Ellen

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1 September 2016 Entry: "UKYA Extravaganza and More"

The time is drawing nearer - the tweaked and checked (thank you Judy Walker) manuscript of my novel goes off to Sheila Wakefield at Red Squirrel Press next week under her Postbox Press imprint for prose novels. It has a unique cover designed by the wonderful artist Tessa Green. And a much worked-on blurb for the back. Eek.
I will be tweeting and blogging about it on 12th September via @Kat_thebooknerd. Look out for comments and Q&As. Then promoting it at the national UKYA event at Newcastle Central Library on Saturday 17th September - so come along and find out more about it on the Saturday. Although I wonít have the book in my hand, Iíll be talking about it and answering questions. Iím hoping to have marketing materials: book marks with details of the launch date, the isbn number and where to get it etc. Thereíll be lots of other authors promoting their work with books for sale: illustrated and younger readers books in the morning, YA books in the afternoon, plus tea and cake so it will be an unmissable day for anyone whoís interested in childrenís literature. Or cake.
Before that I will be reading my poetry at the Mslexia event at The Jazz Cafe on Thursday 15th September, alongside the wonderful short story writer Beda Higgins and the prolific Kitty Fitzgerald.
I begin teaching my 10 week Writing for Children course at the Lit and Phil on Tuesday 20th September, 10.15 to 12.15 weekly. Book via the Lit and Phil 0191 232 0192.
With Kathleen Kenny, weíre offering a 7 week Poetry Course at the Lit and Phil starting on Monday 10th October 6 - 8. Book via Lit and Phil.

The actual launch date for Ren and the Blue Hands is 2nd November 2016 at the Lit and Phil!
It will be a free event with other Childrenís authors reading, plus music and wine.
Iíll also be reading from Ren and the Blue Hands at a First Thursday event Thursday 3rd November 1pm at Newcastle University.

Itís been the greatest fun imaginable making up the world, my 16th Century cosmos. Characters have natural names like Bark and Moss and Count Saffron. The blue dye comes from the Shebble Shell. The group of isles where Shebble shell is found are The Calico Isles where the story is set. Braymer is the country that exports the wool and yarn that gets dyed by Shebble shell. The workers on Calico are organised by their Gild. The different classes of society are subject to sumptuary laws - only the wealthiest nobles are allowed to wear the unique Shebble blue dyed cloth, while workers in the dye industry get Blue Lung or Shebble Pox. Thereís a Travelling Theatre troupe called The Chancellor of Braymerís Men who come to perform for the May Day Revels and stir things up. In the past there have been Dye Wars. Is the time of peaceful monopoly of Shebble about to change? Youíll just have to wait and see.

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