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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

An A-MAZE-ING Book Festival!

Hello lovelies!

Well it's been a very exciting couple of weeks!

Firstly, I went to Balletomane's performance of THE THREE MAGIC MICE BALLET!  I was completely blown away by their performance and so honoured that they chose one of my books. It really was just magical watching the characters come to life. The fabulous Balletomane are a self-funded company of volunteer dancers (many of whom have non-dance related careers, from architects to social workers!) who bring ballet to people with limited access to the theatre. They perform in public libraries free
of charge, and also offer free workshops in schools to explore story-telling and literacy themes through movement and dance - do let me know if you’d like them to perform at a library near you or come to your school!

Helen searches for the way out
Then I was invited to take part in Linton Bookfest's A-MAZE-ING Storytelling event! Wonderful children’s authors Helen Moss, Yasmin Finch, Janet Bingham and I snuck in early to explore the beautiful gardens, lake and MAZE! A proper “Alice in Wonderland” style hedge maze!

What do you call 4 children's authors
stuck in a maze? Answers on a postcard!
It was very complicated (and there was even a lion in the very middle – eek!) and we got a bit lost, and only just made it out in time to tell our stories!
Helen read from her fantastic ADVENTURE ISLAND series, Janet shared her beautiful picture books DADDY’S LITTLE STAR and THE BEST PRESENT, I read PRINCE CHARMING'S PRINCESS QUEST (and nearly deafened Helen with my Princess Aurora impression!).
Then it was the super-duper very-special world premiere performance of Yasmin Finch’s MR MUSTACHIO – complete with builder outfit and mustaches on sticks!

I love book festivals - there's always such a buzz and excitement about reading and books - and I seized the opportunity to see some of my favourite authors in action.
The lovely Ruth Hatfield ran a workshop based on her novel "The Book of Storms"

Helen Moss and Robin Stevens talk about their anthology of crime stories:
"Mystery and Mayhem" - Helen's story is all about a pineapple!!

I was especially impressed that both Helen and Robin
wore nail varnish to match their book cover! Awesome!

I also went to a fab event on The Hero's Journey by the equally fabulous Candy Gourlay, but I wasn't allowed to take photos, so here's a lovely one of Candy with the library cats instead!
Photo by Ruth Keys

What fun, exciting, inspiring, fascinating events book festivals are! Have you been to any fab festivals lately?

Friday, 15 April 2016

Ballets and Book Covers!

Today I have TWO lots of exciting news!
Firstly, the EXTREMELY SPARKLY cover for my new MG comedy/drama MUMNESIA! is REVEALED over at Serendipity Reviews!
I'm super-excited about this one because it's my first middle grade novel, and after writing gritty YA it's been so refreshing to write something lighter and full of fun - and did I mention it has a SPARKLY cover?? (It literally had me jumping around the room with excitement!) I'll post more about it very soon, but meanwhile do check it out and let me know what you think!

Secondly, I'm off to see the THREE MAGIC MICE ballet again tomorrow! I never get tired of watching it - the ballerinas are beautiful, elegant, fabulous, and super-brave (I've lost count of how many injured feet I've seen backstage - ouch!) Do pop by if you're in Stanmore - it's free, fun, and totally FAB! 
Here are some photos from the last performance to whet your appetite! 
The ballerina narrator finds a book - The Three Magic Mice!
But as she falls asleep the characters come to life!
Cinderella's stepsisters are mean to her 
But the 3 Magic Mice cheer her up!
Cinderella's Fairy Godmother turns the mice into men
so they can take Cinders to the ball!
But the cheeky friends run away from the Fairy Godmother so they
don't have to change back to mice - then turn into 3 Billy Goats!
They flee from a nasty troll!
and become PIGS instead!
But there always seems to be someone after them: a troll, a wolf...
Even Goldilocks!
Will the 3 friends escape from the characters chasing them? Will they ever change back to mice? Come along to the ballet to find out - or read the book!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Return of the Three Magic Mice - the BALLET!


Well, it feels like Spring has finally sprung! The sun's out, the daffodils are blooming, and I've just emerged from a long hibernation in the editing cave. 
Exciting new book news to follow soon, but equally exciting is the return of the THREE MAGIC MICE BALLET
It's such a thrill to see my book transformed into a ballet and the fabulous Balletomane are performing three FREE performances - and  this year I'll be popping along too to have some fun as well. So if you feel like a bit of magic, and a bit of ballet, do come along and join us - we'd love to see you! This Sunday: Hounslow! 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Books and Ladders!

Hello lovelies!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, but here are some of the exciting reasons why!

I'm thrilled to announce I have two NEW twisted fairytales coming out this August and September
with Franklin Watts - THUMBELINA THINKS BIG and BIG PANCAKE TO THE RESCUE! It's been so much fun imagining what Thumbelina might dream to be when she grows up (spoiler: a catwalk model!) and I wasn't very familiar with the fairytale of The Big Pancake so it was great to discover a new fairytale and then twist it a bit and make the pancake the hero! They're both beautifully illustrated (by the fab Rupert Van Wyk and Steve Stone) and I really hope you enjoy them!

I've also just signed a new two book deal with the lovely Macmillan Children's Books team for 2 Middle Grade books! (I've written for teens and 5-7 year-olds, so it makes sense to write for in-betweeners now, right?) I'm having HEAPS of fun writing the first book, entitled MUMNESIA, a comedy/drama that's due out next year!

Lastly, to celebrate Independent Booksellers Week, I'd like to share with you a pic from a very exciting new bookshop I found last week - it's called Topping and Company and they have three stores nationwide (Bath, Ely and St. Andrews) and as well as having very knowledgable and lovely staff, and organising fab author events, they offer complimentary tea and coffee whilst you browse! I may make this a regular thing - just think, instead of going to a coffee shop, I could pop to Toppings and spend the money I would've spent on coffee on books instead! Awesome!

And the icing on the cake is that the St. Andrews Toppings store even has book-ladders-on wheels like Belle in Beauty and the Beast! As I was up in Scotland last week for my Mum's book awards (Her fab picture book OFF TO MARKET came runner up in the Dundee Picture Book Award) I couldn't resist popping in to try out the ladders (something I've ALWAYS wanted to do-who wouldn't?!) - it was SO much fun!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

UKYA Easter Egg Hunt!

Welcome to the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt! One very lucky winner will win a huge grand prize of signed books by over thirty YA authors who write and live in the UK.

All you have to do is read this blog, count up how many UKYA branded Easter eggs you see in the blog (not the ones above in the banner), and follow the link at the end to the next blog. Keep going until you get back to the blog where you started, and add up how many eggs you’ve seen along the way.

Email your answer to: A winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries, and contacted by email.

This closes at noon (UK time) on Sunday, 5th April and is open internationally.

So get finding those eggs! And some awesome UKYA authors and books along the way.

Good luck!

Who am I?I am an author of children's fiction and 2 YA novels: emotional rollercoaster SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE about a girl who discovers she was switched at birth and opens a HUGE can of worms when she goes looking for the truth; and thriller LITTLE WHITE LIES. Here's a bit about it - along with the soundtrack!

This Is Not Me Delta Goodrem
Starting university is all about reinventing yourself, but Louise Shepherd has gone a step further, even changing her name in her bid to hide her true identity from everyone she meets. Until she bumps into an old school-friend, Kenny. He promises to keep Lou’s secret – but can she trust him?

Lou’s cousin Poppy’s favourite song, this reminds her of home, and of the best friend she let down so terribly.

I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift
When Lou meets tall, dark, and handsome Christian, she knows he's hiding something. Why does he clam up every time she asks about his past? Why doesn't he have any family photos and why does he dye his blond hair black?

How You Remind Me – Nickelback
Suddenly Christian’s terrible secret is unveiled to the world - and it seems everything he's ever told Lou is a lie.

Me and You Vs The World – Space
Should she stand by Christian, against the whole world?

Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
Or can what the media are saying about Christian really be true? If so, Lou could be in terrible danger…

Beneath Your Beautiful РLabrinth feat. Emeli Sand̩
As Lou’s heart battles her head there is just one question: Who is the real Christian?

One Way Or Another – Blondie
But Christian isn't the only one keeping secrets. For what if their chance meeting was no accident at all...?

As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn; her emotions in tatters.

As Lou finally discovers the truth, she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with? 

Counted all the eggs on this blog? Then head on to the next stage of the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt by clicking this link! 

Many thanks to Teri Terry and Candy Gourlay for organising the hunt - you guys are awesome!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

2014- In pictures!

Happy 2015!

As a new year begins what better time to reflect on 2014?
Excitingly, the Three Magic Mice ballet was
launched and performed by the fabulous Balletomane!
It was such a thrill to see my story come to life
in a new form with lovely music, beautiful
 (and very inventive!) costumes, and terrific dancers.

I bit the bullet and posted my first "Jackanory" style video to Youtube.
And my own fairytale came true as I got to go to a Disney ball!

LITTLE WHITE LIES was published in the US and Canada!

LITTLE WHITE LIES was published in the US and Canada! To celebrate, I launched a giveaway, and there's a few days left (closing date 1st Feb) so if you'd like to enter simply tweet this message: "LITTLE WHITE LIES Launch day GIVEAWAY! RT to win a signed copy & watch the #LWLBookTrailer here:"

I was absolutely thrilled that LITTLE WHITE LIES
 also won the UKYA Book Bloggers Award for "Best Ending"!
Unfortunately I can't tell you what that ending is, as it's a bit of a twist!
I got to attend the first ever YALC convention at Comicon
 - and met some very interesting characters!

I was also lucky enough to be invited to do lots of author visits in 2014, both at bookshops and schools (both secondary and primary). 

I really love meeting kids and their fabulous librarians - sorry, library goddesses!

It's so much fun encouraging kids with their writing - 
their imagination has no bounds, and their enthusiasm and excitement always makes my day.
Icknield Primary School even produced their own illustrations
for the Fairy Tale Twists series - watch your back, Matt Buckingham!

And I even got to meet my own literary idol, Jodi Picoult!
And I've been working away on a number of projects - including my first ever musical! - so watch this space!

Here's to 2015!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Little White Lies - Launch day GIVEAWAY!

TODAY'S THE DAY! Little White Lies is officially on sale in the US and Canada! I'm super excited and have organised a few things to celebrate!
1) A GIVEAWAY! Fancy a signed book for Christmas? There are two ways to enter - or try both to double your chances! 
a) Twitter - Simply copy and paste this tweet: 
"LITTLE WHITE LIES Launch day GIVEAWAY! RT to win a signed copy & watch the #LWLBookTrailer here: "
b) Facebook: Click here, "Like" the Little White Lies Facebook Pageand Share the link to the book trailer to your own timeline! 

2) LIVE TWITTER Q&A I'll be live on Twitter (#KatieDale - it was going to be #LittleWhiteLies, but that brings up a lot of tweets about One Direction!, 5pm EST; 10pm GMT) to answer all your questions about books, writing, or life in general!

3) BLOGTOUR! The Little White Lies blogtour kicks off today at Bookish!

4) PREVIEW A sneaky preview of the book itself - just click here!

5) For now, sit back, relax, and scroll down for the Little White Lies BOOK TRAILER!

Lou Shepherd takes the opportunity of starting at university to reinvent herself – completely. She dyes her hair and changes her name in an attempt to hide her past – but then she meets a guy who's doing exactly the same thing, for very different reasons. Why does Christian clam up every time Lou asks about his past? Why doesn’t he have any family photos, and why does he dye his blond hair black? 

Lou finds herself falling for Christian, so when his house goes up in flames, his tyres are slashed, and he flees for his life, she insists on going with him. But as Christian’s secret is finally unveiled in front of the whole world, it seems everything he’s ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in grave danger? And was their chance encounter really an accident at all…?

As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn, her emotions in tatters as she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with? 

published by Simon & Schuster UK; Delacorte Press (US); Doubleday (Canada) 

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