Writer, Reader, Mum, Fencer, Dancer, often has too many feels. More of Me Nominated for the Carnegie medal, winner of Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award. Beauty Sleep winner of 2020 CrimeFest Award, shortlisted for Steam Book Prize. Represented by Sophie Hicks, published by Usborne.
My new book, Beauty Sleep, will be out in April 2019 and I’m beyond excited to show you the cover, designed by Usborne’s amazing Will Steele.
Laura is frozen for over forty years. When she wakes up, she has new friends to make, a new language to learn, new people to trust. How do you start again in a world you barely recognise but where everybody recognises you?
There’s a really cool video but i can’t work out how to share it here – please go see it here…
Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past…
I’ve been looking through my ideas file for the next thing I want to work on, and found something I want to share with you, especially if you are an unpublished writer feeling like it’s never going to happen.
It’s from 2010, the early days of Facebook and it mattered to me so much, I screenshot the thread and saved it.
Kathryn Evans would like to feel a little more positive about the possibility of ever getting a book deal but, shall instead, be grateful for what she’s got. Honest.
I hope the lovely people who replied don’t mind me sharing their responses, here are a few of them – I’ve redacted their names just in case!
Group ‘grrrr’ much appreciated and thanks guys……it was something Cxx said about 3 out of 300 subs from agents being accepted by an editor last year… from agents…..I know the talent level out there is phenomenal – which IS great for children’s literature but, but, but….
The book I spent 19 months writing has had 7 rejections to date so I can sympathise Kathryn. Every reason under the sun given from – it’s got a boy as the main protagonist (God forbid!) to – it’s too issue driven and not my usual light comedy. It does start to get me down sometimes but as you say, it’s important to be grateful for the royalties that keep my affloat while I’m waiting! Keep smiling. 🙂
I wish I could make you feel better but I can’t, except perhaps to say, I’m sure it will happen and I love Shem and when it does happen I want a signed copy and an interview for my blog and an invite to the book publication party and… well, here’s a virtual hug in the mean time (( xx ))
You’ll get there, Kathryn! It’s just taking longer for everyone’s manuscripts to find a home. So many editors have lost their jobs that it’s making them gun shy. But they still need books to publish… 🙂
You will get there. You ARE getting there. Me too and we shall each have our books in stores at the same time! I shall see your titles and you shall see mine. We shall each have little endcaps. Pact? Intend it, baby!
oh I know i can’t say anything knowledgeable about publishing (except there are some mad ones out there because Dylan and Mouse hasn’t been published yet) but….as soon as it happens, I’ll be first in the queue at Waterstones!!xx
Kathy. “Hi!” Just logged on for the first time today. The editor Cxx is referring to is, I believe, J-H-W and I’ve no reason to doubt her if she claims that she only went for 3 out of the 300 agency-submitted manuscripts… but if every editor chooses a different 3 out of 300, what’s to say that one of your manuscripts won’t be one of them? You have talent. You have an agent and you have perseverance. A winning combination, I reckon.
oh but i think your writing does stand out. it’s just a matter of finding the right editor … i think getting that yes isn’t like a love-in, the editor has to fall head over heels for all the right reasons. i know people who are disappointed with their writing life because they are taken on for the wrong reasons (eg commercial ideas, exploitable). i have to say though that i felt exactly like you did last year.
I shall print these comments off and stick them to the inside of my brain x
I did print them off, and they kept me going until the right manuscript, and my super agent, Sophie Hicks, cracked it.
More of Me was published in 2016, my next novel comes out early next year – I’m still not supposed to talk about it but it won’t hurt to tell you that Shem, one of the characters mentioned above, lives again – different story, same boy. Nothing is ever wasted – which is why I’m going back through my old files and why you, if you are still trying to break through, should keep going.
Lean on your friends, join a writer’s group, if you’re a children’s book writer or illustrator join SCBWI, try and bump over the disappointments and revel in the highs. I’ve said it so many times but if you are a writer, you have no choice so you might as well get on with it and try and enjoy the ride. Your pals will help. They really will.
I had an amazing book week earlier this year but I haven’t posted about it yet for reasons that will become apparent…
First stop was Torbridge High in Plymouth, where they matched their book of the week poster with my galaxy hair! This was such a lovely welcoming school, I had a fabulous day.
I travelled North via Bath fulfilling a dream to visit this amazing city… I even got a chance to swim in the legendary spa waters – though not these ones, that’s not allowed…
I arrived in Gloucester, where even though it snowed, only one school cancelled. I arrived early at a very organised Katherine Lady Berkeley School:
I caught up with wonderful author Bryony Pearce before moving on to Wycliffe where they absolutely spoiled me rotten!
I was so glad I made it. It started snowing pretty seriously and my next school had to cancel but I squeezed in one more, and I’m so glad I did, Dean Close School was an absolute delight – they even put me up for an extra night because I got snowed in!
Thankfully I got back in time for a Very Important Fencing Competition in London. If I came in the top 3, I had a high chance of being selected to represent Great Britain. And guess what?
Unfortunately I didn’t get selected – I’ve missed a lot of competitions from injury and illness and I don’t have experience of fencing abroad – all things to work on – one day it’ll happen!
After the competition I headed back to the South West for the Concorde Book Awards which was HUGE fun . I won Author Top Trumps and Author 101 but I was only runner up in the actual award which went to Joshua Khan – curse him! Still, I did get to hear the pupils talking about More of Me which was amazing!
And then…I was laid low by the flu. And that is why this post didn’t get written because there is no pushing through with the flu. No amount of Lemsip will make your limbs work, or your brain function in a normal way so I gave in and spent a fortnight quietly editing my new book from my sofa.
To be fair, there are worse places to work…
I’m fully recovered now, my edits have been turned in and I’m nearly finished writing my third book so it’s about time I caught up on blogging.
P.s. I’ve already got two schools booked in for Book Week 2019, so do get in touch with Author’s Abroad if you’d like to book me. I’ve got something super exciting planned for next spring too – because after a mere three years, I’ll have a new book! There’ll be a new talk on Self Esteem and Social Media that will definitely feature my very swollen lips after an encounter with tooth whitening toothpaste…
Kathryn Evans is an award winning author and accomplished public speaker – if you’d like to book her for an event, please contact Authors Abroad.
And proving that she was probably right about me, this is what I was wearing when I received the award…
Idiot Dressed As Mr Messy
Idiot Dressed as Mr Messy with the Crystal Kite Award!!!
I know, I know but it was fancy dress?! ( Gold star if you know who I was???)
Huge congratulations to the other shortlisted authors, Patrice Lawrence, Eugene Lambert, Ally Sherrick, Peter Bunzl and Sue Wallman – I read and loved all your books. If it was a Strictly vote I’d have run up quite a phone bill and possibly done myself out of a SHINY THING.
In which I nearly miss the most exciting event of my writing life.
Last year I was invited to take part in Edinburgh International Book Festival. I was very over excited – it was my first major event as a published author and I had a hard job believing I was actual there….
In my actual life.
Jo Cotterill held my hand and we put on a pretty good show. We laughed a lot. AND THEN…
You’d think I’d have calmed down a bit after a year wouldn’t you? Well…non. I was even more excited because I knew how much fun I was going to have. I had two events planned, and it was my turn to hold the hand of a new girl – a real honour that was too because I loved Penny Joelson’s unusual debut, I Have No Secrets. But firstly…firstly I was on a panel discussing gender in books and toys, hosted by South East Scotland SCWBI co-ordinators Sarah Broadley and Anita Gallo. And on the panel with me….
JONATHAN STROUD AND DAVID LEVITHAN.
I nearly wee’d myself when I found out.
I am so not cool, but it’s true.
I devoured Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood series and David Levithan wrote one of my all time EVER favorite books, Everyday. And I was on a panel. With them both.
The big day arrived – I had a comfortable six hours between arriving in Scotland and going on stage. So comfortable I planned to see Tanya Landman and Laura Dockrill’s event before my own. I arrived at the airport super early, paranoid, as ever, about being late, and checked in my bag (too big for the cabin because it’s full of ridiculous petticoats) – then I settled down with a cup of tea and my laptop and wondered if it’s okay to take a picture of the large number of armed police eating cake in Costa.
I wrote a bit, tweeted a bit and then looked up at the departures board. I blinked. I couldn’t be reading the board right. My flight was delayed by three hours. THREE HOURS. I hurried to the harassed looking woman on the desk – could I get on a different flight? No – because I’d checked in a bag.
Oh My Actual….AAAARGH!!!!
Three hours. I had no choice, I had to calm down and wait- it still left me a cushion of three hours. We’d be boarding at 2.55. It would be fine. I rang the wonderful Roxburghe Hotel where the fabulous James organised a meet and greet taxi for me. I let the festival know I was running late but I would be there. I repeated, it would be fine. Fine. 2.55 came….and went. With no further information at all. The tiny airport was crammed with people from other delayed flights. I returned to the harassed airport staff to ask what was happening with my flight. The woman looked at me like I’d spat in her tea and said,
“It’s been delayed.”
“I know that, but can you give me any idea when it will be taking off, I have a really important event I need to get to.”
“No. I can’t.”
“Just roughly? Please? I need to let people know if I’m not going to make it.”
I was nearly crying by this point, and trying very hard to keep my cool. She poked a few buttons other computer –
“There’s been an electrical storm, the plane has diverted, it should be here in the next 30 minutes.”
That had to do, I sat down and waited. And waited. Half an hour came and
My plane eventually arrived and so did I, in Edinburgh, with 5 minutes to spare.
I threw on my frock and raced across the road to the festival. I’d missed Tanya and Laura’s event, I had no time to curl my hair or iron my dress but I’d made it. The event had sold out, the audience were fantastic, the night was one of the high points of my author life – to think I could have missed it…
Edinburgh Book Festival lived up to it’s reputation in my heart for being a little corner of book heaven. I met up with pals, both writers and not writers; hugged the wonderful Book Witch ( if you don’t follow her blog – you should, it’s brill); had breakfast with Juno Dawson, opposite Eddie Redmayne’s gorgeous little girl (and her Mum and Dad, also gorgeous); I met readers.
The festival sold out of my books; I spent more than I should on other people’s books; I fan-girled a bit (a lot); I went to a drop in workshop run by Jonathan Stroud where Christopher Edge and I invented a brilliant game of Snakes and Ladders called:
How to Make It Big in Books.
(Rights still available)
And finally, I had my picture taken by the amazing Chris Close.
Genuinely, there is no happier place for a writer and a reader than Edinburgh International Book Festival. If I don’t get invited as a writer next year, I’ll be going as a reader 🙂
Kathryn Evans is the author of More of Me, winner of the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie medal and winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2017