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Victoria Kinnaird

   LGBTQIA+ YA Author

                                Vampires. Rock stars. Superheroes. Teenagers.

 

Welcome to my blog

 

Look, I'm not saying that I'm going to accidentally spill the secrets of the universe. Hell, I can't even promise that I'll update this regularly but you never know...you might find out something vaguely interesting or cool. Or you might just end up super bored. Whatever happens, let's take this journey together ;)

By Victoria, Sep 18 2020 09:15PM

Hello folks, and welcome to another edition of my blog. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself for making it to three posts, and they've been somewhat regular so yay!


I enjoyed the layout of my previous post so much that I've decided to bring it back for this month's update. I hope that's cool with you, but the comments are always open if you want to suggest something in particular, or throw virtual popcorn etc.


Without further ado, here's the latest from little old me!



My Writing


Well, if you follow me on any of the ol' socials, you may have noticed that I finished writing Ne'ver last week! I had a good few runs at it as I had a little time off from the day job, and got it wrapped up nicely. I'm thrilled with how it turned out, although there is, of course, a healthy dash of insecurity and self-doubt all tied up in it too. I gave it a couple of polishes, edited it to the best of my ability, and turned it over to some lovely people - and the feedback was great! So that helped put my mind at ease a little bit.


I decided, when I had about 5,000 words of Ne'ver left to go, that I wasn't finished with Peter and Wes, because let's face it, I'm too clingy to write a standalone. So I will be circling back to those boys at some point, but not right away.


I have started the process of shopping Ne'ver around a little bit, although I already had a publisher in mind for it. They're getting first dibs, but if that doesn't work out, I have a few other publishers that I would love to work with so we'll see! If there's a publisher you think would be a good match for an LGBTQIA+ upper YA Peter Pan reboot, then by all means let me know :)


I took a little time off after wrapping Ne'ver up, but I'm ready to get back to work. I will be returning to work on Make It: The Keswick Chronicles Book 3 with the aim of finishing it by the end of the year. I will be publishing Make It myself, so I can release it pretty much as soon as I'm ready. I'm so sad to see Jack, JJ and Forever Fading Echoes go, but I know that it's the right time for them and this is the right story to see them off. Keep your eyes peeled, because all my teasers from now on will be from Make It!


I will soon be caught up with edits for Struck, which will be re-released by a new publisher soon. I will share more info on that as soon as I'm allowed. I have a funny feeling that working on those edits will get me all fired up to write Elevate, the 2nd book in The Lightning Project series, but we'll see.


And as always, Eren is lurking around, waiting for me to start work on Shadowkiller again. I promise I will get back to it!



What I'm Listening To


So I mentioned in my last post that one of my favourite bands, Bright Eyes, were gearing up to release their latest album - Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was. It came out in August and it didn't disappoint. It's a lush, dark, beautifully crafted album which sounds both like classic Bright Eyes and exactly what I'd imagine Bright Eyes to sound like now, almost a decade after their last release. It's a great album and I highly recommend it.


Nic and I have been listening to a lot of Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst in general - it definitely fits the whole end of summer/autumn closing in vibe that our local weather has been working recently. Nic has also taken to playing our Christmas playlist - I kid you not - so there's a lot of (maybe somewhat) premature good cheer in the house right now.


I found myself wranged into attending Leeds festival next year, but the only band on the bill I'm familiar with are Fever 333 (who I already love). Yungblood is on the bill, so I'm going to try and give him a listen next. I know a few of my friends are fans of his, so I have high hopes!


Nic and I listened to the latest episode of My Favorite Murder today, and I really enjoyed it as always. Nic is a total murderino - she loves true crime content in general, but she started listening to MFM when she was working night shift and introduced me to it at the start of lockdown, when we were cooped up in the house with not much to do. As we all went back to work and I got deeper into writing Ne'ver, we didn't really have the time to listen to it but it was really nice to sit and catch up with it today. I don't listen to podcasts generally, but I make an exception for MFM and I always love it!



What I'm Watching


The fam and I have kept up with the Kardashians, and we're still watching it whenever we're all gathered round the kitchen table for dinner. It's great escapism, and we all enjoy it so we're working our way through it! Helen and I are still watching Desperate Housewives, which has veered into pure melodrama, but again, it's a fun watch when you're just looking to relax.


We've just started watching Defending Jacob as a family, and it's totally gripping. It's very well made, has a good, eerie sort of vibe to it, and obviously the cast is great. We like a little bit of crime drama in the ol' Scott house, so it's a good fit.


I have way too many subscription services at the minute: Netflix, Prime, Disney+, Now TV and Apple TV so I'm kind of bouncing between them all right now. I'm re-watching Daria on Now TV, which is one of my all time favourite shows. I used to watch it with my nana - yes, really - and it's insane how well it still holds up now, two decades after it first aired. I dipped my toe into Selling Sunset on Netflix, and I've seen a little of season 2 + 3 (thanks to Nic) so I'll probably go back and watch that too!


Film wise, I've been re-watching some favourites. We did go to the cinema the other week for the first time in a very long time to see The New Mutants. I didn't really rate it - the acting was great, but generally, there seemed to be a lack of development in terms of backstory, character and motives. But it was cool to be back at the cinema and I enjoyed the experience. I wore my mask the whole time (except when I was drinking my hot chocolate!) and to be honest, I didn't even notice it.


I'm hoping to keep going to the cinema, and my fingers and toes are crossed that Dune comes out as scheduled at the end of the year. That first trailer was awesome ad I can't wait to see more.



What I'm Reading


I kept to my promise and I've been making a conscious effort to read more! I recently finished Only Mostly Devastated, and I really, really enjoyed it. It was a fun, heartfelt, contemporary romance and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good teen rom-com.


Next up on my read list is going to be More Happy Than Not, which I'm very excited about. I have the standard edition but I know it's being re-released with bonus content, so if I like it (which I'm sure I will) then no doubt I'll be picking up the special edition soon!


I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of Reverie - my local Waterstones doesn't have the biggest YA section, so I'll probably end up ordering it online. I've also added Surrender Your Sons and Cemetary Boys to my wishlist, so I imagine those three will end up on my TBR pile sometime soon. Let me know if you have any recommendations in the comments!


I somehow spaced out and missed the release of the first issue of You Look Like Death: Tales from The Umbrella Academy, which is a spin-off arc of The Umbrella Academy focused on Klaus. I put the first issue on order and it should get here in a few days, yay! Klaus is my fave so I'm looking forward to reading it. I've set up my SUBaCOMIC subscription so that the forthcoming issues will be delivered to my house, along with Killjoys: National Anthem when that starts. If you've skimmed my socials, or read any of my books, you'll know I'm a big fan of My Chemical Romance and I think Gerard Way is an exceptional artist and storyteller. I always enjoy his comics, so I'm looking forward to reading what he's been up to.



General Life Stuff


General life stuff remains pretty much the same! My family and I were supposed to be in France last week, but our holiday has been postponed to June in the hopes that it'll be a bit safer to travel then.


In the meantime, I have developed a serious face mask addiction. Etsy is my dealer of choice. I currently have a Nightmare Before Christmas mask, one with a cute dinosaur print, a more mature navy and white stars print and a black and white spider print mask. I have THREE more coming too - another Halloween themed mask (with bats!), a Christmas themed one (don't judge me) and another Nightmare Before Christmas mask. Nic asked why I keep buying them seeing as how I seldom leave the house, but I just like having a little selection to choose from!


My trusty laptop died literally the day after I finished writing Ne'ver. I'm convinced it held out until I finished my first draft before saying its goodbyes. The cooling fan went, and although I could've had it repaired, my laptop was seven years old and starting to get really slow. Oh, and I'd somehow managed to crack it at the back. Thankfully, Nic had a back-up laptop waiting for me (she's the best) so I was never out of business, just had to transfer everything over!



As always, I hope you're staying safe and healthy in this unprecedented times and I'll be back with another update soon!


By Victoria, Aug 15 2020 12:57PM

Hello folks, I hope you're all keeping safe and healthy out there in your corner of this getting-crazier-by-the-day world.


I'm never really sure what to say when blogging, especially because my usually very low-key life is way more boring than normal thanks to, you know, a global pandemic.


So I thought I'd break it down my ramble into some fun little categories! Then you can skim and see if there's anything that interests you!


First up:


My writing


I am very close to finishing Ne'ver which was once known as The Kensington Boy or, as I've taken to describing it "my LGBTQIA Upper YA Peter Pan Reboot". Getting to the end of writing a book is always a very weird process for me, because I start to get a little bit of separation anxiety. My sleep schedule tends to go all screwy too, so on top of being excited and sad and inspired, I'm also exhausted. It's never a fun combination, but it's always 100% worth it. For a while there, I thought that Ne'ver was going to be my very first standalone, but now I'm not so sure...watch this space ;)


When I finish Ne'ver, I'm going to go back to writing Make It, the last Keswick Chronicles book. Then I'll be moving on either to Shadowkiller, the long-awaited fourth Red Sun Rises book, or I'll be working on Elevate, the second book in my Lightning Project series - I haven't made up my mind yet, as that's still a bit in the future (I was about a third of the way through Make It when I stopped to write Ne'ver). Honestly, as much as I know there are readers waiting for Shadowkiller and (hopefully) readers waiting on Elevate, the decision as to which one I work on next will be purely down to which one I'm most inspired to write. I think when I'm passionate about what I'm working on, it shows. I don't want to write something because I feel like that's what I should be doing at that time. I know that no matter what happens, I'll get to Shadowkiller and Elevate, because I love those characters and I'm not done with them.



What I'm Listening To


One of my favourite British bands, Creeper, released their new album recently. It's called Sex, Death & The Infinite Void and it's really great. They reached number 5 in the UK Album charts with it, which is really great and really well deserved. It's a lush, dark, twisted, romantic little gem of an album and definitely worth a listen if you like bands like AFI, My Chemical Romance and The Used.


Another of my all time favourites, Bright Eyes, are gearing up for the release of their first album in 9 years. It's brilliantly called Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was. I am a massive Bright Eyes fan and have been since I was 15/16, so I am very excited that they're releasing a new album. The songs they've released so far like "Mariana Trench" and "Persona Non Grata" are pure Bright Eyes - wonderful lyricism, melodies that keep you guessing, all tied together with Conor Oberst's distinctive voice. Oh, and there's bagpipes on "Persona Non Grata", which makes my little Scottish heart happy. The album comes out on August 21st, so be sure to give it a spin or pick up a copy.


Right this minute, I'm listening to Linkin Park's generation-defining debut, Hybrid Theory. Linkin Park were my gateway band to rock'n'roll as I know it today. Sure, I was listening to Nirvana for a couple of yearsbefore I saw Linkin Park perform "Crawling" on Top of The Pops (yeah, I'm *that* old) but Nirvana were very much over at that point. Linkin Park were new, young and had their whole career ahead of them. I got in on the ground floor and I've been a fan ever since. I can't quite believe that Hybrid Theory turns 20 this year, and while it still hurts to be celebrating such a massive milestone without Chester, for me there are more happy memories tied up in that album, in that band, and in that time of my life than there is sadness. So I for one am very excited about the anniversary box set, which I've already been assured Santa is bringing me for Christmas. The band released one of the demos from the era - "She Couldn't" - and it's really interesting to hear the band making the sort of music pre Hybrid Theory that their so called "fans" would call them out for making after Hybrid Theory. It just goes to show that the evolution of Linkin Park - and it was one hell of an evolution - was always there. They were never going to be the band that re-made their debut, no matter how successful it was. I miss their bravery, I miss their skill and I miss their artistry.


Generally speaking, I'm still listening to a lot of Fever 333 and Anti-Flag. If the state of the world scares you right now (and ya know, it should be scaring you at least a little), then they're the type of band that'll remind you there are good, intelligent, compassionate, angry, dedicated people out there who are relentlessly pursuing change and progress. It's probably a little weird to be cheered up by political punk music, but oh well!



What I'm Watching


I tried to pace myself when watching the 2nd series of The Umbrella Academy, really I did, but...well, it didn't really work out. The new season is a masterpiece and highly, highly enjoyable. If you haven't watched this The Umbrella Academy yet, then you really should. Even if you feel like you may be suffering from superhero fatigue (luckily, I seem to be immune), the series is refreshing, fun and feels new - even though the 2nd series is set in the 60s.


The fam and I watched Hamilton on Disney+, which has led to obsessions of varying degrees among our household. I thought it was great - the staging, the music, the story - and we hope to see it in a theatre soon! It's a bit of a commitment (almost 3 hours long) and it moves fast, so it's not the sort of thing you can (or should) watch while scrolling the socials. But it is worth the time, and it's worthy of the hype, so definitely check it out if you can.


I'm also doing a Buffy re-watch when I find myself bored - I started with the season 2 finale and I'm just about half way through Season 3. I started watching Buffy in 97/98 (told you I was old) and was absolutely obsessed with it, so I've got enough of a grasp on the story to be able to just dip in and out, watching my favourite episodes when the mood strikes. It's remarkable how well it holds up now. Fashion choices aside, it's pretty timeless, and I've been enjoying it! My mum and I are also watching Desperate Housewives (I only got to season 4 when it was originally broadcast) and it's fun and crazy. My mum, sister and I also watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians at dinner, and it's hilarious. We all got a bit sucked in to it without really planning to, but it's fun to watch together. I'm not really one for "guilty pleasures" - if I like something, I like it, so what? - and the Kardashians show tends to fall under that category!



What I'm Reading


Not nearly enough, tbh. I used to be a ferocious reader, but finding the time is a bit of a struggle right now. Mostly I just read over what I've already done for Ne'ver, which I know isn't healthy. I'm tempted to pick up a copy of Midnight Sun (I had a Twilght phase) but haven't got round to it yet. I'm going to pick up the paperback edition of The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion because I decided not to read single issues (too impatient, I blame Netflix getting folk into the habit of getting a whole series at once!) so I will be reading that next, I think.


Gerard Way also announced a new run of his Killjoys comic, but I think I will get back into the habit of reading single issues for that one because I am super excited about it. One of my friends kindly recommended a subscription service where I can get the comics delivered to my house, so I'm going to set that up for sure!


I've been meaning to grab a copy of Ryan La Sala's Reverie as well, so hopefully I'll have more to share in this section next time!



General Life Stuff


Well this whole summer feels like a whole stretch of could've/should've beens - I had such a great summer planned! I was going to go to Slam Dunk Festival, Hella Mega Tour and the MCR reunion shows in Milton Keynes this summer. Oh, and I was supposed to be leaving for a trip to Paris in 22 days, but with the quarantine restrictions being put back in place here in the UK, my family and I have decided to postpone our holiday until next summer.


Still, while I may be a little sad when I look back over everything I should've been doing this summer, I'm grateful to be safe and healthy. I've spent some quality time with my family, we're all adjusting well to working and living in this "new normal", and hey, if nothing else, I got a book out of it. So I'm trying not to mourn my lost summer too much, and focus on all the fun stuff I have lined up for next year!


I'm getting a new tattoo next weekend, and I'm very excited about it. My right arm from elbow to wrist is pretty much covered, but I have a big blank space on my left arm. Next weekend, it's going to be filled in with a piece I'm very excited to have. I will no doubt post it all over my Instagram and Twitter, so if you don't follow me on those places, you should!


My local cinema is re-opening next week as well, and while I don't know what they'll be showing, I can't wait to go! I usually go to the cinema once a week, so it's been weird not going for so long. I'm looking forward to a little bit of normality.



So that's it from me for another little while. Stay safe, stay healthy and wear your mask!



By guest, Jul 18 2020 11:09AM

It's been about six months since I last updated this lil website of mine, so I figured that a little face lift was way over due.


So what's changed in the past six months?


I mean, apart from you know, our entire way of life.


In terms of the website, I've finished the book page for The Keswick Chronicles, updating it with the new buy links for the re-published editions of the books and I've put the link back in for the merch shop. I'm currently working on a new Forever Fading Echoes merch collection today and hope to have that up in the shop soon.


I have signed Struck over to a new publisher, and I'm so thrilled to say that after a disappointing false start, The Lightning Project has a new home. There hasn't been an official announcement yet but of course, I will share it when the time comes. I will say that the submission process for my new publisher was one of the easiest but most feedback intensive processes I have gone through so far, but it was totally worth it. When they came back to say they wanted to sign Struck, they were dropping comic book references that were very impressive and definitely won me over! So I'm sure that Struck is in the right place and my crew of superheroes will be back kicking ass in no time.


In other news:


I started writing a new novel about 2 weeks into the UK's lockdown. It was all a bit ridiculous - I was about 35-40% of the way through the first draft of Make It, the last book in The Keswick Chronicles series, when I had this crazy idea to do a Peter Pan reboot.


I have been obsessed with Peter Pan since my early teens. I wasn't too into it as a kid, but as I got older (yeah, I'm aware of the irony), I started to really love the story and the artwork it has generated over the last century or so. I have some gorgeous leather bound and illustrated editions of the book and I've even visited the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens more than once.


So why do a reboot when I love the original so much?


I'm not saying that what I'm working on is anywhere near as magical or as cool as the original because my grippling insecurtiy won't even let me think along those lines! But I just wanted to play around with the story a little bit and well...it turned into a whole big thing.


It was originally called "The Kensington Boy", but I've recently renamed this weird little WIP so it's now called "Ne'ver". The basic premise is this:


A decade ago, Wesley Darlington and his parents spent some time on the tropical island of Ne'ver. During the trip, Wes went missing, only to reappear a few days later with absolutely no recollection of where he'd been or what had happened while he was gone.


Skip forward ten years, and Wes is living in New York with his mom, stumbling through his senior year of high school and trying to figure out what to do with his life. Things get a little weird when he starts seeing a gorgeous, blond haired, bare foot boy around the city. His name is Peter. He met Wes on Ne'ver, a decade before. Oh, and he hasn't aged a day.


Needless to say, I'm having an absolute blast with this book! I'm back at work at the moment, but still working from home, and trying to squeeze in some writing when I can. I hope to have Ne'ver finished by the end of August - it'll probably be the quickest first draft I've ever done. Then starts the long process of shopping it around!


Lockdown is starting to ease here in Scotland, although of course life isn't anywhere near normal yet. I'm staying home pretty much all the time, learning to ply the ukulele and hanging out with my family. Is it weird to say it's been kind of nice?


Anyway, I hope you're all doing well out there in the big wide world, and I'm going to try and post again soon!


- Vix

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