The Potion Diaries: Going Viral has a cover!

Earlier this week, the lovely Zoe Collins was kind enough to reveal the cover for the third Potion Diaries book on her YouTube channel! Zoe has been a huge supporter of my books and the Zoella Book Club so I was thrilled to get her on board 🙂 

Thankfully this is another *global* cover look, and I’m so excited to see what it will look like in person! The brilliant people behind the design are Nic and Lou, and as always the cover was overseen by the awesome Simon & Schuster Art Director, Jenny Richards! Thank you all so much! I think this is my favourite of the whole series. I love the return to the bottle design, with the purple liquid bubbling away ominously, and the cherry blossom hints to where Sam’s adventures might take her next…

You can pre-order it here!

AMAZON UK – out August 24, 2017
AMAZON.COM – out October 31, 2017

CHAPTERS.CA – out October 31, 2017

And here is a very short synopsis that doesn’t give too much away!: 

Having managed to find her great-grandmother’s potion diary, escape Emilia Thoth, save her grandfather’s memories AND become a Master Alchemist, surely it’s time for Sam to have a good, long rest? And maybe, just maybe, a date with her boyfriend Zain? 
But now that Evelyn is married and showing symptoms of the Gergon illness, it looks as though Sam’s adventures are just beginning… 

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White Pine Awards 2015!

On Tuesday I had the IMMENSE pleasure of attending the White Pine Awards at the Festival of Trees at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. The Oathbreaker’s Shadow was nominated as one of the ten Canadian YA books on the list. I’d flown over especially for the event, as I’d heard it was one of the most fun book festivals in Canada (if not anywhere!). And I was not disappointed. I loved every second of my day, and it was amazing to meet so many passionate and devoted readers.

A few of the readers I met at the Festival of Trees!

A few of the readers I met at the Festival of Trees!

The White Pine is the oldest age category of books, and I was up against a superstar list of Canadian YA titles. I’d read only two of the books on the list, apart from mine (Teresa Toten’s marvellous and heart-warming story about OCD teens, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, and the kick-ass, action-packed RUSH by Eve Silver) but I quickly got to downloading the others onto my Kindle. This was a great year for showcasing new talent on the Canadian YA scene, as a few of the authors were like me: debut authors, on the list for their first books!

The full list of White Pine nominees!

The full list of White Pine nominees!

The awards are voted upon by the students, who have to have read a minimum of 5/10 books to be eligible. That requires a lot of devotion – especially from high schoolers, who have so much on their plate already. So I am endlessly thankful to any student who was dedicated enough to read and vote. You ROCK.

With my high school teacher-turned-librarian friend Mme Charron!

With my high school teacher-turned-librarian friend Mme Charron!

It was also amazing to have some students from my old high school come and visit me! Hello Immaculata students! And accompanying them was their librarian Mme Charron, who also taught me Phys-ed when I was a student there. It was so nice to have some hometown support.

The ceremony itself

The ceremony itself

And that brings me to the very best bit of the day: getting to meet so many readers. I don’t think there has ever been a gathering of so many people who had read The Oathbreaker’s Shadow in one place! And although I didn’t win, I had the absolute best time. For the ceremony itself, I walked in with two students from Sir John A McDonald High, one who introduced me and another who held my sign. RUSH was the overall winner, and I was so pleased for my wonderful friend Eve Silver. If you haven’t read her books yet, GET ON THAT RIGHT NOW.

With Eve Silver, Jan Andrews and Heather Smith after our panel

With Eve Silver, Jan Andrews and Heather Smith after our panel

I then did a WORLDBUILDING 101 panel with Eve, Jan Andrews (THE SILENT SUMMER OF KYLE MCGINLEY) and Heather Smith (BAYGIRL). The feedback I had was that it went really well, especially as we got to showcase so many different styles of world-building, from the truly fantastical (me) to the emotional and the real.

Signing away, in the chilly weather!

Signing away, in the chilly weather!

Doesn't get more 'Toronto' than signing underneath the CN Tower

Doesn’t get more ‘Toronto’ than signing underneath the CN Tower

My last event was a signing. I always get nervous at signings (especially ones that are scheduled to last a whole hour) because come on… it can be embarrassing to sit there while no one comes to visit! But to my surprise, there were a few students there when I arrived, waiting to be first! I signed solidly for almost an hour, which is pretty amazing. I was stunned, but it was the same for all the authors: we just happened to be in the midst of the most engaged audience, who had all read our books. It was pretty fantastic.

Being interviewed by the OLA in the green room

Being interviewed by the OLA in the green room

Thanks so much to the OLA for nominating me, and to the students for voting! I had a blast.

The main event - the Festival of Trees!

The main event – the Festival of Trees!

Meeting Morgan Rhodes (author of the AWESOME Falling Kingdoms) and Eve Silver (White Pine winner, with RUSH!)

Meeting Morgan Rhodes (author of the AWESOME Falling Kingdoms) and Eve Silver (White Pine winner, with RUSH!)

Hidden amongst the Forest of Reading

Hidden amongst the Forest of Reading

And for anyone who loved THE OATHBREAKER’S SHADOW, don’t forget that the sequel (and conclusion of the story) is out now: THE SHADOW’S CURSE!

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YALC 2015 and The Potion Diaries!

I must interrupt the Hawaii posts for a super important THE POTION DIARIES-related announcement! I am thrilled to be appearing at YALC 2015 at Olympia in London from 17th-19th July 2015. *HAPPY DANCES*

YALC is the hugely successful Young Adult Literature Convention, held at the London Film and Comic Con, which was launched by the awesome Malorie Blackman last year. Like last year, it’s going to offer a mixture of panels, talks, interviews, book signings and workshops – something for everyone – but they’re aiming to make the experience EVEN better by focusing on shorter queues, separate tickets for YALC-goers, more quiet areas and bigger space. Sounds like they’re ticking all the boxes (and last year will be pretty darn hard to beat). I don’t know exactly which dates yet I’ll be appearing, or on what panels, but I promise to update you as soon as I know.

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Make sure to book your tickets for YALC early – it was one of the best events I attended last year and it sells out rapidly: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/film-and-comic-con-london-tickets-15664017498

Other awesome authors like Cassandra Clare, Derek Landy, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and many more, will be there. For more information on YALC, click here: http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/index.php/yalc

Proofs have arrived with my agent, Juliet Mushens!

Proofs sitting pretty on my agent’s desk!

Also incredibly exciting is that the proofs for THE POTION DIARIES are out in the wild! If you would like to receive one, make sure to drop me a link through my contact page or tweet to me and I’ll see what I can do (no promises!) This is mostly relevant if you are a non-North American blogger, as I’m hoping that the US/Canada will do their own proofs/ARCs for MADLY.  I just can’t wait to see them in person.

Here’s last year’s blog about YALC, if you want to see what all the fuss is about!

And if you’d like to pre-order THE POTION DIARIES… you can from amazon.co.uk or waterstones.com!

 

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YALC & The Shadow’s Curse release

Hello faithful blog readers! In case you haven’t heard… THE SHADOW’S CURSE IS OUT IN THE WILD! Woah…

Obligatory buy links:

UK readers: Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Shadows-Curse-Knots-2/dp/0552566373/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1405061842&sr=8-1&keywords=the+shadow%27s+curse

Canada readers: Chapters/Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/the-shadows-curse/9780385678278-item.html?ikwid=amy+mcculloch&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

But also, check out this KILLER trailer!

So, yesterday was the first day of YALC – the inaugural Young Adult Literature Convention, held at London Film & Comic Con at Earl’s Court. Since this was the first one ever, I was really interested to see how it was going to pan out. Turns out: this is one of the best book events I’ve ever attended. More buzzy than most other conventions, with a real sense of excitement and interest in the panels. I think the YALC organisers did an amazing job in curating the panel discussions, and there really was something for everyone.

The crowd at London Film & Comic Con

The crowd at London Film & Comic Con

My book on a poster!

My book on a poster!

I, of course, was brought in to cater for the YA epic fantasy fans – of which there are numerous, and they are loud! The best kind of fans 🙂 I was on a panel with Jonathan Stroud (uh, my hero), Ruth Warburton (another publishing type-author mix; is there a better kind?) and Francis Hardinge (who writes just about the cool-weirdest books ever). It was all hosted by Marc Aplin of Fantasy Faction which, let’s face it, is the best fantasy website out there! (So much so, they’re nominated for a World Fantasy Award – congrats to them!)

Cersei, Bran & Hodor T-bag from Prison Break!

But before the panel, I arrived a bit earlier to just a complete sea of cosplay and geeks in comic book t-shirts and authors looking dazed and confused…. my people all in one place! After somehow clawing my way through to the Bookzone (thanks Liz de Jager and Mark for saving me!), I couldn’t believe just how many people were holding, discussing or raving about books. It was amazing. Already dehydrated and overwhelmed, I made my way to the green room, where there was welcome respite. Plus – celebrities galore. Best spot? Lena Headey (aka Cersei Lannister). Amazing.

The crowd at our panel

The crowd at our panel

On the panel

On the panel

Kim Curran holding Court

Kim Curran holding Court

The panel itself – called ‘Bring Me My Dragons’ was so much fun. Marc had us all well prepared with questions in advance, but YA fantasy is a topic about which I am so passionate; I could speak for hours! Luckily, I didn’t, but I hope I managed to get a few points across. In a nutshell, those were:

– Like my US publisher’s slogan says: YA is a state of mind, not an age range! I intend to be writing and reading YA for a very long time

– YA fantasy is so much fun, and so diverse. In support of the #weneeddiversebooks movement, fantasy is a place where so many people can find their tribe

– If you want recommendations of YA fantasy books for teens who love Game of Thrones, well, let’s just say I’ve covered it.

After the panel, I went straight into signing. This is my favourite part of any event, not least because I was able to meet so many new readers, and chat to them! I loved being able to say hi to loads of the bloggers who I’ve interacted with on Twitter. Putting faces to twitter handles is the best.

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Two hours of signing later (and pretty much close to collapsing in a dehydrated pile of author goo), I left to have  a rejuvenating drink at the pub before returning for the YALC party. Here was our chance to toast the awesome organisers, Malorie Blackman & Katherine Woodfine, for the immense job that they’ve done in getting this convention off the ground. I can only hope it’s on again next year (and the year after… and the year after that…)


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