Kate Kelly talks about her novel, Cli-Fi, cats and more, with Amy of Team Fox

Today, we have a lovely author whose book ‘Red Rock’ caught the Fox’s fancy and many of Team Fox’s readers as well! One lucky Team Fox member, that’s Amy (me! I’m writing this post), got to read & review it first. The other members followed suit & many of us enjoyed it. But sometimes it’s not enough just raging about a book, it’s nice to get to know them. So I sat down & talked to Kate for the Fox (thanks Fox & Kate for this opportunity); I was very curious & asked lots of questions. I hope you’ll find the questions, and especially the answers, interesting! 😀

For the readers, what’s your name & where do you call home? Can you do it 20 words or less? 

Hello, I’m Kate and I live in rural Dorset, not far from the sea, but I’m actually Scottish.

What’s next? Are you planning on writing more YA after your success with Red Rock

Most definitely. I have a new novel in the pipeline and loads of ideas buzzing around in my head.

Is there an issue/topic you would like to see more of in YA? Why? 

Tricky one. YA is pretty good at covering topical and challenging subjects. That is what makes it such an interesting genre. I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more science and technology tied up in it though – but then, I am a scientist so I would!

I’ve seen that Red Rock is categorized as Cli-Fi, it’s the first book in that genre I’ve read. Do you think it’s becoming more popular and how can you describe it to the readers? 

Cli-Fi quite simply means Climate Fiction and refers to any novel that tackles themes of environmental change, not necessarily caused by humans. There seem to be quite a buzz about it at the moment and increasingly more novels are emerging that explore these themes.

Is Cli-Fi a genre you particularly have to do research for or is it from experience? Does reading other Cli-Fi’s help? 

I’m a marine geologist so I’m very aware of how the world has changed in the past – the ice advances and retreats, sea levels rise and fall. So it’s quite easy for me to extrapolate these changes to the present day. 

What occupational hazards have you experienced in being an author? 

The main one is losing track of time and forgetting to do important things like cooking dinner.

What is the hardest part of a book, such as Red Rock, to write? 

The start because it’s only through writing about them that I can get to know my characters.

Can you describe your publishing journey in brief (and know if you use the word ‘easy’ we’ll know you’re lying…) 

It’s a rollercoaster – there are exhilarating highs – like when a publisher says they want your book, or you first see your cover art – and lows – when you struggle with something in your plot that just won’t work, or you get piles of rejections (which was the case with an earlier novel of mine).

If you don’t already know, what star sign do you think your main character, Danni, is? 

Oh she’s definitely an Aries 

Which character (if any) is most like you? 

I’d like to say Danni, but it truth she’s more the person I would like to have been. I reckon I’m more like Isaac.

If you could only do one hobby for a day, what would it be? 

I’d go scuba diving. More specifically I’d go scuba diving off Comino. (I’ve dived there before and it was amazing.)

This/That? 

Pen or pencil?   Pen.

Cats or dogs?   I like both but I keep cats

Sad books or funny books?    Either. I love all books.

Hot climate or cold climate?   Either so long as it isn’t raining.

Plotter or a Panster?     Somewhere in between

Early bird or night owl?    Early Bird

• Ice cream or hot chocolate?     Depends whether I’m in the hot climate or the cold climate.

I did find those answers interesting & sometimes a little cheeky (especially with this/that). I’ll let the slight cheating slide though as Red Rock is so brill. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you read it, here’s some reviews: Penny West (editor @ Curious Fox) gave it 4* (which means she really liked it, of course!)Amy Bookworm (interviewer but primarily reviewer) also 4*’d it & gave her opinion, newspapers also gave a look in & there’s more reviews (and books) to look at here 😀

I also reckon there are more books by Curious Fox I’ll enjoy- I’d better get reading! *disappears… for now*

*Voice echoes as she disappears*

Team Fox: If you want to guest post here please let the Fox know! (TheFox@curious-fox.com) You could do an interview, review or discuss something. Maybe you’re curious about something, possibly publishing-related? Get your creative hats on, start thinking & let us know if there is anything you’d like to post at this blog!

(Massive Thank You! to Amy from all at CF)

What do you think about Science?

Curious Fox are a new publishing company creating books for curious minds. This September we are publishing an exciting novel for teenagers called Red Rock. To tie in with this book, which is written by a marine scientist, we are asking for young people to answer the below survey on attitudes to science. It’s anonymous and very quick (will take about three minutes).

Fill in the survey here.

To give you an incentive, we’re going to choose 10 people at random, who complete the survey, to receive a free Curious Fox book of their choice!

You must aged between 11 – 18 to complete this survey.

Thank you!
The Fox

Treason and Plague

A month of Treason, Plague and Aliens…

Most months are busy here at Curious Fox, and June is no exception.  Because it can be hard to keep track of the many awesome books we publish (for me let alone anyone else! 🙂 ) here is a round up of our June titles and a sneak preview of July:

June titles

Our exciting June titles

Introducing Beth Johnson in our Secrets &Spies series
(look out for the downloadable word search)

Treason: Fourteen year old Beth is a talented actress who’s career is on the up.  She’s also a spy! It is 1664 and all is not well in London, could the King be in danger?

Plague: It’s the summer of 1665 and the deadly plague had hit London, will Beth be able to protect the king? Will she even survive the plague?

Catch up with John Riley
The final two titles in the popular space adventure series Hyperspace High

Galactic Battle: It’s nearly time for the annual Space Spectacular Show, but, will everything go to plan?

Space Plague: The end of term means revision fever, or could it be a real fever…

Sneak peak at what is to come in July…

July titles

Coming up in July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Farm: More from this uplifting and engaging series, this time focusing on the bondbetween Laura and Silky, and Sammi and Dusty.

Robot Races: Jimmy wants to join the Robot Races, can his Grandpa help him?

Roller Girls arrive! Annie moves from London to a small American Town, can the Roller Derby team help her find a way to fit in?

So from space battles, plots to kill the king, friendships at City Farm and the tough world of the Roller Derby we really do have plenty of thrilling reads on the way to keep you going all summer!

The Soul Shadows Tour – Guest Blog by Alex woolf

The Soul Shadows Tour

I’ve had a fantastic time recently, promoting my new book Soul Shadows. I visited four schools in all and spoke to over four hundred students…

CITY OF LONDON SCHOOL
My first visit was to this magnificent boys’ school in the heart of the city, overlooked by St Pauls Cathedral and just across the river from the Globe Theatre. I was a little overawed at first by the size and imposing atmosphere of the school, but David Rose, the school librarian, made me feel very welcome. To my great relief, the tiny memory stick containing my powerpoint file did not fail me, and the slides duly appeared on the screen at the touch of a button. This was something of a revelation to me as I’ve never given a talk using powerpoint before. I spoke to three classes in all, and got some magnificent questions. My talk really seemed to fire their imaginations. One boy asked if multiple soul shadows from the same person was possible. Another asked if shadows themselves could generate shadows. I said these suggestions were brilliant, and I may well save them up for a sequel!

FORTISMERE SCHOOL
The following day I visited three schools in Haringey in the company of the tireless and magnificent Sean Edwards, the borough’s Children’s & Youth Libraries Manager. We got to our first school, Fortismere in Muswell Hill, at the improbably early hour of 8.45 and I was expecting to have a little time to set up, perhaps have a coffee. But as we walked into the library, it was already filled to the brim with eager students looking expectantly towards me! They then had to wait patiently while I fiddled around with my memory stick and located my reading glasses. However, as it turned out, they were a joy to speak to. The session ended with a great Q&A – always my favourite part of any talk, as it can lead into all sorts of unexpected territory. The toughest question came from a teacher: what is my favourite YA book? Gosh, I have so many, but why is it that whenever anyone asks that question, my mind always goes blank! I would like to thank Gill Ward, the school librarian, for setting everything up, including a lovely display of my previous books.

Fortismere School

Alex Woolf meets pupils at the Fortismere School

HIGHGATE WOOD SCHOOL
There was no parking available at our next school and we had to park at the local library. Kudos to the heroic Sean Edwards, who had to lug a heavy box of books up a very long, steep hill. I spoke to well over a hundred children at Highgate Wood – the entire Year 8, I believe – in a huge hall. The book cover of Soul Shadows has never looked so big or scary as it did on the humungous screen that filled the stage. Richard Lamb, the Learning Resources Centre Manager, said I must feel like a rock star today. I resisted performing my air guitar routine to the crowd, and instead focused on the book. Once again, I was really impressed with how attentive the students were, and the questions they asked, such as what inspired me to start writing and why do I like horror. Fortunately, no one asked me the questions that apparently a lot of authors have to face: how old are you, and how much do you earn?! A big thanks to Richard Lamb for organising things and taking photos.

Highgate School

Alex Woolf talking to pupils at Highgate School

HEARTLANDS SCHOOL
The final stop on this leg of the Soul Shadows tour was Heartlands School in Wood Green. After a quick tour of this impressive new school, I spoke to a class of bright and enthusiastic students. By this time I was feeling a little like a theatre actor reciting lines I’d said so often before. But the interest evident in the eyes of the audience reminded me that to them this is all brand new, and that helped me to keep my talk fresh and lively. Again, the questions were unpredictable and thoughtful. One student was intrigued by the interactive genesis of Soul Shadows (an earlier version of the book was published by Fiction Express, and at the end of each chapter readers were given a chance to vote on how the plot should continue). She asked what happened if I disagreed with a vote! I must thank Learning Resources Centre Manager Helen Swinyard for her help on the day, and for her enthusiastic tweeting about my visit.

All in all, it was an exhilarating couple of days. As a YA author I found it valuable and fascinating to meet with and talk to so many young readers. Their enthusiasm has filled me with hope for the future of books and reading, and given me a whole new lease of energy.

The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross: an editor’s perspective

By Vaarunika Dharmapala

When I think about editing a new manuscript, I picture a very tiny me getting tangled up in super-sized black type. Hanging off the tail of a “g” perhaps, peering about, trying to see between the looming words into the mind of a virtual stranger, the author.

Stewart Ross is no longer a stranger to me. We’ve had many conversations, as many laughs and have become just a little more familiar with each other’s thoughts. I’ve spent hours rambling amongst his words, and have emerged from the process with a head full of new ideas, places and people. I’ve become his biggest fan and most eager advocate.

The Soterion Mission is set in a harsh future world, where the inhabitants must cram all of life’s experiences into less than nineteen years. After their eighteenth ‘winter’ they age rapidly, then die. But it is not a wholly bleak world. There is hope – in the form of the mysterious Soterion that holds the key to life, learning and death.

One of the most interesting aspects of this novel is the way in which Stewart has chosen to give the experience of young people all the validity of adulthood. In this view, adolescence is not a waiting room in which we bide our time until real life begins. Within those short years, we already encounter the best and worst in human nature. We have our hearts broken and mended, we are betrayed and rescued, we are fearful and brave. Many of us are lucky enough to experience these extremes in the relative safety of home and school. The characters in this novel, however, are fighting for their lives.

From kind and clever Roxanne to fiendish Timur to anarchic young Sammy – Stewart’s characters leapt into life as I read and re-read. They forced their way out from between the big black type and straight into my head. In fact, they refuse to leave! I know that any reader who picks up this book will feel the same way. That is why I am pleased and proud, as is Curious Fox, to publish this outstanding new novel.

Vaarunika Dharmapala