Lucy Saxon

YALC Reading List Part 9!

It’s only THREE WEEKS until the big event, and only a few more books to go on our list! Thank you for sticking with it so far!

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

65. Alice Oseman

Book to read: Radio Silence

Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice. Radio Silence made me feel like Alice climbed into my brain and pulled this book out – she’s one of the best writers in YA at the moment, writing wonderfully diverse and original fiction that just gets pop culture and what it is to be a teenager. Radio Silence has been one of my favourite books of the year so far – it’s the first book I’ve read which tackles university applications and not being the best anymore, and I recommend it especially if you’re headed up to sixth form and starting to think about that dreaded UCAS form. Heavily recommended from me, and you can read my review here.

66. Jeff Povey

Books to read: Shift/Delete/Escape

Jeff is a screenwriter, writing for beloved BBC programmes such as Holby City and Eastenders and Shift was his first foray into teen literature. The series focuses on a group of teenagers who learn they can shift between worlds, and has been described as perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Charlie Higson and Antony Horowitz and for anyone who loves Misfits or Shaun of the Dead. The third book in the series, Escape, comes out January 2017.

67. Non Pratt

Book to read: Trouble/Remix

I remember Non from my first YALC last year, and picked up her debut novel Trouble earlier this year and loved it. You can read my review here. Trouble is the story of a pregnant teenager and her friend, who pretends to be the father, and I loved how it dealt with teenage pregnancy and the stigma around it. I’m overdue to pick up Non’s second book, Remix, which takes place over a weekend at a music festival, and I’m really looking forward to Non’s novella, Unboxed, which will be published by Barrington Stoke this August.

68. Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Book to read: The Square Root of Summer

Harriet’s debut novel features quantum physics, romance, and grief. I reviewed the book here earlier this year, and loved the family dynamics, and, of course, the physics. Gottie is mourning the death of her grandfather, and dealing with the return of a boy from her past, when she starts accidentally time travelling. This was a very promising debut novel (and a very pretty one too!)

69. Chris Russell

Book to read: Songs about a Girl

Songs about a Girl is Chris’ first YA novel , about a girl called Charlie who reluctantly becomes a photographer for the world’s hottest boyband, and then she gets caught up in a love triangle between two members of the band. This one has been a source of Twitter hype recently, has a gorgeous cover, and launches on July 28th (the day before YALC!).

70. Manuela Salvi

Book to read: Girl Detached

Manuela Salvi is an Italian author, with an illustrious career, who currently lives in London after her YA novel about underage prostitution was banned in Italy. Girl Detached is a novella for Barrington Stoke, about a girl who suffers from a stutter, except when she’s on stage, when she is hiding behind a character. This one launches in September, and is definitely one to look out for.

71. Lucy Saxon

Book to read: The Almost King

Lucy Saxon was a star at last year’s YALC with her amazing cosplays and brilliant Cosplay workshop. I haven’t read any of Lucy’s work, but I do know that she wrote the first book in this series when she was sixteen – Take Back The Skies – and the second book, The Almost King, was released last year before YALC. The first book is about a privileged girl called Catherine who runs away and pretends to be a boy and stows away on the sky ship Stormdancer.

72. C J Skuse

Book to read: The Deviants

This one is one I’m really excited for – it comes out in October and focuses on a group of friends struck by tragedy, whose friendship then deteriorates. Then, years later, they’re brought back together and must reveal their secrets to each other. I’ve heard amazing things about this book and the cover is just STUNNING.

That’s it for this week, I’ll be back next week with the penultimate part of the YALC Reading List!

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