Friday, 29 June 2012
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Celebrating 15 years of Harry Potter Magic....
The search for UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan!
From an idea born on a train journey, to its creation in a small cafe in Edinburgh Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that started a global phenomenon. Rejected by many publishers and with an initial hardback print run of 500 copies, it has now sold over 90 million copies worldwide. It is the book that put Harry’s destiny in motion and created a whole new generation of readers. It is hard to think now that before 1997 none of us knew about Hogwarts, Quidditch or Voldemort (who was voted as the favourite literary villain in a recent Bloomsbury poll).
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury is launching a nationwide competition to find the UK’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan.
Bloomsbury is inviting fans to write a letter of no more than 50 words explaining why they love HARRY POTTER. We are looking for the most creative, clever and entertaining reasons and, while the word limit is set to a strict 50 words, entrants are encouraged to draw, doodle and make their letters as elaborate as possible.
HARRY POTTER fans can only enter by visiting a local bookshop or library and posting their letter in the specially designed postboxes. Over 1800 bookshops and libraries have already signed up to take part. The competition will run from Tuesday 26th June to Tuesday 31st July 2012 after which we will name the UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan. The winner and runners up will be announced on Saturday 1stSeptember.*
The competition is an ideal opportunity for fans to show how much they love HARRY POTTER as well as supporting their local bookshop or library. Details of how to enter and a list of participating bookshops and libraries can be found on the website:www.bloomsbury.com/harrypottercompetition
Sunday, 24 June 2012
This is Jeff’s first book, Metawars, due to be published in August 2012 by Orchard. I was actually very surprised to receive this book as I don't usually get anything from this particular publishing company. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first started reading the book. However, I was soon bowled over and captivated.
The story came from a culmination of events such as the Icelandic ash cloud and a speech that David Miliband gave in 2006 about climate change. These are voiced and sited through both the characters and plot. However, not everyone is in agreement with the role of the virtual world even though this could be one possible answer to solving climate change.
I was particularly impressed by the settings; the vibrant virtual Metasphere world and the bleak futuristic world. Both worlds encompass the storyline in different ways, but the way it interchanges between the two is very sophisticated and effective. The description within both settings enables the reader to become immersed within each world and feel apart of them.
This book is an epic fantasy read between two warring factions; both fighting for control. Matthew Granger and his Millennials are the founders and the creators of the Virtual Sphere. They are also the Guardians who want it to be ruled by the 'users' and not just one Government. This is the modern take on the internet supremacy between the big companies such as Google and Apple; both of which have a massive stake in our digital world. A very thought provoking element which becomes embedded within the story to influence the final outcome with a twist at the end.
This is a fast paced story which is full of exciting action sequences that will have any reluctant reader wanting to read more. I really loved the Guardians attack and the use of land yachts as they stormed Ayers Rock to gain control of one of the four corners. This is particularly well written and is very original. Although I did have a slight issue with part of the ending as it felt as if didn't quite fit with the rest of the story. However, I don't want to delve into this any further as it really would spoil it for you. Nevertheless it really doesn't detract from the fact that this book is a superb read. The images that are created within the book reflect that of a cinematic quality. Jeff is definitely both the producer and director of this book.
Whose side are you on?
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
STELLAR LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR WEEK-LONG CHILDREN’S BOOKS FESTIVAL IN TALES ON MOON LANE BOOKSHOP, LONDON!
Tales on Moon Lane Children's Bookshop, 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London SE24 9JU TEL: 020 7274 5759 www.talesonmoonlane.co.uk/festival 2nd – 7th July 2012
School's almost out - and the crew at Tales on Moon Lane bookshop are expecting some very special guests for their biggest ever children’s book festival, which will run from 2nd – 7th July 2012! The packed schedule of events promises hi-jinks and hullabaloo aplenty with some of the biggest names in books for kids of all ages. There’s something to suit everyone in this exciting line-up so head on down to Moon Lane and hear some spooky stories from Marcus Sedgwick and Will Hill – or take afternoon tea with the Queen of Teen Cathy Cassidy – or help some of the very best children’s illustrators turn the shop into a giant picture book – or parade around in fancy dress – or laugh yourself silly with Philip Ardagh and Guy Bass – or train your dragon with Cressida Cowell! The possibilities are endless, and it's the perfect chance to stock up on some fantastic summer reads too. The experts at Tales on Moon Lane are always ready to help you choose the perfect books to keep you reading all summer long! Festival tickets are available online now at www.talesonmoonlane.co.uk/festival. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Tales on Moon Lane is a multi-award winning independent children’s bookshop in South London. Their friendly, knowledgeable and well-read staff – led by owner, author and impresario Tamara Macfarlane – ensure you will always receive the highest level of service. Committed to making books and reading fun, they will make sure the right book goes to the right child.
Tamara Macfarlane, owner of Tales on Moon Lane Children's Bookshop, says:
"Tales on Moon Lane are delighted to be working with the brilliant David Maybury of Inis Magazine and Carrie Anderson to provide an extraordinary line up of events. We look forward to seeing everybody for a week of literary mayhem and madness with some of the country's favourite writers."
Carrie Anderson, Festival Organiser, says:
"I'm really excited to be involved with such a great festival. It's a real pleasure to host such a dream line up of authors and illustrators in Moon Lane - it's going to be chaos - organised chaos if I do my job right!"
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Calling all Zombies!
A one-off opportunity to appear as an extra in the trailer for
Charlie Higson’s new zombie book – The Sacrifice
Fans of The Enemy series by best-selling author Charlie Higson are being given the chance to be in the trailer for his new book, The Sacrifice. Filming takes place on Saturday 30 June and a small army of zombie ‘sickos’ is required for filming at a secret location in South London.
This is the fourth in a series of trailers for the cult zombie series, and is written and directed by Charlie Higson himself. The Sacrifice is the fourth title in the series and will be published later this year on 20 September.
To enter, zombie hopefuls must be over 16 and will need to send a photo of themselves and 50 words (or less) describing why they would make a good zombie email@example.com by Tuesday 26 June. Spaces are limited and the lucky ones chosen to take part will be notified the following day. For full details and terms and conditions, go to www.the-enemy.co.uk/extras.
Set in and around London, the events in The Enemy series take place in a world where a mystery disease has broken out affecting only grown-ups. Some survive, but those that do face a more terrifying fate – they turn into hideous zombies with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Children form gangs and attempt to survive in an unrecognisable world where there are dangers around every corner.
Previous trailers for the books in the series have had combined viewings of more than 100,000 on YouTube and have seen Charlie Higson transforming into a decaying zombie; chilling footage of a terrified boy posting a clip online of himself being attacked by diseased adults; and, last year, a rotting zombie (with an uncanny resemblance to Charlie Higson) attempting to break into a room full of terrified children.
The Enemy series has now sold over 200,000 copies in the UK alone.
Charlie Higson is a successful author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio.
He wrote the phenomenally successful Young Bond series which has now sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 24 different languages.
The first novel in his bestselling zombie-adventure series for teenagers, The Enemy, was published by Puffin in 2009 and was followed by The Dead (2010) and The Fear(2011). Charlie is a huge fan of horror films and books, and even studied gothic literature at university. With three sons of his own, Charlie knows exactly how to terrify and captivate teenagers in equal measure.
Charlie was in a band, The Higsons, and was a decorator before turning to the world of television and going into partnership Paul Whitehouse. His television successes have included Saturday Live, the Harry Enfield Television Programme, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, the film Suite 16, Swiss Toni and of course, the Fast Show.
Charlie and Paul co-produced the controversial and award-winning spoof radio series Down the Line for BBC Radio 4, in which they also both performed and which became the television comedy series Bellamy’s People on BBC 2.
Charlie is also a successful adult novelist and has written four thrillers, King of the Ants (1992), Happy Now (1993), Full Whack (1995) and Getting Rid of Mr Kitchen (1996).
Charlie lives in North London.
Friday, 8 June 2012
Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love. Her family traded in predictions. These predictions
tended, however, to run toward the nonspecific. Things like:
Something terrible will happen to you today. It might involve the number six. Or: Money is coming. Open your hand for it. Or: You have a big decision and it will not make itself.
The people who came to the little, bright blue house at 300 Fox Way didn’t mind the imprecise nature of their fortunes. It became a game, a challenge, to realize the exact moment that the predictions came true. When a van carrying six people wheeled into a client’s car two hours after his psychic reading, he could nod with a sense of accomplishment and release. When a neigh- bor offered to buy another client’s old lawn mower if she was looking for a bit of extra cash, she could recall the promise of money coming and sell it with the sense that the transaction had been foretold. Or when a third client heard his wife say, This is a decision that has to be made, he could remember the same words being said by Maura Sargent over a spread of tarot cards and then leap decisively to action.
But the imprecise nature of the fortunes stole some of their power. The predictions could be dismissed as coincidences, hunches. They were a chuckle in the Walmart parking lot when you ran into an old friend as promised. A shiver when the number seventeen appeared on an electric bill. A realization that even if you had discovered the future, it really didn’t change how you lived in the present. They were truth, but they weren’t all of the truth.
“I should tell you,” Maura always advised her new clients, “that this reading will be accurate, but not specific.”
It was easier that way.
But this was not what Blue was told. Again and again, she had her fingers spread wide, her palm examined, her cards plucked from velvet-edged decks and spread across the fuzz of a family friend’s living room carpet. Thumbs were pressed to the mystical, invisible third eye that was said to lie between everyone’s eyebrows. Runes were cast and dreams interpreted, tea leaves scrutinized and séances conducted.
All the women came to the same conclusion, blunt and inex- plicably specific. What they all agreed on, in many different clairvoyant languages, was this:
If Blue was to kiss her true love, he would die.
For a long time, this bothered Blue. The warning was spe- cific, certainly, but in the way of a fairy tale. It didn’t say how her true love would die. It didn’t say how long after the kiss he would survive. Did it have to be a kiss on the lips? Would a chaste peck on the back of his palm prove as deadly?
Until she was eleven, Blue was convinced she would silently contract an infectious disease. One press of her lips to her hypo- thetical soulmate and he, too, would die in a consumptive battle untreatable by modern medicine.
Monday, 4 June 2012
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Kelpies (22 Mar 2012)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 0863158692
- AGE: 10+
As I write this review over coffee and biscuits, I have to confess that I judged this book by its striking cover a little while ago. The initial attraction was the fantastic snarling Wolf on the front cover which was illustrated by Paul Mudie (I think!). Actually, there is no accreditation inside the book but I am sure I'm correct in saying that he is the illustrator.
The title is good and punchy - one that fits particularly well with the story. Roy was involved in writing a guest post for us, back in March, about this book and himself. To be honest, after reading this, it rocketed my expectation levels to greater heights - the question on my lips was could he deliver? Regular readers of this blog know that I'll always speak the truth and, to be honest Roy my boy, it was a poor show! What were you THINKING of with only 310 pages? I wanted so much more; I was stunned when I turned to the final page and yet very pleased to find that this book was definitely up to my expectations. In fact I'm going to go a step further by saying that this book is absolutely brilliant.
I was actually so immersed in the story that I found myself in both worlds, both the Humanian and the Parallel, with each of the characters. It's like watching the adventure first hand, as if you were a fly on the wall, so to speak. It's one of those books that when it ends you feel a great sense of loss.
There are so many things that I loved about this book such as the setting of Edinburgh. I love this place and was able to relate to the landmarks and the different places in the story. Having visited many of these places before it really gave a realistic edge to the story. I really enjoyed reading about and engaging with the varied characters from the normal to the down right wacky character of Mrs Ferguson (a Daemon with an amazing bad eating habits and the penchant for hugging curtains). We go from the normal everyday life stuff to fighting Daemons of an ingenious nature. There is also a sprinkling of dark magic with undertones of a horror nature. These aren't really too graphic, but are amazingly spine-tingling which makes it absolutely purrfect for me. This book has everything from quick fire humour, which really make you chuckle, to some fantastic action sequences, which are really well written.
There are many twists and turns, thrills and spills which are all delivered with a wee hint of Scottishness for full flavour. You can tell that this is a story that has been nurtured for some time and to me it has totally been worth the effort. However, I did find myself being able to predict some of the story towards the end, but this was the only slight flaw. Nevertheless this is a great debut book and one that will fly high into my top five reads of this year, so far.
Many congratulations Roy (my boy); what have you got planned next?
Saturday, 2 June 2012
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.
Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea what might be on the other side. Glenn’s only friend, Kevin Kapoor, insists there’s monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn’t for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality.
Ever since her mother abandoned them years earlier she and her scientist father have led nearly separate lives. He obsessively pursues “The Project,” a patched-together heap of technology whose importance only he seems to grasp,while Glenn dreams of the day she can escape.
On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without
famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.
But when her father’s work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that sends her and Kevin on the run—with only one place to go.
On the other side of the Rift, Glenn and Kevin find the Magisterium, a fundamentally different reality that’s both more wondrous and more terrifying than they could have imagined. There, they find themselves in the middle a hundred-year-old conflict that will force Glenn to reassess everything she thinks she knows about the world, her family, and even herself.
More on this book and the author check out his blog. http://www.jeff-hirsch.com/?p=433
Book published by Scholastic Press - US ( October 1,2012) Age 12+
Thursday, 24 May 2012
NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER READERS!
Eric was like every other eight-year-old boy, until a tragic accident changed his life forever. The Cape explores the dark side of power, as the adult Eric – a confused and broken man – takes to the skies… and sets out to exact a terrible vengeance on everyone who ever disappointed him.
This critically acclaimed, Eisner-Award nominated story, written by Jason Ciaramella, based on the short story by New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill, with art by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel, will linger with you long after you turn the last page, and force you to ask yourself the question: “What if?”
Also I'm reading The Spider#1 by David Liss which caught my eye today. Page 5 Preview.
The Spider brands his emblem on the foreheads of his victims. It’s a classic trademark of the character, and I wanted to get that in there quickly. Sewing fear is one of the best ways for the Spider to keep himself alive, and mutilating the corpses of your victims is certainly a time-honored method of sewing fear. It’s pretty twisted when you think about it. However, right away we get the Spider’s extreme behavior juxtaposed with his motivation. The bad guys he killed were human traffickers. Extreme punishments for extreme crimes – and really, that’s at the heart of who the Spider is. He is over-the-top because his enemies are over-the-top. Also, I really love the red spider laser in the first panel.
And the last item to be bought today was #113 Fables - Celebrating 10 years this is should be a good read as well.
Therese has been missing for days now, leaving Snow and Bigby frantic. If that weren't bad enough, now Dare can't be found either! What's there to do but turn all of Fabletown and all of The Farm upside down and organize a search party? And in the backup story, the revolution in Oz has been called off. Why? Well, it may have to do with the fact that someone went and hanged their leader. Don't you hate when that happens?
One-upping The Forest of Hands and Teeth comes a zombie-Western mashup with all guns blazing! An electric new venture from an NYT and USA Today bestselling team.
Jett is a girl passing as a boy, living as a cowboy in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. When the book opens, she's just rolled into a new town, where she stops by the saloon. Things are relatively calm, although she suspects there will be Trouble from at least one of the locals. Sure enough, Trouble starts to mosey over, when--
The saloon is invaded by zombies.
Barely escaping with her life, Jett hightails it out of town and soon falls into the company of Honoria Gibbons, a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Together with White Fox, a young man they meet, they set out to discover what's caused the zombie uprising. Turns out these zombies aren't rising from the dead of their own accord… but who would want an undead army? And why?
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
How was writing a book for teens different from writing a book for adults? I don't think there is any difference for me in terms of the craft of writing. I think that the quality and enjoyment of the novel should be at least equal to a book for adults.
Do you have a favourite character in your new teen series? I created the two principal characters of Luca and Isolde and liked them so much, but then I was amazed to find that the servant character of Frieze just jumped off the page. He is funny and full of common sense, wonderful with animals and has a great loving nature. His role just grew through the story as I came to like writing about him more and more. He is very important in book 2, and I think I will end up with a cast of 4 principal characters rather than 2.
When you are writing a multi-book series, do you work from an outline (know all the beats) or do you work toward an ending (know how it all ends)? This has been the first series that I have written that is not anchored completely by the historical record, so I have revelled in the freedom of it and have worked on each novel quite independently. I know where the whole series ultimately ends, but I don't know yet how I will get there. It's a truly creative process, I feel as if I am making it up as I go along and loving this.
Why did you set your new teen series in the 15th century? The date of 1453 is such a key one - people really believed that it was the end of the world. It is this belief that means that Luca has his job in exploring the "end of days" and also means that there are so many manifestations of the supernatural that people report.
How is it working with fictional characters rather than real historical figures? It has been a real holiday from the demands of accuracy and research. It has set the novelist in me free for the first time in a long time. I love discovering and researching the historical characters, but to be able to create characters from imagination has been a real treat.
Book synopsis:The first book in the thrilling YA sequence, Order of Darkness. The year is 1453, and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old, Luca Vero, is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier of good and evil. Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and all the evidence points to Isolde's criminal guilt. Outside in the yard they are building a pyre to burn her for witchcraft. Forced to face the greatest fears of the medieval world - dark magic, werewolves, madness - Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (24 May 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0857077309
- ISBN-13: 978-085707730
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Well it's that time again when we get an author to talk
about their debut book and the inspiration behind it.
I have had this book on my radar for sometime now, so I am pleased that Thomas
is now able to let you inside this futuristic ghost adventure and tell you more. Have a read
and see what you think.
about their debut book and the inspiration behind it.
I have had this book on my radar for sometime now, so I am pleased that Thomas
is now able to let you inside this futuristic ghost adventure and tell you more. Have a read
and see what you think.
Haunters is published 24th May, 2012 by that plucky little publishing outfit, The Chicken House. Read an early review here and find out more about me and my book launch here. If you are kind enough to buy a copy, hope you enjoy it!
Chicken House link: http://doublecluck.com/book/Haunters
Book launch link: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Whats-on-leisure/Family/Harry-Potter-illustrator-Thomas-Taylor-17052012.htm