Keris Stainton's Blog

October 14, 2016

happy-home-edI’ve self-published an ebook about our home ed adventure:


Not sure home education is right for you? Nor was Keri s Stainton…


Keris Stainton had never really considered home education. It just seemed too radical. Eccentric. Different. Weird.


But it’s estimated that over 50,000 children are home educated in the UK and this figure is rising by 65% per year – they can’t all be weirdos, can they?


Turns out that deciding to take her 7-year-old son out of school was the perfect way to find out.


This book is a collection of Keris’s blog posts over two years of blogging about her family’s (hugely positive) experience of home education. It also includes interviews with other home educating families, because one of the most interesting things about home ed is that everyone does it differently.


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Published on October 14, 2016 03:18 • 70 views

August 9, 2015

I don’t blog very much anymore, I’m afraid. If you want me, you can find me most often on Twitter. I’m also addicted to Tumblr and Instagram. And very occasionally on Facebook.


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Published on August 09, 2015 04:47 • 179 views

June 4, 2015

forever-judy-blume1Not the current cover, clearly, but the one I remember from yore.

I haven’t read much Judy Blume. I read Forever, of course (it wasn’t shelved in my local library – it was ‘under the counter’ and you had to ask for it), and a few years ago I read Deenie, but I feel like there’s a Judy Blume-shaped hole in my YA reading.


Since Ms Blume is going to be at YALC in July, I figured now would be a good time to, er, fill that hole. And because I don’t like to do anything on my own, I thought I’d host* a readalong.


It’s six weeks until YALC, so I asked for book nominations on Twitter, and have come up with a shortlist of six books. The readalong starts next Monday, the 8th June with, of course, Forever.


The full schedule:


08 June – Forever

15 June – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

22 June – Tiger Eyes

29 June – Blubber

06 July – Just As Long As We’re Together

13 July – Starring Sally J Freedman As Herself.


Everyone is welcome to join in and use the hashtag #readalongralph


* I don’t really know what this means and have no idea what hosting entails, so if I’m doing it wrong, let me know.


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Published on June 04, 2015 03:29 • 82 views

April 16, 2015

weefreeYears ago – like 25 years ago – I bought one of those ‘100 books you need to read before you die’ books. The first book listed was The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett. I read a bit in a shop (probably Athena in the Trocadero, this really was a long time ago), but didn’t think it was my kind of thing.


Over the subsequent years, people recommended Terry Pratchett books to me a lot. I worked in a bookshop and customers told me I had to read him. I had a book of my own published and other authors told me I had to read him. I kept saying I would, but I never did.


And then he died. And the outpouring of love and sadness on Twitter (and elsewhere) convinced me I really had to read him. Plus the quotes people tweeted were inspiring and funny and true. And then Viv said she was thinking of hosting a blog tour in tribute and so I jumped at the chance to read my first Terry Pratchett book.


People had recommended the Tiffany Aching series to me a few times and I think I Shall Wear Midnight is a completely BRILLIANT title, but obviously I had to start at the beginning, so I chose The Wee Free Men.


And I loved it. I loved Tiffany and Miss Tick and I especially loved the Nac Mac Feegles, who made me laugh out loud more than once. I loved the themes of stories and dreams and memory and reality and I will absolutely be reading the next Tiffany Aching book.


I may well read The Colour of Magic too.


Head over to the wonderful Sister Spooky tomorrow, for the next stop on the tour.


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Published on April 16, 2015 00:00 • 67 views

March 19, 2015

egghunt


Welcome to the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt! One very lucky winner will win a huge grand prize of signed books (including my two latest: Starring Kitty and Spotlight on Sunny, see below) by over thirty YA authors who write and live in the UK.


All you have to do is read this blog, count up how many UKYA branded Easter eggs you see in the blog, and follow the link at the end to the next blog. Keep going until you get back to the blog where you started, and add up how many eggs you���ve seen along the way.


Email your answer to: UKYA2015egghunt@gmail.com. A winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries, and contacted by email.


This closes at noon (UK time) on Sunday, 5th April, and is open internationally.


So get finding those eggs! And some awesome UKYA authors and books along the way. Your next stop is The Red Pen of Doom.


Good luck!


My prize: Signed copies of Starring Kitty and Spotlight On Sunny, the first two books in the Reel Friends series.


Keris Starring Kitty cover Sometimes the greatest love stories happen behind the scenes���


Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with her mum’s illness. And how she’s falling for the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?


sunny Are you brave enough to rewrite the script?


After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course ��� in London! Sunny can���t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day���) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend ��� lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don���t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that���s not even the biggest thing on her mind ��� there���s also the big secret she���s hiding from her best friends���


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Published on March 19, 2015 05:00 • 165 views

March 9, 2015

I’ve been tagged on tumblr to do this by the wonderful��Sara Barnard (read all about her forthcoming book here).


The rules of this game are as follows: ���Scroll through your manuscript and stop at a random place in the text. Whatever you land on becomes one of ten terrible titles.���


I scrolled and read the half page I landed on and picked out any phrase that looked like a title (or made me laugh). I actually think this gives a pretty good overview of the book (Counting Stars, out later this year) and may also possibly be the next ten books I write ;)


1. Even Smelled Exciting


2. Another Flight of Stairs


3. Madly in Love With Liverpool


4. No Wonder She Was Hungry


5. The Vomit Building


6. Boy Band Dork


7. No Joy Today


8. Touch That For Luck


9. Hot Dogs and Chips


10. Lady Wood


I’m not going to tag anyone, but obviously you should do it if you fancy it (and let me know if you do!).


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Published on March 09, 2015 00:47 • 57 views

March 5, 2015

twobooks


It’s the second book in the Reel Friends series, the follow-up to Starring Kitty. Don’t they look gorgeous together?!


Are you brave enough to rewrite��the script?


After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course – in London! Sunny can’t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day…) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend – lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don’t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that’s not even the biggest thing on her mind – there’s also the big secret she’s hiding from her best friends…


You can read the first chapter here��and a wonderful first review (that made me cry) on The Overflowing Library, and��my editor has written this gorgeous post – 10 Things I Love About Spotlight On Sunny��(also made me cry).


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Published on March 05, 2015 00:41 • 81 views

February 6, 2015

sesame12I’ve been blogging for twelve years today. Twelve years. I had to double-check when I thought about it this morning because how can it be twelve years? But I know it must be, because I started blogging before I had a book out (and that’s five years this May) and I started blogging before I had any kids (and my oldest is eleven in June) and I started blogging before I started writing professionally (and I’ve been self-employed for ten years in October), but still… twelve years. Blimey.


It seems a bit odd to celebrate it though, because I hardly blog anymore. The type of stuff I used to write on my blog I now mostly put on Facebook. And the rest of the time (pretty much all of the time) I’m just chatting away on Twitter. I’m also on Tumblr a bit (mostly for the Harry Styles gifs, ngl) and I’m loving Instagram.


sunnyI’m also writing, writing, writing. Just not here. The second book in the Reel Friends series, Spotlight on Sunny, is out next month. Counting Stars comes out with Hot Key Books in September. And then there’s another as-yet-unannounced book at the end of the year. And plotting and planning for more��more��more.


Things have changed a lot in twelve years…


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Published on February 06, 2015 03:41 • 66 views

February 5, 2015

November 30, 2014

I finally read my friend Sarah Painter’s book The Secrets of Ghosts and I loved it. Romantic, funny and genuinely spooky.


Another book that’s been on my tbr for ages is Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse. I absolutely love CJ’s books, they’re so funny and weird. Much like CJ herself…


I had pre-ordered Amy Poehler’s Yes Please on Kindle, but when friends started receiving their hard copies a few days before publication date, I couldn’t contain myself – I scooted off to an actual shop and bought a hardback copy. And I adored it, as I knew I would. Funny, wise, and kind. I didn’t want it to end. (I cancelled the Kindle order.)


I’ve loved all of Mhairi McFarlane’s books so far and It’s Not Me, It’s You was no exception. It took me longer to get into this one than her other two, but I still really enjoyed it and it has one of the hottest heroes I’ve read for a while.


I’ve wanted to re-read The Swish of the Curtain – one of my childhood favourites – for a while now, but I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered. It wasn’t actually anything like I remembered, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I’ll definitely be reading more in the series (I don’t remember if I did as a kid).


I wasn’t at all sure about reading Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl. I was annoyed at her comments about there not being any books featuring girls having adventures (check out the YA section, Caitlin, it’ll blow your mind) and the description sounded very much like the same story she’s already told in The Chronicles of Narmo, Raised by Wolves and How to be a Woman. Much of it was pretty familiar,��but I didn’t care. I loved it. Sweet and smart and very, very funny.


I probably wouldn’t have read Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth if I hadn’t got to know Eve online – I don’t really like reading about bullying (I know you’re not supposed to like it, but what can I say, I’m a wuss), but I’m so glad I did. It’s a quick read, but an original and powerful one that I think will really resonate with teens.


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Published on November 30, 2014 08:48 • 61 views