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Showing posts from 2009
I woke up with an idea for a Scarlett Dedd sequel this morning. I must work out what I ate last night to trigger 'dream-a-teen-novel'.
Preparations for Seasonal Festivities are almost done, cleaned the house yesterday and ticked-off the final item on my 'to do'list. What a luxury! A whole day free to write! Okay, so why am I not writing, you ask? Well, had to update this blog first, didn't I? And I've just heard that Michael Caine is on Desert Island Discs, so, as I'm a huge fan, gotta listen to that, right? Then I'll have a bit of lunch. I've a portion of chilli left over from last night. Then I might pop out and take some more photos of the snow before it melts and the sun goes down... Then I'll start writing. Mmm, perhaps I'd better make a New Year's Resolution to nip the 'avoidance activity' in the bud.
Season's Greetings, Cool Yule and a very Happy New Year! Cx
Phew! Two days of recovery after an exhausting week! Just as one exciting project reaches the final sprint ten more come over the horizon. Spent the whole of last Friday discussing future plans with three VIPs (agent, editor and a lovely old friend) - new books, new characters, a new website and even a revisit to my glam past life in fashion! SO looking forward to 2010. Bring it on!
(from 'Scarlett Dedd')
Here's a sneak preview of Scarlett's cover. So excited! Can't wait to see the first proofs. There may be a special print effect so I'll update you if it gets the go-ahead.

Been reading, tweaking and totally immersed in the world of 'Scarlett Dedd' today. I SO love these video-mad teens. Strangely, they appear to be much cooler than I remember them. Did they take on a life of their own when I wasn't looking? Ooo... spooky! Can't wait 'til it's finally finished and worthy of my lovely readers and you can immerse yourselves too.
'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
I'm 'tweaking' SCARLETT DEDD this weekend and am hoping to show the rough layouts to one of my 'teen advisers' on Tuesday. Really craving feedback right now - Is Scarlett still funny? Will my readers identify with the characters and, more importantly, LIKE them, even when they do unpleasant things? Does the shock ending make sense and do you see it coming? So many questions to ask!
Spent the whole day with Flat-Ember and Maura at Christ's College... and didn't want to leave. Christ's College Rocks! Thanks for making us so welcome. Loads of creative talent - particularly impressed by student who said she didn't think she'd want Superhero abilities as she was happy with the way she was. How completely cool and sorted is that? Awesome!
Confirmation that I'll be doing a WHOLE DAY of workshops on Friday 23rd - as part of the Guildford Book Festival. Can't wait. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to chat with my readers (and future readers?) about their ideas and aspirations, but mostly just to have a bloomin' good laugh! Great way to end the week.
A lovely workshop yesterday at St Catherine's... small group but big imaginations! I really enjoyed our discussion. Well, perhaps it was mostly me talking (as usual) because I have a slightly sore throat today! Very interesting stuff about the ethical dilemma of controlling time and space or having the powers to change yourself or the world. Thought-provoking and very intelligent. Lost of ideas for my next books!
Catch Flamegrrl and Flat-Ember at the Guildford Book Festival, 14th t0 24th Oct. We're doing a workshop on the 19th.
'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
Reading 'Screenplay' by Syd Field at the moment (in fact, it's keeping me awake all night) and I mean REALLY reading it, not skimming through under the mistaken opinion that I'd read the same advice elsewhere, in other 'how to...' books. SO wrong! It's full of such inspiration, amazing insights and observations - a complete revelation. Not only that, I now find myself looking back at everything I've ever written and seeing it for the rubbish that it is! I want to rewind and start my writing career all over again. I was scribbling notes for books 3 and 4, in bed at 2.15 this morning, even tempted to get up and walk the ten or so paces to my laptop to start major re-writes! NO, Cathy! Must focus on 'Scarlett Dedd', make her perfect, then start getting 'Dot' and 'Echo' into shape in November/December. Not for the first time, I'm reminded why my motto is 'Too much to do, too l…
Just got back from a brilliant morning in Dorking. Yay, Ashcome students - you are awesome! I had such a good time and you made us feel so welcome. Flat-Ember was relieved that the rain had stopped so she didn't have to suffocate in a plastic bag on the way home - it's bad enough getting stuffed in the back of my car! Thanks to everyone, especially Annette. I was completely blown-away by all your ideas and particularly liked the beautiful drawings (v cool outfits) and 'Bullet-proof dandruff'! So funny! Hahahahaha!
'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
While writing the 'Ember Fury' animation screenplay, it has occurred to me how exciting it is to work in another medium - moving image - and perhaps even more thrilling, the prospect of a collaboration with others. I've been looking at some incredible showreels this week and re-discovering artists, film-makers and cinematographers I met years ago, most of whom seemed then to have amazing expertise and skills so far removed from my own sphere. I never imagined I might be seeking them out again, or that I'd be approaching them about my own feature project. Though I'm completely open about my role in bringing 'Ember' to the screen, I am feeling more and more comfortable with the title 'writer/director'. If someone now comes along and offers to take her out of my hands, it might be a wrench but hey, beggars can't be choosers! I'm also resigned to the prospect of a long and possibly unsuccessful search for funding. Who knows? At least I ha…
Had a great day with Flat-Ember in Worthing on Saturday. Thanks Charlotte. Awesome to chat with fans and (I hope) future fans of 'Ember Fury', especially Amelia, Jack and Atlanta. Yay Worthing teens! Perhaps you'll invite me back next summer when 'Scarlett Dedd' hits the bookshelves?
The illustrations for 'Scarlett Dedd' are about two-thirds done and I've been having a bit of fun with type too. I've kinda set myself a challenge to make each spread as interesting as possible and to make 'dynamic' layouts. Here's the latest pic. It's from near the beginning, when the friends are making one of their horror videos, hence the plastic bottle of fake blood!
'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
I had a sketchbook weekend - doing lots of new stuff and going through the old ones. I have a whole shelf of them in my studio going back more than 10 or even 15 years. I like some of the covers I did a while ago and might use them to inspire the illustrations for 'Scarlett Dedd'. I think a trip to the art shop is on the cards - need white ink, coloured paper and a load more mapping pens.
Had an awesome EMBER FURY day in Norwich yesterday. Thanks to Rob at Borders for looking after us and special thanks to all the brilliant students and teachers I met. Wow! What great schools! I really enjoyed the drawing - mine and yours. Hope you all like 'Ember' and enter the 'Scarlett Dedd' competition. Yay Norwich! A very cool place!
'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
Ember Fury started at another new school this week. Have they been warned? Aargh! Don't get her miffed and don't let her near those matches!
Glad it's raining today as I won't waste the day in the garden. Going to put plastic on the floor, get huge sheets of paper and splash paint about. Can't wait!
'Ember Fury' SOLD OUT in 90mins @ Waterstone's Dorking yesterday! Everyone took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer and I went through the stack in no time. I've agreed to go back, sign some more and maybe attend their Christmas Gala too.
O.M.G! Just opened this month's BLISS magazine and 'Ember Fury' is no 1 in their book chart... ABOVE Stephanie Meyer!! How about that?! Wehey!
Thanks to Rosie, Jessica and Holly for being celebs and posing for the press on Saturday. You are stars! © Andy Newbold Photography
Ember and I will be at Waterstone's in Dorking this Saturday (15th) between 12 and 3pm - causing havoc, no doubt! It's been an exciting first week for 'Ember Fury' and now I'm having to get used to promoting book one while finishing book two - quite hard work.

'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
The life-size, cutout Ember Fury was delivered to Barton's Bookshop yesterday. SO cool! If I can keep her safe and out of the rain, she will be joining me in my travels over the next few months. Perhaps I can get her to pose for press photos, sign books and even do a reading or two! Actually, it's just a little bit spooky - she's almost the same height as me and looks me in the eye in a very disconcerting way!
'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
I'm drawing a new character today - Grim De'Ath. He's very cool, wears black Converse All Stars and has an ipod pocket in his shroud.
'Ember Fury' is Border's Children's Book of the Month - cool huh? Planning the 'sizzling-hot' launch event at the moment. Come along if you're in the area. Barton's Bookshop, Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 8th August 2009, 11 - 4.30.
Drawing Scarlett Dedd today; rain and ominous, dark skies creating the perfect gloomy, scary mood. Ember's latest IM said: wet, cold and bored... might have 2 warm things up a bit!? lol E x
'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
Ember just emailed me. She sounded a little jealous, saying that I'm spending too much time on all these other characters when she should be the most important person in my life right now. The mood she's in, I hope she doesn't have access to any matches...

'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
Promotion of 'Ember Fury' is starting to take up more of my time so I'm making the most of these last few weeks before launch to write book 3. 'Dot' and her quiet south coast village are keeping me at my laptop late into the night right now. I'm just reaching the major plot climax, the breath-taking, mind-blowing, devastating event that changes everyone's lives. So thrilling to write! I love these characters and am looking foward so much to resolving their amazing story. Still several surprises and plot twists to come so back to work...
I took a short break from Scarlett Dedd and her friends this weekend, to type the synopsis for a new book. I've had this 2012 idea in my head for a couple of weeks but have only just worked out how to end the story. It's gonna be very dramatic! It's full of surprises and huge plot twists too. I'm writing it as three separate first person narratives and am really enjoying developing their different voices. The characters are in their late teens and I love being able to give them slightly more freedom than I've allowed the characters in previous books. More risk-taking and loads more passion. I'm so excited about writing it that I'm hardly getting any sleep at the moment. There are never enough hours in a day... or days in a week... etc. The only solution is to be more disciplined. I am designing a super-efficient filing system to keep all the characters and plots in order. They have been having a wild party in my head, but now it's over and tim…
Ember just texted me to suggest that she should be the one visiting bookshops and schools this Autumn, as her name is bigger than mine on the cover. AND there's a drawing of her on it too... not me! I guess she's in one of THOSE moods today. Probably had one too many latt├ęs or been listening to Biffy Clyro too loud!

'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
I'm developing the 'Scarlett Dedd' characters this week and finding it hard to draw teens in October coats and scarves while it's 30 degrees outside. Enjoying having a slightly bigger ensemble cast this time, though. Scarlett and her friends make me laugh every day, especially when they're wearing their Halloween costumes or getting spooked by the dead Dedds!

© Cathy Brett 2009
Teaching on a summer course at UCA last week - giving teens a taste of university life. The students were Year 8 - younger than I've taught before - which was brilliant, as they are my perfect target audience. Made some contacts with the schools and English teachers and they were terrific students too - really enthusiastic and creative.
'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009
I found the Dedd's house this week - it's a REAL building - well, after a bit of tweaking and with a lot of artistic licence, it has become the the Dedd's haunted house. I added the conservatory and made it narrower, for example. I'd absolutely love to live in it, so if it's yours and you want to sell...

'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
© Cathy Brett 2009
Started working on a new book this week. I'm quite excited about this one as I think it might become an 'Ember Fury' prequel. At least, I have plans to introduce a particular character... won't say any more. Keep you guessing for a bit.
The illustrations for 'Scarlett Dedd' are taking shape. I'm drawing every day. Quite difficult to have three books on the go at the same time, though. I had to do some 'Ember' stuff this week and it took a while to switch my brain back.
I've become an accomplished time-waster - here's a great scheme: build a scale model of your own home! Bonkers?!

I guess the next time I'm asked why I didn't meet a deadline, the evidence is here.
© Cathy Brett 2009
'Ember Fury' publishing date is getting closer every day. It's been a very long wait and I'm looking forward to visiting schools, doing workshops and to start promoting. I've not done much teaching this year but have a few days lined-up at UCA (Epsom) on the AimHigher programme. Brilliant fun last year - amazingly talented students - so I hope it's as good this time. I'll be teaching Fashion PR and Marketing, so I'd better brush-up on what's happening out there. I've been lost in teen fiction for a while and probably need to reconnect with the world of style and glamour!
Got feedback on my second book (Scarlett Dedd) from my editor, at last! She likes it and actually thinks it's funny... phew! I was nervous about writing comedy, as it's so hard to pull off. It was even harder to get the balance between laughs and horror, although, when I think about it, Black Comedy has always been my favourite genre. I guess I can call myself a real author now. I'm on cloud nine and hope I never come down.
'Rot the Roadkill Puppy', 'Scarlett Dedd' © 2009
Mmm... Didn't quite keep to my plan. Why did the weather have to be so darn gorgeous?! Did hardly any writing, a bit of half-hearted doodling and alot of pottering in the garden. Oh, and some gazing into space while curled-up in a deckchair! All part of the creative process... honest!

© Cathy Brett 2009
I've been flicking through my archive this week - old sketchbooks, artwork and book projects put on hold. Found this, my gran's wartime memoir. It would be great to work on it again and I might actually find the right voice this time. I was never able to decide if it was a 'Dear Diary' thing or an annotated photo album. Whatever, it's probably too odd to ever find a publisher. It doesn't fit a genre, unless I make it more of a graphic novel. I guess that's possible. Also not sure if it's a love story, a family saga or a thriller.
...and these blokes are up to no good. They have extreme violence on their minds!
'Scarlett Dedd' © Cathy Brett 2009
It'll get worse!

© Cathy Brett 2009
You have been warned!

© Cathy Brett 2009
© Cathy Brett 2009
This is Scarlett, the subject of my second book, 'Scarlett Dedd'. She's dead (obviously), as are her family - a multiple poisoning tragedy. You'd think death would put an end to her strange and creative teenage ambitions but, as her friends soon discover, it's just the inspiration she needs. It's a story that's not for the squeamish. There's lots of blood, vomit, broken limbs, severed heads and some serious haunting!
'Ember Fury' © Cathy Brett 2009 Published by Headline 06.08.09
© Cathy Brett 2009
Here's the blurb from the back cover to give you a taster: 'Having celebrity parents isn't as hot as it sounds. Yes, there's money to burn, fame and some totally smokin' guys... but when your dad's more interested in blazing a trail to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school, again, it can make you seriously angry. And if there's one thing Ember knows, it's that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble...' Yeah, you guessed it! Em is a bit of a pyromaniac.

© Cathy Brett 2009
Welcome to my new blog. I chose this illustration because it sorta explains how I feel right now. I'm in a stolen car, speeding towards an adventure, heart pumping, brain buzzing and nervous that pretty soon someone is gonna guess I'm a fraud, call the fuzz and put a stop to my fun. That's what it's like having my first book published. Thrilling but scary. 'Ember Fury' has been part of my life for more than two years. The thought that, in just over four months time, lots of other people will be able to read all about her is mind-blowing.