“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

The above is a quote by Frank Herbert. He wot wrote Dune. I suspect he knows what he speaks of.

The reason I used the quote? Judged, the final book in the trilogy is done. It’s been sent off to typesetters just this week past and well, it’s really kind of terrifying, you know?

I’ve written a trilogy in two years. It almost broke me, but I did it.  And I loved it most of the time. The time I didn’t I was probably falling asleep typing…this happened during Vowed a lot.

And I must apologise for the long delay between blogposts. It is really bad form and not like me at all.  I promise to do far far better in the future.

Here’s what’s happened over the past few months:

31st of March was my last day at my job in the West End. I spent April 2015 editing Judged and being at home.  It was a tremendous change of pace. I got to know my local area really well as I took Sparrow for a lot of very long walks and actually managed to get a tan.  And by tan, I mean I am slightly less milky white than before.  Sparrow is sleeker than before.  I discovered that I’m not cut out to be at home but it was silly trying to look for a job when I know I couldn’t start till June / July anyway because…

In May 2015 Mark and I travelled to South Africa where I was part of the Franschoek Literary Festival.

Here are some photos:

We had an amazing time. I fell in love with Cape Town all over again.  I fell in love with Franschoek again.  The area is majestically beautiful and treated us wonderfully well.  I miss it so much but then I missed London a lot too whilst we were gone.  I loved visiting the local schools and giving talks. I am desperate to go back and do some more talks.  The children were so enthusiastic and so much fun to hang around with afterwards.  We argued about movies and books and heroes and villains.  I felt right at home!

The week after the Franschoek Literary Festival we travelled to Johannesburg where I got to hang out with my family.  I got to know new great-nieces and great-nephews and catch up with family I’ve not seen in five years.  It was a lot of fun.  We also got to visit some touristy places in and around Johannesburg, including the Lion Park. We made friends with some lion cubs under the careful supervision of their handlers and a gorgeous cheetah found Mark to be very comfortable and snuggled with him for a while.  His handler was slightly alarmed by that.  Mark naturally assumed he was the next Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.

I was a guest at Kingsmead Literary Festival too and it was as much fun as the Franschoek Literary Festival.  I got to meet and be on a panel with Fred Strydom and Edith Bulbring, both authors I’ve fallen in love with. Do look them up, people of earth – you won’t be sorry.

Once we got back to London my copy edits had turned up so I tackled that with enthusiasm. I got that back to Macmillan in a timely fashion.  Then I set about and tidied up my CV and went to meet with recruitment agencies and did a handful of interviews. I started my new full time job on the 15th of July and it’s in the City, rather than the West End, so to me that’s a big change!  And I’m enjoying it so much.  It’s a fun diverse role with some genuinely great people to work with and I like that I’m being pushed and made to think and am allowed to be a little creative.

This coming weekend is Nine Worlds!


I am doing a few panels and I’m running a writing workshop too. I’m only slightly terrified.  These are the panels I’ll be on.  Please do come and listen to us talk and sign up for my workshop. It’s free! And you can watch me panic and forget the name of my characters.   Yes, that’s been known to happen.

But before Nine Worlds, there’s Fantasy in the Court, hosted by David Headley, owner of Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court and Mark’s super cool agent. I’ll be in attendance, along with a swathe of swashbuckling fantasy authors from a variety of publishers.  Last year’s event was tremendous fun and I think there must easily have been around 150 people or so in attendance.  Writers, readers, fans, editors, agents…all the good folk, in other words.  So, definitely check out the link, buy a ticket and come along.  There’ll be books and people and wine and soft drinks and a lot of fun.  I’ll be the one carrying around a bottle of Evian water, like usual.

What am I doing now that Judged is done and in essence I’ve said goodbye to my characters and the Blackhart world?

I’m taking a tiny break. It’s been crazy writing the trilogy this fast.  So I’m playing a little bit of Playstation/Xbox and watching movies and tv shows and reading. I’m reading so much. I missed reading. I can’t read fiction when I’m writing so I tend to either not read at all or I read fact-stuff or old mythologies or WWII treaties…stuff that I can turn to without having to think/concentrate on.

I’m kicking around potentially five ideas:

  • A MG fantasy completely inspired by niece Liane’s daughter, Kayla.
  • A YA heist
  • A YA thriller
  • A YA quest (with strains of my first ever novel I wrote which was MG)
  • Adult epic fantasy

What I’ll do is write a synopsis for each (I’ve done that with almost all of them) and the opening three chapters of each, and send it on to my agent, Juliet to look at then we decide which to go for. And who knows what’ll happen after that!

And I think that’s essentially me, caught up.  I promise to be far more prolific on here in the next few months.  I’m redesigning the site too with the help of a designer so that it will look more like a website rather than a blog – that’ll happen in the next few months and I’m quite excited about that.

In the meantime, be sure to chat to me via twitter @LizUK.

Oh! And, in case: Banished is on sale for ridiculously cheap over at both Amazon and iBooks – both sites have the e-book selling for less than £1.  Do check it out if you haven’t.

Of books and edits

Once upon a time Liz run a review blog.  The review blog was updated at least three times a week.  Now Liz writes and works full time in a dayjob in the West End and forgets about her personal blog.  Liz is basically rubbish.

Chaps, so much has happened over the past few months and yet very little at the same time.  I am hugely apologetic for the delay in updating the blog!

However, Vowed was launched at Forbidden Planet in November and it was fabulous.  Loads of friends came out to hang out with me and there was cake and cookies and it was really a massive sugar high, basically.

Straight after Vowed’s launch in the first week in November I headed into rewrite territory for Judged.  I spent a day with my agent and we talked over the edits, tightening the story-line and refocussing the plot to be more cohesive.  Sometimes you need a kind of reboot and to relook at what you’ve produced and this is why it’s so important to have people around you to guide you.

In the end, there’s this little puzzle piece inside of you that will go ‘click’ because the advice you’ve been given or the thought process you’ve been on somehow suddenly just makes sense. So that little puzzle piece fell into place and it was excellent and I ended up rewriting the entire book, leaving around 30% of original content in and everything else was new.

Deadlines were tight and I basically disappeared off the face of the earth doing anything social. People, I didn’t even go and see the new Mockingjay movie because I was that busy.  Like? How is that even possible!?  Anyway, I will have to be patient and wait for it to come out on DVD, basically.

The rewritten book has been sent off to my editor, Bella the second week of January, so we see what she makes of it.  In the meantime I’m cramming tv shows, movies and reading into my brain and also toying with a variety of new story ideas.

And it is hard because there’s so much I want to do but I have to try and be focused and narrow it down to maybe three top things to send off to my agent. And being enthusiastic about three things to write is crazy because, here’s the thing:

You have to not just be enthusiastic about the thing, you have got to love it utterly because if that book gets picked up by a publisher and it gets published it means you have to literally live with that book that you will be writing, once it’s published, for your entire life.  You cannot get tired of it, ever. It’s like career musicians who write say 5 top 20 songs and whenever they tour, people only care about those 5 songs and not the new stuff and they are expected to perform them all the time. So, here’s a bit of random advice: love the stuff you do because chances are you’ll be doing it for a very very long time.

It is an important bit of advice I remember reading from my pre-agented days when I trolled the internet for websites where writers write the truth about All The Things.  It sort of stuck with me and as I’ve been working on books 2 and 3 of the Blackhart Legacy I realised how true this is.

Movies I’ve recently watched and completely adored – I’m only mentioning 3 for now…possibly 4.


Need for Speed – no, seriously.  It is so good and so much fun also the music is sick. All I can say is: busbusbus!

Kingsman – uch, so good and so spot on.  Superb fight sequences and Colin Firth is absolutely aces as the gentleman spy who can kick ass and be a great mentor at the same time.  Newcomer Taron Egerton is stunningly cute and attractive and really rises to the occasion without being an annoying idiot.  Also: Mark Strong as ‘Merlin’ is a gift.  The movie is horrendously violent but seriously spot on and tongue in cheek.

big hero 6

Big Hero 6 – people: this movie is so important.  Main character who is a person of colour in a cast full of girls and boys who are nerds who do science stuff (and oh, cultural representation, hello!). There is so much to love here, seriously.  If you think Frozen is good, you need to watch BH6 because this is about family, about doing the right thing, about family of choice and making tough decisions and it’s also just visually stunning and I want to adopt them all and keep them with me forever.  Please, please go and watch this movie and make it the break-out movie of 2015. This deserves to be bigger than it already is.

Purge: Anarchy:  This movie was just…off the charts good.  Frank Grillo takes an excellent role here and yes, the violence is graphic and awful but the concept behind this broken world is genuinely terrifying.  It reminds me so much of Alexander Gordon Smith’s Furnace books, seriously.  Give them a read – edge of your seat stuff in a world gone badly wrong.


Also, I’ve been playing some games on Playstation – I suck so badly but I do enjoy it so much.  Basically I’ve been playing LEGO: Superheroes / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (so much suckage) / Assassin’s Creed: Unity (I die so much) but also inJustice and the absolutely stunning The Unfinished Swan.

TV Shows I’ve been loving:

Scandal – I am only partway through Season 2 and I can’t quite believe it took me this long to actually start watching this show.  Basically I’ve come to realise Shonda Rhimes is one of the best showrunners currently working in the business in the US and I adore her to bits.  Her shows are groundbreaking, not just because they tackle strong fierce subjects, but because the characters live and breathe and feel real but especially the fact that the shows are these vehicles for strong storytelling in which women have genuine agency.  I love it.


The 100 – Season 2 has started here in the UK and really, if you thought this was a silly TV show aimed at kids who want pretty people to look at in a faux-post-apocalyptic world, I really feel sad for you.  No one in The 100 is safe.  The writers go very dark places and hardly ever do they do it gratuitously.  The characters are strong and vivid and the relationships and political alliances shift and move like you cannot actually believe.  The showrunners and writers here do an incredible job and really, we should commend shows like this wholeheartedly.

Vikings – we’re re-watching Season 2 in anticipation of Seaon 3 showing soon.  Vikings is bloody.  It is dark.  It is beautiful and thoughtful and again it’s strength lies in the how well the characters are written. I find myself watching the show and randomly going onto twitter and just typing out things like: Lagerta! or: Floki, NO!


Musketeers: no, seriously, this little BBC show is going from strength to strength.  The writing feels smoother, the costumes are aces, the boys look impossibly hot and the stunts and fights are better and feels more cohesive too.  The girls…the girls need work though. I want more agency for them, not just pretty little dolls in pretty outfits and Constance is the one who gets some great lines but I need them to be more, I won’t lie.  But, knowing that Jessica Pope looks after this series, I’m pretty damn sure we’re going to see some great development for the female characters.  The fandom behind the Musketeers is a growing fandom too.  All you have to do is check your twitter timeline when the show is on to prove that. And here’s the thing: Musketeers is basically the ONLY TV show I watch live if I can manage it.  Now that says something.

I’m going to try and compile a list of books I’ve been reading / remember to update my goodreads thingy but basically, I’ve been reading a helluva lot too.  Not just fiction stuff but also loads of non-fic for research etc.  so I’ll start making a list, maybe?

Lastly, find me on:

Twitter: @LizUK

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lizdejagerwriter/ 

Snapchat: thelizuk


On NaNoWriMo & Other Bits of Advice you probably never wanted

Hi pals!

So I’ve had an influx of dm’s and emails about NaNoWriMo and writing in general. I’m flattered people are asking me because really, I’m still learning and I hope never to stop learning. But I’m happy to share some thoughts etc.


Here’s my take on NanoWriMo and some random thoughts on writing too.

ENJOY IT. Go crazy.

Write all the words you can.

Every 500 or 200 words you write on your story, dissertation, or whatever, is 500 or 200 words more than you had before.  But here’s the trick: it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Just get the words down.  Because this will be your first draft.  And your first draft is allowed to suck. In fact, if it doesn’t suck then well…you are possibly the next Hemingway or Platt and you deserve all the laurels.  But basically, first drafts are designed to suck ass.  You will hate it but you will love it also.  There is no OTHER way to get this high legally when you’re doing something by yourself – writing is a high. Getting the words down, creating story, makes you soar.  It makes me soar! I love it. I love discovering my characters and the plot. I love the possibilities of what if.

I’m about to head into a huge redraft of book 3. And yes, I’m terrified, but I am also incredibly excited. It means that along with everyone working on their writing in November, I’ll be doing exactly the same thing. My energy will be thrown into the pot and although I won’t be doing word count updates and working on ‘wrimo, I will be doing and grafting seriously hard on reworking book 3.  And there’s nothing like KNOWING you’re not alone in doing this thing, getting involved in this creative effort.

It’s one of the reasons I like writing in coffee shops. I look up from the keyboard and you see other people right there, either writing in journals by hand or they’re busy pounding the keys with fierce looks of concentration. You check in on twitter and you see your pals #amwriting and suddenly although you’re writing, you’re not alone alone anymore. It’s a thing. It is totally a thing.

So, my advice is this, for NaNoWriMo:

1. Get in the habit of writing

2. Figure out the word count you’re happy with every day.

3. If you don’t make the word count, still see it as a success.

4. It’s about getting your first draft done.

5. It may feel like a race, but it’s NOT a race, not really.

6. You will not send your manuscript out to any agent or editor on the 1st or 10th December, because that manuscript needs editing and revising. If anything, you’ll be sending that manuscript out, redrafted and edited in about six months, possibly less if you’ve worked like MAD on it.

7. Have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. I cannot stress this enough.  Writing is hard work, it really is, but seriously, nothing is more fun than getting down and dirty with characters you love and throwing them at enemies or into situations they have to get out of.  Muah hahaha. *coughs delicately*

8. If you’ve plotted your book out and you find yourself going off on some kinda of tangent, let it go, see where it takes you.  If you don’t like the tangent, cut it, but paste it into a separate folder for later. Who knows what that tangent may mean later on?

Uh. That’s all I’ve got, I think? As far as NaNoWriMo is concerned anyway.

General writing advice is always just, take yourself seriously. Do NOT be ashamed to tell people you’re writing if they ask you. This weekend past I spent time at the London Screenwriters Festival and listened to writers/producers talk about writing and creating and the one thing they all had in common is: OWN WHAT YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING.  And it’s hard because as creatives it’s not an easy thing to do.  Other professionals are all: oh yeah, I’m a doctor / dentist or I’m a lawyer or I’m a surveyor or a banker or a metallurgist or whatever and yet you ask ANYONE in the creative industry and they’re like this:

Looks down at the ground, rubs back of the neck, gets a little distant look in the eye as they look up. Shuffles uncomfortably.  Eventually they go: uh, yeah, so I’m a writer? I uh, I’m published? But you know, it’s nothing serious and in the meantime it’s serious like DEATH cos this person’s written like twenty comics and five hundred books and they’ve run creative writing courses and wotnot and yet they find themselves unable to stand up straight and own it. So my advice is, regardless of where you are in your career / hobby of writing: stand up and own it. I’m trying to do that but it is HARD because we are never ever encouraged to own what we do. And it should really not be a thing.

I listened to these screenwriters talk about how they still don’t see themselves as creatively successful and the one young woman – stunningly articulate and fabulously lovely – explain how she still struggles to see herself as a success.  She won BAFTAS.  I think the entire audience sat up a little then and thought: yeah, so it’s not just me who is this dumb….it would seem like we all are a little dumb.

So yeah, own your writing and what you’re doing. It’s fair enough if you don’t want to tell people about it, but really, in your head, you should own it.  Because writing is fantastic and fun and hard and liberating and sexy and sweet and heartbreaking. Without writing and creating stories our lives would be very dull indeed.

And uh, that’s all I have to say about that.

If you want to drop by my tumblr to ask me questions feel free to do that! You can do it anonymously too. Feel free to ask all kinds of stuff – if I can figure out answers I will try and answer.  Of I will speak to people who can help me answer questions.


Oh, and next week THURSDAY, 6th November, the second book in the Blackhart Trilogy is released – it’s called VOWED and it is full of action and fighting and new characters to fall in love with and Kit being sassy and torn between liking Thorn too much for her own sanity and fighting with Aiden against bad things, and uch, so much STUFF.

Vowed author copies

My author copies of Vowed!

And as a reminder, the WRITE IDEA FESTIVAL is happening. I’ll be running 2 sessions.  One will be about fanfic (writing it, reading it, being part of fandom) and the other talk will be focussed on writing original works and getting published and we’ll be talking about story, plot, character, voice and all the fun stuff.  The day is FREE but you GOTTA book tickets. So do that if you’re able!

As always, find me on twitter as @LizUK. I’m also on Instagram – http://instagram.com/lizdejagerwriter – and I’m on Facebook too but far less because well, it’s a little bit dull, isn’t it?

But mostly: if you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo – have fun! If you’re not officially taking part, like me, but you are still doing creative stuff: have fun and good luck. We’re all in this good ship SS Creative and we can kick some butt.

Imaginative title here

– I really am so bad at titles for blogposts, and you know, I feel bad because in theory I should be able to word and word hard.

Anyway, let’s do a quick game of catch-up:

I finished writing Judged, the last book in the Blackhart trilogy. *gulps* I sent it off to my agent to read and then went off on holiday to the Dordogne, France.  It was a working holiday in that we didn’t do a lot of touristy things and instead wrote and edited.  Now that Mark has an agent – did I mention that before? No? Yes, my amazingly fab husband landed himself an agent for his fantasy novel for adults and he’s currently working on rewriting it. I keep being asked by people: what is it about and all I can say is: honestly, it’s like nothing you’ve read before.  So, just wait and see.






So, holiday in France – it was amazing and hot.  We stayed here and Allison and Alex are amazing.  They treated us, on our final night, to a huge smoked bbq at their house and basically made me smoked pulled pork. OMG. It was delicious. We also did an eight hour round trip during the week and visited Carcassonne and I have never been in a stranger and more atmospheric place.  Definitely worth a visit.  So the week in France was truly lovely – we stayed over en route back to London in Chartres and they had their Festival of Lights happening and it was just pure magic. I’ve never been so enamoured by a light display before. Truly magical.


Anyway, the edits came back from my agent (there was a lot of anxiety on my behalf) but her comments genuinely made sense, even when she was all NO LIZ YOU CAN’T WRITE THIS IT MAKES NO SENSE and I was all: I WROTE THIS AT 2AM OKAY GIVE ME SOME CREDIT I WAS HIGH ON SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

So I sent the edited manuscript off to Bella the end of September and have since then been working on two short stories – one for Tor introducing a new character called Dante who appears in Vowed and I’ve also been working on another Team Mushens Halloween short story which is going too slowly for my own liking. I may scrap it and just write The Walking Dead fanfiction, I think? Whilst that’s happening, I’m waiting for Bella to send the edited manuscript back to me – this is the first time she’s read it, so I’m super nervous!  I’m also thinking about what to write next so if you find me in a coffee shop scowling at my notebook making furious notes, you’ll know why.

This weekend past, I was lucky enough to be invited to A BUNDLE OF BOOKS in Herne Bay, Kent to give a talk to a group of teens and younger readers about Banished and about writing. It devolved into talking meta about fanfiction and how you can use meta to help develop your character and story arcs.  It was great fun.  So a huge thanks to Ellie and Andrea for a great afternoon and fantastic cake.

This coming Sunday, I’ve been invited to chair a fantastic panel as part of the London Film and Comic Con YALC strand – the panel is called Women in Fantasy and we’ve got Laure Eve, Zoe Marriott and Samantha Shannon as the panelists. I am really thrilled to be part of this as I love these three ladies so very much and I’ve known Laure and Zoe for years and I think Ms. Shannon’s rather sparkly and am looking forward to meeting her.

Then, in November, firstly we’ve got Vowed’s release happening. *runs around full of emotion* I am so excited, you guys, I cannot begin to tell you.  Bella showed a picture on twitter today of finished copies she received from the printers today and just look at them.  Just. *strokes screen*  So, very soon I shall have some author copies.  #smug


Then, after the exciting release for VOWED I’m over at Tower Hamlets for their brilliant WRITE IDEA FESTIVAL 2014 where I will be doing two things: I’m taking part in their fringe event talking to attending visitors about fandom in all its glory.  I am so looking forward to it.  Then, later, I’ll be doing a talk about writing books for teens.  The event is free, so be sure to check it out and if you’re around town, do come along!

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 21.58.58




Where does the time go?

Oh, I know: it goes into nonstop writing and worrying and biting nails.

What’s been happening lately? Well, the second book in the trilogy got a cover reveal.  And it’s rather epic.  Isn’t it the most gorgeous thing (apart from Banished’s cover, that is!)?


And this is the bit of cover write-up on what it’s about.  Prepare for the feels, folks. Seriously. This book made me laugh and cry and feel loads of emotions for Kit and Aiden and Thorn and Dante.

The Blackhart Code:
Don’t let the monsters grind you down

A Blackhart can see the supernatural behind everyday crimes. But some crimes hide even greater evils…

Kit Blackhart must investigate why children are disappearing from a London estate. However, their parents, police and fae allies claim to know nothing. And as yet more children disappear, the pressure mounts. Luckily, or unluckily, government trainee Dante Alexander is helping Kit with the case. Yet just as her feelings towards him begin to thaw, his life falls apart. As Kit struggles to unravel his problems and dangerous secrets, she meets fae Prince Thorn in her dreams – but their relationship is utterly forbidden.

Then Kit digs too deep, and uncovers a mystery that’s been hidden for one thousand years. It’s a secret that could just tear down our world.

What can we deduce from this? LOTS of shenanigans.  And no, there’s no love triangle or love quadrangle. Just no. Well, at least not for Kit. *smirks* I really enjoyed writing VOWED. It threw up a lot of challenges which I’ll speak about more nearer release, but for now, know that it’s up for pre-order at Amazon, the Book Depository as well as Waterstones, and it should be available from your favourite independent book store too.  If it’s not, it should be easy enough to ask them to order it in.  As of TODAY there’s EIGHTY SEVEN DAYS TILL RELEASE. Holy smokes, I didn’t actually realise that.  *gulps* 87 days.

Anyway. Before then, I’ve got some fun things coming up.

Tomorrow night I’ll be attending the Fantasy in the Court at Goldsboro Books, which is one of my favourite events.  It’s really informal and you get to mingle with authors and readers and pretend to be grown up.  There’s be books to buy and everyone will be signing.  This is the link – I mean, look at all these authors in attendance. It’s a bit like insane.

This coming weekend is Loncon and I will be attending as Author Liz. I’ve even got events and panels I’ll be appearing on.  So if you’re around, please do come hang out and chat to me.  I’d dearly love to meet more people and just realise that I will no doubt be terrified out of my tree so be sure to Speak Loudly As If I Am An Elderly Personage so that I can figure out who you are. *coughs*

Here’s my schedule:

Reading: Liz de Jager

Friday 14:00 – 14:30, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)


Autographing 5 – Liz de Jager

Friday 15:00 – 16:30, Autographing Space (ExCeL)


Mining Magic

Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)

From Percy Jackson to Harry Potter, to the vampire-infested streets of Urban Fantasy, YA novels have often created their worlds by strip-mining ancient mythologies. Are these new works made more powerful by the resonances they draw on or is it a sign of failing creativity among our writers? What are the books that make best use of their borrowings? And which, if any, most deserve to form the basis of entirely new mythologies for future generations?



Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Liz de Jager


Coming of Age in Game of Thrones

Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)

In a world were life and death hang in the balance for every character no matter how despised or loved, it is the children who pay the heaviest price. Their parents’ plots and intrigues sit squarely upon the shoulders of the Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen children, snatching their childhoods away and forcing them to wield their own power to survive the game of thrones. But have the adults underestimated their children’s value as players? Who will survive? Who will gain power? Will they have a chance to be children again? And who will be the biggest surprise? At what point do these children, despite their tender ages, take on the mantels of their parents and become adults themselves? Panelists will examine issues surrounding childhood and coming of age during a time of conflict where familial normalcy is gone and the rules of their world are in the process of being rewritten. *Spoiler Alert: Discussion will include all previously published books within the series.*

On The Blogs: Bloggers Discuss their Roles in the World of YA 

Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)

Bloggers have become an integral part of YA book promotion. How do authors find these bloggers? Why should readers trust their opinions? What are the best book blogs out there right now and what makes them so useful?

Exciting bunch of panels these and so much is happening in general. If this is your first convention, this is my advice:

1. Hydrate
2. Talk to people. I know it’s scary but I promise you, everyone attending cons remembers what it’s like being a noob, so embrace the noobness and talk to people. Everyone is there to have a good time. If you feel harassed or unsafe at any stage, find a member of staff and talk to them about it. Don’t hide it.
3. Attend as many panels as you can but don’t sweat it if they’re full. Remember, a lot of the con happens in the corridors and in the various bar and eating places. This is where you hang out and take a breather and yes, this is where you gossip. It’s allowed.
4. Eat. Don’t skip meals. Take snacks to nibble on between panels and talks and readings. Being around a lot of people is super tiring, especially if you’re not used to it.
5. Draw cash. Give yourself an allowance. Don’t blow it all at once.
5. Take a loot bag and I don’t mean a plastic carrier bag, either. *scoffs* No, I’m talking backpack or tote bag to place purchased loot within. Tote bags are the handiest of items you can carry with you at cons.
6. Hydrate. I can’t stress this enough. It’s very important to drink loads of aqua. Aircon dries you out and it will give you sinus headaches and make you feel uch. So, water!

And erm, just have fun. Talk to folks, meet up with friends. Put your twitter handle on your ticket once you get it and be sure to hold onto your ticket at all time.

So, there’s that.

Okay, what else have I been up to…this weekend past was Nineworlds and like last year it was a roaring success.  I only attended on the Friday due to deadlines for Book 3 and a few other things, but the panels I did sit in on were super fun and interesting. It was great seeing everyone and the atmosphere was super relaxed and the cosplay folks were just amazing as usual.  We got home at 2am on Saturday morning and let me just say, knowing I could take a nap on my comfy couch on Saturday was the best thing ever. 😀  Also, just a huge shout-out to the Nineworld’s Fanfiction stream.  These guys had the smallest room but the most dedicated of runners and audience.  It was beautifully inclusive and so much fun. Uch, guys, next year, sign me up and kick my ass when I turn you down due to deadlines.

We also went to see Guardians of the Galaxy the other weekend and really, it’s ridiculously good.  I bought the The Art of the Guardians of the Galaxy slipcase and like the other slipcase editions it’s worth every penny.  I love looking through these art books – it gives you a clear understanding of how the film was put together but also: as I’m a visual person but I have zero artistic abilities it lets me think about my own writing and characters and so I sort of visually find inspiration from these books for my own writing.

I’m also super glad that The 100 tv show is doing so well in the UK.  It really is such a great show with a great bunch of people working on it and I admire how hard they work to put this show together.  I also love their friendly rivalry with the folks from the Arrow tv show.  It makes you realise there are humans behind all of this!

I’m still utterly in love with Teenwolf.  Season four is currently airing and man, it’s good. The horror tropes are even more pronounced this season and we’ve got some great new characters in this series too, along with the existing characters returning back to their friendly sass and camaraderie.  Character arcs are interesting too and it’s interesting to see what the writers are doing and how far they’re pushing things.  Teenwolf’s fandom is some of the most vocal and these guys get themselves raked over the coals if they do stuff the fans don’t agree with.  It’s actually terrifying!

Mark and I are rewatching Dexter too – we watched the first two seasons when it originally aired, but then sort of lost track of it.  Now that it’s on Netflix we’re getting down to watching that.  And it is so good. I’ve been spoilered for the final season, sadly, but you know, hopefully I’ll have some kind of memory loss by the time we get to it and I forget about it entirely. *grins*

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And I think, that’s it for now.  Oh! Book 3 – JUDGED (yes maybe I am a little obsessed with 2000AD, shut up) – is, as of today, at 91k.  I’m not sure how long it’s going to be.  I reckon I’ve got another 20k or so to write on this first draft? So yes, lots of stuff is happening and so far my beta readers seem to like where it’s going and mostly they are just: don’t hurt them too much, okay? And I’m all: okay bae, I’ll try…and then I go away and laugh like an evil dictator.

I’ll be back after Loncon to tell you how things went.  In the meantime, check out this amazing steampunk video my mate Paul made. He’s rather splendid. Follow him on Twitter as @guanolad.




Long time no blog!

I am so sorry that I’ve not been to blog – last time was over two months ago in APRIL.  Holy smokes, where does the time go?

What have I been up to?

Well: there was another edit of Vowed with my editor Bella, then we did a copy edit with the copy editor (copy editors are the best, true story) and in the meantime I got stuck into book 3 and am writing all the words (sitting on around 30k words).  Page proofs are coming up for Vowed in the next week or so, so writing will take a back-burner for about two weeks.

Then straight back into writing book three which is exciting and sad because I’ve put these characters through the ringer and really, all I want to do is hug them and pet them and make shushing noises and tell them everything’s going to be okay.  But you know, I can’t, because book 3 is <REDACTED> but there’s also <REDACTED> because of what happens in Vowed and I’m so sorry, I hope you’ll forgive me.  I’ve had a beta-reader (Jenni!) read the first 26k of book 3 and apparently it has feels and she’s worried about everyone, so that’s great, because it’s the right reaction.


Stuff I’ve been watching / going to see before falling into writing all the words:

1. America: Winter Soldier

I’ve fallen, or rather re-fallen in love with Steve and with Bucky and Natasha and Sam so hard.  I’ve subsequently gone, in true fan-girl fashion and spent money on Funko Pop figures and the art of the movie book.  Because really, who needs money for food and rent, right?  Also, I possibly may have seen the movie more than once. *coff* I also have the comics and have been re-reading them and well, Ed Brubaker <3

Proof of obsession:

Natasha and Bucky

Captain and Bucky

Captain america

2. Hannibal:

This show. I can’t even begin to cover how much I love this show. It’s dark, it’s packed full of meta and I love it utterly.  Basically: Brian Fuller is an evil genius and I want his brain.  Yes, there are levels of violence / gore that will put some people off but it’s the characterisation of Will Graham, Hannibal and Jack Crawford that’s so important here.

Hannibal - Season 2

Picture courtesy of http://www.nbc.com/hannibal

The sets are designed with minute detail as is everything about the show.  For instance, something I noticed is how Hannibal’s suits hanged throughout Season 1 and Season 2.  They are sartorial elegance, always, but the designer has been so clever choosing the colours he wears so that it enhances each scene – he (both designer and Hannibal as character)  literally uses his suits to foreshadow his actions, going from lighter themes to darker.  Maybe this is just me seeing stuff where there isn’t anything, but in my headcanon, this makes complete sense.

3.  Game of Thrones:

I am in an abusive relationship with GoT.  Last week bad things happened to Oberyn Martel (I know, I’ve read the book, I was supposed to be prepared, I wasn’t) and I sobbed.  This is a sign of creators doing it properly: taking a secondary character and lifting them from the background and making them real and having readers and viewers identify and feel for them.  I hate them for doing that to me.   Last night’s episode bad things happened. I hate them for doing that to me. But I was ready.  I still cried.  Thank the heavens the season finishes next week.

3. The 100


This show is eventually coming to the UK after it doing great things Stateside. I’m very excited about it.  The core concept is:

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet.

The above is taken from IMDB – trailer below


What makes The 100 such an interesting show is (bypass the ridiculously attractive cast) the fact that we get to see what happens to the one hundred who made it down to earth…but we also learn about those left behind on the spaceship.  And none of it is passive watching either – people have emotions and thoughts and they all do what they think is best, for various convoluted reasons.  Again, it shows that the writers are doing it right.  There are characters you hate, characters you love and characters who are so bad it breaks your heart because you want them to redeem themselves but then stuff happens and there’s explosions and kissing and death, so much death, and threat and well.  I can’t wait to own this series on DVD.  Again: really pleased we’re getting it in the UK and unlike Star-Crossed (politically heavy show about aliens on earth) it got a renew for Season 2.  So hurrah to Akela Cooper and her team of writers.  You guys are ace.

4. Teenwolf 

Teen Wolf - Season 4 - Cast Group Promotional Photo

Yes, I’m still fangirling about Teenwolf.  Season four starts in less than two weeks. I am not ready.  I am totally ready.  Sadly for the UK we never got to see Season 3 on our tv screens BUT iTunes bought it so you can rent / buy it through them which is something at least.  I think it’s a shame that it’s not being shown in the UK as it has a massive following with supremely dedicated fans.  The characters are great, the storylines are great and the fact that they delve into little known myths and lore, and not just Western myths and lore, makes such a superb change from the usual fare.  The cast has ridiculously pretty people but it also has a solid team of strong female characters who are so great and who hold their own when it comes to the intelligence and kick-ass stakes.  I’m totally Team Lydia who, if fandom is correct, will one day take over the world and rule it as our benevolent queen. I can get down with that.

So Teenwolf and The 100 are two great shows that get a lot of flack from haters – in the end, I do think viewers should give them a chance and try to go into watching these shows without prejudice – suspend your disbelief and have fun.  That’s what you’re supposed to do when you want to be entertained.  There’s a reason the studios are making these shows and I’m very grateful to them and all involved because they are fun and entertaining!


I’ve also been reading a lot during my commute.  I’ve been tackling a lot of my research books for the Blackhart series but I’ve also been reading a lot of fun contemporary romance.  My favourites at the moment:

Anna and the French Kiss 

Lola and the Boy Next Door 

So much love for these two books.  My fear, always, when I start a contemp romance is that the heroine will be someone I can’t relate to.  In both Lola and Anna the books are very much about them and it’s character driven stories where the romance feels natural and part of the bigger scheme of things.  So much love.  *kisses the books because they are lovely*


Dark Hollow

I’ve also been reading John Connolly. More people need to read John Connolly, okay? Listen! No, seriously, listen: John Connolly writes crime, okay…but crime that makes you feel like you should check your back often, not necessarily because someone’s there to stab you or shoot you (that happens too) but because there’s bits of his books that veer into the HELLISHLY creepy and supernatural and it gives me shivers.  He has a turn of phrase that sometimes just punches you in the gut and leaves you reeling.  I remember reading Every Dead Thing and freaking out because it managed to get under my skin so much, but especially when Charlie Parker (our main character) experiences this really peculiar incident whilst on a plane (the least supernaturally freaky place ever) and it left my mind going: wut? In Dark Hollow, page 55 of the pb, just…it’s far better than Stephen King at his creepiest, trust me.  And then there’s this one scene in Dark Hollow on the train and I actually had to put the book down for a few seconds because I went through both blind panic but also feels.  Man, that’s hard to do.  Just really, pick up John Connolly’s books.  You won’t be sorry.  Also: he’s a really nice guy.  The bastard.

I think that’s it for now.  Obviously I can spend more time wittering on about going to the movies and seeing more stuff and reading more books, but really, this is the core of it.  Oh, and one more thing: DO go to the Natural History Museum for their fantastic Mammoths: Ice Age Giants exhibition because it is fantastic.  I’ll leave you with this snarly picture from their website because it’s aces.  And snarly.



Achievement Unlocked: Edits Book 2 – Vowed

I’ve gone a bit awol on the blog after my previous post back in March – huge apologies for that!



Because just yesterday (Monday 31st March) I sent back the edits on Vowed (Book 2 in the Blackhart Legacy trilogy) and I thought I’d show you guys what those looked like.  Here are a few screenshots of the minimised pages.

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There are a lot of pages. A. Lot. I lost the will to live trying to screenshot the rest as this blogpost would have been even longerer.

I know there are stats freaks amongst some of you, so thought I’d do a bit of a breakdown:

  • Date I started writing Vowed: 1st July 2013.
  • Book delivered: 2 December 2013
  • Word count when I sent it to my editor in December 2013: 121,700
  • Edits received from my editor: 6th March 2014
  • Book edits delivered: 31st March 2014
  • Word count when I sent it back to my editor March 2014: 132,800

There were six pages of editorial notes, none of them were structural. A lot of it was really plugging logic gaps, world building, character development and super interesting stuff like that.

So doing edits aren’t ever a cake-walk although I do think I’m quite blessed because my editor, Bella, knows how to handle me and she’s got steady hands.  We had lunch before she sent me the edits and we talked through quite a bit of my concerns about Vowed, stuff I knew in my head and heart that needed fixing, stuff I suspected I had screwed up. She put so many fears to rest but then she was also quite systematic in taking me through things that she had issues with and no great surprise, the majority of our concerns matched. So phew! We were on the same page.

We also confronted my genuine blind terror about tackling book 3 because well, a lot of stuff happens in Vowed and it needs to be tidied up in Book 3 in a satisfactory and yet entertaining way and of course, my brain shut down because how do I even do that?! *flails*

I took last week off work to finish the edits as I realised that fitting them around my full working days just wouldn’t cut it and it was actually an incredibly liberating experience; popping the massive playlists on, making the tea and just getting stuck in without having to worry about anything else.  Oh, and there may have been some ugly dancing too and absolutely no judging from my dog. None.


He totally judged me.

Friday I visited The Markettiers folks along with two other PanMac authors, Matt Cain, author of Shot Through the Heart, and Clare Donoghue, author of Never Look Back to do a thing called Book Break hosted by Alexandra Heminsley (Running Like a Girl) and it was such a mad and fun experience.  The video they filmed will be live this Friday so I’ll be linking to that too.

The weekend I was fully back into editing mode and had a complete and utter nervous breakdown at around 9pm on Saturday night because OMG Word decided to crash and hadn’t backed up in over 2 hours so I lost TWO HOURS OF EDITS and I practically lost the will to live right then.  But, the judicious ordering of Chinese takeaway (hmm, gyoza!) saw me through my stress-levels and I finished at around 2a.m. Sunday morning. Book 2, the book that would never end, got itself edited. I spent Sunday in a sort of daze and constantly doubted that I had done it and kept checking dropbox to make sure I didn’t hallucinate it.  But it was there. And then I sent it out to Bella yesterday and suddenly…what do I do now?

Here’s the plan: watch every movie / read every book / watch every tv episode of every tv show we’ve got recorded and then fall into writing book 3…but only after I write a short story featuring a great new character I introduce in Vowed. His name is Dante Alexander and well, he gives poor Kit some serious grief.  Bella and I love Dante and we think you guys will too.  The short story will be up nearer release of Vowed (which for everyone asking me, is November 2014) just so you guys can get a taster of Dante-shaped fun.

I’ll probably start Book 3 around the 14th of April because I’m itching to get back into it but I’m forcing myself to have time away from the Blackharts, for my own sanity, just for a tiny bit!

Hope you guys’ve enjoyed the ramble and the stats.  I’ll try and keep better records with Book 3 but I find it hard to figure out word-counts as I do them each day (3 to 4 different writing sessions) as it gets complicated.  But really, I’m a sucker for stuff like that myself.

Geek and proud! 😀

Launch, comp news, edit news!

Last week Friday I was like this, basically, for most of the day. 

Because Thursday had been the amazingly fantastic well attended noisy fun crazy loud launch for Banished in the Gallery at Foyles and I am not used to:

  • Socialising
  • Staying awake with people till after midnight
  • Talking
  • Laughing
  • Being an outside talking person (most of the talking happens inside my head)

It was huge amounts of fun though.  We had cookies.  And popcorn.  There was wine and books and people and talking and I felt like a rockstar basically.

Some pics (nabbed off my agent Juliet’s FB page!)


Window display at Foyles

Banished table

Cookies and popcorn!

Team Liz

Juliet, me, Bella

A huge thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate with me.  And Mark.  It really was magical.  And for all my gorgeous presents.  I was truly spoiled.  And between Mark and I we managed to eat an entire red velvet cake and it was perfect. I regret nothing. 

And a big thanks to my friend Bev for dragging me out on Friday night to go and see Versailles at the Donmar.  I loved it utterly.  It’s made me resolve to go and see more theatre, that’s for sure!

The #banishedswag competition went RIDICULOUSLY well and the lovely Karen / @LOLintheLibrary got randomly chosen by random.org which is fab.  We’ve been in touch and K’s opted for the Kindle.  So once I’ve got the parcel put together, I will take a snap and add it up.

Below are the links to the Banished blog-tour that happened all of last week and the weekend.

Thanks so much to everyone hosting me and being patient as people waffled via twitter about the blog posts etc.

Earlier this week I met with my lovely editor Bella and we got to sit down and chat about book 2 (Vowed) and the shenanigans and fall-out that needs sorting out in book 3.  It was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure because it means that, almost sooner than what I’m ready, I have to write book 3 and wow, that’s just…wow.

Yes, I’m the writer. I have incredible strong word power skills. Shut up.

Anyway.  This is exciting. I got this email late last night from Bella:


Editing book 2 will be happening over the next few weeks which is *flails*.

I’ll also be talking on the Tor blog later this month, more about the how Blackhart trilogy acquisition happened and we’ll also be talking about the editorial process and a few other things at a later stage.

If you’ve missed the first blogpost I did for Tor on getting an agent, do check that out here.  I even scraped my courage together and supplied them with my query letter I sent off to Juliet.  Juliet also kindly commented about the letter and what she thought of it.  The blog’s been getting a really positive response and I hope it helps newbie writers out there in some way.

Q&A with Kit and Aiden

I wrote this up for Becky from Becky’s Barmy Book Blog but I thought I’d repost it here as formatting is a complete bitch on the these blogs.  It’s a small script I wrote for Kit and Aiden, basically being forced to interview one another.  It goes a bit weird and hits the fourth wall.




Two cars pull up.  One is a red Mini Cooper.  The other is a black SUV with tinted windows.  The doors open and close in unison.  Two people get out.  From the Mini Cooper, a pretty tall brunette, dressed in dark grey form fitting combat trousers and black ankle boots. The black polo-neck she’s wearing is partly covered by a military stab vest. She carries a sheathed sword in one hand.   This is KIT BLACKHART.  She looks over at the youth who got out of the SUV and gives him a slow nod of acknowledgement.

The youth – AIDEN GARRETT – returns the nod with one of his own and moves towards her.  Although Kit is tall (at least 6ft in her socks) Aiden is taller still with broad shoulders and a lean physique. He’s dressed in dark jeans, boots and a v-neck Henley.  Unlike Kit he carries no weapons.


You got the call too?


I did. Not happy about this though, you know? I was heading into town to hang out with Leo. We had plans. Clubbing, kissing girls. And now this.



Sorry to cramp your social life.  Let’s go see what she wants.


Ladies first.


(scowling at him as she unsheathes her sword)

Watch your six.


Are you ever not armed to the teeth? And convinced people are out to get you?

They walk towards the half-open doors of the warehouse.  The whole area looks unsafe and unsavory.  A place where bad things happen.  The shadows are thick near the door and both Kit and Aiden go into tactical mode as they crouch low before entering the warehouse.  They clear the corners but there’s not sign of anyone.


                                                                       Did you bring a gun?


                                         No.  I didn’t think I’d need it. You know, she said she just wanted to talk.


(mutters darkly)

Good, because you suck at shooting. I still have the scar where you hit me the last time.


Shut up.  You weren’t even supposed to be there.  It’s not my fault you’re allergic to silver, wolf boy.  Can you smell anything?


Aiden moves away from Kit, further into the dark and echoey warehouse, his head raised, drawing the air into his lungs.



No, but someone’s been here. Check that out.


Kit walks up to him and follows the line of his arm as he points.  She still couldn’t quite make it out.  Annoyance crosses her features as she closes her eyes.  There’s a faint HUM and we suddenly see the world from Kit’s perspective.  The darkness in the warehouse has taken on a green sheen, very much like you’d see through night vision goggles.


A table with a TV and camera has been set up, along with two chairs and a single light, like on a photo shoot.



What the hell is this about?


I have no idea, let’s go check it out.

 Keeping an eye on the shadows around them, they move swiftly to the table.  There’s a NOTE on the table, written in a neat hand.




She’s kidding, right?



No, she’s serious! (sighs)

Writers, they’re all off their heads on power or something. Lording it about. (mimics) If you don’t toe the line I will kill you or torture you in my next book.


They look annoyed but eventually they get the camera working and linked to the TV screen.  They settle down on the chairs, shifting about uncomfortably.



She could’ve left a heater or something in here.  I’m freezing.


God, you must be the whiniest werewolf I’ve ever come across.  She didn’t say how long the interview was supposed to be, did she? How about five questions each? That should cover it.


They high five to that before settling down and fiddling with the camera so that the red light shows that it’s recording.  They can see themselves on the TV screen.  Kit reaches up to tidy her hair but then shrugs and lets her hand drop.  Instead she fiddles with her sword until Aiden nudges her.



You go first.  You’re the star of the show.


Uh, hi.  My name is Kit Blackhart and I’m the main character in Banished and this is just really awkward and weird and I basically hate Liz right now.  But uh, well, we got to do what she says.  So with me today is Aiden.  He’s a secondary character in Banished.  And he’s a friend. (she narrows her eyes at him) Unless he annoys me then I may have to shoot him full of bullets or something.



So, as I’m the one starting this, my question to Aiden is about your werewolf shape: why do you change into a wolf and not some half man-beast like in Wolfman?


Smooth, Blackhart, really smooth. Hi guys, nice to meet you.  The reason I don’t look like a Hollywood freak, is well, I’m a purebred werewolf.  My shape is either human or wolf.  It’s usually the guys who get bit who turn into these rabid half-human beasties you hear about in the news.  Oh, hold on a second. (he leans closer to Kit to hear what she’s whispering) Oh right, those things you hear about in the news? Not really real.  Sorry.



My turn to ask a question now, to Kit.  Uhm, Kit. (laughs) Sorry, everything I can think about is really inappropriate. Okay, how about this: out of all your cousins and uncles and aunts, who’s your favourite and why?


Crap question, wolf boy.  Thanks for that. (thinks a bit) I think I will have to say my Uncle Jamie.  I mean, he’s the one who came to find me in hospital after my Nan died.  He’s the one who told me who I was.  What the Blackharts did. He’s also the guy who’s been training me and my cousins.  So yeah, right now? Uncle Jamie is my favourite.


Are those tears, Blackhart?


Is this my fist in your face?


Is that my question? Then yes, it is your fist in my face.  Put it away, Kit.  Here’s a handkerchief.  You cry ugly; no one wants to see that.

Kit turns away from the screen after accepting the handkerchief to wipe her eyes before turning back.



Stupid allergies, sorry about that. (crappy smile) Okay, Aiden, I must know: if my cousin Megan ever said yes to a date with you, where would you take her and what would you do? I mean, basically I want to know what your idea of a romantic date would be?


(he looks terrified)

Megan? Why are you even asking this? Do you think she’d go out with me if I asked her? Did she say she liked me like that? Kit? Stop laughing.  Ow, that hurts.  Okay.  Fine.  I’d take her for dinner at one of the really swanky places in Mayfair.  Then I’d take her dancing at Milton’s. Then, when she got bored of dancing, I’d take her to St Paul’s and we can sit on the roof and watch the sun rise.  Then, because I know you Blackharts have a thing about eating, I’d take her to Brick Lane and feed her fresh bagels.  Then I’ll get a taxi and we’ll head back to your place.  Where I will leave her with a chaste kiss on the cheek and then I will go home to my place.


What do you think of that?  I’m a classy guy.


You’ve got it bad.  (laughs)  Okay, what’s your next question?


But seriously, feel free to tell Megan I’d like to take her out. Any time she’s in the mood, you know? Man, she does things to my head.  (sighs) Okay.  Next question: if you never found out about being a Blackhart and if your magic never manifested, what would you do with your life?


I’d be a set designer, working in movies or TV.  Or a costume designer. Something creative like that.  How about you? What if you were Aiden Garrett bad ass werewolf, what would you be? What would you do with your life?


I don’t know. I’ve not actually ever thought about it.  I suppose it would be weird being just a normal guy.  With no pack to relate to.  Maybe I’d be a doctor? I think I’d like to work with kids.  You know? Look after the kids who really have no one else to look after them.


You’re just a big old softie, aren’t you? Ouch! Okay, stop, I won’t laugh at you anymore. Sorry.  Your turn now. I’ve lost count how many we’ve done now.  How about two more?


Each? Or me one and then you one?


Me one then you one. If Liz isn’t happy with this then she can just you know forget about screwing with my life some more cos I’m done.  Done. (determined stare to camera)


That’s fighting talk, crazy girl.  Okay.  My turn.


He narrows his eyes at her thoughtfully.



What is the thing you miss most about your normal life? Your life pre-Blackhart?


Seriously? Do you enjoy being an idiot?  (heavy sigh) Okay, so…I really miss being honest with my best friend, Karina.  She lives in Germany.  We had all these great plans to travel after school, doing a gap year.  Travel in Europe and then go on to America, you know? Now, that’s not possible. I’ve not ever been able to tell her about what I do really.  Can you imagine the postcard: Dear Karina, just hung out in Prague for the weekend.  Fought a gargoyle and went to dinner with a werewolf.  Wish you were here.  All my love, Kit xo xo


(after a few seconds) So, on a scale of one to ten, how hot is Karina?


Oh my god, Aiden, seriously? Are you even for real?


What? Enquiring minds need to know, Kit.  Come on.  Is Karina hot?


Her brother is super hot.  I’ve been half in love with him all my life it seems like.  (stupid grin on her face before she remembers herself and sits upright in her chair)  Okay, forget about Karina for now.  Last question, then we’re outta here.  My turn.


I can’t wait.


If you could change anything that happens in Banished, what would it be?


(huffs out a breath)

Wow.  That’s not a loaded question at all.  I think I’d change the whole thing with Scarlet.  That was really unpleasant and made me feel powerless and useless.


I know.  Our lives are messed up.


Look, wanna get out of here? Leo’s waiting at Milton’s. We can party till dawn?


Sounds like a plan.  Kyle’s not expecting me back at the house.  Uncle Andrew’s calling from New York in the morning though.  Apparently there’s a rumour of faerie drugs doing the rounds in nightclub. No doubt he expects me to investigate it.


Oh great.  Faerie drugpushers.  That’s all the human world needs.


Thanks so much to Becky for letting me hang out!

This little Q&A takes place between Banished and the second book ,Vowed, out in November this year, if all goes well.  Hopefully it’s given you an idea as to who the characters are and the way I set the scene is fun and aimed to be read as if it’s a movie / tv show.



Swag time!

Okay, kiddos, here it is.

Mega swag time to celebrate the publication of Banished, the first book in The Blackhart Trilogy.

It took me ages to figure out what to do but in the end I think I’ve come up with some neat ideas.  As I am quite obvious about the things I like, I thought I’d put together a list of things I love and give you the chance to win it.

Here’s the list of swag you can win:

1 x signed and annotated copy of a limited edition of a Banished proof  

1 x signed copy of Banished (finished)

1 x Moleskine journal (unused) 

1 x 9inch leather satchel from Scaramanga 

1 x iPod shuffle 


1 x Kindle Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display 

And bonus prize

1 x signed copy of Banished to South Africa / New Zealand / Australian territories 



Annotated proof


Signed finished copy of Banished


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A moleskine journal

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iPod shuffle (your choice of colour)

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9 inch Scaramanga satchel bag


Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 22.52.00

Kindle Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display


Okay, this is pretty fun and decent swag and 100% tailored to the stuff I like, so I hope you guys like it too.  

The rules are simple:

1,  Tweet me (@LizUK) with the one thing (be it person or situation or thing) you’d BANISH if you get the opportunity.  Keep it clean. In this tweet, use the #banishedswag hashtag.  This is the ONLY way I will be able to keep track of the entries.  

2.  This competition is only open to the UK at present, I’m sorry about that but I can’t afford to send stuff further abroad.  HOWEVER if you are in South Africa or Australia or New Zealand, I’m happy to send a signed copy of Banished out to you and throw in some random stuff I’ve got here at because I can. Like an extra notebook maybe.

3.  The competition runs until Sunday, 2nd March.  I will use a random generator via the internet to choose the winner.  I will get in touch with you via Twitter to let you know that you are the winner.  If you don’t respond within 24 hours to my tweet, I WILL CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE and you forfeit your win. 

4.  Multiple entries will be disqualified because we don’t want spam.

5.  There are no bonus ways to enter.  You get one chance and that’s it.

6.  You get to choose between the iPod and the Kindle.  You can have either OR not both.

Let me know by commenting below if you have any other questions about this competition.


I hope you all agree this is a fun and easy competition and pretty clear.  I look forward to seeing your entries!

Let the fun commence for your chance to win #banishedswag


Ah, again, just to be clear: I am not employed by any of the merchants whose goodies I’m offering.  I will be buying / have bought these items for competition purposes. I am not affiliated to any of these people either. I just like their stuff.  I thought I’d just put this out there so it’s clear.