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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!




Synopsis
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) 

Friday, 5 December 2014

LITTLE WHITE LIES Book Trailer - Revealed!

December is doubly exciting for me this year, as I'm counting down not just to Christmas but to the US/Canada launch of LITTLE WHITE LIES - next Tuesday 9th December!
I'm planning exciting things for the day itself, including kicking off the Blogtour, a Live Twitter Q&A (#LittleWhiteLies, 5pm EST; 10pm GMT) and a sneaky preview of the book itself, and maybe even a giveaway (so check back on Tuesday!), but today sit back, relax, and grab your popcorn, for here's the Little White Lies BOOK TRAILER!



Synopsis
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) 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Meeting my Literary Idol!: Inspiration, Elephants, and Shades of Grey


It's no secret that one of my all-time favourite authors is Jodi Picoult - and last night I actually got to meet her - here's proof!


I love the way Jodi takes a controversial issue and writes about all sides of it, often with multiple narrators taking opposing views. I often pick up one of her books thinking "well, I know what my opinion on this subject is", but as I keep reading I find myself sympathizing with all the many and varied characters and viewpoints, and end up being able to see all the shades of grey of an issue that I had thought was black and white - and her novels always leaves me with food for thought long after I finish reading. 

This was a trait I greatly admired, and one I really wanted to emulate in my first novel, "Someone Else's Life", and it's no exaggeration to say that without Jodi, I probably would not have written that book at all - and consequently I may not have ever become a published author - which is why I am over the moon when some critics have called it "Jodi Picoult for teens". 

For me, there can be no greater praise.
And no greater thrill than meeting her in person last night. 
Jodi spoke eloquently about the inspiration for her latest novel, "Leaving Time", which centres on a woman who studies elephants who goes suddenly missing, and her daughter who, ten years later, is trying to find her. Jodi explained how she had researched the subject matter, especially elephants. I am overwhelmed by how much research Jodi does for each of her (very varied) novels, from going to a haunted house with ghost-hunters, to interviewing Holocaust survivors in Poland, to staying in an igloo, to tracking elephants in Botswana. And still somehow she manages to produce a book a year!  I am in awe.


And even more awe-inspiring is the way Jodi is now using her latest novel to promote awareness of the ongoing ivory trade and its threat to elephants in the wild. Shockingly, it is estimated that in ten years' time there will be no wild elephants left in Africa, especially as the value of an ounce of ivory has sky-rocketed from $150 to $1300.
Jodi is quick to point out that this is not just an issue for elephant-lovers, as every month 1-3 tons of ivory is poached by members of Al-Shabab, a terrorist group in Somalia with clear links to Al-Qaida, in order to fund terrorism. 

So how can we help? Support accredited anti-poaching organisations such as TUSK, write to your local MP, blog, tweet, whatever you can to raise awareness of this issue. With over 14 million readers worldwide, hopefully Jodi and her novel, and everyone who reads this will help to spread the word and make a difference - before it's too late.

Jodi's interview on the subject for PETA http://www.peta.org/blog/jodi-picoult-zoos-drive-elephants-crazy/
  

Monday, 6 October 2014

**Update** "Best Ending" Award - WINNER!

I was utterly thrilled to bits this dark, cold wet windy autumnal morning to discover that LITTLE WHITE LIES has WON the Book Blogger UKYA Award for "Best Ending"!

I couldn't have had a better start to the week :)

Thank you SO much to everyone who voted, to my agent and editors (who this award belongs to as much as me) and especially to all the amazing bloggers who organised and took part in this event - you're all stars, and do so much to support UK authors. It's very much appreciated x
Little White Lies, published by
Simon & Schuster UK;
Delacorte Press USA & Canada
Faye @ A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
Jim @ Ya Yeah Yeah
Caroline @ Big Book Little Book
Daphne @ Winged Reviews
Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary
Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa
Luna @ Luna’s Little Library
Sarah @ Feeling Fictional
Cicely @ Cicely Loves Books
Charli @ To Another World
Fi @ Bookish Outsider
Raimy @ Readaraptor
Michelle @ Much Loved Books
Shaila @ Hush Hush Revealings
Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf
Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader
Julianne @ This Fleeting Dream
Laura @ Bookish Treasures
Samina @ Escapism From Reality
Catriona @ Fabulous Book Fiend

LITTLE WHITE LIES
The first time 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? 
Then suddenly his terrible secret is unveiled to the world - and 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 terrible danger? What if their chance meeting was no accident at all ...? 
But Christian isn't the only one keeping secrets. 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? 
Click here for more info

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

UKYA Nomination for "Best Ending"!

Hello! I hope you’ve all had a glorious summer! Though it’s still so sunny it feels like it hasn't ended!  But part of my sunny feeling may be down to the fact that LITTLE WHITE LIES has been nominated for the UKYA Award for “Best Ending”! 

UKYA celebrates Young Adult fiction by home-grown British authors, which is refreshing given the dominance of American YA authors and books in the market. What makes these awards extra special is that ANYONE can vote. There are 20 different categories, and 5 fab YA books nominated for each, so if you fancy voting (for anyone, it doesn’t have to be me, although that’d be super-nice and I’ll be your friend forever!),
hop along to one or all of these blogs – but be quick, as voting closes on 21st September!

Cicely Loves Books: Funniest Book; Most Heart-Breaking Book; Best First Sentence; Best Ending (including LITTLE WHITE LIES!)
Big Book Little Book: Best Contemporary; Best Historical; Best Crime/Mystery; Best LGBT
Readaraptor: Best Horror; Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy; Best Paranormal; Best Adventure
Much Loved Books: Best Protagonist; Best Couple; Best Friendship; Best Villain
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts: Best Self-Published; Most Social Author (Online); Most Social Author (Offline); Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours

So quite a mix! I am so thrilled and honoured to be nominated among such stellar authors, and especially chuffed at the category I'm nominated for, as I think endings can be so hard to get right – often I really enjoy reading a book but something about the ending lets it down – sometimes things aren’t completely resolved which makes you think there’s going to be a sequel, which can be frustrating – especially if there is no sequel! Conversely, if an ending’s TOO neat, that can be dissatisfying too. So it’s a tricky balance! 


I love endings that make you re-examine the whole book in a new light, and consequently some of my all-time favourites are Daphne Du Maurier's REBECCA - what a shock!; Jodi Picoult’s SALEM FALLS – it’s so subtly done, but one sentence at the very end makes you re-examine an entire character and relationship; and WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, which made me immediately flick back through the book again. I always love a twist, but when you can spot all the clues in hindsight, that’s really satisfying. 

What are some of your favourite book endings?



Thursday, 17 July 2014

DO's and DON'Ts at YALC

Whew! What a weekend that was! I thoroughly enjoyed going to YALC (the first Young Adult Literature Convention) at Film and ComiCon at Earls Court - what an experience! Lots of people have blogged write-ups already (it's taken me this long to recover!) so instead, I thought I'd share a few pearls of wisdom I gleaned over the weekend...

DO Check the details before you go (Entrance is opposite West Brompton station. Great!)

DO Check transport weekend engineering updates before you go (Tube from Earl’s Court to West Brompton station closed, but rail replacement bus in operation. Great!)

DON’T expect TFL to run smoothly (ie don’t expect rail replacement bus driver to actually stop at all the stations on the route – he may well glibly ignore your stop and take you miles out of your way. Doh!)

DO allow time for unforeseen detours (ie catching bus back again from Fulham Broadway, chatting to driver, who says the best place to get of is – doh – Earl’s Court, where I started half an hour ago!)

DO buy your entry ticket in advance to avoid queuing THREE TIMES in order to get to YALC events. (Sigh)

DO take an umbrella. (This is England, and you will be queuing for about an hour outside – it’s bound to rain!)


DO take coffee - it's a long day!

DO take a camera (Some people’s costumes are AMAZING!)

DO wear a costume – it’s much more fun!

DO wear layers and take water!  - It’s HOT in there!

The incomparable James Dawson, "Queen of Teen"
DO double-check the stewards know what they’re talking about.
(Me: Where do I get tickets for the YALC panel events, please?
Steward: I think it’s this queue in the middle, [pointing to HUMUNGOUS queue amid 6 different queues for autographs/time-slots for Stan Lee/Princess Leia etc.]
Me: Are you sure?
Steward: No. I’ve never heard of YALC.
2nd Steward: The YALC events are right at the back on the left.
Me: Thanks! [Phew!])

DO get tickets for the talks you’re interested in – in my case ALL of them! They were funny, interesting, insightful and entertaining (and some were so popular people without tickets missed out.)

DO bring books to get signed and/or buy books there – how often do you get so many fantastic authors in one place?!

DO sign up for free ipad giveaways (some companies even give you cool tote bags for entering!)

DO sign up for workshops (what an opportunity! Free workshops!) But DO sit near the front if possible, as the acoustics weren’t great.

DO stay till the end of the day – FREE YALC BOOK GIVEAWAY! WHOOP! FREE SOUVENIR PROGRAMMES! PRICES SLASHED! NO/LITTLE QUEUE FOR ACTORS!

DO check out the rest of the event – (Dragons, Transformers and Thrones - oh my!)

DO meet your favorite TV/film stars, but DON’T think that if they agree to give you their autograph, it’s free – IT’S AT LEAST £10! *Didn't see the sign till afterwards - Ouch!*

DO get selfies (no charge!) with heart-throbs such as Jack Donnelly from ATLANTIS *Swoon*

DON’T get your McGann brothers mixed up (and REALLY don't tell Paul McGann you really loved him in The Upper Hand (that was Joe McGann) DOH! *Disclaimer: Overheard; naming no names*

Paul McGann: "Don't worry, I get it all the time!"
DO make plans to go again next year! I’ll definitely be there!


Friday, 31 January 2014

Storytime!



Happy New Year!

So, one of my resolutions was to update my school visits page on my blog - so I though to give you all a taster of me and my books I'd film a little video! Hope you enjoy it!

Meet Me!
I also write for teens and adults (SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE, LITTLE WHITE LIES).  If you'd like me to visit a teen/adult group, please feel free to get in touch via my Contact form, or read on for more information on primary school visits... :)
For Younger Readers
A trained actress as well as an award-winning author, I like to bring an element of performance to my visits, and am more than happy to dress up if required (as you can see from the photos!)
I have visited lots of different schools (as far afield as Moscow!) and have a variety of tried and tested events and activities for years reception up to year 6 including:
Interactive quiz/drama/stories
Becoming an Author  
Reluctant Readers/Writers
Able Writers Days
Differentiated workshops for years 1-6, including
Fractured Fairytales
Fairy Tale Crimes Court Case
Writing in Rhyme
Reporting

I can customize any event to meet your needs, and all include readings and a Q&A, and also book or postcard signings if desired. I now also offer the option of collating and showcasing all the pupils' work (from all ages) into a "Daily Mirror Mirror" Fairy Tale Newspaper!

If you’d like me to visit your school or library please click here to use my contact form to discuss fees and dates. 





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