Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Worth A Shot: coming soon!

An early Christmas present for you!

The first Luke Sharpe File, Worth A Shot, will be released 13th December 2016. This is a little companion novella, running alongside I, Spy? but from Luke's point of view. After all, he can't just sit around waiting for Sophie to get into trouble: he's got a life of his own!


Luke Sharpe is a spy. And he's good at what he does. He's smart, he's brave, he's loyal. So what on Earth has just possessed him to hire Sophie Green, an incompetent, untrainable blonde, as his new partner?

Get into the mind of Sophie's favourite spy as he tries to answer that question for himself, and discover what he was really up to when he was out of her sight.

This 40,000 word novella runs alongside I, Spy?, the first in the popular Sophie Green series of mysteries.

And! Just in case you haven't checked out the re-released I, Spy? it will be FREE on Kindle for five days from 9th December. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Max Seventeen is on sale NOW!

Yes, Max is finally here! And to celebrate I thought I'd answer a few questions about it...

Is the glitch fixed?

Yes! If you buy Max now, you'll get a lovely properly formatted file. If you've already got the wrongly formatted file (you'll know when you see it) Amazon should be issuing an update soon. If you really can't wait, let me know (details below) and I'll sort you out.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

What inspired you to write Max Seventeen?

Tom Hopper's amazing arms. 

No, not really. Inspiration's a hard thing to pin down, but my major influences at the time were Black Sails and Mad Max: Fury Road. One is a drama about the Golden Age of Piracy that's full of sex and violence. The other is a non-stop dystopian car chase driven by a hard-as-nails woman. 

Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road


As for why it's set in space...mostly because space is cool. Also because I could build whatever sort of worlds there I wanted.

How long did it take to write?

Three months, which is bloody fast for me (especially considering it's nearly 130,000 words!).

You said there was lots of sex and violence in this book. Will it make me squeamish?

Well, there are only a couple of sex scenes on the page; but off the page, there are quite a few more. And fair warning, they're not all between men and women, so if that offends you, take a long hard look at yourself...

Also, there is quite a lot of blood. In my defence, I really like writing scenes where my characters exchange intimacies while patching each other up.

What did you research for this book?

Well, I'm actually writing a guest post for Libertà on this so I won't spoil it, but a sample of my answers would be: Layers of a planet's atmosphere. How to provide a spaceship with breathable air and gravity. How thick a cutlass blade is. Whether it's actually possible to rip out a human jugular using only your teeth. What that giant sea-dwelling dinosaur in Jurassic World is. Helicon double-layer thrusters. Exoplanets...

What's your favourite line?

This one: 

"Oh, fuck the lot of you," Max said.
"You more or less have," replied Orpheus

Who would play the characters in a film?

Ooh I love this game. Tom Hopper as Riley. Ridiculously tall and muscular but with the most earnest, honest blue eyes. He's adorable, but you wouldn't beat him at arm-wrestling.

Tom Hopper in Black Sails

Zawe Ashton as Max. I didn't have anyone in mind for her when I wrote her. She has the shaved head and general demeanour of Imperator Furiosa, but isn't as pale. Then a few months later the final series of Fresh Meat started and I realised there was a lot of Zawe's character Vod in Max. 

Zawe Ashton in Fresh Meat


As for the others...I'll let you suggest them! Captain Orpheus is lean and feline with long dark hair; he rarely smiles. Justine, his second in command, is dark-skinned and regal. Her brother, Émile, describes himself as ugly, but I'm not sure I believe him. Petal, the pilot, is tiny and doll like; I see her as Asian. Murtaugh is bearded and a bit oafish. Hide is simply a mountain of a man. Angharad is red-haired and beautiful, and has been living on a planet with no sunlight.
Tell you what...read it and tell me who should play them!


Max Seventeen is out now as an ebook and paperback exclusively from Amazon!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Minor glitch

Hi everybody,

It's come to my attention that some devices are displaying formatting glitches in the Max Seventeen file. I literally only discovered this less than two hours after the file had gone live, when I was looking at it on my Paperwhite.

I had of course proofed and previewed the file in every way Amazon KDP allows, but somewhere along the way it seems to have become corrupted and the formatting has gone a bit wrong. If you've discovered that the text
".suddenly looks" 
", like this" 
for no apparent reason 

...then I do apologize quite sincerely!

I'm working through the night trying to find out what went wrong and how I can prevent it happening again (it hasn't happened with any of my other books), but in the meantime, I've created a new .mobi format version of the file which you can email directly to your Kindle which appears to have fixed the issue.

If you would like me to send you this, please email me your receipt of purchase for the original Kindle file to katejohnsonauthor@gmail.com and I will send you the .mobi file which you can then email to your Kindle (for instructions see below). I trust you'll understand why I'm asking for the receipt to be included, and that you won't pass on my email to anyone unless they've had the same problem.

To find your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address, visit the Manage your Devices page at Manage Your Kindle (under Your Account). Documents can only be sent to your Kindle devices or apps from e-mail accounts that you added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List. 

 I am also in the process of uploading the corrected file to Amazon KDP (which I can't do until it's completed the initial publishing process, how frustrating!) so it can update the file you've already bought. You might need to switch on automatic book updates:

 To enable Automatic Book Updates: Go to Manage Your Content and Devices (under Your Account). Select Settings. Select Automatic Book Update to expand the section. Select On to receive automatic updates for your book, or select Off to receive an email notification when an update is available to download. 

Once again, I apologize for this: please believe that I didn't know anything was wrong until now! This would never have happened if Max and Riley had been here to fix things...

 PS: I am reminding myself that the BBC suffered a powercut on the night of BBC2's launch. People nearly missed Playschool.

Max Seventeen is on sale NOW!

Yes, Max is finally here! And to celebrate I thought I'd answer a few questions about it...

What inspired you to write Max Seventeen?

Tom Hopper's amazing arms. 

No, not really. Inspiration's a hard thing to pin down, but my major influences at the time were Black Sails and Mad Max: Fury Road. One is a drama about the Golden Age of Piracy that's full of sex and violence. The other is a non-stop dystopian car chase driven by a hard-as-nails woman. 

As for why it's set in space...mostly because space is cool. Also because I could build whatever sort of worlds there I wanted.

How long did it take to write?

Three months, which is bloody fast for me (especially considering it's nearly 130,000 words!).

You said there was lots of sex and violence in this book. Will it make me squeamish?

Well, there are only a couple of sex scenes on the page; but off the page, there are quite a few more. And fair warning, they're not all between men and women, so if that offends you, take a long hard look at yourself...

Also, there is quite a lot of blood. In my defence, I really like writing scenes where my characters exchange intimacies while patching each other up. 

What did you research for this book?

Well, I'm actually writing a guest post for Libertà on this so I won't spoil it, but a sample of my answers would be: Layers of a planet's atmosphere. How to provide a spaceship with breathable air and gravity. How thick a cutlass blade is. Whether it's actually possible to rip out a human jugular using only your teeth. What that giant sea-dwelling dinosaur in Jurassic World is. Double-layer helicon thrusters. Exoplanets...

What's your favourite line?

This one: 

"Oh, fuck the lot of you," Max said.
"You more or less have," replied Orpheus

Who would play the characters in a film?

Ooh I love this game. Tom Hopper as Riley. Ridiculously tall and muscular but with the most earnest, honest blue eyes. He's adorable, but you wouldn't beat him at arm-wrestling.

Zawe Ashton as Max. I didn't have anyone in mind for her when I wrote her. She has the shaved head and general demeanour of Imperator Furiosa, but isn't as pale. Then a few months later the final series of Fresh Meat started and I realised there was a lot of Zawe's character Vod in Max. 

As for the others...I'll let you suggest them! Captain Orpheus is lean and feline with long dark hair; he rarely smiles. Justine, his second in command, is dark-skinned and regal. Her brother, Émile, describes himself as ugly, but I'm not sure I believe him. Petal, the pilot, is tiny and doll like; I see her as Asian. Murtaugh is bearded and a bit oafish. Hide is simply a mountain of a man. Angharad is red-haired and beautiful, and has been living on a planet with no sunlight.
Tell you what...read it and tell me who should play them!

Friday, October 21, 2016

What's Max Seventeen about?

Good question.

It's about sex, violence and swearing, of course. It's also about finding your identity and creating your own destiny. It's about finding where you came from and figuring out where you want to go. It's about realising you're the sort of person who gets to fall in love.

It's about pirates. Those of you who love Firefly will probably know that Joss Whedon's space jockeys have a strong Old West aesthetic. They wear guns at their hips and ride horses, which doesn't happen in SF nearly often enough. They're space cowboys, if you will.


But the crew of the Eurydice in Max Seventeen have more of a Golden Age of Piracy vibe. This may or may not be as a result of my obsession with Black Sails. The hero may or may not look a lot like Tom Hopper as Billy Bones.

My pirates fight with laser cannons and cutlasses. They wear leather weapons belts and big boots. They swear...a lot. They board merchant spaceships, tie up the crew and steal all the cargo. They're best friends with brothel keepers, drug dealers and thieves. Some of them might have done time in jail; my heroine certainly has.


It's also about space, about the vasty nothingness that exists when you blast out of a planet's atmosphere and the questions you might ask of yourself there. It's about new planets, where humanity has tried to start again and sometimes even succeeded. It's about double-layer helicon thrusters, lines of computer code and DNA riddles.

To borrow a line from Moulin Rouge: it's a story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But most of all, it's about love.

It's out Nov 1st in ebook and paperback. To read an excerpt through Instafreebie, click here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Read an excerpt from Max Seventeen!

It's less than two weeks before Max is unleashed on the world. Want to have a sneak peak of what goes on? Click here to read a free excerpt through InstaFreebie!

Don't forget, Max is available to preorder now as both ebook and paperback, exclusively from Amazon.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Read an excerpt from Max Seventeen!

Would you like to read an exclusive excerpt from Max Seventeen? Ah, you know you would. Simply sign up to my newsletter here, or click the Newsletter button above, and you'll get a link to an excerpt that no one else (well apart from other newsletter subscribers) can see. I promise the newsletter is very low volume and I will only tell you about really cool stuff, like new books, free things and the occasions when I get major awards and/or affairs with celebrities.

 This opening excerpt contains a desert chase, a rebellious soldier, and a train that runs on sewage. Now you can't tell me you don't want to read that...?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Coming soon: Max Seventeen

So what's happening, Kate? Well, thanks for asking. I've been working on the final files for ebook and paperback publication of Max Seventeen.

What's Max Seventeen? Well... it's action romance. In deep space.

Sign up to my newsletter for an exclusive excerpt!

 Fans of Firefly, Black Sails, Deadpool, Fury Road? You are going to love Max Seventeen

Max is running. From jail, from hunger, and from the hard labour that awaits on the Zeta Secunda Mining Corps' stinking land trains. 

Riley is running. From terrible shame in the past, from dark secrets in the present, and from the Service who have very definite ideas about officers who abscond to join pirate crews. 

The starship Eurydice could mean their salvation. But the enigmatic Captain Orpheus could betray them both at any minute. When a terrible plot is uncovered and loyalties are tested, Max and Riley face losing everything. 

Warning: this book contains bad behaviour, bad language, and a few bad people. Other than that, it's pretty good.

Read the first review of Max here: Rhoda Baxter for Goodreads.

Max Seventeen is available in ebook and paperback from 1st November 2016 exclusively from Amazon. Pre-order here.


First trailer for Max Seventeen: what's it all about?
Second trailer for Max Seventeen:

Monday, August 01, 2016

I, Spy? is back on sale!

  I, Spy? is back on sale!


 It's bigger...it's better...it's blonder!

A reboot of the series you know and love...or maybe it’s all brand new to you? It’s certainly all new to Sophie, who’s just been hired by a top-secret government agency.

All she has on her side is sarcasm, blonde hair and a small cat called Tammy, but that’s not going to keep her from saving the day...once she’s figured out who to save it from.

Sexy spies, plane crashes, firebombs and multicoloured cocktails: they’re all in a day’s work for Sophie. Roll over Bond, there’s a new bombshell in town!

This is a new edition of the beloved book, containing brand new material.

Unleashed 1st August 2016.

Buy paperback and ebook from Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU now!

I, Spy? is enrolled in Amazon's Matchbook program, so if you buy the paperback you can also get the ebook absolutely free.

Scroll down for an excerpt from I, Spy?

Excerpt from I, Spy?


  Halfway through my shift, I was pulled off the desk to head to the gate and board the next Edinburgh flight, which was something of a relief after the chaos of check-in. Even if it meant leaving handsome, serious Sven behind.
  The domestic departures satellite was quiet. There was a Ryanair flight boarding as I went past, but my end of the lounge was empty. The Edinburgh flight wasn’t very full and I didn’t need anyone else to help.
  "Hey baby," called Dino from the coffee stand, and I tried not to roll my eyes. "You look sexy!"
  "You too, Dino," I replied, waving and walking a little faster.
  I mean, he's harmless, right, but it is annoying. Dude, I'm at work, and unless that work is being a stripper I don't really need to be told I look sexy.
  But what do you do? Call them out and make a fuss and get a reputation as a stroppy little madam, or just ignore it and hope he gets tired of it, like a toddler seeking attention?
  Look, I'm English, all right, what do you expect?
  I got to my gate, logged into the computer, and assumed the Don't Fuck With Me air I'd been perfecting since my first day on the job.
  I messed around for a while, checking flight status, pre-filling the gate report so I’d have less to do later. The paperwork chugged out of the printer, and I frowned as I checked the details. The plane callsign wasn’t quite right. All Ace Airlines planes have GB registrations and their callsigns all have AC in them. This one didn’t.
  I picked up the phone to check. “No, darling, it’s a charter we’re using for Edi,” Kelly from Ops told me. “Got three off tech today. Just do them a little announcement so they don’t wander all over the tarmac, will you?”
  Three off tech? Christ, had they got mice in the hangar or something? Seemed every other plane I boarded lately had been off tech.
  I made the announcement, automatically lapsing into the sing-song voice everyone uses for these things. I don’t know why. Force of habit, I suppose, or maybe it’s easier to remember. Whichever. I probably make these announcements in my sleep. And it’s not as if anyone listens, either.
  The passengers, only fifty of them, turned up eventually. Mostly businessmen, a few students and the odd couple connecting from a holiday abroad. I repeated the aircraft change announcement twice more, but by the time we came to boarding, I still had people looking out the window, seeing an aircraft lacking the Ace logo, and asking me in panic where their plane was.
  It never ceases to amaze me how sensible, rational people can turn into frightened idiots the second they step into an airport.
  The radio crackled with the dispatcher’s instruction to start boarding, and immediately passengers started pressing forward. Oh yeah, that they hear.
  “For the Edinburgh flight?” came a dark velvet voice from the other side of the crowd of passengers.   “Please form two queues, please…”
  I looked up in surprise. Sometimes the dispatcher might help to pull cards if the flight is really full and we’re understaffed, but I wasn’t sure why Luca had come over from check-in to help. Still, it got things done quicker.
  The last of them trickled through, and I started tapping the security numbers of the boarded passengers into the computer. We were two down, and the system had them as Lavery, Anne, and Brown, John.
  Luca counted up the cards, matched the tally, and I made a final call for the passengers by name. Anne Lavery turned up straight away, flying through, racing out to the plane. Truth be told, there were several minutes before pushback, but it always paid to get people boarded on time. The dispatchers could get pretty stroppy if there was any delay and they weren’t all above putting it down to gate staff on their reports.
  I checked the system again. John Brown had one piece of baggage checked in, and I radioed down to the dispatcher that she might want to start looking for it.
  It’s highly illegal for a piece of luggage to travel without its owner. After Lockerbie strict rules were put in place to make sure every piece is scanned and accounted for, and things have got even more stringent in the post 9/11 world. If a passenger doesn’t travel, then the bag has to be pulled off the plane. We don’t like having to do it, since the ramp boys have to search for the bag and it can cause delays, but there’s a reason these security rules are in place, right?
  I made another call for John Brown and got Ops to put out a call over the terminal PA. Luca was tapping a pile of cards on the desk.
  “He still not here?”
  I looked around as if surprised to find the gate area empty, and gave him a sarcastic look. “Not unless he’s invisible.”
  Luca gave a faint smile. He looked pretty damn tense.
  “You okay?”
  He shrugged. “I’m tired. This is my third early, and I been doing overtime too. Looking forward to my day off, you know?”
  I nodded. I was looking forward to it, too. Hours and hours of unadulterated sleep. Bliss.
  Luca grabbed the microphone and made another impatient call for Brown. “Failure to report to the gate within the next five minutes will result in your bags being offloaded and the plane will depart without you.”
  That usually gets them. You can tell a passenger until you’re blue in the face what time they need to be at the gate by, and how long it’ll take to get there—there are pretty large signs all over the airport to remind them—and they still saunter up late, surprised the plane has left without them. This ain’t the golden era of air travel, sunshine. Low-cost airlines can’t afford delays when every minute needs to be squeezed.
  The dispatcher radioed up. “Any sight of him?”
  “Not a squint,” I replied.
  “Right, that’s it. I’m getting his bag off. If he turns up send him back to check-in. He ain’t travelling.”
  Luca glanced up at me. “I’ll go get his bag,” he said. “If he comes, keep him here.”
  I nodded, watching him go. I get all the sucky jobs.
  Not long after Luca disappeared, a fat, balding man in a shiny suit came rushing up to the gate.
  “Mr. Brown?”
  He nodded breathlessly. “Am I too late?”
  “I’m afraid so,” I said. “The plane’s about to push back.”
  He looked distraught. “I can still make it,” he said, glancing out of the window where the plane was, indeed, angling out of its bay with the help of a tug.
  I’ve stopped being amazed at people who think they can still make a flight at this point. They see the plane going down the runway and still, somehow, believe they can catch a wing and get to their seat. Like this is Charlie’s Angels or something. You know that bit in the film where they open the plane door and freefall? At that height, everyone in the plane would have got sucked out with them and they’d have all died—
  Okay, Sophie. Stop ranting.
  “I’m sorry,” I said, not meaning it at all, because how bloody hard is it to get here on time? The airport really just isn’t that big, and he managed to check in his bag on time, didn’t he? “It’s really not possible. Your bag is on its way up. You can catch the next flight. I’ll have to take you back to check-in—”
  “No, you don’t understand—”
  At that moment the door from the jetbridge opened and Luca came out, a holdall slung over his shoulder. “Mr. Brown? A word with you, please?”
  I frowned, and I’d just opened my mouth to say something when Mr. Brown turned and followed Luca like a puppy. The door swung shut behind them and I stood, frowning some more.
  Then I shrugged and went back to the desk and finished closing up the flight. I tallied up the boarding cards and scribbled a bit more on the report. I watched the charter plane trundle towards the runway and out of sight around the corner of the departures satellite.
  I doodled a pretty design on the report. I shook out my hair and pinned it back up again. I sang the Ace theme tune through twice before I remembered how damn annoying it was.
Then I leaned against the desk some more and waited for Luca to come back. What the hell was he doing? Reading Brown a personal riot act for not turning up on time? I know it’s annoying, but it happens all the time. It’s not really a big deal, and it’s really no skin off either of our noses.
  Then I heard a thud from the jetbridge and suddenly felt hot.
  There was no one else in the satellite. No passengers or staff, because most of the domestic flights had already gone and we were entering the mid-morning lull.
I looked around in panic. Could just be Luca dropping the bag on the floor. Those jetbridge floors were noisy sometimes. Hollow-sounding.
  I edged over so I could see through the little window into the jetbridge. Luca had Brown by the collar, shoved against the wall.
  Horror flooded me, and I fumbled for my pass to swipe open the door. “Luca, what the hell are you doing?”
  There was a sticky second of silence as both men glared at me. “Go away,” Luca said, and his voice sounded different. I squinted at his face and thought I saw a bruise around his left eye. “Sophie, just go away.”
  “You can’t beat him up! I know you’re having a bad day, but Luca—”
  Luca glared at me, and I suddenly realised what was different about his voice. His accent was totally gone. He sounded as English as me or Brown.
  All sorts of awful thoughts ran through my brain. Since 9/11 they go through incredible security checks on anyone applying for an airside pass, but if Luca got in before that then they might not have been so thorough. That’s how sleeper agents get in. They get their jobs years in advance, when they’re still respectable citizens.
  He could be anyone. He could be a terrorist or a lunatic or a criminal.
  Oh, God, I’m in bad trouble.


I, Spy? is unleashed 1st August 2016.
Buy from Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU now!

Monday, June 13, 2016

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