Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Kristen Ciccarelli guest post - The Last Namsara blog tour

I received an advance reader copy of The Last Namsara from Gollancz and it's one of the best fantasy books that I've read for a long time. It has incredible mythology underpinning the world, a brave, interesting heroine and dragons. What more could you want? If you need more persuasion, you can read my review here.  

For the blog tour, I have a guest post from the lovely author Kristen Ciccarelli, who has some writing tips to share. After the guest post, you can read an author bio and a blurb for The Last Namsara. Welcome to YA Under My Skin, Kristen!

Top 3 Tips for Writers

1   First of all, if you write, call yourself a writer. I’ve met lots of people who refer to themselves as 'aspiring writers' which has never really made sense to me. If you aspire to do something, it means you’re not yet doing it. If you’re writing, then you are a writer. Own it. Take your writing seriously, and it will take you seriously.

2.  Do it because you love it. If you write books for any other reason than the writing, you’re probably going to hate being an author. It’s a hard job. You spend a lot of time alone, working under tight deadlines, and SO many things are out of your control. The only thing in your control are the words you put on the page. They need to bring you joy. If they don’t, your reader will know. And just as importantly: you won’t like being an author. You can’t do it for the external trappings. (You shouldn’t do anything for the external trappings—that is a recipe for unhappiness.) You have to do it for the act itself.

3.  Don’t let the NOs stop you. Rejection and failure are necessary in writing (and in life) in order to grow and get better. You can’t get better unless you fail first. And you can’t know how badly you want something until someone tells you that you can’t have it. So embrace the failure. Listen to the rejections in so far as they can help you, but don’t let them stop you. 


     Thanks so much for the advice, Kristen! It's encouraging to hear that published authors have met with rejection, to remember the important of self-believe and to love what you do.


A stunning YA fantasy series from a spectacular new voice in the genre, a perfect read for fans of Victoria Aveyard, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas.

There are some stories that are too dangerous to be told…

Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she's sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the terrible deed she committed as a child; she told one of the forbidden stories, one of the stories that summon the deadly dragons and that killed her mother. In doing so she almost destroyed her city and was left her with a terrible scar.

Only the death of Kozu, the first Dragon, will bring Asha true redemption, unite her father's fractured kingdom and allow her to avoid a horrifying arranged marriage. But no matter how hard she tries, the temptation to tell forbidden stories is something she cannot resist. (Publishers' blurb)

Author bio

Kristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario's Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather's grape farm. She's made her living as a baker, a bookseller, and a potter, but now writes books about bloodthirsty dragons, girls wielding really cool weapons, and the transformative power of stories. You can learn more at 


  1. These seem like really good tips! The Last Namsara sounds incredible; I'm really hoping to get it for my birthday!
    Amy xx

    1. I hope you manage to get a copy - it's really great! Thanks for commenting.