Category Archives: Young Adult

*COVER REVEAL* Keepers #1 in The Eden East Novels #MondayBlogs

This has been possibly, the longest coming post I’ve ever written. For months now, I’ve sat on this cover. Desperate to share it but unable to because the publishing light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t in sight.

But today, all that changes because I am tentatively announcing a launch window of November 16-18th 2017. *Gulp, chews nail, sweats a lil’ bit*

There’s a significant amount of work to be done, not least of which is continuing to dictate the sequel book so its launch isn’t too far behind Keepers. Continue reading

Young Adult Writing Tips With Oathbreaker Author @ShelleyWilson72

Today I am super excited to have Shelley Wilson with me on the blog. Shelley is a fellow Young Adult and non-fiction writer. She’s also a long time Bloggers Bash attendee.

I’m always sniffing around Shelley’s blog to see what Young Adult book she’s reviewed this week because I love her recommendations. But today, there’s something FAR more exciting.

Today she’s spilling the beans on her own new YA werewolf release Oathbeaker (out today) as well as giving us hot tips on writing Young Adult fiction. Which you can get here:

Amazon UK 

Amazon US

Without further ado, Shelley… Welcome.

Continue reading

2016 Books of The Year

2015 saw me read a disgraceful three books. There was no way in literary heaven I was going to read just three books in 2016.

So this year I decided to set myself a challenge. The Goodreads challenge. I have a small child more commonly known as the Terror Tot, so I knew reading time would be limited. I figured reading one book a month would be better than just three over the year. So that’s what I set my challenge as.

12 books, 12 months.

But I’m pleased to say I smashed that goal into teeny tiny words like smithereens. I read 32 books.

So here’s my summary of the best books of 2016, including recommendations, my challenge for 2017 and the number of books are set myself to read next year. Continue reading

7 Description Tactics – The Art of Writing – Deconstructing Lauren Oliver

descriptionsI’ve been Indulging in a binge festival of guilty pleasure reading. Tactical reading. That’s what I’ve been doing.

When I finished my novel and handed it over to beta readers. I knew there was still a lot a fucking legion of stuff I needed to work on. Including the need to develop some skills that much to my annoyance STILL weren’t honed properly. Like my powers of description. Give me non-fiction or blog posts and I can whip out my bad word baps, and filth-filled metaphors with the best of them. But put a fuckitbucket in a YA book and you’re going to regret it. So I started bingeing on popular YA books hoping I’d absorb some of their skills.

Right now, I’m reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Her description is borderline excessive (in my humblest crumbliest opinion), but I quickly dropped into the rhythm of her sentences and now I kinda think it’s beautiful. So I thought I’d spend this post deconstructing her sentences to see what I could learn about description.

Here’s 7 tactics for creating the perfect story descriptions. Continue reading

Perfect Your Dystopian World in 5 Easy Steps

DystopiaI’m obsessive. Once I get my little fishhook fingers into something there is nothing I won’t consume about a subject.

That’s why I’ve obsessively read books since I sung my first ABC and it’s why I write just as obsessively now.

One of my biggest obsessions, is the concept of dystopian worlds. I heart everything about them. I want the t-shirt, the fan girl moves, the merch and ALL the books. ALL OF THEM.

But right now, as a writer, I’m more interested in how to get them right. What do you need building bricks do you need to include and what key factors do you need to make a dystopian world realistic.

I’ve just finished reading Jane Dougherty’s Abomination. It was both a fantastic read and an exceptional example of an apocalyptic and dystopian setting.

Here are 5 steps to perfect the dystopian world. Continue reading

How To Give Your Readers A Book Hangover in 3 Easy Steps

Book HangoverWriting a book is a form of torture, I swear. Between the paralysing self-doubt, the voices constantly screaming in your head and the genuine addiction to playing God late into the night, it is without doubt, a form of torture.

But despite all that, when you see the results or hear of a reader sobbing at 3am because you killed bunnikins the third and all his fluffy bunnywabbit babies, it makes it all worth while.

We’ve all been there: unable to see the page for the hysterical tears, or laughing so hard you drop the book and lose your page. Or the ultimate – been given a book hangover by the latest series you binge read.

As authors, that’s exactly what we want to do our readers: hook em’, shake em, change em’, and set them free again.

The key to a hangover, is being able to change a reader, but in order to achieve that change, we need to drag them into the heart of our story. Which means, we need to know what the heart of our story is in the first place. Continue reading

Understanding YA, NA and MG – A Writers Bible

YA NA MGOne of the most salient memories I have from childhood, was the desire to grow up. I was like the opposite of Peter Pan. I couldn’t get old fast enough.

Sixteen was this magical creature where suddenly I would be grown up and allowed to do lots of things. I’d be a ‘real’ teenager. Sixteen came and went, and then eighteen arrived and before I blinked I was twenty-one. By the time I was twenty-five, I realised I’d made a heinous fucking mistake.

Adulthood is the equivalent of being slapped daily with a decomposing Kipper infested with rabies. My life was filled with a suburban nightmare, bills, a work monotony that could make paint drying seem like the Oscars and a side order of fuck my life.

Peter Pan syndrome rapidly kicked in. I wanted to be a child forever. I rebelled against the rules, had a bit of a break down, got very fucking drunk, had my skin inked and then bitch slapped the sense back in. I had to tell myself:

That magical envelope was not going to fly down my chimney and whisk me off to wizarding school, neither would Edward Cullen fall in love with me and make me immortal, and sadly, I had neither angel nor demon blood, so I wasn’t a shadow hunter either.

I spiralled into an intensely primal binge fest of YA fiction and TV series and then I had an epiphany. If I wrote it, I could live it.

But understanding the differences between Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA) and New Adult (NA) fiction is easier said than done. Continue reading

4 Tactics to Create Your Novel's Perfect Last Line

4 Tactics to Your Perfect Last line #YA Some time ago, I wrote a post examining how YA fantasy/dystopian novels opened, you can find it here. Well, the other day, I watched the final instalment of the Mockingjay from the Hunger Games trilogy. Despite its brutality, there was one particular line right at the end of the film that piqued my interest. So I decided to flip that post on its head and look at YA endings.

Katniss climbed into bed with Peeta, gave him a hug and he leant in to say:

“You love me, real or not real?” and Katniss said, “Real.”

Time to admit a dirty secret I have been harbouring for a while now – yes, I’m ashamed! I haven’t read the Hunger Games. I know. I know. I’m a YA Fantasy/Dystopian writer, how could I NOT have read the Hunger Games…? It just sort of happened. Lets not talk about it. I’ll fix it…Soon.

Anyway, there we were in the cinema and I leant over to to Mrs. Black and did the unthinkable, whispered in the middle of the film. I said… That right there, that’s the last line of the book. She raised an eyebrow and asked me how I knew. I didn’t have the answer, so I shrugged, “I just did.”

But it got me thinking, how did I know? And what was it about that line that made it so obviously a last line?
Continue reading

Adultland Part 3

Adultland Part III - Sacha Black

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece of flash fiction which I called Adultland, the story continued in Part II, but today, I bring part III. You can catch up on all the past instalments here.

We left Lou, pacing outside her parents flat building, waiting for the mist and Hunters to come and kidnap her parents. Can she save them? Read on to find out. Continue reading

8 Steps To Cracking The YA Mindset

8 Steps To Cracking The YA MindsetYoung Adult fiction is wildly popular. I write it, and I know several dozen other writers that do too. It’s becoming the front runner for the biggest share of sales across the whole book/ebook market. So what makes it so popular? And how does one write the YA genre well enough to get a share in the market?

You have to be in their mindset. The YA mindset. See, I have this theory that people stop ageing. I mean, yeah, sure, chronologically we ‘grow’ old. But how many people do you know in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s who actually act like it? My guess is not many. It’s because people stop ageing. We get to a certain level of maturity or chronological age and then poof. Things stop developing, we think as we did at that age, we just add more experience to help reason our decision making. So what does this mean for writing effective YA stories? Continue reading