Chloe Seager on Social Media and Anxiety

I’m excited to welcome my new friend and debut author of Editing Emma: The Secret Blog of a Nearly Proper Person, Chloe Seager, to Pretty Books. As part of her blog tour, Chloe’s here to talk about something that many of us will 100% relate to… social media and anxiety.

By the time I reached adult life, I’d pretty much levelled out my relationship with social media. I’d worked out all my dos and don’ts during my teenage years and social media wasn’t something that heavily encroached on my time or disturbed my peace of mind. I’d finally worked out a way to take all the fun stuff (e.g. tweets about books I should be reading, connecting with people from the past) without the bad (e.g. wondering how my whole day got spent staring at mindless crap, or constantly comparing my own life to other people’s). Then I got a book deal.

Suddenly my lovely, calm balance was thrown… and I didn’t expect it. I’m twenty-five, not fifteen but out of nowhere, I was refreshing my Twitter notifications every five minutes and even, dare I admit it, searching my own name. Self-Googling is probably one of the least attractive things a person can do, but I’m prepared to hold my hands up. I did it. I did it a lot. It surprises me, now, that I didn’t anticipate this reaction. Putting your writing out there for the entire world to judge is a pretty huge thing to do (and I genuinely applaud every single person who gives it a go), but when all of those judgements are on the internet? … That’s terrifying. Of course, my healthy balance with social media was toppled. It’s a bit like going back to school and knowing everyone’s talking about something you did. Except what they’re saying is public and immortalised.

Continue Reading

Photo Blog Tour: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Photo Blog Tour: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Welcome to the 13th stop on the Wing Jones photo tour! Every day in January, Katherine Webber will be sharing the story of how her wonderful novel Wing Jones came to be.

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants…

Photo Blog Tour: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Well, I was wrong about that guy Kevin—I did see him again after Hong Kong. Here we are at a University of Georgia football game in a massive stadium that seats 90,000 people. I’d never been to a football game in the south and experienced the sports culture there. It was fascinating and would later be one of my influences for WING JONES.

Follow the rest of the tour over on Twitter: #WJPhotoTour, check out my review here and follow Katie @kwebberwrites.


Blog Tour: Mystery and Mayhem

Blog Tour: Mystery and Mayhem
Welcome to the second stop on the blog tour for Mystery & Mayhem: Twelve Deliciously Intriguing Mysteries, a collection of crime short stories by some of my favourite authors. For my stop on the tour, here’s part one of The Crime Club’s favourite childhood mysteries!

Blog Tour: Mystery and MayhemRobin Stevens
The book that really got me hooked on mystery was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. My father gave me a copy when I was 12 and challenged me to solve it. I thought I knew everything about the rules of mystery novels – and all my expectations were destroyed. Of course, Agatha Christie outwitted me completely. I put down the book knowing that when I grew up, I wanted to be a murder mystery writer.
Continue Reading

Blog Tour: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell / 5 Greatest Heroines in Literature

Welcome to my stop on The Madwoman Upstairs blog tour! I’m delighted to welcome Catherine Lowell to Pretty Books to chat about her favourite heroines from the classics.

Literature has given us no shortage of intelligent, adventuresome, and strong women to look up to. Here are the ones who top my list!

Penelope, The Odyssey
Clever, independent, and wise. Her husband might be the one at war, but she’s able to hold her own in a dangerous situation.

Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Whip-smart and witty—Lizzy is the ultimate role model. A cliché but necessary addition to the list!

Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
Here is a truly unique protagonist—someone so young and yet so courageous and insightful. Her heartbreaking and beautiful diary guaranteed her wish: “I want to go on living even after my death.”

Cimorene, Dealing with Dragons
My favorite heroine from a young adult novel. A princess who finds herself stuck in an arranged marriage, Cimorene runs away from home to go live with some kindly dragons.

Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing
Another smart, strong, and spirited heroine with a gift for brilliant repartee. She manages to combine a fierce independence with a hidden kindness and warmth.

Who are your favourite heroines from classic lit?

Think you know Charlotte, Emily & Anne? Think again. Samantha Whipple is the last remaining descendant of the illustrious Brontë family, of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre fame. After losing her father, a brilliant author in his own right, it is up to Samantha to piece together the mysterious family inheritance lurking somewhere in her past – yet the only clues she has at her disposal are the Brontë’s own novels. With the aid of her handsome but inscrutable Oxford tutor, Samantha must repurpose the tools of literature to unearth an untold family legacy, and in the process, finds herself face to face with what may be literature’s greatest secret.

Blog Tour: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell / 5 Greatest Heroines in Classic LitBlog Tour: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell / 5 Greatest Heroines in Classic LitBlog Tour: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell / 5 Greatest Heroines in Classic Lit

Blog Tour: Never Evers by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison / 5 Best Literary School Trips

On My TBR / Winter

Welcome to my stop on the Never Evers blog tour! I’m delighted to welcome Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison to Pretty Books as they chat about their favourite school trips in literature!

1. Whitby (Room 13)
A school trip to Whitby – home of Dracula himself –  was always going to be a risky affair. Fliss – the protagonist of this great 1989 novel– senses something bad’s on the horizon, as she has a nightmare the evening before the trip. And her instincts are spot on – what should be an uneventful school outing turns into a full-blown horror mystery, in which teenagers get possessed by vampires and ghostly guest rooms suddenly materialise in the night.

2. London (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 & 3/4)
Adrian’s story of his school’s catastrophic trip to London is made even funnier by the fact it’s all recounted in chronological bullet points. So, things start badly (“7.10am Coach stopped for Barry Kent to be sick… 7.45am Coach stopped for Barry Kent to be sick again”), and get progressively worse (“11.50am Coach breaks down at Swiss Cottage… 11.55am Coach driver breaks down in front of AA man”) until the group finally arrives at the British Museum, only to “run beserk, laughing at nude statues”. The trip ends with the police escorting the entire school group back to their coach, as Barry Kent as been caught stealing ‘Grow-It-Big Cream’ from a nearby sex shop.

3. Amsterdam (The Fault In Our Stars)
OK, OK, this is not technically a school trip, but it IS a trip, it IS supposedly educational (they’re going to meet a novelist) and Hazel IS taken out of school to go on it. So we’re saying that it counts. Plus, it’s as eventful and emotional and meaningful as any other literary school trip: firstly, Hazel gets her heart broken on meeting her extremely disappointing ‘hero’, Peter Van Houten. And then, she gets her heart mended by getting jiggy with Gus almost immediately afterwards.

4. Birmingham (Geek Girl)
Harriet and Nat’s trip to the Clothes Show Live is obviously the spark for the whole Geek Girl series, but it’s also a pretty hilarious and eventful school trip on its own. Coach-based vomiting: check. Having to wear spare PE kit: check. Meeting a hot boy: check. Causing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage: check.

5. Hogwarts (Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire)
Obviously there’s no travel involved for Harry etc., but for Fleur and Viktor and their mates, the Triwizard Tournament represents a pretty incredible school trip, in which they get to hang out in a fairly amazing castle, watch and compete in a preposterous contest, and get off with loads of random British wizards and witches.

 Never Evers by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison is published by Chicken House, £6.99.

Blog Tour: Never Evers by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison / 5 Best Literary School TripsKicked out of ballet academy, Mouse is hating the school ski trip. Jack was sure it’d be filled with danger and girls, but hasn’t a clue about either. That’s until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort – and Jack’s a dead ringer for him.

After Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he’s no longer a pop star – will there still be music and magic on the slopes? From the critically-acclaimed authors of Lobsters, shortlisted for the YA Book Prize.