BROKEN BARGAIN, the amazing Clare Davidson's new book, will be available tomorrow! Woot! And this lucky lady got to read it early. Perks of the author gig. : ) I'll have the full review up tomorrow, along with an interview featuring Clare herself! There are two days left in the tour giveaway, and some awesome goods up for grabs! Today's featured author is Kat Ellis, whose debut novel BLACKFIN SKY will be released by Firefly Press (UK) & Running Press Kids (US) in May. Enter the giveaway after Kat's interview for a chance to win some awesome swag!
Congratulations on your debut novel BLACKFIN SKY being released this May. It looks like an exciting read! Can you tell us a little about it?
Thanks, Angela! BLACKFIN SKY is about a girl called Skylar who falls from Blackfin Pier on her sixteenth birthday and drowns. The whole town goes into mourning – until Sky shows up three months later like nothing happened.
Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.
Mysterious, no?? ;)
Very mysterious! Can’t wait to check it out! You’re fairly new to the publishing scene. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve lived in North Wales my whole life (except for a few years when I hopped over the border to England) and work sort of in IT. I say sort of because I’m a bit like Jen from The IT Crowd, who thinks The Internet lives inside a black shoebox - because who really needs to know what it is, as long as it works?
Apart from writing and fudging my way through HTML code, I’m also a keen photographer, and I love adventuring through ruined castles and abbeys and cemeteries (of which North Wales has A LOT) to take photos. I post them online on Tumblr, and use the images as inspiration when I’m writing.
That sounds like a really great way to stimulate your imagination! What’s next for you? Are you considering other genres, or sticking to YA?
I’m a YA girl at heart, although I like to dabble a bit with genres within the YA category. The first MS I wrote was science fiction, then I worked on fantasy for a while, and now I’m writing a contemporary thriller.
I try to challenge myself to change things up every time I work on a new project – writing from different points of view, switching from first-person narrative (my home ground) to third-person, setting the story somewhere really unique – stuff like that. I want every story I write to be different and exciting, and the way I make that happen is to make sure I’m excited about what I’m writing.
Who are some of your favorite YA authors and books?
I try to read a wide range of genres, and there are a lot of authors I could mention here…so I will!
One of my all-time favourites is Lisa McMann, who wrote the Wake trilogy and now has a new series about psychic visions. Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride is a beautiful historical fantasy set in colonial Malaya, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Michael Grant is another longstanding favourite, in particular his Gone series about kids trapped in an invisible dome who start to develop strange abilities. And there’s A. G. Howard’s Splintered series, based on Alice in Wonderland with a fantastically dark contemporary twist.
In the contemporary genre I have to mention Erin Fletcher, whose debut Where You’ll Find Me came out this month, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Also Laura Jarratt and Lucy Christopher, whose novels are way up there on my favourites list. I think I need to stop now, or this list will grow tentacles and take over the world!
When I’m not wearing my writer hat, I’m a graphic designer, so I’m always curious…. your cover design is beautiful! Who was the artist? And how much input did you have in the creation?
I am so jealous of anyone with artistic skills like yourself – I’m challenged by drawing stick figures!
The cover that’s ‘out there’ at the moment is the UK cover for BLACKFIN SKY, and the artwork is by the amazing Shane Rebenschied (blot.com is his website – he had loads of fantastic examples in his gallery). I actually asked Firefly, my UK publisher, to approach Shane – not thinking I’d get him in a million years, so I was thrilled when I found out it was happening. I love his vision and how he has translated my story into such a gorgeous cover.
I will also have a US cover for BLACKFIN SKY, and the drafts I’ve seen of that one are so different, but really fantastic too – I’m so lucky that I love them both! The US one should be revealed sooooon.
That’s so awesome! I can’t wait to see your US cover too. Thanks for visiting my blog, Kat! Good luck with your future projects, and I can’t wait to read BLACKFIN SKY!
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Angela! This interview was great fun :D
Find Kat Ellis all across the interwebs…