Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Interview with Kat Ellis

As evidenced by my Goodreads to-read list, there are gobs of incredible authors queued up to publish soon: the talented, the comical, the interesting, all of whom teetering on the edge of their release dates. 

And guys, I'm interviewing them. 

Okay, so maybe not ALL of them. But here, on my humble little blog, I'm interviewing as many as I can get my grabby little hands onAnd the first up is the crazy-talented Kat Ellis, author of BLACKFIN SKY

Can I just say that there is nobody like Kat Ellis? 

Unique?  Yep.
Genuine?  Yep.
Hilarious?  Double yep.

Anyway, recently I was afforded the opportunity to pick her brain a little, and here's what she had to say:

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I studied English with Creative Writing at university, which I then sort of forgot about until it occurred to me one day to write a book. By then I was working a pretty dull office job (kind of hoping my boss doesn’t read this) and I kept my writing life a secret from everyone at work until I had a book deal. Now they look at me like I’m weird. They’re just lucky I don’t wear my author uniform to the office. (Sweatpants and fleece hoodies are a bit of a no-no.)

My debut novel, Blackfin Sky, comes out in May in the UK from Firefly Press and in September from Running Press Kids in the US. It’s really dark and twisted and all kinds of fun.

What drew you into the young adult genre?

When I sat down and started pecking out the first words of my first manuscript (which is now hibernating at the back of my airing cupboard) I had no idea I was writing a young adult novel. I had no idea young adult novels were a Thing. But that was because I had a fairly backwards reading experience; as a teen, I read adult mystery novels. As an adult, I now read mostly teen novels - like a literary Benjamin Button.

Once I realised what I’d written, I started reading YA novels like crazy. I couldn’t get enough of them. I started with novels like Twilight and Stolen and Shiver, gulping them down at a rate that sent me snivelling to the optician with bloodshot eyes.

It was an attractive period of my life.

But I knew then what I wanted to write, and I can’t really imagine leaving the young adult category now that I’ve found my groove in it.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have my very own writing cave, which used to be our junk room. Now that I’ve reclaimed it, it has been taken over by a huge sofa and a piano and one wall is entirely filled with bookshelves.

One day, I’m going to have a writing room exactly like Hannibal Lecter’s office from the TV show, complete with a mezzanine library. Because it’s not weird to envy a cannibal’s workspace. Not at all.

What inspired you to write BLACKFIN SKY?

The story I wrote before Blackfin Sky was pretty hardcore sci-fi, and after I’d finished it I wanted to try something completely different. So I set out to write a straight-up contemporary mystery.

I knew exactly how it would start: a girl called Skylar falls from a pier and drowns. But then three months later she shows up at school like it’s any normal day, and she can’t figure out why everyone’s looking at her like she’s got two heads.

So I wrote it out, but then I got to that point and… had no idea what happened next. I almost scrapped the story, because I couldn’t come up with an explanation for it that wouldn’t leave readers rolling their eyes.

By then it was August, and every summer a travelling circus comes to the town where I live. I went with my sister and niece, as always, and sat in the grandstands mulling over what to do about my dead-end story. It was there that I figured out what had happened to Skylar, and the rest is history. Or Blackfin Sky, actually.

What other projects do you have coming up?

Right now I’m writing a different kind of young adult thriller, although it’s just as dark and twisted as Blackfin Sky. I can’t say too much about it just yet, but I will say I’ve done a lot of research into psychopaths that I’ll be using in this story.

Thanks so much, Marci, for inviting me onto your blog!

The pleasure was all mine, Kat! :)


BLACKFIN SKY is due to release in the UK in May 2014 (Firefly Press), and in the US in fall 2014 (Running Press Kids). Check it out:

When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.

Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.

Sounds awesome, right?!  Can't. Wait.

Here's a bit more about Kat:

Kat Ellis is a young adult writer from North Wales. You'll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, taking photographs in cemeteries, or watching scary films with her husband and feral cat. BLACKFIN SKY is her first novel, and it is due for release in 2014


Comment on this blog and you'll have the chance to win BLACKFIN SKY swag in the form of two BLACKFIN-themed bookmarks and transfer tattoos (see asterisks).

* winner will be picked at random.
**author flattery can often sway abovementioned randomness. 


Just kidding. 


Lastly, check out Kat's links: 

Kat's Twitter

Kat's blog

BLACKFIN SKY on Goodreads

BLACKFIN SKY on Amazon (UK) 


 Cheers, guys! ;)


  1. I rarely read YA mystery types but this sounds too good to pass up! *hurries to Goodreads and adds to to-read shelf* I do agree with Kat that it is so not weird to lust over a cannibal's library! The mezzanine library is too gorgeous! Can't wait for Blackfin Sky to be released! Enjoyed reading your interview with Kat, Marci! ;)

    1. Thanks, Hazel! ;)
      And I agree 100%...this book sounds AMAZING!

    2. Aaah! Thank you both for being so sweet! :)

    3. Hi Hazel - you won the giveaway! I've emailed you to arrange mailing.