Finally getting around to doing my YALC recap and I realised that I didn’t want to miss anything out and I actually ended up doing quite a bit in the end so I decided to spilt them up into days to make it a bit of an easier read with any luck! So today lets talk about day one, the Friday.
I was super excited and nervous as I hadn’t come alone to YALC before and wasn’t sure what to expect with queuing etc but it really helped to have been chatting with the lovely people in the SundayYA twitter chat group a few weeks before hand so I felt like I’d at least know some people when I got there. I met up with Kirsty, we grabbed some drinks and waited in line. It was pretty hot but the great company helped time go faster and we were let into the cooler building pretty quick. Getting into YALC itself was a nice easy experience and felt much preferable to the LFCC entrance I’d used before.
The YALC floor, although warm was still much better than I had imagined it temperature wise and I love all the space up there, there was even a quiet zone with bean bags etc which was a lovely touch. The setup was mostly the same as last year and is nice and chilled out which is lovely. I paid a visit to the Coppafeel stand and got sparkled up before heading to the Waterstones area to grab early copies of Giant Days and Only Love Can Break Your Heart so I could get them signed. The queue here was pretty huge already and Non’s signing was pretty early so I’m glad i went when I did! There was also a backdrop from the YA Prom I’d missed the week before where if you took your pic in front of it and posted it to social media you got an Only Love Can Break Your Heart Punky Pins badge from the Walker stand so of course that was the next thing I did!
There were a couple of competitions and giveaways going on at the different publisher stands which were a lot of fun! It was so nice not to have to worry about running around trying to get ARC’s or anything, it made it so much less stressful meant I didn’t have to stay glued to my Twitter feed all day. We knew about times and locations for a lot of the compettions and draws that were happening so it was easy to fit into a schedule and be prepared. I was only interested in a few of these and am pleased to say that I actually managed to get hold of the ones I had been after as well as one I found out about that day and loved the sound of. Friday I won a copy of The Girl King from Gollancz which had been mentioned at the Orion blogger event I attended earlier in the month where we had a video call from the author about the book so I was super pleased to get that one. I also won a finished copy of LifeL1k3 by aJay Kristoff which I’ve been desperate to read and that had only just come out in a physical copy the day before which was a lovely surprise as I certainly hadn’t expected to win!
I met up with some more of the Sunday YA people throughout the day and managed to track down my Summer Secret Santa partner to give her a box of goodies, we ended up in a lot of the same signing queues so we had lots of great chats! I got to meet Katherine Webber, Non Pratt and Joanne Harris (I WAS SO EXCITED!).
After chilling out looking at the stands for a while and lots of sitting breaks to rest my cruddy knee and keep cool I made my way over the 200 years of Frank panel celebrating the 200th year since release of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The panel featured Ed McDonald, Joanne Harris, Matt Killeen, Melinda Salisbury & Sarah Maria Griffin. Everyone received a free new edition copy of Frankenstein (with green sprayed edges) which I particularly appreciated having not read it myself yet. The panel itself was fun and as someone who loves the “monsters” rather than the heroes in a lot of the books I read it was nice to hear the majority there tended to agree with me and it was interesting to hear about how the authors developed their own monsters.
The only thing left to do after the panel was the Fight like a Pirate sword fighting class with Ed McDonald which I’d signed up for IMMEDIATLEY and had originally brought my Friday ticket mainly so I could attend this workshop. I WAS NOT DISSAPOINTED! I really hope this is a workshop that makes another appearance at YALC or another bookish event, it was so much fun! Thank you so much to my partner Lynne, who let me bop her on the head repeatedly. Also a huge thank you to Ed and the others from London Longsword! I had a great time!
The journey home was surprisingly easy despite it chucking it down with rain and having to protect some MinaLima art posters (one signed!) under my top on my way to the tube station but otherwise I got off and onto my connecting train with almost no waiting. I got home, unpacked my books and other goodies and was actually shocked with the pile of books I seemed to have amassed!
My Summer Secret Santa box had also arrived which I opened that evening to put that’s a whole other post (which is actually already done and ready to go for a change so you’ll see that next week!). All in all a great first day, I went to sleep excited and ready for more! Tune in tomorrow for Day Two! The longest day ever >.<