So Over It has officially hit the virtual shelves and not only that, but a special 2-in-1 edition is out for your one-click pleasure.
Reviews are coming in and I'm thrilled to say that Over It is being hailed as funnier and better than its predecessor, The Kiss Off.
But there is one common complaint I'm seeing a bit, and that is to do with book 3's release date.
I don't think it's going to be able to hit the shelves before 2015.
Before you grab your pitchforks, there is a really good reason for this, and it's all for the better of the book!
As those of you who have read Over It already will probably gather, All Access Pass (The Kiss Off 3) is going to be set abroad.
Poppy's going traveling.
And in order to get the details right, I'm going to go there myself! When my contract finishes at Lonely Planet at the end of March, it's sayonara Australia!
Where am I going though, you ask? Well here is one place:
Can you imagine Poppy let loose in a place like Tokyo?
On the list of places to check out for Poppy's amusement, are cat cafes. And maybe stay in a Capsule Hotel.
And karaoke with some harajuku girls. And go to a robot cabaret restaurant! And of course get totally into J-Pop and manga.
I'm really looking forward to it.
Then after Tokyo I'm hopping over to Europe on a working holiday for UP TO TWO YEARS (basically until I run out of money and am ready to come home).
So I can't even START writing All Access Pass until April, and I'm going to spend a lot of time traveling after that as well.
So, I'm sorry it's a bit of a wait, but it will be totally worth it! I'm not even there and I have ideas for the book already. But I'm sure once I hit Japan they're just going to get even BETTER.
If you haven't checked out The Kiss Off series, well what are you waiting for?
Not Safe for Public Reading though, I'm told. You'll make a fool of yourself laughing.
Love you lots, you crazy minxes.
It finally has a release date! Hooray!
And it's only weeks away which is even more exciting.
Be sure to check out the blog tour hosted by YA Reads Tours - not only will these fabulous bloggers be telling you what they think of The Kiss Off and/or Over It (eep!) but you'll have the chance to win an iTunes giftcard, paperbacks or signed postcards and magnets!
Here are the blogs to check out:
abookandalattee - Review Book 1
I Want To Read That - Review Book 2
Turning Pages - Review Book 1
Reading with ABC - Review Book 1
My Heart Hearts Books - Review Books 1 & 2
Six Mixed Reviews - Review Books 1 &2
JP's Blog - Review Book 1
Kate's Tales of Books and Bands - Review Book 2
abookandalattee- Review Book 2
Maji Bookshelf - Review Book 2
Book Briefs - Review Book 2
The Book Beacon - Review Book 1
The Reader's Antidote - Review Book 2
JP's Blog - Review Book 2
Crazed Bookie - Review Book 2
Jessica's Bookworld - Review Books 1 & 2
A Word's Worth - Review Book 2
Book Binge - Review Book 2
Literary Chanteuse - Review Book 2
Turning Pages - Review Book 2
YaReads - Review Book 1
Racing To Read - Review Book 1
Lissette E. Manning- Review Book 2
I'm A Book Shark - Review Book 2
Above Average Below Special - Review Book 2
If you're on Netgalley, you can request a copy of Over It to review, yourself!
All my love,
Long time no talk, I KNOW.
Sorry about that.
I just wanted to give you an update on Over It, the second Kiss Off book.
I said it was coming out in July, and clearly that didn't happen. Judging from the search terms people are using to find my website, there are a lot of you looking forward to it and you have no idea how bad I feel that I haven't delivered it yet.
My early readers really liked it and gave me fantastic (and really helpful) feedback and I love them to pieces for it. But there's just something that doesn't feel right about it yet. To me. Something's missing, something's wrong, and I've been wracking my brain, I just don't know how to fix it. And honestly, the last thing I want to do is give you guys a bad book. You deserve better than that. I'm itching to get started on book 3 and a couple of other projects but I must MUST get to a happy point with Over It first.
So I'm sitting here trying to work out what's wrong and how to fix it and make it something you'll enjoy and I'm probably putting too much pressure on it, but there ya go.
In the mean time, I now have a one-and-a-half hour commute each way on two trains and two buses to a job I love so I have lots of reading time.
Here are some books that I've read lately and really enjoyed that you might enjoy too. It might make the wait a little less frustrating. Click on the covers to see more on Goodreads!
Sign up to my newsletter to be the absolute first to know when Over It is released and what's coming next.
Hope you're all doing well and reading rad books!
I have this weird habit of doing a heap of blog posts within a couple of days of each other and then disappearing off the face of the Earth for a while, don't I.
Sorry about that.
Lots of things have been going on with me, one of which I've been wanting to tell you about for months but decided not to until it was all finalised, just in case it fell through.
Which it did, so I'm glad I didn't tell you at the time.
The Publishing Deal
A couple of months ago I was approached by a US-based small press who wanted to publish The Kiss Off series and potentially make a web series and then, in a couple of years, pitch it to Hollywood as a TV show. OMG, am I right?
After lots of back and forthing on the contract and making sure I was clear on what everything meant, I decided to pass on the deal and keep publishing my own way. I was bummed I came to that decision, but that specific deal wasn't the right one for me.
I held off on doing revisions and editing of Over It (The Kiss Off 2) because I thought I was taking the deal and the small press would be providing me with an editor.
It's been to some amazing beta readers who gave me excited and incredibly helpful feedback, but it hasn't been revised and edited yet.
It was extremely timely that Stephanie Perkins came out recently about how her new book has been pushed back a year due to her struggles with depression, as it's something I've been wanting to discuss here but haven't been brave enough to do so until now.
I, too, have depression and honestly, it's been hitting me harder and harder every time I fall down. Writing comedy (or at all) is pretty damn impossible when the world feels dark and hopeless. So I haven't been. I know Over It is supposed to be out in July, but I don't think I'm going to make it.
As many of you probably know, I work for myself as a freelance editor and book cover designer and as much as I enjoy the work and know I'm good at what I do, times have been tight, as I mostly work for independent authors, I don't charge a proper wage because it's a huge chunk of change for one person to bear. Worry over how to support myself has been a constant rainy cloud hanging over my head. I had to move two hours away from my social sphere and though I've had a support network, I've felt quite isolated here. I have to say no a lot to spending time with friends and helping them celebrate milestones because of a stupid thing called money, and living too far away.
I applied for a grant which I truly thought I was a perfect candidate for, through which I was going to jet over to America and attend Book Expo America, have a stall at American Library Association conference and attend Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators conference, LA, visit friends around the country and organise some group book signings with awesome writer friends everywhere I went. I am craving an adventure and this was going to be it, fo sho.
I didn't get it.
But Things Are Looking Up...
I just got a new job as a Digital Editor at an international publisher with a great team and a great work culture and I'm going to be earning a normal person's salary which has taken a load off my mind and is already helping me feel hopeful and, frankly, like a human being again instead of a black cloud.
Not only that, but it's back in Melbourne where my social life is and I should be moving back and in with some friends within a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to starting my new job, though I also have three editing jobs booked for the same time period so moving house teamed with working full time and finishing up two Billington Media jobs and one for Month9Books means I don't know if I'll be sleeping, let alone revising Over It.
Other Good News
I attended my graduation ceremony two weeks ago, I'm officially a graduate! I wore the gown! I walked across the stage! I have the certificate! And the head of my course told me she nominated me for Student of the Year as well which is an unexpected honour (I didn't get it, but I didn't expect to).
Book Cover Design
I've been practicing my book cover design of late and having a good time doing it. I guess it's another form of creative outlet for me while I'm not writing. I made some pre-made book covers that people can buy from Billington Media (like me on Facebook to see them as I make them) for use on their own book and I think they're turning out really well. Not bad for self-taught, right?
I was interviewed on the radio station 3mFM three weeks ago about my books which was exciting, though so embarrassing to hear myself on the radio! The best bit of the day was when they took me through how radio works. If I was going to stick around the area I was totally going to volunteer at the radio station and be a DJ! Not of a talk show or anything, but still. Maybe I can find somewhere to do that in Melbourne. When my time's freed up again.
I've run a couple of self-publishing workshops recently and they went really, really well. I enjoyed doing them and the participants told me they were really informative.
Coal Creek Literary Festival
I've been invited to speak at the Coal Creek Literary Festival in October!
On a final note, leaving you with something awesome, I recently discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube and promptly spent a whole weekend watching all 110 (3-7 minute) episodes.
Say goodbye to your week right now.
If you are a book blogger and you would like an early copy of Over It (The Kiss Off #2) then fill in the below form and GET ONE.
Warning: Sexual References, occasional coarse language.
Teen Youtube song writing sensation Poppy Douglas's lead singer boyfriend Ty's been criss-crossing the country and living it up on tour for months while Poppy has been stuck in the boring suburbs, finishing out the school year.
But it's Summer now, and the best thing just happened: Poppy's royalties for writing the hit song The Kiss Off just came in. She's minted, and she knows just what she's going to blow it on.
Ty's band Academy of Lies are headlining a summer music festival, and Poppy is taking her girlfriends along for the best weekend of their lives. It's all organized: the weekend is going to be full of camping under the stars, backstage passes, VIP rooms and partying like rock stars, not to mention some long awaited one-on-one time with America's favorite front man.
Except, when someone drops out of the trip and Poppy takes the opportunity to mend a broken friendship, it doesn't quite go according to plan. And when she meets her boyfriend's BFF from another band, the paparazzi form their own totally wrong conclusions. There's also the matter of Ty's 'super fan' stalker, but the less said about her the better.
The biggest test of all comes in the form of an opportunity too good to pass up. But will insecurities and jealousy stand in Poppy's way? Can Poppy and Ty's relationship even survive it?
Life is about to get much more complicated for Poppy Douglas, but what can you expect when your boyfriend is a rock star?
In case you didn't know, I'm giving away a SIGNED paperback of Life Was Cool Until You Got Popular on Goodreads!
It's happening now. Someone's gotta win it, so go enter now!
Australia's Hardie Grant Egmont have a new series of contemporary YA that sound like lots of fun. But you know what I REALLY love?
These covers! What do you all think?
I think they look like summer fun! What covers are you loving at the moment?
I love my fans and readers. You don't even know.
Some of them email me to tell me how much they liked my work, others write reviews or leave star ratings, still others tell their friends about my books and then others, just because they want to, do amazing things like this.
Thank you Yvonne! It's so cool, right? How clever is she? (Answer: Very.)
The amazing and hilarious Red Tash's Troll Or Derby is a 4.7 star fantasy with 58 reviews. The ebook normally retails for $4.99, but to celebrate its return to Nook, iTunes, and other epub platforms, the book will be on sale for only $.99 on all ebook stores, including Amazon, from April 19-22nd (so get it NOW while it's cheap. I already have it!).
Links: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iTunes, Kobo
“Your parents probably won't want you to read this book. Read it, anyway. Five stars.” Ian Seta, Floating Leaves Reviews / Indie Bookshelf
What's it About?
Debra Wheeler seems like any other high school reject: at fifteen, she's more into roller skating than boys, and Mom plays favorites with big sister Gennifer, the homecoming princess. With little to love in ultra-rural Bedrock, Indiana, Deb's counting down the days until she can skate away to join the roller derby.
When Gennifer is kidnapped, Mom's breakdown forces Deb to take charge. With no clue where to start and thugs on her tail, she turns to the only adult who has ever helped her out in a jam: Coach, the owner of the skating rink. So what if he has tusks and might be a troll? Coach gives her a pair of magical skates and sends her off into a world that reveals a magical, if somewhat sinister, nature. Deb soon discovers that beneath the "glamours" of everyday life flit a million fantastical stories--and her own might be the juiciest gossip in town.
The Midwestern lifestyle every teenager loves to hate is turned inside out as Deb careens through Rumspringa, biker gangs, flea markets and tractor pulls--all teeming with fae. The valiant troll Harlow tries to intervene before Deb strays from her mission into romance and roller derby, but will they join forces to save Gennifer, or be lost to this strange new realm, forever?
Readers will find Deb a smart and witty narrator who--like them--says the wrong thing, wishes she could be someone else, and falls for the wrong person. They'll be drawn in by a girl who is independent and street smart, and they'll fall for her destined BFF, the whimsical troll loner who guides them through this quirky dark fantasy romp.
About the Author
Red Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist of dark fantasy for readers of all ages. Monsters, SciFi, wizards, trolls, fairies, and roller derby lightly sautéed in a Southern/Midwestern sauce await you in her pantry of readerly delights. Y'all come, anytime.
I turned 29 yesterday.
And as it's that much closer to the big 3-0 it has made me reflective on how I have changed as a person, which has made me think about what I like to write about: the trials and tribulations and pretty horribleness of being a teenager.
Teenage years are hard, you guys. I'm sure this isn't news to you; some of you are probably nodding along with me, going 'oh yeah, girl speaks truth, ya'll' (I don't know why I imagine you're a southern belle, but I do, so just go with) to your memories as well, and others of you are living those tough teenage years right now.
Well I want to tell you, it gets better. You grow up, not just in age but in your self-belief and confidence, as well. You start to become you.
I used to have a bit of social phobia and be so scared of public speaking. Wow, was that terrifying, and it made me not do things. Not go to parties, not introduce myself to people and definitely not stand up in front of a crowd and have my opinions heard, let alone present a speech! But over time, I guess I've slowly built up my confidence. Introduced myself to one person, and then a group. I've taken charge of situations and shared my experiences to help others.
Heck, I moved to England for a semester at University and if I was going to have any friends for those six months I had no choice but to take the bull by the horns and introduce myself (whattup Leeds Swing Soc!) as best I could.
Okay, my fears haven't gone away ENTIRELY, I can still draw blanks and be all paranoid when introducing myself to strangers, and talking on a STAGE in front of a CROWD is still pretty scary, but I know I CAN do these things now. I say yes to the opportunity even THOUGH I'm scared. When I was younger, I thought these fears that stopped me doing things were just a part of me. They would be with me forever.
But I want to tell you it's not the case, and it probably won't be for you either. You'll change. Grow. You'll become you, because you might not be YOU yet, not completely, and that's okay. I'm not completely ME, but I feel like I'm getting there. I know who I am.
It didn't happen suddenly, there wasn't this one moment and I didn't just snap out of my fears and am this big extrovert who does cartwheels and stand up comedy in front of auditoriums, but it's happening slowly, and only in reflection do I realise that things that used to scare me just don't anymore.
I'm running the first of three intensive workshops today on self publishing. People are paying for my expertise. I'm an EXPERT. For someone who compares herself to others and often feels like she falls short, this is a pretty big deal.
But you know what? I AM an expert. I know this stuff and I have valuable experiences of failures and successes to share.
And I don't feel as nervous as I thought I would at teaching a four hour class.
I don't actually feel that nervous at all.
I was surprised at that, which is what got me thinking on all this in the first place.
I'm proud of who I'm becoming as a person, and I hope you take the time to think about it and are proud of you, too.
I, Sarah Billington, am an Australian writer of romantic comedies, thrillers, zombies, a TV extra, travel blogger for Expedia and animal blogger for Zookie. I also edit other peoples work sometimes, be they authors or businesses, and design their page layout and book covers.