I’m Terrible With Deadlines

I’m two days late for my regular blog post! I’m a terrible person, I’m so sorry… I don’t even had an excuse, I just forgot 😦 I’m sorry, guys. I think last weekend’s events are catching up with me. Been recharging my batteries. Introversion, for the win!

So, what’s new? Well, it’s my birthday in two days, and I’ve got absolutely nothing planned at all. Well, I’m going for a Chinese with my parents on the nighttime, but that’s about it. I haven’t planned to meet any of my friends or anything. I should probably get on that. To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed my birthday was so close o.O

I might send a last minute message around.

Birthday Dragon! :D

Birthday Dragon! ^-^

Anyway, we’re getting close to the end of the editing stage before zooming The Old Ways off to the formatter. And, of course, what do we find? An enormous gaping plot hole -_- *facepalm*

It’s easily fixed, so that’s not so bad. I’m really surprised we haven’t picked up on it before… I suppose it’s in the middle of a really intense chapter, so people aren’t really paying that much attention to the one particular character who falls into the plot hole.

We’ll fix it, no worries.

Also! (eep, this is exciting!) I’m going to be interviewed by Dianna Gunn at The Dabbler! :O Keep an eye on this fantastic site for upcoming news about new books. And if you subscribe, you get some pretty awesome writing and planning resources!

(And I am absolutely not jealous at all about how cool her website is… 🙂 )

I promise I’ll try and keep up with my regular posting schedule from now on.

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

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Tatty & Katie Take London 2015: Slytherins on Tour!

We’re hoooome! London was absolutely amazing. If you ever get the chance to do the Harry Potter tour at the Warner Bros. Studios, definitely definitely go do it, because it’s fascinating and fantastic. I did a little vlog of the highlights on my own personal Facebook, but I figured I’d run through some of the best bits with you guys.

Slytherincrest

Day 1 – Travel, Arrival and First Night

So the train ride down to London was a little delayed, so it took us about five hours instead of three to actually arrive in London. Taryn and I had opposite aisle seats with a table, and as the window seats were vacant, we figured we’d shimmy along so we could get a better view of the British countryside. Of course, this lasted about half an hour, until two obnoxious older men boarded, and basically told us to move. Didn’t ask, no. Told. Wow. After realising one of them was extremely hungover, we returned the rudeness by eating Doritos as loudly and as messily as possible.

So they eventually left at their stop. They did apologise, and because we’re Northern we both sort of went “Oh, no, it’s okay! Don’t worry about it!” while brushing Dorito crumbs off our shirts.

And then another couple boarded. This time, an American mother and daughter who were also heading down to London. And, because geekiness brings people together, we discovered that they two were Harry Potter fans, so we chatted and talked and pretty much became friends 😀 oh, and of course I plugged The Old Ways to them. The mother was a librarian back in the states, so she seemed really interested. They were great fun 😀

So we arrived in London, and stepping off the train thought that somehow we had ended up in Spain. Oh my goodness, it was so HOT. I think the temperature jumped about 20 degrees. I was foolish enough to wear tall boots and socks and a black t-shirt, so I pretty much melted. This weather didn’t let up, either. It remained a bajillion degrees almost the entire weekend.

The view from our hotel window :D

The view from our hotel window

Our first night, we were also given a complimentary meal, for which we could choose any restaurant from an Imperial Franchise hotel. So we decided on a nice-looking hotel down the street. Okay, we’ll never do that again. The food, although it was nice, was kinda cold. The staff were beyond rude. And we were practically pushed out of the door without ceremony. There was no friendliness at all. Not one waiter smiled. We felt very intimidated. But, thankfully, it was the only time we felt uncomfortable during our trip.

Day 2 – Warner Bros Studios

This was the day we’d been building up to. The most exciting day of the whole weekend. The Harry Potter tour! Dressed, of course, in our Slytherin t-shirts (Slytherin Pride, yo!)

We had our breakfast and headed off. We arrived a little early, so we went to a cafe and had a cuppa while we waited. This place was nice. It was cute and cosy and a little small, but it felt quite homey, so we could relax here. Our tour bus arrived, and we headed off to the studio.

Would've been cool if it had been designed to look like the Knight Bus, but y'know :)

It was still blisteringly hot outside, so we shuffled along inside and milled about for a while. Eventually we got inside (a little late because of the length of the queue). The tour… wow. It’s apparently meant to last about 2 hours, but we stayed from 11:30 until about 3:30. Apparently the record is 13 hours?! :O

So we got the initial guided tour of the Great Hall (and got very offended when some people booed the Slytherin robes against the wall), and were set loose to look around at our own pace. General props and sets first, costumes, the Yule Ball, Dumbledore’s Office, the Gryffindor Dorm, Malfoy Manor, Borgin & Burkes, Diagon Alley. The full exterior of Privet Drive. The huuuuge door to the Chamber of Secrets.

I think our favourite part was the creature workshop, where all the animatronics, the waxworks, the creature designs, etc, were. I did, however, stagger back and had to grab onto Taryn when I saw the enormous model of Aragog. Not only did they HANG IT IN THE AIR LOOKING DOWN ON YOU, but it’s absolutely gigantic. I think it was bigger than my own living room. Which is really not cool when you have severe arachnophobia. However, I was distracted by the model of the Hungarian Horntail head, and the head of the basilisk.

aragog

MOVING SWIFTLY ON…

Gift shop, of course. My stepdad wanted socks, I bought him a Gryffindor pair. Bought some Harry Potter themed sweeties. Bought a wand. Cause why not? I really wanted Luna’s wand, but I ended up with Bellatrix’s instead. She’s my second favourite character 😀

Day 3 – Picadilly Circus, Rain, and The Return Home

By Day 3, we were both pretty exhausted. Day 2 had really taken it out of both of us, so we decided to have a little trip into the heart of the city and do some tourist-y things. We didn’t get that much time, so we ended up just walking around Trafalgar Square, taking a few pictures. We shuffled off to lunch at a posh little cafe where the cakes were so intricate I swear they’d been made by teeny tiny imps.

And then the heavens opened.

It bucketed down. I loved it. Every Londoner was running to hide under shelter. Taryn and I just went “meh” and walked out. I’ve danced in a lot worse, but it was refreshing and invigorating. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were drenched and ridiculously happy.

And then, of course, it was time to come home. One taxi-ride later (driven by possibly the world’s most depressed driver), we arrived at King’s Cross, boarded our butts onto the train, and came home.

But I think the best bit about this entire holiday was coming home to see my normally antisocial little kitty running towards me as soon as I walked in the door, chirping her little kitty head off, and planting big wet kitty kisses all over my nose.

I love my Loony Luna. And I’m so pleased she loves me too.

Blessed Be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

Cover Reveal!

Well, my lovelies… you’ve waited, you’ve been patient, you’ve been the most wonderfully darling pixies any kooky author could want. And, because I am a gracious overlord empress woman, your loyalty shall be rewarded.

So, without any further ado, here it comes…

ToW Cover

 

If I had a thousand years and access to every language both known and unknown to man, I wouldn’t be able to describe my happiness. I think the only thing that would top this would be if Tom Hiddleston called me up to say how excited he was to read The Old Ways.

*cough*hint hint, Mr Hiddleston*cough*

I’m kidding.

But look how beautiful it is. Look at the detail. It’s just so exquisite.

I’d better go, because I’m actually starting to cry.

Blessed Be

RK )O(

Drive-By-Posting Pt 2

This is just going to be a really quick post. I know it’s really late in the day (I’m so terrible with deadlines 😦 ) I’ve actually spent most of the day packing my case and rushing to the shops to pick up the last-minute essentials for next weekend’s trip.

I’ve made a list. I’m good at lists.

I also realised, while I was in the bath, that although the cover release/reveal date is this Tuesday, it’s also the same day I get my hair done. So. I’ll be at work in the day time (boring day job, ugh 😦 ), and being styled on the evening. However, there’s a 20 minute window when I’ll post the cover with a head covered of tin foils.

For… the highlights, not for, like, aliens or something.

It’s so weird, I love anything to do with faeries or the supernatural (unless it’s a terrifying shadow-demon preventing me from breathing. Please see previous posts), I’m not that into aliens. I’m not particularly interested in “scary” movies about aliens (like Signs or the Alien franchise), although I do enjoy Doctor Who and Star Wars.

I’d still rather watch Merlin.

I’ve also just been shredded by Luna. She’s been outside so she’s all hyped up on catching that one tiny moth.

You see those fangs? Those fangs HURT.

“I vant to suck your blood! Nah, just kidding. Give me some chicken or something.”

You see those fangs? They really hurt… *nurses bloody arm*

Awww, I can’t stay mad at this cute little smooshy face! ^-^

Luna Cute

Who’s my vicious little dragon? You are! Yes, you are!

 

So Dolly Parton just came on my iTunes Shuffle, I’m gonna go sing Jolene into a hairbrush. Why? Because why not? 😀

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

In Other News

I recently downloaded the new Nightwish album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. I don’t review music, so I won’t attempt to. It takes a true musician to review music properly.

But wow, EFMB is pretty fantastic. The new singer, Floor Jansen, has a wonderful voice, very operatic, and it takes their music back to its roots (back when Tarja was the lead singer). That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Anette Olzen. When she was their singer, their music was less “fantastical” and seemed to focus more on simplistic styles and lyrics, rather than poetry, folklore and fairy tales, but still they played some great songs. Amaranth continues to this day to be one of my favourite Nightwish songs.

I like both styles. I love all music, if I’m honest. Well… most music. I’ve never been a big fan of R&B or pop.

First song on the album, Shudder Before the Beautiful, has a full choir to provide a majestic contrast to Floor’s softer vocals. That doesn’t mean she can’t seriously belt out those powerful vocals with her awesome set of pipes.

I think my favourite song on EFMB is My Walden. It has a very sweet melody, almost like a lullaby. The lyrics always blow me away. I think it’s mostly the heavy Celtic influence, and the Welsh introduction.

Seriously, check it out if you enjoy well-written music or if you love fantasy. The lyrics read like a Yeats poem.

My Walden is swiftly followed by Élan. I think (if I remember correctly), they released a demo of this one before the album, so I heard this a few months ago. It’s beautiful. It was a taste of the epic grandeur of the new album.

Okay, that’s enough gushing about Nightwish. I saw them once in concert when Anette was the singer. It was a-may-zing! Tuomas smiled at me and I haven’t stopped fangirling since.

 

In other news…

Happy birthday to my best friend in all the world, Tatty! It’s only 9 days until Tatty and Katie Take London 2015: Slytherins on Tour!

It’s also only 21 days until my birthday, too! Eep! I get childishly excited about birthdays. I don’t know if it’s maybe just the promise of cake?

Aaaaaand 48 days until the official paperback release of The Old Ways!!! AAAAAAHHHHH! Who’s excited? I’m excited! Are you excited? You look excited! I’m excited AAH 😀

And it’s out of my system. For now.

Also, I have a little surprise for you darling pixies. You extra special ones who follow my blog and like my posts. Next week, instead of a blog post on Wednesday, there’ll be a super-exciting-special post on Tuesday 18th, where I will…

Are you ready?

antici

Are you ready?

pation

Couldn’t resist, sorry ^-^

 

RELEASE THE COVER FOR THE OLD WAYS!!!!

That’s right, you darling pixies get to see the front cover first! Unless you follow me on Facebook, and even then it depends which page you look at first.

(PS follow me on Facebook!)

BUT YAY OMIGOSH THE COVER! 😀

Super exciting, right? I’ve seen the original designs, it’s pretty gorgeous. Also, I’m still working on Age of Magic in the meantime, in between playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time (PS, please Bioware, release the new DLC for PS3!!! 😦 ) and marathoning Firefly on Netflix.

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

Thanks, Winchesters

I’m trying to post twice a week, once on a Saturday and once on a Wednesday. As you can see, the first week of doing so and I’m already a day late -_-

Having recently “updated” my laptop to Windows 8.1, I pretty much had to set up everything from scratch. Reinstall Skype. Reinstall Norton Antivirus. Reinstall the stupid Mail app tile thing that is meant to make my life easier but is actually harder to control than a hyperactive puppy with ADD. Only good thing is that I didn’t lose all of my files. (I had backed everything up JUST in case, but thankfully it wasn’t needed).

In short, I HATE DOING STUPID UPDATES ON A STUPID COMPUTER EVERYTHING’S STUPID GAH.

I became irrationally stressed about the whole thing 😦

Onnnnn the plus side, we’re officially halfway through the final edits before the manuscript goes to the formatter. Obviously it has to go through the “final tweaks” stage. D’you think it’s too late to introduce a new character? (I’M KIDDING!!!)

 

In other news, I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time last night. I would very much like to never ever experience it again. All I remember is “waking up” to find a dark shape hovering over me (that for some reason I could only see out of the corner of my eye), being utterly unable to move my body, unable to draw breath, but trying to shout for my mother to come and “get rid of the demon!”.

Honestly, with my imagination, I’m really surprised I’ve never experienced sleep paralysis before. I’ve had extravagant dreams and terrifying nightmares, but nothing like that before. Everyone assures me it’s normal. Probably the only thing about me that’s “normal”. Thankfully, a rarely-heard rational voice in my brain told me I was experiencing sleep paralysis, so I closed my eyes and waited for my body to wake up naturally. It was possibly the most intense 10-15 seconds of my entire life.

“If I close my eyes, the demon will get me!”

… that’s it though, isn’t it? What if it wasn’t a dream? What if there really was a demon in my room last night? What if I’m not really me right now? What if I’m possessed? How can I be sure?

Nah, I’m pretty sure demons aren’t stupid enough to trip over their own feet while walking up stairs and bite the insides of their mouths while eating a brioche for breakfast. Almost certain demons don’t have brioches for breakfast, anyway.

Quick check though; best to be safe…

Okay, so I just drew a circle of salt on the floor and I can quite easily pass over it. I’m not possessed. Awesome ^-^

Thank you, Supernatural, for teaching me how to get rid of demons. And for bringing the adorableness of Castiel to my attention.

If you're pretty and you know it, nod your head!

If you’re pretty and you know it, nod your head!

Best get back to editing. Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

British Weather

It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s raining. It’s sunny. Hailstones. Thunder. Hellfire. I really wish British weather would make its mind up 😦

It’s reached that part of the year where I start out the day wearing two layers of nice warm clothing and my smexy black beret, then by midday the sun comes out in blazing glory and I sweat until I’m a puddle of ew.

Look at that disgustingly happy son of a bitch -_-

Look at that disgustingly happy son of a bitch -_-

Being a Northern gal, I don’t cope with the hot weather very well. Hence the reason why I’m not going abroad with my parents this year. My first ever time I’m not going away since I was about 10. Although I love going on holiday with my parents (contrary to popular belief, I do actually like them), I just can’t deal with how hot Spain and the Dominican and the Canary Islands are.

My most favourite holidays in the past few years have been when I’ve stayed in the UK. Definitely Scotland and Cornwall. Although, Cornwall, there’s a story…

Okay, so I’d always wanted to go to Tintagel, the mythical birthplace of King Arthur. We drove all eight hours down to Cornwall, to live in this beautiful cottage for a week. Admittedly, the cottage was tiny and full of abnormally large spiders. We (read: my stepdad) went through the entire house for the first hour to rid the place of the too-many-legs.

So, the first few days went fantastic, we travelled around Cornwall, finding ancient places and mystical secrets. Then the third day in, we received the news that my Grandfather had passed away in his sleep. As it’s quite distressing, I’m not going to go into it too deeply, but I just wanted to mention it because I’ve dedicated The Old Ways to him.

Sorry, had to take a moment, there.

Okay, so The Old Ways.

*takes deep breath*

WE HAVE A RELEASE DATE!!!

fireworks4

 

Mark this date on your calendars, my lovely pixies! 25th September for ebooks, and 29th September for paperback!

I will be throwing a party for the release. My mother has already appointed herself my Marketing Manager. It seems to be her life goal to make sure every single person on earth reads The Old Ways. I’m in two minds about this decision…

She’s already made a start on some leaflets that I can fashion into paper-planes and throw at people in the street. I can see the headlines now… “Local Author Violently Throws Paper at Passers-By”.

Also, it’s only … *counts* … 16 days until I go to London with Tatty! 😀 😀 😀 We’ve tentatively named our trip “Tatty and Katie Take London: Slytherins on Tour”

This is gonna be the most awesome trip ever 🙂

Blessed Be

RK )O(