What do you think of the new cover design for Waking Dream? I think it will work well for eBook but what about physical copies?
November 20, 2013
November 18, 2013
As part of my continued plan to bring my back list back into print, I’ve been working on the eBook edition and print-on-demand editions of Roundabout.
This one is actually a fairly easy one. I plan to post about the evolution of the Little Witches cover and about the many works in progress of the Rights of Passage series covers. Nonetheless, although I’m confident about this one it’s not to late to send constructive criticism.
November 15, 2013
Some mini reviews of books I’ve read recently.
Making Money by Terry Pratchett
I’m not sure how I came to miss this one because usually I read the Discworld books as they come out in paperback. I really enjoyed Going Postal in which Moist von Lipwig was introduced but this book wasn’t as strong. The villains weren’t anything like as frightening as some of the others who have stalked the streets of Ankh Morpork and, although I stayed engaged with the book, when I’d finished I didn’t feel that it had ever genuinely excited me. Pratchett has had a lot of stellar successes so I’ll keep on reading the Discworld books as long as he keeps churning them out but this wasn’t one of my favourites.
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next) Jasper Fforde
I finally got around to reading this, although I’ve had it for a while. I wanted to read it because I’m writing my own meta recursive book about books right now. But although I should have liked this – somehow I didn’t. I couldn’t get into the plot when I felt literally (!) anything could happen. I didn’t understand some of the metaphysicals and I thought the author didn’t either. I felt bored by the super villain because I was certain he would be overcome inevitably and the romantic interest just dreeped about doing very little so it was inexplicable to my why the heroine found him so desirable. In lots of places the narrative seemed to drag. I don’t know why this didn’t click for me when on paper it should have been a sure fire win. I still have two more books in this series so maybe I’ll come back to it. But not any time soon, I fear.
The Rose and the Ring William Makepeace Thackeray
A re-read, although the last time was in my teens. It’s free from the Kindle store although you miss out on the funny illustrations reading it this way. It’s a witty, light-hearted book with some great character sketches. Definitely recommended.
November 6, 2013
Thanks to those who entered the competitions.
The winner of the spelling competition is Harriet White with “Spell to Fly”
Will I Fly
If I jump up high?
Two people could try
Carefully flying on my
Horrid old broom which would lie
So Fly, Fly, if I jump high.
By Harriet White aged 8
There were no entries for the pumpkin competition.
Congratulations Emily and Harriet! Send me your addresses and who you want your book signed to and I will send you your copies of the print edition of Little Witches.
October 31, 2013
Welcome to my Halloween blog party! Come in… have a seat… don’t mind the cobwebs – they’re just for decoration, would you like some pumpkin pie? Or a glass of pumpkin-spiced punch? It’s all virtual but tasty, I promise! That black cat crossing your path is Shadow. Her costume is the cat burglar from Little Witches – convincing, right? I’m dressed as an Autumn Witch.
Today the Little Witches officially launch and just for Halloween there’s a 70% discount on the brand new eBook. That’s £1.53 from Amazon UK or $2.99 from Amazon US. For that price you get five stories about Dulcie and Verity, their friends and their adventures. There’s also cover artwork drawn by Dom and some smashing pumpkins by Sara.
Check out the Little Witches book page for more about the book.
The Little Witches have been celebrating Halloween by trick-or-treating around the internet and visiting various book world blogs and websites to say hello.
- They arrived early at the home of the Book Witch and got a generous review, but they’ll be back again today for an author profile piece.
- They moseyed down the internet to Girls Heart Books where they met Jo Cotteril and and added another lavish review to their loot bags.
- Loot bags bulging, they knocked on the door of Serendipity reviews and found KM Lockwood answering the door, she praised their self reliance while handing over another book review.
- Next on the trick-or-treat trip was Nicola Morgan’s blog showing off in a piece about being my first self-published book.
- Finally they arrived at Mary Hoffman’s blog where they were greeted with open arms because Mary is, of course, my mother – and has a warm welcome for all little witches and their friends.
- Update: The Witches caught Frances Hardinge on her way out the door, black coat flapping, black hat clamped to her head, but she wished us a Happy Halloween as she went flying away.
Now they’re back here for their own Halloween party!
Keep the pumpkin punch flowing, there’ll be more Halloween fun throughout the day and night on this blog post. Competitions will be announced soon!.
Update 10.30 Let the games begin: The first visitors are here – Mary brought delicious pumpkin soup and I will share my share of Sara’s pumpkin toaster pockets. Shadow is ensconced on my lap and shows not signs of moving ever. It must be time for the first competition.
This is the costume contest. To enter post a photo or a link to one in the comments. All ages eligible but the photo must be of yourself (not just harvested from the web) and you must be dressed as a witch, a ghost or a cat. Grown-ups, you can post on behalf of your little witches, ghostlings and kittens.
The prize is a physical copy of Little witches Bewitched. The proof arrived yesterday, you can see it in the photo of me at the top of this post and on the updated Little Witches book page (where you can also see me dressed as BatGirl), and today I am offering 3 copies as prizes. You’ll have to wait a little bit for the prize because they won’t be available until early December. But I will sign them to the winner – or to the person of their choice if they want to give the book away as a present.
The contest is open until 2 November, All Souls Day, (or Bexy’s Birthday as we call it in my family) to give you time to post pictures from Halloween parties on Saturday. But you can get posting now and any pictures from previous years are eligible as long as you’re the one in them. So get posting, people. Let’s see those Halloween costumes.
Update 12.30: Halloween Reads Welcome to all the new arrivals. The next contest will be coming later this afternoon. Meanwhile, who’s following #Halloweenreads on twitter? On my Halloween bookshelves are:
- A picture book for people who love black cats Slinky Malinky by Lynley Dodd
- A set of fairy stories retold and illustrated by Jan Piénkowski
- Before Harry Potter went to Hogwarts there was Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches and Mildred, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
- At about 8 years old I fell in love with Which Witch by Eva Ibbotson
- For older readers there’s the sinister Witch Child by Celia Rees
- How about Fire and Hemlock? One of Diana Wynne Jones’ best works.
What are your favourite Halloween reads?
Update 15.00 Spelling Contest: It’s now Hallowafternoon and time for the second contest. I’m beginning to think I should have had a recipe contest and asked people to send me their entries for judging. Too late now, unfortunately.
The second contest is the SPELLING CONTEST, no – not that sort of spelling. To win this contest post a spell in poem form.
This contest has a 2 November deadline as well (All Bexes Day) so you have time to create your composition. It has to be your own work – although grown ups can post on behalf of children.
Here’s one of the spells from Little Witches Bewitched. Dulcie and Verity and their friends are bored so they decide to go back in time and visit a famous playwright. With a few rhyming words, they’re on their way:
“Here’s an easy spell to rhyme,
A simple thing we need to fix.
We want to go back in time
To the year one six oh six.
So this is the spell I cast
For us to meet Shakespeare
Going back into the past
To somewhere that he’s near!”
18.00 Pumpkin contest Welcome to the new arrivals at the blog party. It’s now dark outside in Oxford and time for trick-or-treaters to trickle down the road. As I was writing this a female devil and a male Scream arrived and I distributed congratulations and celebrations. In a minute I’m going to make banana milkshakes (versions with rum for grownups) that’s not very Halloweeny, I know. But delicious, none-the-less. Next year I’ll try and have a pumpkin cocktail.
This contest is for the best pumpkin carving. The prize is a print copy of Little Witches Bewitched (please note it won’t be sent until early December) signed to you or the person of your choice.
The rules are similar to the other contests. The pumpkin must be your own work – although grown-ups can post on behalf of children. It doesn’t have to be new this year but the contest will stay open until 2 November 2013 to give you time to carve out a new one.
Don’t forget the costume contest and spell contest are still open and there’s everything to play for. Keep on partying, Halloweeners. The night’s still young. Enjoy Tim Curry singing the Halloween song. What’s your favourite Halloween music?
Update 1 November 2013 All good things must come to an end and this is the end of the blog party. But the competitions are still open until midnight on 2 November 2013 so don’t forget to enter.
October 30, 2013
Just one day to go until the Little Witches Bewitched book launch and blog party. Check back on the blog tomorrow for competitions, extra special content and Halloween celebrations. Just 48 hours until the Little Witches land!
The listed price for the eBook is £5 but for Halloween it’s coming down to just £1.53 – that’s a 70% discount!
In the meantime visit the Little Witches Bewitched page for more about the book.
October 19, 2013
Liz De Jager alerted me to a massive sale of Quercus books in Kindle format on Amazon and I picked up a bunch of books. It’s a curious experience scrolling through 8 pages of discounts. I’m sure there are some great books in there that I missed. Whether or not I clicked on something was based on thoughts like ‘good cover’ or ‘intriguing title’ – although several times I backed up and didn’t purchase because of a less inspiring blurb. In the end I went for seven titles.
Entangled by Cat Clarke
This was partly cover love because I’ve been interested in this book ever since it was first released because of the beautiful cover. But also I keep hearing great things about Cat’s work and each of her books has a really original and compelling idea. This one is introduced with the line “17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper – and no clue how she got there. “. I’m also fascinated by the idea of empty white rooms so I’m really looking forward to this one.
Dinner with a Vampire (The Dark Heroine, Book 1) by Abigail Gibbs
I met Abigail earlier this year at the Oxford Literary Festival where we were on the same panel about being published when young. She’s still at Oxford – which felt a bit weird looking back at when I was also at Oxford and writing my first few books. Anyway, my to read pile was so vast I didn’t buy the book then. The pile is still vast but kindle books count as a separate pile so now I have this. It will be the first vampire novel I’ve read in some time but I actually started writing a vampire story myself recently so they are back in my thoughts. I’m waiting for them to get really uncommercial and unsellable before writing about them – genius!
Hartslove by KM Grant
This sounds like a cross between I Capture the Castle and National Velvet – both great books. The cover is beautiful but if I’ve understood the book correctly, not actually quite right for it. It makes it look like a fantasy title.
Poisonheart by S.B. Hayes
A beautiful cover and an intriguing blurb attracted me to this one. The reviews are a bit mixed and several are from people who won it in a competition. But this book reminded me of one of my own ideas so I want to see how it’s executed. Again, the beautiful cover makes the book look like fantasy, when it’s actually contemporary. I think perhaps publishers have gone overboard with the lush covers. Any author would be happy to have this one – but is it right for the book?
The Runaway Princess by Helen Browe
This is a bit more chick lit than my usual reading but I liked the title and the reviews endorsed it as a light and witty read.
Tomorrow When the War Began: Book One, The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden
I already have a book by this author “Letters From the Inside” but this book is his most successful and the title is so incredibly strong. This is just the start of a series so I’m in danger of being sucked into this if it’s as good as I hope it is.
Torn by Cat Clarke
Another Cat Clarke title, again with an evocative description and good reviews. She’s the only author I bought more than one book from this time around. It’s interesting that the covers, while strong, and reminiscent of each other, seem much more contemporary (like the books) rather than fantastical or magical.
I’ll check back and post mini reviews once I’ve dived into this pile of electrons. Now my kindle books-to-read pile is as big as my physical one. Damn you, Liz De Jager!
October 14, 2013
The story of the little witches began on the night before Halloween, before Dulcie and Verity had even met. Although they didn’t know it they were going to become best friends. But that was just one of the many unexpected things that would happen to them.
Little Witches and the Trick-or-Treat-Trick, Rhiannon Lassiter
This Halloween look out for two little witches, coming soon to the Amazon Kindle store.
Little Witches Bewitched! is a junior fiction title containing short stories about modern school children who acquire magical powers by accident.
There will be a special reduced price on Halloweeen so check back then for your deeply discounted copy of Little Witches.
October 11, 2013
Yesterday I had a weird accident on a bus that resulting in me badly bruising (and hopefully not breaking) my nose and has now given it new character in the shape of a lightening bolt cut (perhaps future scar). Apart from my nose they only other thing harmed in the creation of this accident was a rather nice grey wool skirt that got rather a lot of blood on it. So I went to A&E with a bag of peas on my face – not for the stylishness although green is my colour – but for the frozenosity. It’s just as wel I did because I was there for four hours without any other treatment.
I am actually very lucky because in my 36 years on this planet I have never had to go to A&E before. All I knew about it is that it can take a long time so take a book. I am now a third of the way through What Lie Did I Tell by William Goldman.
Things I have learned about A&E:
- This is not a customer service environment. The receptionists will not greet you or even acknowledge you for some time. When they do it will be unsmilingly and without any expression of sympathy. They will tell you to sit.
- A nurse will collect you after about half an hour. Do not, due to bags of peas obscuring your vision, miss the sign saying to tell them if you are in pain because this is your only chance to get meds. When the nurse has seen you, you will be sent back to your chair.
- When you are told the wait is an hour and a half do not be cross it is so long or pleased it is so short. That time is an estimate. You will be there for 4 hours and when you comment on this with surprise your friends will tell you your were lucky not to be there all night.
- There is not a crack team of plastic surgeons who look like Dr Mark Sloan racing up to deal tenderly with your nose. You will go home with two small surgical strips, a expressed hope that it is not broken (but if it is, come back) and what will become an interesting Harry Potter lightening bolt scar. Your injury is minor and this is the minor injuries department. They do not care about your nose. They cannot tell if it is broken – you must look in a mirror and judge that for yourself.
At A&E they did not care about my nose. But you, oh internet, you have already proved you care with your tweets and facebook good wishes for the fate of my nose. Keep your fingers crossed for it. It has served me well in the past and I hope it has many long years of functionality ahead of it.
October 8, 2013
On the 26th of September, Twisted Winter: Chilling Takes from the Darkest Nights was released. It’s a collection edited by Catherine Butler with stories from Susan Cooper, Katherine Langrish, Liz Williams, Frances Hardinge, Frances Thomas, Rhiannon Lassiter and Catherine Butler herself.
My story is about Persephone and it’s called Home for the Holidays. Lynn Huggins-Cooper, author of Walking with Witches, reviewed the collection on Amazon and said of my story:
‘Home for the Holidays’ by Rhiannon Lassiter blew me away. The lyrical descriptions and a reworking of the Demeter/Persephone myth left me wanting more. The exploration of Persephone’s feelings and motivations was gripping – and the final line is still echoing in my head. Wonderful!
If you’ve read it, let me know what you think here!