Friday, 26 August 2016

FREE BOOKS! Why I put Books 1 of my series on free.

Who doesn't love a good freebie. Did you know that you can get both Book 1 of 'The Meadowsweet Chronicles', and Book 1 of 'The Knight Trilogy' free on all ebook platforms? Well you can.

I made the decision to put Books 1 of both my series on perma-free after much thought. I'm not a household name, and despite having had some fabulous sales, several best-selling rankings, and beautiful star gradings on all of the various (and sometimes scary) review platforms, I am not a USA Today bestseller or any of that other astronomically awesome stuff, but I do write books that most people who make a punt on, enjoy - and there are many (according to star ratings) who enjoy them very much indeed.
Book 1. 'Witchcraft' is free on all eBook platforms.
Go to www.katiemjohn.com to pick up the links

But there are just so many authors out there shouting to be heard - many authors who are amazing, and who tell the most bewitching and talented stories, but who get lost in the bun-fight. Way before I was an author, I became a reader - and I know how it is... it takes a lot to invest in a book, especially when you have a fearsome reading habit and a purse that doesn't match it. And it isn't just money - there's this silent communication of trust that runs between a reader and an author when you pick up a book - it's a don't let me down kind of thing; I've trusted you, I've invested in you - please don't be crap LOL

Well, my view as an author is, I want to share stories more than I want to make money (although it would be nice to be able to pay for luxuries like food, light, school shoes for the kids, notebooks and wine... most importantly wine)

My thought is, if I give you book one of my series, (both of which took over a year to write and over a thousand pounds to produce - not accounting for my actual time because authors often like to deny the idea of actually having a salary, but let's say we do take that into account - at least 20 thousand pounds if I was running my own sweat shop, which I am...) then if you like it, you move onto the next book priced at a fair (and some would argue, still too cheaply priced) $2.99-$3.99 / £2.99-£3.99

I know there have been some readers who have found this policy annoying. They think that if Book One is free then all other books from that author should be free - well, yeah, you guys are smart enough to see why that a) isn't sustainable and b) just isn't fair.

Book 1 'The Forest of Adventures' is free on all
ebook platforms. Head to www.katiemjohn.com to
pick up the links. 
The other thing we (as reader and author) are doing, is sticking up to Amazon just a little - not that I don't love love them (I really do love you Amazon, honest) You see, what most readers don't realise is that Amazon (I love you) have this really (some might say 'evil') policy that if you are an author and you price your book under $2.99 then you can only reap a 30% royalty from them. Yep, that's right, folks, every single $0.99 book you ever buy, the author gets just $0.33!

However, as soon as a book is priced over $2.99 then the royalty goes up to a whopping 70%. Now you know how the market has been swamped with $0.99 deals, and how that has forced the market into thinking that is a new norm - well it isn't, and quite frankly, it's a little sickening to sell your book for a 1/3 of the price of a coffee, knowing that you are going to get just $0.33 (£0.20p) from each sale.

Personally, I would rather give you the book and we set up this whole reader, author relationship of trust, whereby I provide you stories you like, and you support my writing by future purchases at a fair price that plays the Amazon game sweetly - and if you feel so inclined, to leave a review as well that would be amazingly awesome - because weirdly, the more reviews you have (whatever star rating) it pushes you up the rankings and makes you more visible on searches etc.

So there we are - that's why I give away my books - not because they're crap but because I love you.

They're free on all platforms - and if you head over to www.katiemjohn.com - right there on the landing page is the links to Amazon and iBooks - you can't miss them. And whilst you're there, feel free to take a little tour around at my other 7 books ;)




Introducing the founder of Little Bird Publishing....



That will be me.

Many of you don't realise that as well as being a 'full time' (that's a bit of an inside joke) writer, I am also the founder of Little Bird Publishing House.

Originally, I set Little Bird Publishing House up as my own unique press. It was designed to be the business front of my indie publishing career, and it worked really well. This was way back in 2010 when the idea of owning your own publishing house was still quite a novelty in the whole indie book world.

However, with the boom in indie books and authors, I began to see a LOT of dream paddlers; people offering to take your book, charge you a couple of thousand pounds and turn it into a bestseller - yeah, right!

It wasn't right - and it wasn't fair, and by late 2013, I had learned SOOO much on my steep learning curve, it felt time to help some other folks out. I began branching the idea of a publishing house with the establishment of two anthology projects. Dark Heart & Night Shade. It was an amazing way of testing the ground to see if I was ready to actually become not only an indie author, but a publisher, too. The Dark Heart & Night Shade projects led to some fabulous author friendships, and two of the authors are now fully-fledged Little Bird authors.

Fast forward to 2016 and we are a publishing family of ten; Hazel Robinson, Toya Richardson, Helen Whapshott, Alison Clarke, Martin Ferguson, Jo Richardson, Jill Turner, Katie M. John (me) and in 2017 Brandon Robb and L. Keane will be joining us. And when I use the term family, I don't use it lightly. As a collective of authors, we support each other, encourage, build, lend a hand, and generally hang out on social media.

My mission with Little Bird is and always has been that we are stronger together. That when we begin to work as a community of artists, amazing things happen - and they do.

I treat every single one of the books that run through Little Bird as dearly as my own, from the first initial edits, to the art work, to the marketing, to the love of the story - all Little Bird books are my beautiful nieces and nephews. Every author I work with is respected for their own unique and beautiful voice - that's what Little Bird is about; not crushing authors and creatives into a marketing book, but giving unique voices a chance to shine.

Every single Little Bird Book is worked until it is of a quality ready for readership - and the reviews, awards and fan-bases prove that.

I don't worry about markets and sales trends when it comes to selecting the stories we are going to publish, I focus on the story, on the author behind the story - and it doesn't matter if it sells 10,000 copies, or 10, every single story is important. Every single author's voice is important.

The thing about writing and defining oneself as an author is that it's freaking scary as hell. You're terrified that someone is going to 'out' you as a fraud, that someone is going to knock you down so hard that your'e never going to quite get up - and although it isn't always the nicest of worlds, by creating a community of authors who have genuine friendships grown through shared experiences and belonging to something a little bigger than being all by themselves, it makes the whole thing a lot less scary, and a hell of a lot more exciting.

In 2017 we see the next big step for us as a publishing house. We are the primary sponsors of Chapter.Con London and many of the Little Bird Family will be attending and manning our Little Bird super table, and we are also going to have a full publishing table at Leeds in 2018 with Hourglass Events. We are always growing and despite sometimes feeling like I have a million hats to wear, editor, designer, publisher, marketer, author, business woman, it's an amazingly fulfilling way to live.

If you want to find out more about Little Bird Publishing, or if you are an indie author who thinks that they might like to try a different kind of indie publishing, then you can see our public website www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com, which also has a link for authors to our publisher's website www.littlebirdpublishinghouse.com 



You can also come over and give us a LIKE at our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter at @LittlebirdPub - which amusingly is not a place you can procure beer from, but keep up to date with what we are all doing.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

UTOPiA 2016: Review

So this is a little late in being written but it's because it takes me a while to decompress after UTOPiA. The Convention which is held in Nashville Tennessee (USA) and which is founded by Janet Wallace, holds a very special place in my heart.

Last year was the first time I had been to a convention, and the first time I had been to the States. It is not a cliche or over statement to say that my trip to UTOPiA (or UTOPYA) as it was then was life changing.

It
Changed
My
Life.

Seriously. If I was to tell you how much, and in all the various ways it changed my life, I would have to take up several hours of your time, but know this -- I went to UTOPYA as one person and came back different. It was a moment of metamorphosis. I can never thank my beautiful UTOPYA tribe enough for filling me from tip-to-toe with love, encouragement, inspiration, and confidence. 4 days with those folks is like super-charging the battery to the point you could literally fire yourself off into space.

So this year I returned, knowing that like all good things you experience, it's dangerous ground to go back and try and relive it - and it was different; I was no longer embarking on some scary, thrilling new adventure, I was going home.

Home.

Four little letters, and a meaning as great as the universe. That's how it felt when I walked through the doors of the Millennium Maxwell. I spent the first few days hugging and laughing, and generally being beyond excited to see people who have become more than friends, but family - a sisterhood. UTOPiA gets me, and I love it fiercely.

With Susan Burdorf, Author
This year, I wanted to give back to the UTOPiA community, and headed up an anthology with some truly talented UTOPiAns, called 'Revolution.' Working together on something that meant so much to us all, allowed me the great privilege of really getting to know authors I didn't particularly know so well before hand, and beautiful friendships grew from that project. A massive thanks to Christina Benjamin, Caroline A Gill, Kelly Risser, Jessie Campbell, Raye Wagner, Tricia Zoeller, Nooce Miller and Kelly Risser.

Profits from the sale of the anthology are going to Carlyle Labuschagne's charity 'Help Build A Library In South Africa.' (Links are at end of this post)

This year I exhibited again, and it was bonkers to see how my stand had grown since only a year before. It was a symbol of the journey I've taken - and this time, I remembered to take the Cadbury's chocolate.

I was up for nomination for a UTOPiA award for two of my titles, 'When Sorrows Come' and 'Beautiful Freaks' - I can't express in words, how much that meant to me, but if you were here with me now, I would demonstrate it through interpretative dance. (Just think Kate Bush and you'd be somewhere in the right ballpark)

I was also beyond privileged to chair a panel on formatting - now, I tell you, those guys knew what they were talking about, and we, as a team, demonstrated that not only is formatting the  coolest element of book making, but that it is also extremely important. It was an absolute pleasure to chair and felt like another step in my journey.

There are so many precious moments, from last minute swag making with my beautiful friend Carlyle Labuschagne and her publisher Erika (nice to meet you, BTW!), to being on the Karaoke support team with the wonderful Ashley Bodette, to hugging the amazingly beautiful Carol Kunz, to midnight sorority parties with Chelsea Fine and S.M Boyce, two women who I admire beyond measure and who one day I aspire to be, to meeting up with my beautiful friend Patti Larsen, who inspires me to write more, although I'll never catch up with her gazillion books, to hanging with the legend that is Janet Wallace, to having the table best table buddy ever, KD Wood, to the late night PJ font party with Jo Michaels, to sushi with the beautiful Christina Benjamin, to Tequila contests with my buddies Chelsea Stirling and Christina Mercer, to treasured moments with my dear friend Susan Burdorf, and to sharing soul with Stacie Wilson. oh, my goodness I could go on and on... and there are so many amazing souls and dear friends who I also shared such special moments with - you know who you are.

These moments fill me up for the rest of the year. They make me feel like I belong to something wonderful, positive, creative and world-changing. Being in the presence of so many kind and loving people who want to lift as they climb is something that is literally priceless.

So, now it's time for a little spate of the post-Utopia blues, but what makes that manageable is the fact that I had already purchased my ticket for 2017 back in March and my flight tickets are already booked.







With my lovely friend, the author of 'Our Song' Ashley Bodette 

Awards Night with Chelsea Stirling and Christina Mercer

With my beautiful and ridiculously talented friend Christina Benjamin (Author of the Geneva Chronicles) 

With Chelsea Stirling <3 nbsp="" td="">

With the incredible Patti Larsen. My Superhero. This woman is a writing machine. 

With the founder of UTOPiA, Janet Wallace. An inspiration and  honoured to be able to call friend. 

With the awesome Tina Donelly and author, and table buddy, and friend for life KD WOOD

Revolution Anthology links: You can get your copy in either Paperback or eBook from the following links
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01I1OVE56
USA
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I1OVE56  

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT UTOPiA 2017 over at http://www.utopiacon.com

COVER REVEAL. Book 4 of The Meadowsweet Chronicles "ANGELICUS"

So with the forthcoming publication of Book 3 of 'The Meadowsweet Chronicles', 'DEVILRY' coming out this October, I am delighted to share with you the title of Book 4, which is 'ANGELICUS' and I am even more excited to share with you the cover.

ANGELICUS is due to be released in April 2017. So without further ado, here is the very first unveiling of the cover for ANGELICUS (Book 4 of The Meadowsweet Chronicles)



Book 3, 'DEVILRY' is coming out on October 1st 2016. You can read more about that at the following post http://katiemjohn.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/big-news-devilry-is-coming.html

Saturday, 30 July 2016

BIG NEWS! Devilry is Coming.

At last you cry! What have you been doing, woman? Well I've been incredibly busy doing authors things, and one of those is finishing Book 3 of 'Meadowsweet Chronicles' -- by jove! I've done it - and honestly, I can't tell you how happy I am.

Book 3 is (and I know I am just a tiny bit biased) but totally freaking awesome - you're going to see a real steps into the dark, and there are more secrets revealed about the Meadowsweet Sisters and nefarious Chase blood line than you can shake a wand at.

'Devilry' sees the Meadowsweet trinity broken, Fox still in denial about the crazy big role she has in saving the world from a paranormal apocalypse, Bunny falling in love with an ultimate bad boy, Will, just being the gorgeous Will he is (or is he? *side-eye*) and Jeremiah Chase being haunted by his family demons (quite literally) and all of this is just what is taking place in Hearten.

Whilst this is happening in the not so sleepy English village, the dastardly Ravenhearts are marauding around South America and dashing over to Haiti in an attempt to find dark enough magic to recover their sister and repair their trinity. The Southern Territory Clan are undergoing the ultimate bitch fight for the high priestess crown, and poor old Melody Drake is on the run with the heroic cowboy, Ethan.

And if that wasn't enough excitement for one book, Fred, still deep in mourning for Swan Meadowsweet, discovers not only the Meadowsweet secret, but one very special secret of his own.

Devilry will be on pre-order in the next week, I'll update this post when the links are live. It is due out October 1st 2016.

In the meantime, if you haven't started reading The Meadowsweet Chronicles yet, book 1 is on Amazon Kindle and iBooks perma-free, so enjoy!

UK KINDLE https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NG5CLTE
USA KINDLE https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NG5CLTE
iBOOKS https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id950645919



Saturday, 23 July 2016

When You've fallen from the Horse...

When you fall off your horse, and you end up with a bruised ego, there's only one thing to do, get back on it.

Seriously, dust yourself down. Swallow your pride, and with dogged determination, start over, and this time do it better, do it bigger - make sure it works.

Some of you will have read my post from earlier this month, in which I honestly share with you the monumental upset of organising a signing event and it being a total disaster - or, if viewed another way, an incredible life-learning experience from which a whole amazing experience flourished.

You can read that post here - http://katiemjohn.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/when-things-dont-go-to-plan-success-is.html  It's part one of this extraordinary journey.

Here is part two.. I hope you enjoy this 2min video that tells you the rest of my story. I hope it inspires you to go out and slay your own demons. And when you've done it, call back in here and share your photos, videos and stories.



A few photos from the evening.



Monday, 4 July 2016

I Defy You Stars! NEW CONTEMPORARY YA RELEASE

'I Defy You Stars'is my latest ContemporaryYA and it is part of the Shakespeare Collection. Taking inspiration from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, it tells the story of Juliet and Rafe, a complex love story set against a backdrop of divorce, street art, poetry, illegal underground fighting, city riots, and a terrible accident.

With both Juliet and Rafe's life unravelling, it's the story of an inevitable high-speed journey towards tragedy.

'I Defy You Stars' is available in paperback and eBook at Amazon worldwide.

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GKEP0WM

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GKEP0WM




THE BOOK TRAILER FOR 'I DEFY YOU, STARS' 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

When Things Don't Go To Plan. Success is not a staircase but a mountain range.

Okay, so that's quite a long title but it's a complicated issue. June 30th was the launch of my newest Contemporary YA, 'I Defy You Stars' - which is part of the Shakespeare Collection. Wanting to take the next step on my author journey, and to push myself way out of my comfort zone, I set about organising a really exciting micro-signing project with the idea that my brave step into the unknown would inspire others to take a similar leap.

Well I did leap, and this is what happened. I ended up (not only with an awesome YouTube thumbnail - don't you just love having just 3 to choose from, and trust me, this was the best) but inspiring fellow authors in a way I hadn't quite expected.

So to all of you who think that being a rock star author is simply a matter of putting one foot in front of the other on that steep incline to success, here's my story.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

This week is the release week of the paperback and ebook omnibus editions of 'Beautiful Freaks' - an Upper YA, Gothic detective fairytale. 
Yay - now both volumes are available on Kindle. Come and let Hugh Denvers lead you into the labyrinthine, hedonistic streets of Victorian London.
I'm also having a week long FB event to celebrate. Open house for guest authors (YA friendly) https://www.facebook.com/events/166990803704316/ 
It would be lovely to see you there. 

BLURB: Beautiful Freaks: Season 1. 

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. 

PAPERBACKS
Volume1: Episode 1-6
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Freaks-Season-One-Episodes/dp/1523934441
Volume 2: Episode 7-12
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Freaks-Season-One-Episodes/dp/1532701586

KINDLE

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.