Wow, it’s dusty in here.

Let me just step over these piles of newspaper and boxes and – Oh, I wondered where that was…

Right, well. Here we are again. Long time no see. A lot’s happened since I last blogged: namely I’ve signed a two book deal with Trapeze, which is a brand new imprint of Orion. The first of these books is called “Tattletale”, and is out in March. It’s a psychological thriller for adults, and you can pre-order it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tattletale-Sarah-J-Naughton/dp/1409170225/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

cseig4lweaaydwhI must say the crime scene is lots of fun. I particularly enjoyed the Harrogate, Cheltenham and Killer Women Festivals, where I met some very famous authors, some of whom were good enough to read the book and give me some great cover blurbs:

‘A gripping thriller. Delivers suspense, twists and sharp writing.’ Lisa Jewell, author of I FOUND YOU

‘I thoroughly enjoyed TATTLETALE, sympathetic characters and neck breaking twists – highly recommended’ Jenny Blackhurst, author of BEFORE I LET YOU IN
‘a fast paced, brilliant page-turner…I predict a hit’ Liz Nugent

‘…deliciously clever – I still haven’t stopped thinking about the magnificent, twisted construction of it’ Emma Kavanagh, author of THE MISSING HOURS

‘It’s one of the best debuts I’ve read. It deserves to be MASSIVE.’ Julia Crouch

‘Lies, mystery and murder wrought by childhood trauma in this compulsive, twisty thriller.’ Helen Smith, author of BEYOND BELIEF

‘A well-crafted tale of love, obsession and murder – beautifully written and brilliantly twisted.’ Ava Marsh, author of EXPOSURE

Also a very nice early review on Liz Loves Books: http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/ones-to-watch-in-2017-tattletale-sarah-j-naughton/

I’ve really enjoyed writing thrillers, and it doesn’t feel like too much of a step away from the YA stuff, but if you’re a kid reading this, probably best to save Tattletale until you’re a bit older.

Thanks to anyone still hanging around here.  I promise to be more diligent in my blogging from now on…


Tackling Publisher Edits by Emma Haughton


You may have noticed I haven’t blogged for a while. This is why.


As chance would have it, my allotted post on revision tips has fallen on the eve of my first structural edit for book three. So, no better time to think through the process, and gird my loins for the ordeal to come.

Because publisher edits – particularly the first set – are something of an ordeal. And not just for me, it seems. Structural edits put the fear of God into most writers; I know cos I’ve been hanging out on social media long enough to see plenty of posts about the arrival of the ‘dreaded’ notes for a new book.

Emma Haughton

After all, it’s a big moment. You’ve slogged your way through your first draft, revised and polished till it shines, then you send it off and sit and wait. And wait. Chew off all your fingernails. Start on your toenails. Then your editor cheerily announces that the notes will…

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What I've been doing

On the 28th Feb I took the fast train to Birmingham for the first ever UKYA Extravaganza, organised by YA authors, Emma Pass (of ‘ACID’ fame) and Carnegie nominated Kerry Drewery.

We met in a local pub where we conversed with great erudition and insight on weighty matters like who had the best bookmarks.

Here’s a photo of us having lunch.  That’s award winning author Bryony Pearce taking our orders, bless her.


Several pints later we all staggered across the road to Waterstones and headed for the cake table.


It was daunting to see the number of bloggers and vloggers and YA fans start arriving, and even more daunting to see how old they were. I mean, shouldn’t they be busy burning their initials into a park bench?

There were 35 of us writers, and over the course of the following two hours we each did a minute slot up the front, introducing ourselves and our books and taking questions (the bloggers were very sweet to pretend not to know the answers already).


After this we signed books and milled around chatting for a while before it was time to get back on the train full of football fans who were civilised and respectable and completely non-fighty the entire way back to Euston.*

Thanks to Emma, Kerry and Gem and her team at Waterstones for an absolutely brilliant day.  There’s going to be another one in Nottingham in October, so keep your ears peeled.

*they weren’t but I upgraded to first and so avoided being spattered in blood and vomit.

Sorry it took so long…

What I've been doing


I appear not to have blogged for a while, so here’s a rundown of what’s been going on and what’s happening soon:

  • There are always great articles on the Author Allsorts blog, and last month’s theme was writers’ daily routines.  Here’s mine.
  • At the end of last year my fantastic former editor, Shelley Instone, became a fully-fledged literary agent, so get in quick if you’ve got a manuscript.
  • The Blood List was nominated for the Sussex ABAs.
  • On the 28th of Feb I’ll be attending the UKYA Extravaganza at Waterstones in Birmingham, where authors and bloggers will be doing talks/reading/generally gushing about young adult fiction.  Here’s the list of authors who’ll be there:

UKYAE copy

There’s a blog tour to link up with it, and I’ll be interviewed by the excellent Fluttering Butterflies blog.

  • World Book Day is coming up on the 5th March, and I’ll be spending the day with the year 7s and 8s at Harris Merton High.
  • The move to Dorset has made little progress but we have bought a sofa bed.

That’s it for now.  The manuscript that was all ready to go has had last minute nerves and demanded an extra 25,000 words before it will leave the house, so I may not resurface again for another few months…