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I’m Kat, an author from North Wales, and I write young adult thrillers/horror. My latest is Wicked Little Deeds/Burden Falls, and it tells the story of Ava, who gets tangled up in a series of gruesome murders in her small town where superstitions about witchcraft and vengeful ghosts are rife. You can find out more about my books and where to buy them here.

If you missed last month's newsletter, you can catch up here.

Pictured: Me, having a dramatic coffee while recording this reel
This month has been interesting. I got covid for the first time (do NOT recommend) and kind of hit a reading slump (possibly related). But I also did some really fun online events, and had a flying visit to London for the first time since March 2020. And today, it’s officially a year since Wicked Little Deeds came out! To celebrate, I’m giving away three signed copies – read on for details of how to win.
What’s coming for you…
In this newsletter, you will find:
  • my latest book news and events 
  • an interview with Katharine and Elizabeth Corr, authors of Daughter of Darkness
  • what’s on my radar: books, TV, movies, music
Latest book news & events
My second bit of Wicked Little Deeds news is that it has an official French release date of February 2023, and I just got to see a draft of the cover… and it is AWESOME. Dark and creepy with a Twin Peaks-ish vibe, it’s absolutely perfect. I’ll share the final cover here as soon as I’m allowed.

While I’m teasing secret things, this month I also signed a contract for something new and fun, and which is in a new lane for me, writing-wise. Not sure when it’ll be announced, but I’ll spill all the details here when I can.

Events-wise, I was a guest author at YA Thriller Con, where I took part in 2 online panels and was interviewed by the brilliant Andreina Cordani. Here are links to watch those back if you’d like to:

Weirdest Things About Being a Writer - me & Barry Lyga, Savita Kalhan, Kit Frick, Matt Killeen & moderator Angelina Singer.

Writing Compelling Characters - me & Andreina Cordani, Carly Nugent, Mocha Von Bee, and Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda, with moderator Madeline Dyer.

Interview with Andreina Cordani about writing YA horror. 
July also saw the launch of Summer Shorts – a new series of quick IG Live author interviews I’ve set up to run all summer on UKYAbooks. Here are all the ones that have streamed so far, with more to come every week until 1 September.
 Me with Attiya Khan and Becky Jerams
Matt Killeen & Kathryn Foxfield 
Laura Steven & Bryony Pearce

Emma Bradley & Luke Palmer
Attiya Khan & Becky Jerams (pic right)
Sarah Daniels & James Goodhand
Holly Race & Naomi Gibson

My books were also featured in some excellent articles recommending horror books this month, including the Shepherd list of YA horror by Dawn Kurtagich and Bookriot’s list of books to read if you love NOPE
In non-bookish news, I tried my hand at axe-throwing while I was visiting a friend in London, because why not? I loved it, but was my axe-slinging skills are... not good. Safe to say that if a zombie is coming for me and I’m armed with an axe, that arm is about to get bitten.
Wicked Little Deeds Anniversary Giveaway!
If you’d like to win one of THREE signed copies of Wicked Little Deeds, please email with ‘WLD giveaway’ in the subject line. I’ll choose 3 winners at random on Friday 26 August. UK/Ireland only. Good luck!
You can also find out more about Wicked Little Deeds and my other books here - and there are some handy links to where you can buy from online vendors, too. 
Interview with Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Katharine and Elizabeth Corr are sisters originally from Essex, now living in Surrey. When they both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious they should do it together. They can sometimes be found in one of their local coffee shops, arguing over which character to kill off next. Katharine and Elizabeth are authors of the spellbinding The Witch’s Kiss trilogy and the Solanum duology. The first in their new duology, Daughter of Darkness, released yesterday! Find out more about Katharine & Elizabeth on their website

I was absolutely thrilled to get to read this early having loved their other books, and Daughter of Darkness immediately became one of my favourite reads of the year. Naturally, I seized the opportunity to ask the Corr sisters some questions!

About Daughter of Darkness

The Underworld awaits . . .

Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world - unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.

Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.

So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades… The prize of freedom is before her - but what will it take to reach it?
You can buy the book from all good retailers, and from here


Kat: The Daughter of Darkness duology is inspired by the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice — what made you want to write a retelling of that story?
Katharine & Elizabeth: We started with the idea of wanting to write about characters who could travel between life and death, and then decided to incorporate our love of Greek myth; there are plenty of characters in the myths who journey into the Underworld but perhaps Orpheus’ story is the most famous. There’s lots to love about the original stories around Orpheus, especially his musical ability and the idea of a love that is strong enough to overcome death. However, we didn’t want to write a straight retelling, so we spent some time thinking about a couple of other questions too.

First, what if Eurydice didn’t want to come back from the dead? She doesn’t get much screen time in the originally myths, so it’s hard to know what she’s thinking about the whole thing. This gave us our twist on the character of Orpheus. Second, what if the bronze age kingdoms that are mentioned in the Iliad had never disappeared? In our version of the story, we have the ancient kings striking a deal with the gods to save their civilisation in return for a tithe of mortal children, to be marked by the gods and taken into their service. This gave us our Theodesmioi, the god-marked, including Deina and the other Soul Severers. In our version of the Orpheus myth they are very much outsiders, and initially they are focused on retrieving Eurydice from the Underworld in order to gain their own freedom. So, there are lots of differences – we usually describe the book as an original fantasy inspired by myth, rather than a retelling – but we still have someone in the story with an amazing singing voice, and we still have a character willing to face death (in more ways than one) because of love.
Kat: There’s such a great cast of characters in the book — some who are versions of characters from the original story, some who are brand new. Which were your favourites to write (or rewrite)?
Katharine & Elizabeth: That’s a tough question! We tend to get attached to all our characters, even the baddies. We both loved writing Deina – she’s an underdog, and she’s more morally grey than the main characters in our other books, so that was both a challenge but also really rewarding. Other than her, our favourites are probably Hades, Nat and Aster. Oh, and Charon – he was fun too. We’d definitely be up for writing a Charon and Hercules short story!
Kat: I loved the main setting for the story — the Underworld, with its many creepy regions — and can’t wait to go back there in the second part of the duology. How did you go about building that world, and all the challenges it would throw at Deina and her crew of soul-severers?
Katharine & Elizabeth: We started with research, to find out what ideas the poets of ancient Greece and Rome had about the Underworld. We looked at texts like the Theogony, the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Aeneid (all in translation, we hasten to add!).  We also read secondary texts on classical mythology and bronze age Greece. From our experience of creating an entire world in A Throne Of Swans, we knew that it would help our Underworld feel realistic if we routed it in things people might remember and expect, for example, the different rivers and the presence of Charon and Cerberus. However, we also made up or fleshed out a lot of details, to steer the story in the direction we wanted it to go. For example, we invented some more detail about the Oneiroi or Dream Children, who are mentioned in Hesiod and Homer, we gave Charon a side-line in collecting bric-a-brac and a bit of a crush on Hercules, and we completely made up the Blood Hunters.
Kat: I find it fascinating that you are sisters and co-authors — how does that work? Did the way you co-write change at all when you were writing this book?
Katharine & Elizabeth: It generally works well – we’ve not killed each other yet! As you know, publishing can be a difficult and lonely space to navigate, and we’ve found it helpful to have someone else involved who is just as invested (and who can reassure you when you’ve got to that point when you just want to hurl your laptop through the window). We always start by coming up with a plan; we never exactly stick to it, but it gives us a guide and an end point to aim for. Other than that, there is a lot of re-writing and editing of each other’s work. It helps that we’re very close and have very similar voices, so our writing blends well. Nothing particularly changed with this book, other than the fact that we’ve done it five times before (six if you count our unpublished first book) so it’s a pretty well-oiled machine by now – aside from the usual arguments about how many characters have to be killed off and how horribly.
Kat: What’s next for you?
Katharine & Elizabeth: We will be at the No Limits Festival at Normanby Hall Country Park in September, which we’re really looking forward to (more information here) and the Instagram tour for Daughter Of Darkness kicks off in September too. Other than that, we will be focusing on book two of the House Of Shadows duology, Queen Of Gods. Expect more gods, more mythological beings and more death!
On my radar
Books – So I mentioned July was a slooooow reading month for me… in fact, the only thing I managed to focus on was the audiobook of Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes, which is an adult sci-fi horror where a salvage crew finds a legendary luxury space cruiser floating in space, seemingly abandoned, but when they board to stake a claim on the salvage, things take a dark turn. I’m around two-thirds of the way in and enjoying it a lot; it reminds me of the film Event Horizon, so if that was your bag, maybe check this out.
TV & Movies – Horror-wise, I rewatched Werewolves Within – a spoofy horror about a small town plagued by in-fighting which is then plagued by werewolf attacks — think Fargo but with werewolves. I also watched the adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and although I know it’s had mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it. It had the humour and contemporary touches of Bridgerton but kept the charm of a true Jane Austen.

Music – Only one song to recommend this month, but it’s a banger: Liar by Brutus.  I know I love a song when I start trying to come up with book plots that would tie in with it just so I can add the song to the book’s playlist. This is the case with Liar.
In next month’s newsletter look out for an interview with Rosie Talbot, author of Sixteen Souls, as well as lots more bookish news and events. In the meantime, don’t forget to enter this month’s Wicked Little Deeds giveaway – closes 26 August.

'Til then…
Kat x
Copyright © 2022 Kat Ellis, All rights reserved.

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