Thursday, October 29, 2015

EVENT RECAP: YA SHOT 2015


Yesterday I had the enormous pleasure of going to YA Shot in Uxbridge. Created by the author of House of Shadows - Alexia Casale it was made of 71 UKYA authors, bloggers and vloggers. It was the place to be. I'm still on the book high even a day a later. There was only one reason I went to this book event, two words for you...HOLLY BOURNE!!! As you probably all know by now I am very lucky to have been a part of Holly's books by being quoted in them for the praise of her novel, recently Am I Normal Yet? So this was my opportunity to FINALLY meet her and she is even more awesome, bad-ass and lovelier in person than when I'm speaking to her on Twitter.

One of the panels that she was on was about Trigger Warning and how they should be displayed and raised within literature. The Panel was Alexia Casale, Tanya Byrne, Louisa Reid and (of course) Holly Bourne. As pictured below:

   

I didn't have a notepad, silly me, but this was my first panel too and I just love the conversation stemmed from one another. So instead I used my notepad app on my phone, how very 21st century of me. Ha. Let me take you to the panel....

TRIGGER WARNINGS - Exploring sensitive issues in ethical ways 

Is there anything you shouldn't cover in YA Fiction? No absolutely not. But in a sensitive issues, yes. (A fine line between them.)
Tanya - It's the responsibility to who is going through them and for us to help them. It's more realistic - an honest response rather than responsible. You can get through it. 
"It's making that call as an author." - Tanya Byrne

Alexia - Damaging to go through the process. Realistic experience to get out of it (the book). When they've manage it and face it. Real growth in the responsibility. Being truthful. 

Holly - Balance between your book and being honest. The world doesn't have to be this way. Holding a mirror to how bad things are. You have the potential to channel the world. It's a harsh look at what it can be. (We should) mess it up a bit (the world). 
"Words inspire Deeds. It's deeds not words." - Holly Bourne

Louisa - A mirror image can be dark - they (the police) are going to do something. Not being afraid  to do something. Telling the truth and being honest. She does speak up (a character in one of her books) There is limits to what you want to write. Find other ways - symbolism. Experience of other books and illusions. 

How do you pick the fine line? 

Holly - Triggers of The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting - basically I followed the guidelines of the charity (that holly works with). Use those in the books. (With Bree she was) vague how she did it (self-harm). So individual. See themselves in Bree. Support between the publishers and offices were there when there is help for those readers who were triggered by it. We were equipped and tripped behind the scenes of the book. It's the exploration of the darker side that can be the fine line. 

Tanya - They've written it for them, Identified with them. The trigger warning is subjective. But we are approachable. We can maintain that line. These are fictional people to an author unlike a reader who can think that this is a real person. We have to be at arms length, not too involved. But we get those emails and they can break your heart. 

Literary contemporary - difference?!

Holly - Don't like labels. It's just a story. Stories. The idea of issues. People have problems. The most interesting people have interesting problems. Labels - Unhelpful waste of time. 
"YA isn't one thing. We write stories with teenagers in them." - Tanya Byrne

Louisa - What are we representing? Beauty that you see. We see beyond that. It's the beauty and horror of the human condition. 

Does there have to be hope?

Tanya - Life is light and shade. Life is about the little moments. Experience life in the moment. It's the beauty of storytelling. Focusing on the life changing moments. Not the other ones. 
"The red carpet at your feet and you just have to look down."

Alexia - Difficulty seeing the world they want. It's bridging that gap with fire. 

Holly - I get all my advice from Stephen King when he says- noticing themes as more of your books comes out. You (or the characters) are learning to love themselves. 
"(The most) Significant relationship is with yourself. It will all fall into place."

 Wow. I didn't realise I'd taken so much from that. I apolgise if it doesn't make sense but I did try to make it so. But some to the things that each author said were beautiful, it just send shivers down. I have to say after I came back from this. It stayed with me. I just finished Asking For It by Lousie O'Neill and saw a different side to it. I understood it more because of this panel. 

BUT THE BEST BIT OF THE DAY WAS THIS....


YES that is me with Holly. If you haven't already seen it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. lol. We are indeed having some cheesy snacks. Holly is like a celebrity to me. I was so excited and so nervous at the same time. Holly Bourne is an inspiration to me as well. I love being a blogger, and reading new books, but it's the support and reading those books like Holly's that make it a wonderful journey. I finally met her! You know when someone says to you, what's your favourite book? I go blank because I have far too many. But if someone where to say to me who is you favourite author... my answer would be...Holly Bourne. 

If you haven't read anything by Holly, then you need to get on that ASAP people! Ha. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AN UPDATE - I'm Still Around & A Spooky Announcement!


Hope you are all well. As you can see the last post was about 2 weeks ago and even before then my posts were quite sporadic. Lately personal life has got in the way including work which is quite tough of late. It's affecting my enthusiasm for writing and reading. I seem to be quite picky in my books. I think I've picked p about 2 or 3 books and have put them down because my heart hasn't been in it I'm afraid.

But.... I've been away from home and I have to say it's done me the world of good. We had such gorgeous weather...queues photo... and it was just so relaxing and peaceful to have a holiday. It didn't matter that it was October it was nice to be away. I will be returning soon...So hopefully you will see much more of me around on Twitter, Instagram and the blogsphere.

As well as my reading group that has certainly been at a loss lately that I haven't really participated in any of the reads. This month we are reading The Young Elites which I have to read towards the end of the week with the lovely Glass. The Tonight These Streets Are Ours for November, If any of you still want to join a group like ours then please don't hesitate to contact me (neverjudgeabookbyitscovers@gmail.com) or Tweet me at @NverJudgeaBook.


Now for that spooky announcement... Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year apart from Christmas of course. I love the costumes, the history, the films and of course so the books. So I thought I would do a little readathon for one week - Midnight 24th to Midnight on All Hallows Eve 31st! It's a chance to read some spooky or halloween themed reads over the next week. I have a few lined up myself. I need to catch up on the Charley Davidson series which I'm doing now. 


So if you fancy joining then leave a comment and state your pledge on Twitter with the I'm joing #AllHallowsReadalong!

So that's all I wanted to say really, I will be around so drop me a hi whenever. Here is that pic I promised you too. 


See you around and Happy Reading,

Monday, October 05, 2015

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST - DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukavics

Happy Monday Everyone, seems like a very dull day in the UK at the mo unlike the weather we had last week. We may all be at work sadly but I have the perfect read for those dark days espeically even for Halloween. Today I bring the kick off post to the blog tour of debut author and novel of Daughter Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics. I can't wait to read it. I'm saving mine for Halloween for sure. So before I share with you my post, here is a little bit more about the book. 

Daughter Unto Devils
by Amy Lukavics
Release Date - October 8 2015
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Sometimes I believe the baby will never stop crying.

Sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner fears she is losing her mind. When her family move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, Amanda hopes she can leave her haunting memories behind: of her sickly Ma giving birth to a terribly afflicted baby; of the cabin fever that claimed Amanda's sanity; of the boy who she has been meeting in secret...

But the Verners arrive on the prairie to find their new home soaked in blood. So much blood. And Amanda has heard stories - about men becoming unhinged and killing their families, about the land being tainted by wickedness. With guilty secrets weighing down on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or within her soul...
MEET THE CHARACTERS

The Verner Family

            Ma: Just gave birth to her fifth child. The delivery was brutal; Ma had fallen severely ill weeks before, and by the time the baby came, everyone had been trapped inside the single-room cabin for months. Now, all Ma wants is assurance—is her new baby okay? Is she in pain? And what about her eldest daughter, Amanda- will she ever recover from the psychological break she suffered in the cabin during that awful winter?

            Pa: If you ask Pa, the fact that the family survived the winter at all is astounding, a gift to be treasured from God. Amanda isn't the same as she once was, it's true, but the girl just needs to place her faith in the Lord and accept his plan as something she can't comprehend. If the Verners continue to serve, Pa knows, the Lord will take care of them all for eternity. But even Pa can't help but wonder why He would force such obstacles upon the family, for example, the fact that their new cabin on the prairie is stinking and soaked with blood...

            Joanna and Charles: At seven and five years old, the Verner children aren't sure how to feel about what happened last winter. They're ashamed to admit it, but both of them are a little bit afraid of their biggest sister, Amanda. When they were all trapped in the cabin, Amanda did something that scared them to death. She acts okay enough now, though. Maybe she's all better.

            Emily: Something isn't right with Emily's older sister, Amanda. The girls have been best friends for as long as Emily can remember, but ever since last winter, Amanda has been...different. Emily can't quite put her finger on it, but it's bad enough to keep her awake for hours every night, wondering what her older sister is hiding. Amanda acts terrified of the woods, yet at the same time, insists upon taking long walks alone through them. Emily hopes that this prairie will be a chance for them all to start over.

            The Outsiders:

            Henry: The post boy travels all over delivering letters and packages, but when he met the girl named Amanda Verner at the settlement on Crispin's Peak, he could tell immediately there was something different about her. Much to Henry's delight, she seemed eager to engage in any sort of activity that would allow her to escape whatever was on her mind...including the kind that could end with her pregnant.

            Zeke: The boy from the woods beyond the prairie can't help but notice the new family that's re-settled in the empty cabin nearby. They call themselves the Verners, and Zeke especially notices the girl closest to his age, Emily. She's clever and beautiful, but the older sister, Amanda, seems strange. She keeps staring at Zeke, scowling, almost as if he reminds her of someone she once knew...

            Dr. Jacobson: Zeke's father is a practical man, only showing himself rarely as he is constantly making runs to the nearby settlement, Elmwood. He trusts his son to take care of the land while he's gone. Zeke seems to like the Verners, for the most part, but the doctor is confused as to why his new neighbours chose that particular cabin. The last time he'd checked, the place had been torn apart and drenched in blood. What kind of family would settle there anyway?
Ever since she was little, Amy was especially intrigued by horror books and movies. Raised in a small mountain town in Arizona, she sustained herself on a steady diet of Goosebumps, Fear Street, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books before discovering Stephen King in her mother's bookshelf.

Amy lives with her husband, their two precious squidlings, and an old gentleman cat by the name of Frodo. When she isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms.


What do you guys think then? Sounds awesome doesn't it? Fancy reading it along with me, maybe we could a hallween or creepy special. Let me know. Don't forget to go visit the rest of the spooky tour at these awesome blogs.