Thursday, 26 May 2016

Film Review: Me Before You

The amazing gifts that were
put out for viewers last night
at the Curzon Cinema, Mayfair. 
Last night, I was lucky enough to attend a special premier evening screening of Me Before You, the film based on the book by Jo Jo Moyes of the same name.  (Check out the awesome freebies left on our seats!) >>>>>

It was a very tender film, a life affirming film in many ways, although there is a quiet wave of disquiet as to how the film portrays an over-romanticised version of the situation. Aside from this,  I think the film is for the main part sensitively and delicately done; it challenges assumptions, and shows (just) one of the many various responses  that there is towards becoming disabled after a very active life. The story is clearly an exploration of the power of love, which sometimes involves love giving us the strength to let go, as much as it does to fight on.

Sam Claflin hosting the special
premier night screening of
Me Before You last night
in London.

It is clear the book (and the film) are a very contemporary reworking of the Jane Eyre novel, or at least that was the heritage link I couldn't shake. Interestingly, I have always hated the outcome of Jane Eyre, thinking Rochester a bit of an ass, only embracing Jane when he was in a position of terrible emotional need. In this way, Me Before You, held a much better (if not incredibly tearful) conclusion. Will both reclaims his own life, and empowers and enables Louisa to claim hers, too.

Will and Louise were beautifully played, and I couldn't help but be charmed by them. I would definitely recommend going to see this film, although it comes with a warning to take tissues.



OFFICIAL BLURB: 

Young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.
Release dateJune 3, 2016 (United Kingdom)

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Introducing Kate John. (My horror writer alter-ego)

Taking my cue from all the great super-heroes, I am taking on an alter-ego and a dual persona come October 2016.

For those that have followed my blog over the years, you know that I have always been attracted to the dark side, and that horror is one of my most favourite genres. Every October for the last 4 years, I have taken part in Halloween celebration blog-fests, being an honorary member of my Horror Homie Crew. 

Finally, I have almost finished my first Adult Horror book, 'The Crow Man' - a project I have been working on for the last 3 years. It's a really exciting development in my author journey and I am so pleased to finally say that, 'The Crow Man' will be released later this year on October 1st 2016.

It's a dark exploration of the psychiatric practices of the 1950s and the idea of Monarch Programming, an almost mythical conspiracy theory that perpetuates the idea that the American government undertook a series of psychological experimentations in the 1950s designed to reprogram the human mind. The process worked on the idea that once a human mind had been broken apart, it could be remade in a specific way to another's advantage. This notion permeated into wider psychological practices, ensuring unending horror to the poor individuals who were aimed to be cured by its application.

Due to The Crow Man containing scenes of sexual, violent and graphic nature, it is not suitable for mainstream YA readership, and so I wanted to make it clear that this is a very different kind of writing with very different boundaries. As such, I am publishing The Crow Man (and hopefully future Horror titles) under the name KATE JOHN, rather than my main author name KATIE M. JOHN. 

I haven't gone wildly different on the pen name for several reasons. 1) A lot of my readers are actually adult readers who enjoy YA 2) My YA books are mostly for an Upper YA audience, and my readership demographic sways massively to the over 15 year olds. 3) The application of a wildly different pen-name throws up so many more issues on social media than it cures, and TBH, these days, there is no such thing as anonymity. 

I TOYED WITH WRITING MY HORROR UNDER A MAN'S NAME. 
For quite a long time, I toyed with the idea of publishing my horror under the name JOHN KAY. Which was a play on my name. It was a seductive idea because, (wrong as it is) male authors of horror have a much greater rate of sales success, and appear to have traditionally been favoured by readers. It was also somehow freeing, which is a strange notion and really highlighted, that despite my feminist protestations, I was myself conditioned by a society that had taught me to believe that women were subjected to more taboo subjects in their creative expression then men. 

It was a conflicting issue, I wanted the freedom to write, I wanted to be taken 'seriously' in the horror genre, but I am passionately committed to ideas of equality, diversity, authenticity and the celebration of women in the publishing world. 

So the answer was obvious. I would write it under my own name, and I would be proud to be a woman writing horror. I would be part of the positive change towards making horror less male-centric. I would also write horror that truly explored the role of women in horror. In many ways, The Crow Man is a feminist text, exploring the way society constructs notions of the perfect woman, and what happens to her when she fails to reach those levels of perfection. 


THE CROW MAN
The Crow Man, set in the 1950's, tells the story of Grace, the wife of a cold and egotistical GP. One misty afternoon, Grace sees the haunting figure of a living scarecrow standing at the bottom of their garden, watching the house that is home to their twin boys. 
As Grace's mind begins to unravel, and the grief of her stillborn daughter starts to overwhelm her, the enigmatic, handsome and revolutionary psychiatric doctor, Dr. Daniel Rose, offers Grace an escape with the new wonder drug, LSD. It is then that Grace's real nightmare begins to unfold. 
In this modern day Frankenstein, the dark and terrifying psychiatric practices of the 1950's are conducted by a madman, and Grace is left the only sane individual in the asylum. 

Warning: Some readers may find subjects and themes to be trigger topics. 

Available October 1st 2016

You can stay in touch with me as Kate John over on my new Facebook Page. It would be lovely to see you there. 
https://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorKateJohn/ 




Monday, 23 May 2016

AMAZING NEWS: I'm up for 2 UTOPiA Nominations.

I had the most amazing news a week ago; I discovered that I have been nominated for not just one, but TWO UTOPiA awards. I really can't tell you what this means to me.

UTOPiA is my creative home; it's the place, where once a year, I get to hug my friends, laugh with them, hug them some more, and hang out. To think that the UTOPiA academy has nominated both, 'When Sorrows Come' and 'Beautiful Freaks' for UTOPiA awards, blows me away.

It doesn't matter if they come last in the voting, the very fact they have been recognised by fellow UTOPiANs as worthy of standing beside the works of fellow UTOPiANs I not only love but admire.

So, 'When Sorrows Come' is up for Best Contemporary Book of the Year! and 'Beautiful Freaks' is up for the best Serial Series of the Year!

IF you have read either, and feel that you'd like to support the voting of the awards, you can find my works on this voting list -- and whilst you're there, don't forget to have your vote for all the other amazing categories (You don't have to vote in each category if the books and authors are unfamiliar to you, but I would recommend using it as an awesome TBR list!)

Here is the voting link: http://www.utopiacon.com/vote-in-utopia-awards-2016/ There are just a couple more days to cast your vote.

And here is a little bit more about the books that are up for nomination.


WHEN SORROWS COME: Nominated for BEST CONTEMPORARY BOOK OF THE YEAR.



Malachi: Mathematical Genius, Poet, Swimmer, and Narcissist. 
Ophelia: Artist, Poet, and subversive 



A poignant tale of first, enduring love. An Upper YA novel that explores the bitter-sweet emotions of first love against a backdrop of personal tragedy and metamorphosis into the adult world. 



At seventeen years old, both Ophelia and Malachi are already facing the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Ophelia has to survive frequent trips to the psychiatric unit to visit her bi-polar mother, and Malachi is battling the rage of his father's death, and his uncle's hasty marriage to his mother. 


It is amongst these turbulent parental legacies and accompanying self-destructive impulses that Ophelia and Malachi begin a twisted exploration of first love. They discover that nothing in life is certain except all choices have consequences. 


BEAUTIFUL FREAKS: Nominated for BEST SERIAL SERIES OF THE YEAR


A Serialised Story in 12 parts. 
SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12 
A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon. 
When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city. Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy. 
It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price. 
A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire. 

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. www.katiemjohn.com 


One of The World's Tiniest Book Launches in One of The World's Tiniest Cocktail Bars.

#StartSmallDreamBig


I'm heading off to UTOPiA in a month and having been nominated for a couple of awards for my book 'When Sorrows Come' and my series, 'Beautiful Freaks', I was feeling under increased pressure to find a drop-dead gorgeous evening gown (not that I need any encouragement, I love evening dresses) 

However, several weeks later and having tried on over 40 different dresses, every single one somehow wasn't right - either that or it looked pretty much the same as one of the 5 I have already hanging in my wardrobe. 

I was sat having a coffee, feeling a little deflated when I got to thinking that £200 / $300 was a hell of a lot of money for a dress I was going to wear just a handful of times. I began to think of ways that I could perhaps spend that money more wisely on attaining my life-plan. 

Coincidentally, the very next day, we stopped off at a new shop that had opened in my home town. It is the HQ office of a cocktail hamper company, founded by an interesting female entrepreneur. She wanted to create an office that was a joy to work in rather than the industrial unit office she had currently been renting. She chose one of the cute little Victorian fronted shops that had once been a florists, and now, as well as having a pretty office, she opens up the front of it as a tiny miniature cocktail bar. 

EUREKA, I would take that £200 and hold a perfectly miniature book launch party / signing. The cocktail bar will take just about 10 people - the perfect number of people as one of my very first solo signings. 

Then, life is strange; there are several other creative projects happening in my life at the minute, and for some reason, they all seem to be connecting with one another. One of these projects is working with women in the local community who have turned their back on traditional, patriarchal corporate jobs and professions to pursue their own path, create their own companies, and to sell their own services. TAP (The Academy of Possible) has recently been established, and it's a social evolution project that aims to connect women with skills with one another, so we can become cheerleaders and supporters for each other, both on a very practical sales level, and on an emotional, motivational level. 

As part of these two strands of my life, I had the idea that I would use the miniature signing in the miniature cocktail bar to make a miniature documentary on the theme of #StartSmallDreamBig, with the aim of inspiring other people to take that first step into doing something bold, social and extraordinary.

I'm not going to lie, the thought of a signing, where I will be reading, petrifies me. I'm still coming to terms with my identity as an author - which by 8 books down, I should have nailed already. And yet, there are reasons why I am 8 books down and never done a social launch party for one of my books... reasons that are complex and reasons that I know many others share. 

That's the aim of this project, to inspire folks to step outside of their comfort zones, but in a safe way - a bit like a controlled explosion, only just not with quite so much wreckage - although who knows what will happen with the added ingredient of cocktails. 

I'm being ultra brave, and fighting the fear by inviting a local journalist, the manager of a local national book store, and a high profile blogger to attend and be of the 10 guests that will be invited. I don't know if they will come, but I do know that if you don't ask, they definitely won't come. 

And if the filming is rubbish, if the reading is wobbly, if the whole thing is a little less than perfect, it doesn't matter, it will be perfectly imperfect and I will have learned a whole lot of lessons. 

Watch this space for more updates on this project, and I really look forward to hearing where you arrange your miniature signings having been inspired by this idea. 

Drop a reach out in the box <3 nbsp="" p="">




Sunday, 22 May 2016

NEW BOOK TRAILER: I Defy You, Stars! *COMING OUT JULY 1st 2016'


The Book Trailer for my forthcoming release, 'I DEFY YOU, STARS' which comes out July 1st 2016. 

I am so excited to share with you this beautiful book trailer for 'I Defy You, Stars!' my new Contemporary YA, which is part of The Shakespeare Collection. 'I Defy You, Stars!' is a line taken from Romeo & Juliet and the novel tells the story of Rafe, a disaffected young man from a privileged but broken household who is seeking meaning in life through his best friend, Cutz, a street artist and anti-establishment rebel; and Juliet, a sixteen-year-old girl who discovers her entire life is based on a series of cruel and intricate lies. 
Drop a comment in the box with your twitter handle if you'd like to be reminded of the release date, and to be alerted when the pre-order form is live. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Works Eligible for UTOPiA 2016 Nominations / Awards 2016

This year has been busy in so many ways, but not quite so much on the actual publishing of novels. Between April 1st 2015 and April 1st 2016, I published the 12 part serial 'Beautiful Freaks, and the NA / Upper YA contemporary Romance, 'When Sorrows Come' both of which are eligible for UTOPiA Nominations as this year's UTOPiAcon.


WHEN SORROWS COME:
An UPPER YA / NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL
 
 
 
Malachi: Mathematical Genius, Poet, Swimmer, and Narcissist.
Ophelia: Artist, Poet, and subversive

A poignant tale of first, enduring love. An Upper YA novel that explores the bitter-sweet emotions of first love against a backdrop of personal tragedy and metamorphosis into the adult world.

At seventeen years old, both Ophelia and Malachi are already facing the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Ophelia has to survive frequent trips to the psychiatric unit to visit her bi-polar mother, and Malachi is battling the rage of his father's death, and his uncle's hasty marriage to his mother.

It is amongst these turbulent parental legacies and accompanying self-destructive impulses that Ophelia and Malachi begin a twisted exploration of first love. They discover that nothing in life is certain except all choices have consequences. 


Categories for consideration for  UTOPiA Awards 2016: Best Contemporary, Book Hangover.

BEAUTIFUL FREAKS.
 A 12 PART SERIAL

 
 
 
A Serialised Story in 12 parts.
SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.
When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city. Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. www.katiemjohn.com

Categories: Best serial series, Best Paranormal, Best Supernatural Villain.


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Free Download: The Complete Knight Trilogy

   
 
 
The Complete Knight Trilogy:

With the arrival at college of the handsome and enigmatic Blake Beldevier, seventeen-year-old Mina Singer finds herself catapulted into a magical realm where she soon learns fairy tales are not for children, and the wickedest witch of all is Morgan Le Fay; a beautiful but deadly rival.
The Knight Trilogy takes the reader on a bewitching mythical roller-coaster tour from the wilds of Cornwall, to the pyramids of Egypt, to the Templar HQ in the snowy Swiss Mountains, to the resting place of Merlin in the forests of Brittany.
Blending Arthurian legends, European fairy tales and Holy Grail lore, The Knight Trilogy is an epic scale paranormal fantasy with a very romantic twist.
It has garnered much praise since the release of Book 1 in October 2010, winning several awards, many five star reviews from prominent book blogs, and hitting the coveted No.1 Amazon spots in YA, YA Romance and YA Fairy Tales. It has sold over 20,000 copies worldwide
About Katie M John

Katie lives in London (UK) with her hubby, two daughters, and cat. She is the author of the No.1 Best selling YA fairy tale series, 'The Knight Trilogy' and award winning, 'Beautiful Freaks'. She is also the author of a seven book witchcraft series, 'The Meadowsweet Chronicles' and many other works.
She is an avid supporter of the indie book movement and is founder of Little Bird Publishing House (A publishing co-operative bringing unique and diverse voices to publication)
Katie loves all things paranormal, romantic and steeped in folklore and legend.
Read more about her works at www.katiemjohn.com
Twitter @KnightTrilogy

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Life After Bullying. Silencing the Dominant Voice.

#RetreatMusings
How can our adult self finally begin to reconcile ourselves with past bullying experiences?

We need to open ourselves up to the idea that we are loveable.

Too often we anticipate rejection and humiliation because of a few experiences of dominant voices, which our hurt has transformed into disproportionately significant events - that's not to say that we have over-reacted, or that the experience was not acutely painful or unjust, or damaging, but those dominant experiences have flooded out much of the space that should be filled with the many positive experiences we have lived.

A dominant, negative influence form the time of your emerging self (adolescence) can scar emotional tissue leading to a 'damaged' adult self. The negative opinions and experiences absorbed in adolescence, travel like a forward echo through our present and future. Disguising itself as our own internal voice; that voice of doubt and self-hatred.

Throughout my adolescence, I was bullied - not physically, but emotionally, in the way that so many 'different' or 'unique' voices are. What made this worse is that the bullying came not just from the playground but closer to home. There are still comments and 'jokes' that I can recall with clarity; they damaged the very core of my self-esteem. The result of this was that I spent a lifetime in both my professional and personal life trying to be perfect, trying to prove I was a good person, an intelligent person, a kind person - a person beyond reproach, who would not invite criticism.

It was a form of internal O.C.D and it created in me a crushing fear of criticism - not because I was proud or arrogant or vain, but because I had learned from an early age that criticism comes hand in hand with rejection and total soul-destroying humiliation (especially when it came from those, who by social construct, we are meant to trust and love.)

In order to reconcile ourself with such abuses, it's as easy and impossible as silencing that dominant voice (the voice of the bullies, the abusers) That voice nestled deep down amongst our fears and told us we were unloveable, we were rejected, and strange, and odd, that we were ugly, and stupid,- and most of all we were viewed by the world as something, 'wrong'.

These were lies.

And the reason we failed to recognise them as lies were because they were the same lies our inner voice claimed as truths. Dominant, negative voices reflecting our own sense of failure.

That emerging time, when we are all so vulnerable, when we are beginning to understand we are a self, a being, a person; it open to abuse and damage from those who are older, or in a position of authority, either by position or by tribe hierarchy. Those dominant voices filled your head full of their own fears - they projected their own toxic ideas onto you, because it was a way for them to release them in a way they believed made them look strong in front of others;
It was an entirely selfish act of transference on their part. It actually had nothing essentially to do with you. You just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person - a metaphorical punch bag, which they used to exorcise their own fears and perceived failures.
When we realise this quintessential truth, we can reconcile ourselves with the understanding that we were not responsible, it was not our fault, we were not deserving - we were purely a vessel to be filled with their own darkness, then we can begin to empty out their poison and reclaim that vessel for ourselves. We can be free from their hatred and fear and we can finally quiet their voice, freeing us to step out build something positive from our own talents and skills.



Internal Reatreat. The retreat for when you can't escape.

I'm undertaking a time of retreat; this doesn't mean that I've flown a thousand miles to sit on a mountain, or headed off into the depths of the countryside, leaving my family behind. I have gone on retreat right in the present here and now - inside my internal space. I am in the same house with the same demands, but I have made the conscious application to give myself February.

I still do the business e-mails, my work to-do list, the school runs, the packed lunches, the laundry, the shopping, the food provision .... the million other small things that it takes to keep our family running - but they are not the focus of now. The focus of now is me. All these other things are just a series of movements to pass through. (Aside from quality one to one conversations and cuddles with the family)

These are my primary goals.
  1. To eat better.
  2. To drink better.
  3. To claim back my head.
  4. To claim back my body.
  5. To embrace my authentic creativity.
  6. To feel confident when I walk into public spaces - which involves dropping a few pounds.

When my kids go to swim class 2x a week, I head downstairs to the gym for a quick 20 minute blast. I've converted the dining room into a yoga and meditation space when the family aren't around. (The cat is intrigued) I've practically cut out all caffeine, alcohol and minimised sugar (not that I ever really had a sweet tooth.) I've minimised my social networking. I run (in a fashion) to pick the kids up from school rather than dawdle along. The high I got from the gym those first couple of short times, means I've even gone down on a morning for longer sessions. I discovered my body can actually sweat, and it quite likes it.

It means there isn't much novel writing getting done - but that's okay; it's okay, because I know that this investment in my well-being means that the writing will be easier, better, clearer when I start again. However, an upside of this focus is that the poetry has returned.

After just two weeks. I already feel so much fitter; I can feel muscles tightening, my body evolving. The effects have been almost instant. My energy levels are higher. I'm walking with a spring in my step, making burning those calories so much easier.

You can find yourself making a thousand different quite excuses, space, time, stress, external forces, other people, society -- but in the end, it really is as simple as making the choice to do it, which is a revelation after fifteen years of not acknowledging this choice. It's about making small adjustments, and radical promises.  Most of all, it's saying that you are worth the investment, which is sometimes the hardest idea to readjust.







Greet

A poem for the bleak days.

Greet

When you are too tired for tears
Too empty for laughter
Too hurt for the receiving of love
Too full of thoughts for peace,

Stop.

Stop and greet yourself
like an old friend
long since seen.
Smile in recognition
of a person rediscovered
of a future promise
of happiness and adventure
of a hundred million
things you love about
that soul but had
forgotten.
And in that moment
of reconnection,

Forgive.

Forgive the past,
which stole you from yourself.

Katie M John (Jan 2016)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016



Goodreads Book Giveaway

When Sorrows Come by Katie M. John

When Sorrows Come

by Katie M. John

Giveaway ends February 26, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Thursday, 14 January 2016

A Week of Sorrows: The Impact of Creatives on the Lives of Strangers.

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions"

Today is the day I have been waiting for for 6mths - the release day of 'When Sorrows Come'. I have been so excited about sharing it, and busily organising lots of fun Facebook activities for the launch party -- but I don't feel much like celebrating now.
Now, I just kind of want to sit in a darkened room listening to Bowie, reading Potter, and drinking a lot of red wine. I feel quite bereft; which is not a reasonable response for someone who has no claim over either of these men other than someone who has been moved, inspired, influenced by their artistic endeavours. I have been the distant receiver of their craft, not knowing how deep an emotional connection had been made.
Suddenly, I feel a massive responsibility for the emotions I'm about to catalyse in the readers of 'When Sorrows Come' - the grief art creates is real, and it's almost an act of creative harm to do that to another, whether that's a reader or viewer.
It also feels somehow wrong to be celebrating the release of a book on such a sad day; but, I guess if Bowie taught us anything it was that art and creativity and expression trump all adversity.
It goes to show the impact that a Creative's life can have on a total stranger that I have wept twice this week for men I have never met, but yet feel I have known somehow because of what they have created and shared with us all. 

R.I.P Alan Rickman - "Always" Snape in my heart; one of the most beautifully wrought anti-heroes of all time. 
R.I.P David Bowie - Inspiration to be fearless. heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

SIGNING ANNOUNCEMENTS 2016

This year is going to be an #EPIC year for signings. I am so excited to finally be attending signings in the UK and meeting up with UK readers.

For me, signing events are the absolute cherry on the whole cake. I love meeting readers, hanging out and talking books and connecting with folks who all share a passion for books. Something magical happens when book folk get together - all the usual social rules are thrown out. Instant connections and friendships are forged.

A shared love of book immediately eradicates all of those usual complexities of human interaction. So if you would like to meet up, get some books signed, meet some incredibly inspiring, lovely people, and party until the small hours (because the term 'book signing' is in truth a synonym for party until the small hours with fabulous new friends) then check out these brilliant events.


MARCH 2016

5th March 2016 Leeds Marriott Hotel: HOURGLASS EVENTS 
60 amazing authors, a beautiful city centre venue and a chance to dine & party with authors & friends in the evening!

Leeds Marriott Hotel. 4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, England LS1 6ET.
Doors open at 10am and close at 5pm . There is an evening Masquerade Ball and Dinner in aid of the charity MIND.
Please note:
We encourage you to bring books etc with you on the day, some authors will be selling on the day.
Cash sales only

Get Tickets via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leeds-author-event-2016-tickets-15537433883 

Join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1541707772746487/?fref=ts 



19th March 2016 AINTREE RACE COURSE: DEDICATED TO BOOKS With Over 90 authors coming together across all genres for one amazing day. The signing will take place March 19th 2016 at 11am until 4pm in the Golden Miller suite at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. We will then return for an after party event also in the Golden Miller Suite at 8pm until late.
20% off ALL tickets just use JANSALE16 when you check out  via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dedicated-2-books-tickets-14572253001 
 
 
JUNE 2016 23rd-26th June 2016 Millenium Hotel. Nashville. Tennesse. USA: UTOPiA
 
Join us June 22-26, 2016 in gorgeous Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate 5 years of connecting writers of Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Adult paranormal and contemporary fiction to the resources and fans who love them.
With over 150 authors and bloggers, the event also includes panels, workshop, social events, an awards ceremony, after party, film premiers, and other truly awesome things.
 
Visit the website here http://www.utopiacon.com/
 
 
 
OCTOBER 2016
Secret Signing Event: Paris with SOCIAL DEVIANTS.
 
By the very nature of a secret signing, there isn't much information I can offer you at this point. In this exciting Parisian adventure, myself and 9 other authors (who have to remain a secret too at this point; but what I can tell you is they are all bestsellers and international names) are gathering in Paris on the weekend of 16th-18th of September. As part of our time in Paris, we will be doing a signing event at an awesome Parisian location. Keep posted for details and Contact me if this is something you are interested in.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Why is it so dark? Because nobody gives you a manual when your parents break.

This week sees the release of 'When Sorrows Come', which is categorised as a Contemporary Romance but wears it like an ill-fitting coat.

The reaction from Beta Readers has been incredible, almost every single one has told me how it moved them not just to tears but turned them into an emotional wreck - as much as I am distressed about this in some ways, there was a sweetness to the idea that it was job well done.

You seen, When Sorrows Come deals with some pretty major issues in it's small 52k wordcount; the death of parents, the remarriage, emerging sexuality, sexual abuse, recreational drug abuse, self-destructive behaviours, parental mental illness, obsession, academic pressures, murder, suicide. It's heavy going but there is a tremendous amount of hope and light too.

As a result of this somewhat gruelling journey I have taken readers on, there is the recurring theme of a question - why is it so dark? My answer is, it's not dark, it's real.

In this post I'm sharing with you some of the personal background that informed, influenced and inspired this story - they are sadly not unique experiences, but they are extraordinary, and I already anticipate some readers will find it hard to understand the events portrayed are not wildly unrealistic.

When Sorrows Come narrates the intense, passionate, twisted and unhealthy relationship of Ophelia and Malachi, but their relationship is the product of their own inner demons and desire to defeat them, rather than any kind of indulgence.
These are just some of the reasons that 'When Sorrows Come' has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have written; why every single god-damned read through has reduced me to a tearful wreck; but I know there is truth in it - and it's a truth that needs to be shared because nobody gives you a manual when one (or both) of your folks break.

Both characters in the novel are dealing with massive emotional issues. Malachi has lost his father, an eminent intellectual; a giant of  a man who Malachi feels the pressure to live up to. His mother's emerging sexuality and her hasty marriage to her late husband's brother, leaves Malachi in a maelstrom of emotions; anger, grief, resentment, disgust, humiliation, fear of failure. Added to this melting pot of fears and confusions, he begins to believe that his uncle is abusing Malachi's fourteen year old sister, who he feels he must save.

Ophelia's mother is bi-polar, her father a working-class shift worker who works hard not just because they need the money but because it offers him a valid escape from the situation of home. Ophelia's mother's bi-polar manifests in extreme highs and lows, which result in regular suicide attempts and committals to the psychiatric unit at the hospital. Ophelia is an only child, who has increasingly travelled inwards in order to survive.

Some readers will read Ophelia's character and story and believe it is too far fetched, too dark, too extreme in its representation of bi-polar, but it isn't - it really isn't, and the reason I know this is that I lived much of what is represented in the novel.

My father, a wonderful father in so many ways through my early childhood was diagnosed with serious bi-polar disorder when I was just 13 years old after a series of psychotic episodes. The ins and outs of that story, of how and why are not mine to tell, but what I feel I can tell is the experience of being a teenager living in a home where the mental illness of one parent threatens to consume the whole notion of what life is.

At seventeen years old, as an only child, I was making regular trips to an outdated and underfunded 'provincial' psychiatric unit in the local hospital. I had witnessed several 'sectioning' processes, several suicide attempts and other elements of psychotic periods. I was attending Consultant Reviews, panels and boards, fighting - literally- for the appropriate care of my father. My bedtime reading was The UK Mental Health Act so that I could go into reviews and panels armed and informed, citing and challenging the 'professionals', who were somewhat bemused and rather resistant to a 17 year old feisty, articulate girl challenging their years of medical practice. Although I was fighting for the rights of my father, more importantly (because it wasn't recognised that carers had rights at this time) I was fighting for the rights of my mother.


(Side Note in reference to some points in the novel) In the mid-nineties, the psychiatric  hospital ward my father was admitted to did still have a safe room (A padded cell) and did still use a 'modern' equivalent of a straight jacket (which looked very much like the traditional type). These details are not fanciful imagination.

At seventeen, I was also undertaking the study of 5 A-Levels, applying for Cambridge University, (which didn't happen due to a 1 grade slip; the result of a particularly harrowing month which had involved several high drama moments of police, GPs and the psych ward; there was no one to fight my corner on that one) working evenings and weekends at a local supermarket, and I was also a very committed member of a Youth Theatre; I had also started a relationship with a boy from college, who went onto be (and still is, 15 years later) my wonderful hubby.

Looking back, I can't fathom how all these multi-faceted sides of my seventeen year old self existed in the same place, time and space of my life - but they did. Despite the literal horrors I witnessed during that time, I still partied (a lot), had a fun and wide social circle, studied, played in theatre productions, started a positive romantic relationship, worked - and experienced many of the scenes which occur in 'When Sorrows Come'.

There were moments of extraordinary darkness. There were times I wished I ceased to exist - but there were other times that I felt the full force of life in all its adolescent glory. That's why the representation of Opehlia and her mother's relationship will confuse some readers; it will challenge everything they think they know about such a situation - they may find it callus in places, dismissive in others, disconnected and unreal, but it isn't that - it's that when you're in it, living it, along with all the other facets of your life, sometimes it just isn't a priority - and that's a survival mechanism.

These are just some of the reasons why, 'When Sorrows Come' has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have written; why every single god-damned read through has reduced me to a tearful wreck; but I know there is truth in it - and it's a truth that needs to be shared because nobody gives you a manual when one (or both) of your folks break.

'When Sorrows Come' is out THIS THURSDAY on all eBook platforms, Amazon Worldwide, Smashwords, Kobo, NOOK, iBOOKS, Scribd. Just type in When Sorrows Come. Katie M John and it will flag up.

It is also available in paperback from Createspace, Amazon worldwide and direct from me from February 21st.




Saturday, 9 January 2016

When Sorrows Come. Come and Party With Author Superstars!

Thursday January 14th is release day of 'When Sorrows Come'. As part of the celebration launch we are having a FB party, spanning two evenings / afternoons, and by 'WE' I mean this amazing line-up of fabulously talented authors. Seriously, I feel surrounded by superstars.

If you haven't been to a FB party before, then you're in for a serious treat. It's a special timeline where guests (and you) can post, effectively creating a virtual cocktail party. Guest authors post fabulous content such as giveaways, exclusive extracts, tell you about their books, play fan-games and generally hang out ready to engage with other folk who love books and stories.

Click on this link to activate your invite, and press going.
 
 
TIMES ARE IN EST.
2.30 EST is 7.30pm GMT (1.30pm CST 11.30am PT)...
 
THURSDAY 14th THURSDAY
2:30-3:00pm est - Author Katie M John
3:00-3:30pm est - Tricia Copeland, Author
3:30-4:00pm est - J.N. Sheats - Author & Illustrator
4:00-4:30pm est - Author Katie M John
4:30-5:00pm est - Susan Burdorf
5:00-5:30pm est - Christina Benjamin
5:30-6:00pm est - Mary J. Williams
6:00-6:30pm est - Elle Henry
6:30-7:00pm est - Author Katie M John

FRIDAY 15th JANUARY
2.30- 3.00pm est - Author Katie M John
3.00- 3.30pm est - Carlyle Labuschagne
3.30- 4.00pm est - Mercedes Prunty Author
4.30 -5.00pm est - JoAnna S. Morris
5.00 - 5.30pm est -C. M. McCoy
5.30- 6.00pm est - Author Hazel Robinson
6.00 - 6.30pm est - KD Wood
6.30-7 .00pm est - Author Katie M John

Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. It promises to be a really lovely event.

Fierce Wings. Secret Group.

January saw the establishment of 'Fierce Wings', the secret fan group of Katie M John. If you want all the inside info, behind the scenes access, heads-up about secret signings; exclusive giveaways, limited edition swag, exclusive extracts, and to generally be loved by this author (me) then this is the group for you. Membership will be capped at 250 folk as to keep the group a true community.


 
 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Poetry products of NaNoWriMo2015

I set out to write a novel, but amongst the prose, poetry formed. Here is one of the poems that the MC Rafe writes for Juliet. It's called Heart Storm and it is a poem about love that should not be, but is. I hope you enjoy it; it's a good few years since I wrote any serious poetry.
 
 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Beautiful Freaks Season 1 Introduction & Giveaway

 

#UpperYA #Gothic #Dreadpunk #VictorianLondon #FairyTales #Feminist
#ParanormalRomance #Detective #Murder
 
 

Beautiful Freaks: A Serialised Story in 12 parts.

SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city.

Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. www.katiemjohn.com 

You can pre-order Episodes 1 and 2 which are both out on December 3rd 2015 from Amazon worldwide platforms
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0164JRJYU

GIVEAWAY
For your chance to win a very special Beautiful Freaks Hamper, to include a beautiful Freaks Mug, pen, signed paperback of the original novel, 'Beautiful Freaks' on which the series is based, then follow the Rafflecopter giveaway prompts below.
The giveaway is open to international, but please be aware for places outside of the UK and Europe then prize will be sent surface mail and may take 6-8 weeks to arrive (especially over Christmas period)

a Rafflecopter giveaway