Category Archives: Blog

A Year at Rebellion

I’ve been at Rebellion for a year! (As of the 10th April.)

WHAT. Just WHAT. And HOW?!!

I’m…not really sure what to say about it, really. I’m currently in an anxiety slump which means everything I do is TERRIBLE and AWFUL and NOT GOOD ENOUGH and seriously, the Brain Weasels can just shut up, but it does make it hard to take a balanced view.

But…I love my job. I can’t believe I’ve been there a year – it doesn’t feel like it! I love the mix of tasks; from something I can bury myself in for an afternoon or stick on some music and just copy-paste, to edits that require a lot of thinking, to covers and marketing that need research, to ideas and suggestions for new books, to reading submissions and having to analyse both the book itself and the marketing potential, to events and conventions and chats with agents…

I think my most memorable moments have been with other people. Getting a phone call from a fairly big agent, whose first action was to attempt to blackmail me* (I told him it was above my pay grade) and then threatened to sing(!!); getting to email some of my favourite authors and having to be Professional, but also being able to squeak; reading something and loving it and then having my boss say, “Well, ok then, your budget is X” – EEEK! And the little day-to-day moments that have really cemented it recently; being able to swing around in my chair to join in a conversation, or have my opinions listened to; give thoughts on what books we want to buy, and what direction we want covers to go in; – it’s all so amazing.

And I love, love, love the work! I’m struggling at the moment with my skills as an editor (hi, Imposter Syndrome!) but I really like working with books, authors and data every day. It’s pretty much the perfect combination for me! I’m also starting to have more confidence in my skills and experience, and be able to pass knowledge on and give advice, which is frankly a bit strange – I’m meant to be the newcomer still!

In addition, I love the city and the workplace; my colleagues are all amazing, I love being able to play board games at lunch, I love my commute…

Overall – settling in nicely, I think. I might just stay a bit longer!

 

*Very nicely, and not particularly seriously 😀

Review: This Savage Song

This Savage Song by VE Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real…

A teenage coming-of age combined with a world where monsters come out of violent acts, and now the city is split – one half controlled by the Flynns and the other by the Harkers, and both with monsters that roam…

The world-building is really well done; definitely a future but one that is disconcertingly similar. I liked the characters; August, who just wants to play his violin… his character came through very clearly, a monster who just wants to be human, but can’t help being a monster. Kate is more of a difficult one, but her background came through well, and her relationship with her father was interesting – along with her relationships with her schoolmates! I loved the rationale behind the creation of the monsters, too, and finding out about August’s past added a lot of both creepiness and sympathy to him.

The plot was fast-paced enough to keep me interested, and it’s got some nice twists – some aspects are predictable but I did like the lack of cliched romance (sorry, slight spoiler – but the twist on that is a good one, so you’ll forgive me) and the reveal at the end. It’s the first of a trilogy but does end on enough of a satisfying conclusion that I don’t feel I’m missing out if I don’t manage to pick the second up immediately.

So, a good read if you’re into YA and modern urban fantasy/dystopia!

Writing: Wizards & Work, Part 4

These are still entertaining me! They often need a moment to click; a phrase or comment, or a mannerism linked in to a fantasy setting. I’m really enjoying it when they do come to me. As usual, no offence intended to anyone who is inspiration, and definitely nothing implied; it’s often just the initial inspiration that I’ve borrowed, and then gone off in a completely different direction!

You can also read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

 

He has a way of looking at you; a sharp-eyed, sideways glance that takes in everything before he gives a friendly smile. In that red-hot moment, you’re never entirely sure what the judgement will be. Are you interesting enough for a longer look? Considered useful enough for a smile? Judged unimportant and politely dismissed?

Or is the smile that of a predator, approving of his prey?

 

The curse was subtle and vicious: it cursed the bearer to tiny bad luck, to those small twists of fate that wear down the hardest mountain with grey disappointment. It dulled his days to tedium, spiralled his thoughts into circles and worked every project into knots and snarls. The problem was that no one could figure out what he had done to earn such a costly revenge. He had no drama in his backstory, no offenses placed against his name; and that seemed the final jab of the curse – to not even deserve another’s carefully-crafted hate.

 

He preferred ‘adaptable’ over ‘slippery’; his pride in his ability to get things done was almost as strong as his stubbornness in staying his course. But it was rare that he was taken aback; he even went so far as to blink.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever offered…help…before.”

The small elf blinked in turn. “It’s called being nice.”

“Yes. Well. That’s not something I’m very good at.” But the tall, imposing necromancer managed something approaching a smile, creasing his face into new lines. Nice… it would need some practise, but this new plan might just work.

 

He was a true Knight in Shining Armour; one that blinded the vision when he appeared, glowing and explosive, inspiring and righteous. Around him, faces would shine and bodies would bow. And when he approached, for a moment everything would be perfect; ideas would flow, projects would work, twists would unsnarl. For a moment, the world was good.

And then he would be summoned away, sweeping off to the next perfect moment, and we would be left in the grey, shattered ruins of our normality.

 

He is friendly, smiling, affable, cheery; always up for a conversation, or a chat and always open to suggestions or ideas. But sometimes, mid-conversation, you’ll see his eyelids flicker for a few seconds – almost as if a thought has been stopped, or a plan redirected.

“I heard he was one of the supreme evil overlords,” kitchen gossip tells me. “Rehabilitated, of course. That’s the therapy kicking in whenever he gets ideas.”

“But we were only talking about cute bunnies…”

“Well, you can make anything evil.”