Monday, May 2, 2016

Upcoming Nightwanderers events and prize draw winner...

So the winner of my signed advanced copy of Nightwanderers is...

Arjun Randhawa! I will send the book a.s.a.p. and I really hope that you enjoy it. Please reply in the comments so we can arrange for me to post this.

In other news, there are a few book events coming up. The first is a book signing at Derby Waterstones on 4th June, between 11am and 1pm. This is part of the Derby Book festival, which has an amazing line up this year, including Matt Haig and Carol Ann Duffy. Check it out.

I will also be talking to Andy Potter on Radio Derby on Friday 3rd June from 2pm, so tune in if you want to hear me doing my plummiest accent or strongest Derby accent (I'm never sure which will come out.)

Let me know if you can make it in the comments!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Nightwanderers cover

Maximum Pop officially revealed it this morning, so here it is on my blog! The cover for Nightwanderers. What do you think?

To celebrate, I'm giving away one signed advance copy. Follow me on Twitter, retweet the giveaway or leave a comment here, and next week I'll choose a winner. (One entry for follow, retweet and comment, i.e. three entries possible per person.)


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

First peek at Nightwanderers...

It's almost nine weeks until Nightwanderers comes into the world (2.6.16) and I am so excited to share it with you. Yesterday, I arrived home to find two advanced copies of the book, and it was so dream-smashing (in a positive way) to hold this work of my imagination in my three dimensional hands. Can you even believe that I spent a year making every single detail up? Strange, isn't it?

Tomorrow (6.4.14) the lovely people at Maximum Pop! will reveal the cover at 11am, so check their website or twitter to see the design, and then please tell us what you think!

Because I can't reveal the cover yet (without being tortured by Maximum Pop journalists and their horribly judgemental cats), I have taken a photo of the inside of the book. 

"If it's this pretty inside, what will the cover be like??" - You, in your mind, right now.

And in case you haven't read the blurb for Nightwanderers yet, here it is: 

A stunning, sad and darkly funny story from the award-winning author of Infinite Sky.

It all started with a poo in a flowerbed.
Rosie and Titania are as close as sisters – closer, in fact. While Rosie is shy, red-faced and passive, Ti is big, tough and daring. They shouldn't be friends, but they are.
We weren’t identical twins, we weren’t even blood sisters, but what we were was better, because we had chosen it.
But when Rosie betrays Ti, the two girls run in different directions – making decisions that could do irreparable damage to both of their lives. As Rosie confronts harsh truths, she must find a way back to Ti, and to herself.

What do you think? Would you like to read this book? 
Get out of here! 
Phew! Hold me. 

Finally, to celebrate books and being alive, I will be giving away one signed advance copy, so check back in the next few days for more details. And don't forget to let me know what you think of the design once it is revealed. 

Okay? Okay! Love you! Bye!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Patron of Reading at St Bedes

Last Friday was my first day as Patron of Reading at St Bede's School, and I had a wonderful time with very engaged and amusing English classes from Year 7, 8 and 9. I received dozens of suggestions of books to include in the year long reading challenge I am launching, from Geek Girl to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. More details about the reading challenge are at the bottom of the page.

In the sessions, we talked together about why we love reading, and whether or not it is a cool thing to admit to (this seems to change quite dramatically if you attend secondary school or not...) and discussed books that we love.

Living proof that a love of reading is Extremely Cool.

I met lots of enthusiastic readers, including some enthusiastic readers of Infinite Sky (my favourite kind). And most importantly of all, I had a bona fide school dinner: breadcrumbed fish, jacket potato wedges and beans.

"Excellent." *****

So for any students who weren't lucky enough to be in my sessions, and who want to get involved with my reading challenge, here are the details:

CJ's Reading Challenge for St Bede's

The challenge (if you choose to accept it) is to commit to reading as many books as you can in a year. The challenge was launched on World Book Day 2016, and ends on World Book Day 2017.

6 books = bronze
12 books = silver
24 books = gold
30 books = diamond

The prize for completing the reading challenge, whether at bronze, silver, gold or diamond levels is to be featured on the Reader’s Wall of Fame on my blog, to be entered into the Reading Challenge prize draw, and - most valuable of all - to have read 6, 16, 24 or 30 books in a year!

I will be aiming for diamond, and will let you know how I get on… What will you be aiming for?

Suggested titles from me, St Bede's students and teachers

Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams
Good Dog Bad Dog by Dave Shelton
Infinite Sky by C J Flood
Any from Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Paper Towns by John Green
The Last Wild by Piers Torday
Mazerunner by James Dashner
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Worry Website by Jacqueline Wilson
Pigheart Boy by Malorie Blackman
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Red Ink by Julia Mayhew
Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallace
Trouble by Non Pratt
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg aka Zoella
Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
13 Chairs by Dave Shelton
Hollow Earth by John and Carol Barrowman
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton
A Monster Calls by Siobhan Down and Patrick Ness
Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Any from the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale
Any from the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell
Any from the Young Samurai series
Any from the Chocolate Box Girls by Cathy Cassidy
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Eragon by Paolini
Have a Little Faith by C J Harper
Nightwanderers by C J Flood
Daylight by Ed Hogan
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss
The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
Junk by Melvin Burgess
ACID by Emma Pass
The Fearless by Emma Pass
Coconut Unlimited by Nikesh Shukla

Do you have any more suggestions? Please let me know in comments below, if so.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hello 2016!

Happy new year people!

So the end of 2015 was mostly taken up with editing my second novel. In case you don't know, it's called Nightwanderers, and is about a girl called Rosie Bloom and her best friend, Titania DeFuria, and the trouble they get themselves into as a result of their love for roaming their seaside town in the middle of the night (hence the title.)

My best friend and I used to do this when we were teenagers, climbing out of my bedroom window and donning my dad's balaclava to run through our fearsome teacher's garden, and I had much fun returning to those foolish and exhilarating times to write Rosie's story.

Nightwanderers is set in a fictionalised version of Falmouth in Cornwall where I lived for eight years, and I loved returning to that beautiful harbour town in my imagination. I hope people will enjoy the story that emerged from blending these elements. More news on the book's progress soon...

My editor, Rachel Mann, has been brilliant in supporting me to get this novel right, and lots of her suggestions have helped to improve the book. More evidence that writing novels can be an extremely collaborative process.

The end of 2015 was also devoted to teaching Creative Writing to undergraduates at Bath Spa, and to visiting schools to talk about Infinite Sky. I had a particularly lovely time at St Bede's Catholic School in Bristol last month, and am delighted to be their Patron of Reading for 2016. Keep an eye out here for posts relating to what I will be doing in my time there...

2015 was a stellar year for UKYA, and my favourite read was Rosie Rowell's Leopold Blue, winner of the year's Branford Boase Award, along with many of the other shortlisted books. Please read them all! Of the not-published-in-2015-nor-necessarily-UK-YA books I read, I loved Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Meg Rosoff's new book for adults, which is hilarious, and everyone must read, and that I can't remember the name of (or find online.)

I delayed posting this after hearing the sad news that David Bowie had died on Monday. A man that truly lived. To celebrate his shining life, here is a video of him singing and dancing and waving bye bye in all his feline glory.

I hope 2016 promises good things for you. Thanks for reading! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

What to do when you're waiting for notes from your editor. (Or The Bee's Tongue)

Hello readers!

I'm waiting for edits on book two, and so have turned my attention to my other other great love: nature. 

With book three in mind, I've been learning about natural foods, and have found lots of wild rocket growing near my house. Look out for it when you're out and about, it loves to grow in cracks in the pavement or by the side of foot and cycle paths. And remember to leave some behind for the next creatures too.

I've also made elderflower champagne.

Elderflower champagne-to-be

Best of all, a bee flew into my window and I fed it sweetened water. My flat is something of a hotspot on the Bee Highway, and I sometimes rescue four or five bumble bees a day (or the same bumble bee four or five times a day.) This, however, was a honey bee, and I noticed it crawling very slowly across my floor, like a woman left too long in the desert (if women had six legs, and also wings.) Giving this bee a drink of sweetened water is honestly one of the best things I've ever done, because previously I didn't know bees had tongues. 

To capture this wonderful discovery, I made an astonishingly bad video on my phone. 


How like a kitten the humble bee laps its sugar water! Is this the cutest thing you've ever seen?

Please excuse the poor quality and daft narration, this is the first video I've ever posted. Expect great things in the future...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Arvon Talk with Melvin Burgess and Lucy Christopher

Today I'm returning to The Hurst in Shropshire to talk about Infinite Sky to a group of YA writers on an Arvon course led by Lucy Christopher and Melvin Burgess.

I met Lucy last year when her book The Killing Woods was shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards alongside Infinite Sky, and I'm really looking forward to talking more to her about writing and books over dinner. Lucy also won the Branford Boase Award, for her debut novel, Stolen, which won the Printz Medal too in the US. Visit her website for more info.

Image result for the killing woods lucy christopher

I have met Melvin before too, at The Hurst, when I did a course he was running with Malorie Blackman about Writing for Young Adults. At which the lovely Simmone Howell (author of the marvellous Everything Beautiful) was the guest tutor. Melvin wrote one of my favourite YA books (and one I actually read as a teenager) Junk, and has written lots of books since. Have a look at his website to find out more.

Image result for melvin burgess junk

He was a great teacher, and fun too, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again. He led us in a workshop exercise in which we interviewed each other, while channelling our teen selves, and it was one of the best writing exercises I've done, because of the way that it connected the group. The writing I got from it was fine, but the stories I listened to, and the emotions people came up with as a result were quite amazing.

I am really delighted to be going back to the Hurst again, and to have the opportunity to meet writers and talk books, in such a pretty setting.