this over 100 times when I wrote the book, and I can’t hear one of these songs without getting all tearful about it!

You can listen below or here on 8tracks and here on Spotifygaydance

 

Track list:

  • shine/anna nalick
  • love story/taylor swift
  • tired of waiting for you/the kinks
  • dear river/kina grannis
  • rattlin’ bones/kasey chambers
  • back to where i was/eric hutchinson
  • pompeii/bastille
  • radioactive/imagine dragons
  • young volcanoes/fall out boy
  • when the war came/the decemberists
  • to the dog or whoever/josh ritter
  • la meme historie/feist
  • centuries/fall out boy
  • man o’ war/eric bachmann
  • maybe/ingrid michaelson
  • brand new day/joshua radin
  • first day of my life/bright eyes

“But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all? If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?”


 

 

If you want to know more about Kate and Matt, you can read the first chapter of The Next Together here, and buy the book in the following places:

Amazon UK | Waterstones |  The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Wordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks |  Goodreads

A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.

9 days to go: The Next Together in five different genres

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover, and A scene from start to finish.

As The Next Together takes place in lots of timelines, all of which are a different genre – there’s a Regency-esque romance, a war story, and a Dystopian thriller, to name a few! – I thought today I’d go even further. I’m writing the book in the style of a few other genres.

This was mainly because I wanted to see if I could really write in the style of Game of Thrones or  Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Warning: these are all ridiculous.

You’re welcome.


i. high fantasy

Kate clutched fearfully at the helm of her sword, but outwardly retained her calm exterior, with all the poise and grace that generations of ancestral nobility had invested in her. The man was scarce but a twig, swaddled in layer upon layer of furs and tartan kilt with only the bridge of his nose visible, and with her years of training she could have defeated him easily- were it not for the wolf growling at his feet, froth bubbling at the jaw and pounds of raw strength braced to attack in its muscles.

“Where do ye think you’re headed, sassenach?” he intoned, gruffly. “This isnae England anymore.”

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