Demon Road by Derek Landy

I don’t read a lot of YA, mostly because I find romance *icky*. (I have the heart and soul of an eight-year-old.) Sure a hint of romance might be ok, but anything more than a quick peck after a long courtship and I’m hiding behind my fingers whispering ewwww!

BUT, I made an exception for Derek Landy. I loved the Skulduggery Pleasant Series so much, so when his new book Demon Road came out, I HAD TO HAVE IT. And then I couldn’t read it because I was finishing my own draft of the second Alice Jones Mystery.

But I finished my draft! And I devoured Demon Road in two days. (It would have been one, but I had to feed my children.)  Here’s the blurb:

51evp5grutL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in…Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…

What I love about this book is that you jump in and hit the ground running. The first line sets the pace  (seriously, go check it out) and things don’t slow down. Amber is on a supernatural road trip and every stop on the Demon Road, we get to deal with another villain from our worst nightmares. It’s such a clever set up, because it means the plot gets to have vampires, wicker-witches, demons AND a serial killer or two without feeling crowded.

Besides the sheer joy Landy obviously takes in writing scares, he’s also crafted a real and likable cast of characters. I love Amber, and how she has to deal with her inner demons (literally). A girl after my own heart, Amber has no time for blossoming romance while on the run for her life. Her response to an attempted kiss is priceless.

I’m going to cut this short before I squee all over the page. I recommend this book if you like genuine scary stories. There is blood, gore and major peril. Read at your own risk.

Writing, with Children

Recently Girls Heart Books had a great blog post by Sophia Bennett on the best writer’s rooms and sheds. I had a serious case of shed envy. Or tower envy. (Seriously, check out the tower!) I do dream that one day, I’ll have a little room of my own to write in, but for now I do not.

I thought it would be fun to share the other side of the writing-space coin, so here is where I write: On the couch, in our living room, amidst a sea of chaos and usually with a baby somewhere on my person. And now for the glamour shots

Writing with Baby2 Here you can see I’ve got my coffee in easy reach, and tissues (for me or the baby or both? I don’t remember). There’s an old pillow that my son has used as a landing pad one too many times and a toy horse sitting on top of the page proofs Chicken House sent me in the background. BUT the baby is sleeping! Glorious, glorious day.

Writing with Baby3

In this photo you can see me trying to give my daughter her own computer to ‘write’ on. She is far too smart for that. You can also see my hoover sitting where I left it to ‘remind’ me I need to use it. I am very good at ignoring it. In the far background, you can see the pile of coats, scarves and notes from school that gather by our front door.

Writing with Baby1And finally, I’ve given in. The baby is ‘helping’ me write. Any typos are hers, all the brilliant bits are mine.

I’ll be honest, I don’t get a lot done some days.

But I think that’s the life of a writer whether you’ve got a shed or not. I’m always looking for that one gadget that’s going to make writing a breeze (a wireless keyboard, fancy writing software, a dictaphone) but in my heart I know I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist. No matter how many helpful tools you have, you still need to do the hard part. The most important thing isn’t where you write, or what you write with, it’s that you sit down and do it!

(…but I still want that tower.)