LA Weatherly

YALC Reading List Part 10!

With just two weeks to go until the big weekend, we have two more installments of the reading list to go! The final part of the Reading List will be posted next Sunday.

You can catch up on the Reading List here – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine.

73. Keris Stainton

Book to read: Counting Stars

So I didn’t know I already knew some of Keris’ work – I remember checking out Della says OMG! in a bookstore years ago but have never read any of her work. That should really change. Her most recent work, Counting Stars, sounds like it’s right up my street – Anna, an 18-year-old, moves to Liverpool for a new job with a new flat full of housemates. Then her job falls through and her housemates turn out to be a little mixed-up. Counting Stars was released earlier this year.

74. Martin Stewart

Book to read: Riverkeep

Riverkeep is Martin’s first novel, and has such a beautiful cover! The Danuk is a river, and the Fobisher family have kept it clean for centuries – and Wulliam is due to take over its care in a week’s time. Then Wull’s father is taken under the water and possessed by a dark spirit, and Wull must become the Riverkeep and take care of his father too. Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett.

75. Will Sutcliffe

Book to read: Concentr8

Will’s first YA novel, The Wall, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal, but it’s been his most recent novel which has caused quite a stir. It was nominated for the YA Book Prize and has an interesting premise – an ADHD drug, Concentr8, is given to all troubled kids. Five of these kids find trouble when rioting breaks out in London, and they decide to take a hostage. This one sounds so promising, but Goodreads reviews haven’t been great – it’s currently standing at 2.97 so I’ll be unfortunately giving this one a miss.

76. Chris Vick

Book to read: Kook

I’ve seen a lot of hype for this book – it came out in April of this year in the UK and is due for release in August in the US. It’s a coming of age story about a boy, Sam, who moved from the big city to the coast, where there is nothing. He meets Jade, a surfer-girl, and falls in love with her, and surfing itself. Then their relationship barrels towards heartbreak. This one sounds fresh, but I probably won’t get round to reading it before YALC!

77. L.A. Weatherly

Book to read: Broken Sky

Broken Sky was revealed at last year’s YALC and is the first in a trilogy. Broken Sky was released this March, with the second book coming soon. The world L.A. has created is set in the echo of 1940s America and Amity, our main character, lives in a ‘perfect’ world. This sounds so promising, especially as the 1940s is an oft-neglected time period, and I’m a huge fan of YA historical fiction at the moment. L.A. is perhaps more well known for her Angel trilogy.

78. Eleanor Wood

Book to read: My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend

My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend is the story of a geeky girl gaining a rockstar boyfriend – Tuesday Cooper loves studying, music, wants to be a writer and wears vintage clothing from charity shops. She begins a music blog who nobody visits, until Jackson Griffith starts commenting – THE Jackson Griffith, former teen pop god who went off the rails. This sounds like such an interesting premise, one to check out if you’re a fan of Geek Girl!

Next week comes the final installment of the YALC Reading List!

See you then!

annalsie

YALC, London: Day 2

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After a few hours sleep at my hostel (even though I was exhausted even after Day 1), I awoke on Saturday excited for another day at YALC!

I kicked off the day with an amazing panel – YA: The Next Generation. Moderated by Samantha Shannon, and starring Alice Oseman, Lucy Saxon (wearing an awe-inspiring Zelda cosplay), Helena Coggan and Taran Matharu, this was a real highlight of the weekend (although it did make me feel old at the tender age of 21!). This panel brought up some interesting discussion surrounding diversity in young adult novels, and the downsides of being published so young, and ultimately it was inspiring that people younger than me have both written and published novels – definitely got to get down to writing sometime soon! The panel also brought up the different routes into becoming a published author – Taran started posting on Wattpad before getting picked up for a publishing deal. The panel also reinforced the idea that you should write the book that you want to read – if you want to read it, others will too!

A highlight of the afternoon was the Editing Yourself workshop with Alexia Casale. This was my first real introduction into editing, something i’ve not really ever got to the point of doing (although I did write a 50,000 novel during NaNoWriMo last year which I might come back to at some point). The whole editing process became a lot less daunting and something I actually look forward to (although it is a lot easier to edit someone else’s work!). I’m really looking forward to the day where i’m confident enough in a novel and an idea that I get to edits! Alexia also gave advice on writing in general – something I took to heart was to start your novel at the last possible moment for everything to make sense and the plot to work – describing the mundane is generally boring to your readers.

The last talk of the day was on the differences between being published in the UK and the US – this was really informative about the different ways the markets work and what they look for. There was also some great advice about covers – something authors generally have no control over. It’s always exciting to see the ways different publishing teams take a novel and market it – so many different covers and titles for the same book inside (albeit a few language edits!).

On Saturday, there were also many amazing authors signing their novels – Judy Blume (a legend if I ever saw one), Cassie Clare (I didn’t take any of her books to sign because I already got two of them signed last year – and the queues were so long!), Malorie Blackman, Holly Smale, Arabella Weir, Patrick Ness… Great to see so many inspiring people in one place!

I grabbed a copy of Forever by Judy Blume, a book i’ve heard recommended for years, from the on-site Waterstone’s bookshop, and hopped on the tube after the convention to the Foyles store on Charing Cross Road. After many recommendations over the first two days, I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing, Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours, Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse, and a book on writing New Adult novels (i’m planning on writing, honest!).

All in all, Saturday was an exciting day, with some great authors and inspiring panels and workshops. Were you at YALC? What were your highlights?

Annalise x

YALC, London: Day 1

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So I’ve had an amazing weekend at the Young Adult Lit Convention (YALC) (Part of London Film and Comic Con (LFCC)) which has inspired me to finally start this blog. So much happened that it’s probably best to blog about each day separately.

I’ll kick off with Friday (chronological order seems sensible!). I travelled down to London in the morning, reading a little of American Gods by Neil Gaiman then starting Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch on the train.The convention opened at 1pm, with YALC events starting at 2.30 – I arrived at 2pm and got stuck in! A real benefit of the YALC pass is that we got to use an exclusive entrance for the first hour of the convention, which meant skipping the queues (this came in extra handy on Saturday when the queues were round the block!).

This was my first YALC and I bought a weekend pass because the workshops and talks looked so good that I really didn’t want to miss out!

The first talk I attended was Publishing 101 with Gemma Cooper – this was a really good introduction to the publishing industry which I had had no previous knowledge about. I was already becoming inspired to write.

Next, I signed up for a trilogy of workshops. The first, Building worlds, was with Lucy Inglis, writer of City of Halves and Crow Mountain. Both these books have their worlds almost acting like a character, and so it was interesting to hear her methodology for planning out a novel and creating worlds unlike our own (no mean feat!).

The second, Cosplay for beginners, was presented by Lucy Saxon, who demonstrated some amazing cosplay herself (the panel were dressed as characters from Harry Potter, and historically accurate Ariel – inspiring!). The talk itself was really informative and encouraging to get up and just have a go, no matter what skills you have – good advice for any hobby!

The last, Creating characters, with L.A. Weatherly, was also really helpful – I learnt that knowing everything about your character (their background, their family, what they want, etc.), even if you don’t even mention it in the novel, can really help develop your characters (and your understanding of them). She also announced her forthcoming series, The Broken Trilogy, and unveiled the cover of the first book, Broken Sky! It was really exciting to be one of the first people to hear about a new series – definitely a highlight of the weekend!

Afterwards, I was so inspired I caught the tube to Waterstones Piccadilly to get a new Moleskine to develop some ideas for novels and characters – job well done YALC!

Was anyone else at YALC on Friday? What were your highlights? Comment below or on Twitter at @annalisebooks 🙂

Annalise x