TV Rights optioned for The Sin Eater’s Daughter

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last last 24 hours, you’ll have no doubt seen a stream of capslocked, delighted posts from me. Because of this:

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Yesterday I was finally able to announce that the television rights for my debut novel, and its sequels, had sold to an independent production company called Little Island. Over the past few months I’ve met with Little Island, and we’ve talked about the books, and television we love, and I’ve given them a sneak peek at the plans for book three. I couldn’t be happier for my story to have found an televisual home with Little Island, their passion for the story and their scope for the world is thrilling. I’m really looking forward to working with them on developing it into something that might one day be on your screens!

And sadly, before you ask, no, I can’t get you a part in it.

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It comes after an array of wonderful things in Sin Eater land; The Sin Eater’s Daughter being nominated for a Mystery Writer’s of America Award, and for the 2016 Branford Boase, along with my editor, Genevieve Herr, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Awards Party, and being shortlisted in the YA Book Prize! It’s such a huge honour, I’m shortlisted alongside the biggest and most exciting names in YA fiction right now, and I feel very much like a child at the adults’ table at a wedding. The prize will be announced at Hay Festival, on June 2nd, so if you’re around, you should come!

To that end… I’m feeling generous, so I’ve put together some PRIZES.

PRIZE ONE is:

  • A copy of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, signed and wax sealed
  • A copy of The Sleeping Prince, signed and wax sealed
  • A one-off painting of an anatomical heart in a bottle, by Actual Me
  • A one-off handpainted card, written to you, of an anatomical heart in a bottle, by Actual Me
  • A pair of Sin Eater earrings
  • A blue velvet pouch, wax sealed, containing one of the necklaces I made as gifts for the launch of The Sleeping Prince
  • A set of the Sin Cards I had printed for the launch of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, artwork by YA author, Alice Oseman
  • A vial of gold, on a silk cord
  • Three chocolate hearts to eat 🙂
  • A set of Sin Eater and Sleeping Prince postcards

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PRIZE TWO -THE RUNNER’S UP PRIZE is

  • A US hardback of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, signed and wax sealed
  • A set of the Sin Cards I had printed for the launch of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, artwork by YA author, Alice Oseman
  • A vial of gold, on a silk cord
  • One chocolate heart to eat 🙂
  • A set of Sin Eater and Sleeping Prince postcards

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TO WIN THESE PRIZES YOU HAVE TO:

  • Live in the UK/Ireland
  • Be Following me on Twitter
  • Reply to the Tweet that this blogpost was announced via with WHO YOU’D LIKE TO SEE CAST IN A TV ADAPTATION OF THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER

This is JUST FOR FUN. I have no influence over any potential casting, it’s not my job, and nor should it be. This is purely for entertainment. But pictures and logic are welcome!

The competition will close two weeks from now, on Tuesday 10th May at midnight, British Summer Time. The winner of the first prize will be randomly selected. The winner of the runner up prize will be selected by me, at my own whim, based on the casting choice and reason that I liked/loathed/laughed at the most.

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Second time around…

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Me, and my friends Fran and Katja, who came over from Germany to celebrate with me.

This time last week I was downstairs in Waterstones Piccadilly. It was the night of the launch of my second novel THE SLEEPING PRINCE.

Half of my face was painted gold and I was wearing a crown I’d made at home two nights before. At that point in time, I still had my shoes on. If I remember rightly, my publicist Rachel had just shown me my cake, and I was trying not to cry because there was a cake, and the cake had a map on it of the world I’d created, and my publishers did that for me.

They had set up a table with alchemical potions and knick-knacks on; they’d made badges showing the countries in my world so people could choose where they were ‘from’. They’d supplied wine and pop and crackers and blue cheese. And they’d got me a cake – did I mention the cake?

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CAKE

It was my cake. For my second book.

There’s a lot of nervous talk around second books – second anything, in fact. We’ve all heard of Second Album Syndrome, and the Sophomore Slump. Second books are notoriously harder to write; first books are often laboured over and nourished for years before eventual publication, whereas second books are usually written to a deadline. There’s more expectation to write a ‘better’ book second time around. There’s the fear that all of the fire and innovation was used up writing the first book and the second will come from a more mechanical place. There’s the worry that being able to write a first book was a fluke, and it can’t possibly be repeated.

I’m lucky, because when you write a series, you already know largely what the second book will be about. You don’t truly have to start from scratch, as all of the groundwork – the world, the history, the characters – is already in place.

Unless you do something stupid, like set it in a different place, and have a different character telling the story. But what kind of idiot would… Ah. Yeah.

From the very earliest days of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I knew I wanted it to be a series. And I knew the narrator of the second part would be Errin. I knew the whole story was the tale of two very different girls; one raised up to be something special, and one ordinary; one full of darkness and fear, one light and hopeful. But it felt like an unusual approach, and I was scared it would go wrong, that it would fail. To be honest, I was scared of everything when I was writing The Sleeping Prince.

I’ve never admitted this before, but this time last year, I was not having any fun. I was terrified of what people would think of my first book. I was convinced it would be a flop, and that I was going to let down everyone who’d worked so hard on it, my cover designer, the sales team, marketing, editorial. Everyone. I couldn’t connect with the experience, I couldn’t really talk about it. I felt like a fake and a fraud and I was so, so frightened that this one thing – this impossible dream – was going to be taken away from me. I kept waiting for the axe to fall. For a year, I couldn’t look up in case I saw it.

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Lovely Katie Webber, me, and my agent Claire.

The thing that got me through last year was my agent and my publishing team – the very people I was convinced I was failing. Claire Wilson, Genevieve Herr, Emily Lamm, Rachel Phillips, Mallory Kass. They kept my mind focused on The Sleeping Prince, but still reminded me how much they loved TSED. They replied to my emails with speed, and kindness, and understanding. They gave me the room to be creative on my own terms, and always, always with their support.

So that’s why having a cake was A BIG DEAL. Having a cake was the solid proof that they were proud of me – proud of us, and what we’d made – and that they wanted to celebrate. It seems such a stupid thing, of all the things they’ve done for me, to wax lyrical about a cake but to me it was everything. So this year I won’t shut up about The Sleeping Prince. Because my team deserve to know how over the top, over the moon thrilled I am with it and all of the work we’ve all put into it.

And to reassure Claire that there will be a lot less, “Claire, I think you’ve made a huge mistake representing me” emails this year.

mel 4To make up for not letting myself be happy in 2015 I am making an extra effort to enjoy myself in 2016. And there’s a lot to celebrate. The Sin Eater’s Daughter was the bestselling UK YA Debut of 2015. It’s been nominated for the Carnegie Greenaway Medal, for the Branford Boase award (along with my UK editor, Gen Herr). It is shortlisted in the North East Teen Book Awards and has even been nominated for an Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America (!!!).

In fact, I’m so determined to be proud of myself that I launched The Sleeping Prince twice! The beautiful Chelley Toy of Tales of Yesterday wrote an ace write-up of the second one, and I think I’ve been mawkish enough for one post, so I’ll leave you with her version. But at the time of going to press, I predict I’ve probably started a trend for multiple launches, because it’s the most fun. I fully expect many authors to hold multiple, country-wide launch events this year. And so they should. This is a great job to have. We should celebrate more.

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The Sleeping Prince

This morning a parcel was delivered for me AND IN THE PARCEL WERE COPIES OF THE SLEEPING PRINCE. Twelve months and 93,500 words later, it’s a real book. I know, because I licked it and it tasted like a book.

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For the uninitiated, The Sleeping Prince is my second novel, the sequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and it’s released in the UK on Feb 4th, 2016.

Here’s what it’s about:

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help Errin, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds splits the world as she knows it apart,  and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

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And now it’s a real book, I have it in my hands. And in just over 6 weeks, you can have it in your hands too. But for now, let’s just look at it.
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It’s right pretty.

You can preorder it from Waterstones by following this link.

Or from Amazon UK

And at any independant you can think of! A good place to find your local indie is here at Hive.

One more for the road:
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Beautiful.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter, in picture form. OR: Look At This Collection Of Pictures Which I Assembled Instead Of Writing A Post, Even Though Writing A Post Would Have Probably Taken Less Time.

Ok so, I haven’t blogged for ages, which is ridiculous because a lot of really brilliant things have happened. I could have blogged about all of the events I’ve done; festivals, bookshop talks, conventions. I could have blogged about how I fell down on the floor, screeching, when I found out I’d been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Award (THE CARNEGIE AWARD), and also shortlisted for the North East Book Award 2016 (SHORTLISTED). There’s some stuff I can’t talk about, and kind of want to, but will hopefully be able to soon.

There’s some non-book related stuff too, like how I gatecrashed Trevor Nunn’s War of the Roses aftershow party, or how I got to hang out with Leigh Bardugo and she bought us flower crowns (that is a bit book related, actually). I went to Wales with Sara Megan and Katie Webber and we had a right old time (also, pretty book related). I’m going to New York next week (will end up being book related, bet you 20p).

All stuff I could have written a post about. But instead, I give you this graphic representation of The Sin Eater’s Daughter. Which to be honest, probably took longer to source and sequence than writing would have.

Twylla's move to the castle

castleTwylla's fall

flowers dying

queen 2

hyena

Lief's seduction Twylla falling  
kiss  Merek's rage queen gifmerek 1   green eye tear fall gifdandelion two

The Sin Eater’s Daughter Book 2 – The Sleeping Prince

It is my absolute pleasure and delight to finally be able to share with you the title and covers for my second book, THE SLEEPING PRINCE.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help Errin, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds splits the world as she knows it apart,  and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

covers

On the left is the UK cover, and the right, the US.

Once again the cover art was designed by the legendary Jamie Gregory at Scholastic. Thank you, Jamie, for once again making me cry with joy, and for capturing my vision of the story in a single picture. And massive thanks to Lucy Powrie for hosting the cover reveal on UKYA Chat.

And finally, you can still vote for The Sin Eater’s Daughter to win the Edinburgh Festival First Book Prize. Here is the link to vote for it, and you’d be making a tiny, angry goth uncharacteristically happy if you did.