Author: Joanna Olney

Holly Bourne’s Top Writing Tips



Keep a diary

Want to write, but still waiting for that
killer idea? That doesn’t mean you can’t start! Begin by keeping a diary. It’s
a great way to find your voice and to get into the habit of writing every day.
Plus, you may find your daily grind actually has a few story gems in there. I
religiously kept a diary all through my teenhood, and re-read them before I
start writing a new book. They’re the best resource.


You cannot fix a blank page. So, if you’re
too worried everything you write is TERRIBLE to actually…you know…write
anything – just DO IT. Every single author I know thinks what they write is
terrible. But they write anyway. Editing is key to making something read well.
Everyone’s first drafts are awful. But you can’t edit what’s not there – so
write write write.


Read all the time. Dedicate at least the
same amount of time to reading, as you do to writing. Reading IS writing. It helps hone your own
thoughts, your own ideas, your own craft. If you want to be a writer, and yet
you don’t read books…Well then I can’t help you my friend.  

Holly Bourne is the author of Soulmates, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting and Am I Normal Yet? She’s really awesome. For more of her inimitable wit and wisdom follow her on Twitter @holly_bourneYA. 

And head over to Holly’s tumblr here for two INCREDIBLY EXCITING REVEALS about her new book, How Hard Can Love Be? coming later today!

HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? exclusive reveal



We are uber excited to reveal that the second book in the Normal Series – HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? will be published in February 2016! THE book for Valentine’s Day!

And here’s the super-gorg cover in all it’s glory:

Isn’t it a beaut?


All Amber wants is a little bit of
love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to
California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber’s
hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.

And then there’s prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he
really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends
Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard.

And there’s even more – there will be EXCLUSIVE EXTRA CONTENT limited to the first print run of HHCLB.

Bring on February 2016!

Introducing: A Boy and a Biscuit



Here at the Usborne YA Shelfie HQ,
there’s nothing we like better than nattering about our favourite
characters while enjoying a biscuit or three. It only seemed logical
therefore that we brighten up Monday afternoons with:


Monday, we will be sharing one of our favourite characters, along with
the biscuit we think they’re most suited to. So, without further ado, I
am very pleased to introduce our first boy, and our first biscuit…

BOY: Noah

BOOK: Soulmates by Holly Bourne

BISCUIT: Jaffa Cake (we are, for the purposes of this post, counting this as a biscuit…)

REASON: When Noah, the mysterious but incredibly attractive guitarist, locks eyes with Poppy at a gig, we fell head-over-heels in love more quickly than you can say “McVitie’s”.

Like Noah, the Jaffa Cake has really nailed the whole “dark and brooding” thing on the outside. But we’re not fooled by that, no. We know both Noah and the Jaffa are full of sweetness and jam on the inside, with hearts of (orangey) gold. Noah is also very dependable but not afraid to show his emotions, which we thought was perfectly matched with the Jaffa’s solid but subtle cake base.

Noah, meet your biscuit match!

And ready yourselves for much more biscuity excellence next Monday when we reveal our next #BoyandaBiscuit…

Pre-order competition update…

If you entered our Am I Normal Yet? pre-order competition then keep an eye out for swag arriving soon! Winners have been chosen. Swag has been packed and posted. Packages are on their way!

Here’s the lovely Usborne Fiction team (Find out more usborneyashelfies​) modelling said swag.

Think you can do better? We’d love to see your photos! Please tag @usborne #100daysofnormal 

Some snaps from Holly’s fab event at Edinburgh Book Festival, chatting ‘Standing up to stress and anxiety‘ with Nicola Morgan.

Bourne Book Bundle and Swag Giveaway

Head over to Maximum Pop for the chance to WIN a copy of Soulmates, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting and Am I Normal Yet? plus exclusive SWAG including awesome tote and t-shirt!

Phew! What are you waiting for?!

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