January 13, 2009

Bad Blood shortlisted for Birmingham KS3 Chills Books Award

Filed under: awards,Bad Blood,news — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 8:19 pm

In its fifth year, the KS3 Books Award is organised by Birmingham Schools Library Service. All secondary schools plus five special schools across the city have received parcels of the 14 titles and librarians and teachers have spent the past two months encouraging reading groups to take part.

A final winner will be named in March 2009.

See article in the Birmingham Mail.

Note: Bad Blood made it to week 5. The winner was Scared to Death by Alan Gibbons

September 23, 2008

Grauniad Competition

Filed under: awards,Bad Blood — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 10:52 am

Thanks to a tip from my friend Farah, I got hold of today’s Guardian to find an article about this year’s competition. Young critics (aged from 8 to 16) have been “shadowing” the award and the article is about their impressions of the books.

“Bad Blood is a chilling read, not to be read after dark…” warns Nancy Netherwood of Rhiannon Lassiter’s dark family tale shot through with hints from the supernatural. Not that it deterred her. Nancy loved the clever plotting and strong characters, describing it as an “incredible book, combining modern family troubles with a world of sinister magic”. Tommie Hassall, from Westbourne School, was also gripped. “The book’s pace is riveting. It holds the reader in the haunting world of the supernatural but does not shy away from the reality of the modern-day family, homosexuality and mental illness.”

I’m going to the award ceremony tomorrow so more news will be forthcoming soon, including the name of the winner. I should also be meeting some of the young critics so I’ll look out for Nancy and Tommie there. Nancy in particular has a name that makes Bad Blood a very suitable choice for her…

August 3, 2007

Bad Blood has been published

Filed under: Bad Blood,book release — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 5:32 pm

The 2nd of August was the official publication date of Bad Blood, my new horror novel. I’m really excited about this book because I think it’s my best work to date. In this novel I accomplished almost all I set out to do. (I say almost only because it’s hard for an author to achieve the platonic ideal of the book we originally conceive of writing.)

Anyway, Bad Blood is a novel about books and names, about family feuds and twsited relationships, set in a sinister landscape of imagination run wild and dangerous. Unlike my fiction to date it counts as horror but psychological horror with a quasi-magical flavour.

I don’t want to say too much and spoil the story but once people have read it we can have a discussion on the fan forums and I’ll be happy to answer any questions people have about it. There are also some brief answers to questins about it in the author area of my site.

Next week is the official launch party and I’ll be posting photos from that at some point. Meanwhile, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping everyone likes the book as much as I do.

July 21, 2007

Bad Blood – coming soon

Filed under: Bad Blood — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 11:24 am

Although the official release date isn’t until the 2nd of August, Bad Blood is already shipping from Amazon. Amid all the latest Harry Potter embargo kerfuffle it seems foolish to complain about early release when it’s a stated fact so I shall instead simply be charmed that its ‘perfect partner’ on Amazon is Frances Hardinge’s Verdigris Deep.

Friends and relations are calling with praise for the book as well and I’m still thrilled about the cover quote from Celia Rees. You can read Celia’s comments in full on the Bad Blood page.

I’ve much more to say about this book and how pleased I am with it but I shall leave my own comments for the official launch date!

May 17, 2007


Filed under: Bad Blood,Bologna — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 7:03 pm

At the end of April I visited the Bologna Children’s Books Fair. This event if primarily for publishers to agree foreign rights with other companies. Not many authors attend but I’ve been going every now and then ever since I first started writing professionally – this was my fourth Bologna and my mother’s eighth.

We shared a room in a hotel convenient for the station and the bus to the fair and had meetings during the day with our various publishers, colleagues, agents and friends. The fair takes place in a convention centre on the outskirts of the city and occupies several large halls. In addition to stalls for every major publisher in Europe and the US there are exhibits of illustrations, talks, awards and parties.

During the fair I was hosted by various publishing companies including Frances Lincoln (publishers of Lines in the Sand and Arena (German publishers of Hex). I took a lot of photographs using my new digital camera – enough that I really think I should get some kind of Flicker account or similar photo uploading facility.

One of the most useful aspects of Bologna for me is the opportunity to see what publishers are promoting, how and why. Philip Pullman’s legend continues to loom large with the forthcoming film of His Dark Materials and although I didn’t see Philip at the fair we ran into him quite randomly on the train back from Florence. Random House were making a big thing of the sequel to Stargirl across their stand but, try as I might, I couldn’t determine what the title was. I saw a lot of interesting looking Gothic fantasies and an awful lot of princess-themed stories of one kind or another. My mother is promoting her new Grace title – Princess Grace, a subversive take on the idea of being a Princess – and was keen for us to spot all things pink and princessy. But spotting a stall without its pink princesses would have been a tougher challenge.

The greatest pleasure came from spotting the cover of Bad Blood prominently adorning the OUP stand (see left and on my photos page) and later attending the OUP party, to celebrate their centenary of children’s publishing, and having various people tell me how much they enjoyed the book. Everyone who’s read it so far has found it compelling and frightening in equal measure and we’re all looking forward to publication day.

After the fair a number of the attendees traditionally take a few days holiday in Venice or Florence – my father came to join my mother and me in Florence for a couple of days. We visited the Bargello museum, the Boboli gardens and various other impressive cultural edifices. But we also found time to stroll the streetmarkets and successively evaded a pair of thieves who targetted us while we bought shoes. Escaping with shoes and existing possessions intact, my parents treated me to several fine meals and I bought Italian flag pasta and Grisbi biscuits to take home for family and colleagues.

Sadly England has been dismally rainy ever since but Italy was in the high seventies when we visisted and I’m still carrying the high of the sunshine, fine company and enthusiastic publishers.

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