Uncategorized

When The Bard Came Visiting is now out!

Hi everyone, I had some trouble with the internet yesterday, so I couldn’t announce the fact that my short story collection, When The Bard Came Visiting, is now available.

I’m really happy to share these stories with everyone at last (some of them appeared right here on this blog in draft form some years ago), as they cover a range of themes and genres, from contemporary to sci-fi and pretty much everything in-between. There’s even a sour-mouthed fairy.

It’s available in ebook, paperback and large print paperback, and the audiobook should be out later this year.

Please check it out here.

Happy reading!

Poetry, Uncategorized

Rooted escape

beads in my pocket, enchanted

as I steal away from the shouting, the swearing

down the road and into

the roots of the tower

that seals shut behind me

none of their spits follow me, nor

the scent of beer and sweat and piss and vomit

that has come to haunt

my waking hours

Poetry, Uncategorized

Cover reveal of A Book for Pandora, my debut poetry collection!

Hello everyone, it’s been a while in the works, but I’m finally able to show you the final cover design for my first poetry collection. Here it is:

A Book for Pandora

Many of the poems in this collection originated as drafts right here on this blog, so if you like the style of my works here, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this collection. I’m incredibly proud of it and how it’s come together, and I hope it’ll be just one of many collections yet to come.

The release is early next week, and I’ll provide links for where to buy it up on my home page nearer the time.

Here’s the blurb, and thank you to all of you lovely readers for always checking out my work:

The poems in this rich and imaginative debut collection speak of people, of life, loss and love. They weave threads of myth and fairy tale into commentaries of society, explorations of self, nature and humanity.
Sometimes surreal and sinister, others playful and light, A Book For Pandora is a collection with an array of flavours that will delight any reader.
Poetry

Special Offers

How much would you pay for bottled love?

Hanging up on a market stall

like fairy lights, all twinkling away

in different colours.

 

Bright pink for that first crush, that first taste of romance.

Steady indigo for familial love, overriding all those arguments that ended in slammed doors and broken crockery.

Lush, meadow green for those best friends who have stood by you for years

and will do for many more,

possibly because they now know you too well for you to let them escape.

How about that deep crimson

for a person you wish to wake up to every day, forever?

 

The vendor rattles them all enthusiastically as you walk by,

making them dance about,

shouting about special offers for previous clients,

two for the price of one,

a complete returns policy if things don’t work out.

 

She dangles a handful of free samples in your face

and you can’t help but get caught up in the wonderful scent

of love

that threatens to stitch up all those wounds

forming your heart.

 

It’s tempting.

It is.

But it’s fake.

 

Manufactured for the vulnerable,

and I know you aren’t the type to buy into it.

Poetry

Elevenses

Let’s have a catch up.

We’ll sip tea and eat scones with jam

while skipping along the borderline

of countries lost under the seas

and between the stars.

We’ll pick flowers, too.

Nightshade to match your swirling dress,

Foxglove to use as drinking cups –

best not keep it for soup.

We can chart out our own paths

using chalk and chlorophyll

and a compass of needle and cork.

We’ll sing songs heard in seashells

and whisper spells into bottles

to float amongst the sea foam.

Uncategorized

Favourite authors and writing influences

Having just finished reading an early book by Diana Wynne Jones (early as in published in 1975) and then seeing Reflections – her collected essays and thoughts – on my shelf, I had to pick it up and flick through it. Looking at several pages at random, I found myself laughing aloud, as I often do when reading her books, and thought it was about time I talked about some of my favourite authors (really only a handful from a whole sack of rice)…and yes, she is number one on that list.

My first introduction to DWJ was a collection of books from her Chrestomanci series, gifted to me by my grandmother when I was about ten. When I read them at the time, I thought they were interesting, but I know I didn’t fully absorb them properly because my attention was more on Harry Potter, and so I was half-hearted in my reading of other books. Then, shortly after the film Howl’s Moving Castle by Studio Ghibli came out, I learned that it was based on a book of the same name, written by DWJ. I remembered her writing style, and thought I’d give the book a try – and I was absolutely blown away. It’s very different to the film (I love both, as separate entities) and there was so much humour in it and the characters were so engaging that it easily became one of my favourite books, and still is. I then re-read the Chrestomanci books I had, and couldn’t believe I’d missed how good they really were. Since then, I’ve been steadily adding to my collection of her books, and she really was (I say ‘was’ because, for those of you who don’t know, she passed away in 2011) one of those authors who is consistently brilliant, with inspiring, believable worlds and a writing style that spurs my author envy no end. I really could ramble on about how much I love her all day, but for now I’ll just say, if you haven’t read any of her books yet, pick one up right away.

Next on my list is David Eddings, whose Belgariad series I practically grew up with. It was my first brush with epic fantasy (I’d heard of LOTR, but until the films came out, I wasn’t interested), and his whole magic system of the Will and the Word made so much sense that I wanted it to be real. I also wanted a white lock in my hair like one of the characters, too (Polgara the Sorceress), but then I was only 11/12. I’ve read and re-read this series, and its  sequel, the Mallorean, so many times that the characters are pretty much family, and I will probably always have a copy in my collection. I’ve read some of his other works, too; The Elenium, The Tamuli, The Redemption of Althalus and the companion books to the Belgariad series, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress (I should mention that he worked with his wife, Leigh Eddings, so equal credit should go to her, too, though her name is only on some of his works – apparently a marketing move by the publisher). Unfortunately, now I’ve read more into the lore of LOTR, I can see how many ideas Eddings borrowed, and that does irk me a bit, but I can’t say he outright plagiarized Tolkien because the story and characters are very different. (For clarity, Eddings has a whole system of Gods and backstory as to how the world in The Belgariad was made. Only recently did I discover that Tolkien had his own Gods, too, and Eddings’ really are similar.)

I believe Garth Nix is a worthy third, because his Abhorsen series is a thing of beauty. Were it not for my nostalgic feelings, his work would actually beat Eddings. Anyway, the reason why I love Nix is because of how well-developed his magic system, geography and Necromancy rules are, as well as how relatable his characters are (for me, Lirael in particular – I’d want nothing more than to stroll around in the Clayr’s library). I also like his Keys to the Kingdom series and Seventh Tower series, which are aimed at a slightly younger age-group.

Cornelia Funke ensnared me with Inkheart at the age of 13 (interestingly, the same age as her character, Meggie). I borrowed the book from my school library and gobbled it up so quickly that I didn’t know what to do with myself afterwards. A book about booklovers and characters wandering out from the pages – how could I not love it? (I love the film as well, and for an interesting bit of trivia, Cornelia sent Brendan Fraser a copy of the book, saying that he inspired her character, Mortimer, who he played on screen). After that I discovered The Thief Lord (which is based in Venice, and though I have never been there, I now feel as though I have), Dragon Rider (the sequel of which has just been released in the UK) and Igraine The Brave, all of which are fantastic, not to mention Inkspell and Inkdeath, which complete the Inkheart world.

Unsurprisingly, I have to mention JK Rowling here too, because I am a huge Potterhead and I think she is awesome in her own right – she really did work hard and went through some terrible times in her life, yet she persevered through it all. However, with the other authors mentioned above, their work made me want to write, whereas Harry Potter just made me want to read and be completely absorbed by her world. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I thought I’d just mention it.

So that’s that. As I said above, this is just a sample of my favourite authors – I have MANY more – but it’s getting late and I need to sleep at some point.

Kat out.