Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 in Review

On the final day of 2017 I'm going to shout about some of the things that have brought me joy over the past twelve months. 

Personally, I had a pretty great year, and I'm hugely thankful to end the year in remission from Crohn's Disease.  Good health allowed me to have a productive writing year, with the publication of 'The Café in Fir Tree Park' in May and 'Joe and Clara's Christmas Countdown' in October.  I gained a friend and agent in Julia Silk in June and drafted the first book in a series, which I'm currently in the process of editing - it's due to go out on submission to publishers in early 2018.  I became a vegan.  I walked a lot.  I spent quality time with family and friends.

As a fan of live music I saw (amongst others) old favourites (Take That, Frank Turner) and little-known gems (Charlie Barnes, Felix Hagan and the Family); world-wide megastars (Blondie, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles) and hot new talent (Declan McKenna).  I also listened to a lot of Blossoms, Bastille and Man Made this year and would love to see them live during 2018.

I enjoyed fabulous musical theatre, seeing 'The Girls' in London and touring productions of 'Rent', 'Grease', 'The Addams Family' and 'The Band' and am looking forward to more toe-tapping in theatres around the country in 2018.

Although I read less this year than usual, what I did read was incredibly satisfying.  I loved heart-warming stories of friendship and community from Kat French (The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach) and Cressida McLaughlin (The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse), and a chilling thriller (Then She Was Gone) from Lisa Jewell.  Top notch non-fiction came in the form of Johnny Marr's autobiography 'Set the Boy Free', surprise bestseller 'The Secret Lives of Colour' by Kassia St.Clair and Daniel Gray's love letter to football 'Saturday, 3pm'; and humour via Mary Jayne Baker's 'Meet Me at the Lighthouse', and Keris Stainton's 'If You Could See Me Now'.  'Radio Silence' (Alice Oseman), 'So This is Permanence' (Ian Curtis), 'Everywoman' (Jess Phillips), 'The State of Grace' (Rachael Lucas), 'Moxie' (Jennifer Mathieu), 'All That She Can See' (Carrie Hope Fletcher) and 'My Not-So Perfect Life' (Sophie Kinsella) were my other favourite reads.  I also fell completely back in love with the Sweet Valley books I adored in my teens, and looked forward to Fridays when my copy of trade magazine 'The Bookseller' arrived.

I discovered podcasts, devouring every episode of The Debrief, Hey, It's OK, Happy Mum, Happy Baby and Get It Off Your Breasts alongside any Sweet Valley themed podcast I could download.

Pleasure came in many other forms, too.  Sleepy cream from Lush.  Fluffy slipper socks.  Cake at Steel City Cakes on Sheffield's Abbeydale Road.  Crate digging at Spinning Discs record shop.  Meeting with a friend to watch favourite Disney films.  Booja Booja ice cream (and Booja Booja chocolate). 

Thank you, 2017.  Thank you.

I'd love to hear about the things you've loved in 2017 - tweet me @katey5678 or comment below!

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