‘Debut Author Spotlight’ is a new feature here on Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each month from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
This month’s spotlight is on debut young adult author…

E. J. Newman
Emma writes dark short stories, post-apocalyptic novels, has secured funding to write a new five book urban fantasy series and records audiobooks in all genres. In an effort to retain a modicum of sanity, she blogs and gets up to all kinds of writing mischief at www.enewman.co.uk.

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E. J. Newman Online
Ten Random Facts About E. J.
1. My first crush was on Harrison Ford, mostly as Indiana Jones.
Between the ages of 12-14, my bedroom was plastered with Indy pictures and posters, I went to the cinema to see the Last Crusade seven times, I knew the scripts off by heart. Discussing it with a friend a little while ago, I realise now how innocent it was; I wanted him to whisk me off on an adventure, nothing more – I don’t even remember fantasising about kissing him (I do now, I hasten to add). I simply adored him.
2. The most influential idol I had as a teen was Doc Emmet Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy.
When I moved from Indy onto Back to the Future (it was seeing the third one in the cinema that clinched it) I loved the Doc more than anyone else. He was my ultimate hero – whilst all of my friends were swooning over Marty, I was worrying about whether Doc Brown was okay. Yeah, I was weird (still am) but I think the thing I loved most about him however was his passionate drive to achieve what everyone said was impossible. His phrase “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything” became my mantra. Only now in my mid-thirties do I realise how deeply that seeped into my teenage heart, and what an excellent role-model he was.
3. I have to wear my socks inside out.
I’d better explain that, hadn’t I? Well, it’s all to do with that seam that runs across the toes; I can’t stand the way it feels, but when the socks are inside out the seam is on the outside and all is well with the world. 
4. The book that made me fall in love with the post-apocalyptic setting was…
Empty World by John Christopher. We read it in English class when I was about 13 I think. Scenes still haunt me, I’ve managed to hunt down a copy but I’ve been putting off reading it, just in case it isn’t as marvellous as I recall.
5. I was born just outside a tiny fishing village in Cornwall, England.
Between Penzance and Mousehole (pronounced maowzall) there used to be a tiny community hospital called Bolitho. I grew up a few miles away and miss being so close to the sea. Whenever I feel lost, I close my eyes and imagine myself standing on top of one of the granite cliffs, the Atlantic crashing against the rocks below and I always feel better.
6. I have a healthy suspicion of mushrooms.
I’m sorry, I just can’t eat anything that looks like a sliced and fried slug. Enough said.
7. Tea is very, very important.
It’s not just the taste, it’s the ritual. There is something so deeply comforting about standing next to a boiling kettle, swirling the tea bag (can’t afford loose leaf at the rate I consume it), pouring in the milk. It makes everything better, those five minutes away from the screen can unlock a paragraph I’m stuck on or resolve a bit of plot that’s clunky. Honestly, if you want to invade the UK, cut off our supply of tea (and coffee, I need two cups of that to get going in the morning) and within three days we’ll either be killing each other or just huddling in corners weeping.
8. I don’t have a favourite film
I can never narrow it down to one. The best I can get it down to is my top five, and even that makes me squirm. The current top five are (in no particular order): Master and Commander: Far Side of the World, Aliens, Watchmen, The Dark Knight and Brazil. Oh, and The Thief of Bagdad and Sideways. No wait, that’s seven – oh I just can’t do it!
9. I record audiobooks in a booth made from two wardrobe doors.
Recycling at its best; my very clever step-dad made me a booth out of bits of wood and two old wardrobe doors when I became a professional audio book narrator and couldn’t afford that lovely egg-box foam. I use velvet instead which is perfect for soaking up bouncy sound waves. It also makes my recording booth look more like something a dodgy fortune teller would use at a fair, which makes me happy.
10. When I was seventeen I wrote a short story that got me into university and…
… gave me a ten year long writer’s block. I was so blocked, I even forgot I used to write stories all the time. It was not the nicest experience, I bounced from job to job whilst in retrospect, I realise I was just trying to find somewhere to put all of the frustrated writing energy. I was a designer-dressmaker, a magazine publisher, an A-level psychology teacher and an SEO copywriter during that time but you know, whilst I’m sad that I lost ten years of writing time, I lived a lot and experienced aspects of life that still feed into my books. Teaching in central London and commuting in every day certainly helped with the post-apocalyptic setting of 20 Years Later and the energy of teenagers not yet jaded by the world fed into the book too. Having been a designer-dressmaker is very handy now I am getting into Steampunk and my experience of being a copywriter makes me appreciate just how lucky I am to only write fiction for a living now.

E. J. is kindly giving away ONE (1) signed ARC of “20 Years Later” to ONE (1) lucky winner! 

This giveaway in UK ONLY and ends 21st December 2011


Released May, 2011 from Dystopia Press
LONDON, 2012: It arrives and with that the world is changed into an unending graveyard littered with the bones, wreckage, and memories of a dead past, gone forever. 

LONDON, 2032: Twenty years later, out of the ashes, a new world begins to rise, a place ruled by both loyalty and fear, and where the quest to be the first to regain lost knowledge is an ongoing battle for power. A place where laws are made and enforced by roving gangs—the Bloomsbury Boys, the Gardners, the Red Lady’s Gang—who rule the streets and will do anything to protect their own. 

THE FOUR: Zane, Titus, Erin, Eve. Living in this new world, they discover that they have abilities never before seen.  And little do they know that as they search post-apocalyptic London for Titus’ kidnapped sister that they’ll uncover the secret of It, and bring about a reckoning with the forces that almost destroyed all of humanity.

To enter please follow instructions below

/*{literal}{/literal}*/ a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews December 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

This sounds terrific! I would be most afraid fo very mundaine thing I think – getting ill or injured, and rendered helpless and not being able to get help I'm used to.


Emma Newman December 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hi Kara, I share that fear too. I was told the other day that I need to have my wisdom teeth taken out in hospital and it made me so grateful that I don't live in post-apocalyptic London! But then, I suppose I am a bit strange… :o)


Sam December 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I always wonder what I would be like in a post-apocalyptic situation! I'd probably be terrible at surviving – I can't think rationally under pressure! – but I would definitely be most afraid of being alone. At least if I was with other people, we could all stick together. If I was alone, I'd be totally helpless.

Great giveaway, by the way. Book sounds fantastic! :)


Nina @ Death Books and Tea December 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

As a 12-14 year old myself, I love Indiana Jones. Don't quite have a crush on him, but I think having an adventure like his would be amazing.
Can't afford loose tea? Get everyone else to get it for you! I don't know what my schoolmates thought of being told to get their secret santee some "loose leaf tea"…but I got it ok!
Thanks to BCC for alerting meto an author who looks awesome


Mel December 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Back to the future was one of my favourite films growing up. I saw all three films so often that I could quote all the lines just before they were said – drove my brother mad!

Anyway, if I was in a post-apocalyptic London I think I would most afraid of the rats and feral cats – I have a vision of them ruling London together and humans having to hide in dark corners! But then I may be a little odd…

Mel S


Nimue December 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

I love the tea comment and that it is all about the ritual of doing it.
The blurb of the book is very intriguing, I hope I win :)


Books Glorious Books December 19, 2011 at 4:32 am

I've actually been wanting to go to Cornwall for a little holiday and tea is definitely very very important! I have my own little routines for tea and a nice book – it's the best feeling in the world!


AlexSarahLouise December 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

The Blurb of the book looks amazing :)! i hope i win :)

i loved the comment about your favorite film. i can never narrow it down to one either!

Thanks for the giveaway!


AlexSarahLouise December 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

I would probably be most afraid of the wildlife. Im always jumpy with noises !


Teressa Oliver December 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

This book sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it. As I will be moving from the states to the London area in about 6 months, I would be most afraid of the other survivors and having to fight them for basic necessities.
teressaoliver at gmail dot com


Captain Biscuits December 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think I would be most afraid of being alone! I doubt I'd do very well surviving like that, I would definitely need someone else to be there and guide me and to help!


Emma Newman December 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Sam and Captain Biscuits (great name!) I agree, being alone would be so hard. I wonder if I'd go mad without anyone else to talk to or cuddle.

Nina – that is one of the best Secret Santa presents I've heard of :)

Mel – I think rats and feral animals would be a huge problem, but I reckon that 20 years after an apocalypse the populations would have stabilised… look time to survive though.

Nimue, thank you :)

Books Glorious Books – if you do go to Cornwall I recommend St Michael's Mount, the Minack Theatre and Kynance Cove as great day trips :) Tea and books… mmmmmm ….

Alex, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Teressa – people are fantastic when the disaster happens, and just after, but I fear that in the long term, protection of limited resources would be a real problem, and is one of the reasons why the London in 20 Years Later is the way it is.


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