Events

YALC Day Two Recap

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Day Two of my YALC recap is here (yes two weeks later I’m aware). The Saturday of YALC was a great one but easily the most grueling. I had a lot of signings I wanted to get to, three of which were straight after a panel and with very popular authors but I’ll go into more detail about that later.

My first stop of the morning was to the Hot Key Books stand where I signed up for a Siren makeover and grabbed a copy of To Kill a Kingdom to get signed by author Alexandra Christi, I had a digital ARC of the book and loved it so knew I had to get a hard copy. The lovely ladies at the stall also made an easy extra two book sales by informing me that M.A Bennett would be around to sign books later too so I grabbed a copy of The Island and then also telling me that their books were 3 for £10 and I nabbed a copy of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray after loving her work on Star Wars: Bloodline and Leia, plus I was in a very spacey kind of mood.

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On the way to get my Siren make up done I also paid a quick visit to the Ink Road Stall after having a lovely chat with the ladies there the day before. I figured I’d pop over and say hi, see how they were doing etc and I also wanted to pick up a sampler for Summer Bird Blue when I spot Akemi Dawn Bowman just sitting behind the stand¬† – which is fine she’s an actual human being who is allowed to sit etc but I just hadn’t expected it as she wasn’t signing until Sunday. I mumbled about how much I loved Starfish and then got super nervous and kind of ran away. I’m an idiot but plucked up the courage after a quick sit down and a drink to head back and say hi properly. She was SO lovely and signed my sampler for me as I wouldn’t have my copy of Starfish with me until the next day and we took a picture together, it was lovely and was a super awesome start to the day. Apart from the running away bit obviously.

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Next up were the signings for the Floored authors! For some reason I assumed that all of the authors would perhaps be at a table together and we’d all queue in one line then when we got to the front we would work our way across each of the authors and DONE. Alas it was not to be! I think I got this idea from the fact that all of the authors were represented on the timetable by a picture of the Floored book cover whereas when they’d been shown on other days they had different pictures, i.e Non’s was Giant days (and I’m an idiot and didn’t take Floored for her to sign with me when I met her then!). The way it was shown said to me that it was a special signing session for Floored but I was horrified to discover when I got to the signing area that we actually had to queue individually for almost every one of the authors and they were NOT small queues by any stretch of the imagination. I managed to only miss Melinda Sailsbury and Non Pratt in the end telling myself I was likely to see them at more events and possibly YALC next year thankfully as I absolutely had to sit down for a but and have something to drink etc. I’d brought a big bottle of juice squash I’d left in the freezer over night and it was an absolute live saver each day so I’ll definitely be doing that again next year.

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As you can see I managed to bump into Melinda Sailsbury later on and she was more than happy to sign my copy of Floored for me as she was a bit miffed that the Showmasters staff cut her queue off and didn’t tell her when she was more than happy to keep on signing. As much as I liked the extra space we have on the YALC floor I wonder if it’s time for a bit more of a move around so we have more space for signing queues or a better application of the virtual queue ticketing which I think is a great idea when used right.

Before heading off to the “Among the Stars” panel I met up with a load of the girls from the SundayYA group and got a few group pictures taken (one of which is the header for this post). Again it was lovely seeing everyone and OH MY GOSH Layla’s Kaz cosplay was STUNNING.

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I was SO excited for the Among the Stars panel that I can’t even explain. I literally wore a spacey outfit for the occasion. The panel featured Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Lindsay Cummings, Sasha Alsberg and was chaired by Samantha Shannon. The panel was to discuss space and creating worlds that none of us have had the chance to go to except in our authors wonderful books and it did NOT disappoint. I was lucky enough to even be able to ask a question (who would you chose to take to space with you?). Not to mention at the end of the talk Lauren James revealed the cover for her new book “The Quiet at the End of the World which I am SO SO ready for already. Also look at this cover it’s gorgeous!!

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Next were the dreaded signings. I had been anxious all day about getting to all three authors in their two-hour signing slots because they’re so very popular. I joined the Sasha Alsberg queue first and was super pleased to have managed to get in quite near the front. We (me and Mel) were in fact in the first thirty which meant we won a Geeky Clean Zenith Bath Bomb (which I had inadvertently helped design while wicking candles for a super secret NPC thing). Meeting Sasha was AMAZING. I could talk and talk about Zenith and my copy is FULL of tabs as it was my very first ARC/review copy I had ever had and I’d read it twice so I mean it when I say it is FULL of these little tabs. Sasha loved going through asking me what each colour meant and I was a little embarrassed as a few were frustrated or annoyed bits but she told me it means so much to see a copy of her book like that and I thought I was going to cry which is totally lame. Sasha’s channel was the very first booktube chanel I ever watched and she got me hooked on Shadowhunters so I’m so glad I got to meet someone who had already had such an impact on me. It was also so lovely that she had brought bookplates signed by Lindsay along with her too as Lindsay couldn’t make it as she’s getting ready to have her baby soon and it was such a nice little touch. P.S Don’t ask about the picture we had taken together because I made a face at Steph and that was the picture I got so I’ll include one of us talking while she went though my tabs instead!

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While I was in the queue for Sasha I started to feel a bit dismayed about getting through the other queues as they were building fast. Thankfully the lovely Jenn and her boyfriend were next to us in the Becky Chambers queue and her boyfriend offered to take mine to get it signed which I am super grateful for as I don’t think I would have been able to make it through all of them. I do wonder whether YALC need to consider the types of authors they’re all having signing at the same time and weather or not these are authors people are going to want to meet all of and perhaps stagger them a bit more?

Thankfully I did manage to make it through the queue to meet Lauren James! I absolutely LOVED her book that released early at YALC last year “The Loneliest Girl In The Universe” and was that weekend actually reading her debut book “The Next Together” (which I reviewed on Tuesday if you want to check it out) so it was even more fantastic than normal to meet her. Being one of my top favourite authors and an instabuy for me I was so happy to get this chance to talk to her and get excited about her new book etc.

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The day was coming to an end fast and I had one more signing to get to and that was for Laura Steven, the author of The Exact Opposite of Okay which is another book that really resonated with me and my teenage years. It was lovely to have a nice chat with her and let her know how grateful I am for this fantastic, funny and important book she’s written as well as telling her much I couldn’t wait to get hold of the sequel coming next year!

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It was a long old day and my only real problem were the way some of the signings were done to be honest. The overground wasn’t running that weekend so I had to get the district line back to Liverpool Street, I ended up on a wrong tube but it all worked out pretty good in the end. Mainly because I met a super adorable Dog who wanted to sit with me have strokes and share my fan. Win/win situation. I’ll be back tomorrow for my Day Three recap and my all round sum up!

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I couldn’t not post the picture of this good boy!

Events

YALC – Day One Recap

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!).

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 >.<