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YALC Write-up - Fringe Event & Blogger Brunch!

 Thursday, 17 July 2014

Howdy folks, today I'm gonna be doing a somewhat *cough* shorter write-up of the events I went to in-between the two days at YALC. One was the Fringe Blogger & Author event organised by Sophia Bennett (Author of You Don't Know Me & The Look) which brought together over 50 UK YA authors and book bloggers and the other was the Blogger Brunch held on Sunday morning at Earls Court where a group of bloggers got to listen to four fabulous authors talk a bit about their books before they broke out the caffeine and croissants for general chat and mingling.

After the general mayhem of Day One at YALC Jess and I were damn near exhausted but after a quick freshen up and changeroo of totes we were ready to stagger back out of the hotel and down Earls Court Road to the nearby O'Neills pub. In the upstairs room there were already quite a few authors and several bloggers milling about mostly with cold drinks in hand because holy hell it was like a sauna up there!

I furnished myself with a deliciously cold Kopperberg (that doesn't look right but meh) from the bar and got some chips ordered because dang I was wobbly from lack of actual food all day - turns out cereal bars and cashews can only sustain you for so long before you feel really faint. It also turns out that if you guzzle down said cider then you are going to get tipsy almost instantaneously and have to take extreme care for the rest of the evening when speaking to people so they don't know how awfully wobbly and incoherent you are :S

I got to chat to several fab blogger peeps including Jenny from Wondrous Reads whose blog I've followed for possibly almost as as long as I've had my blog so like 4 odd years! Also chatted to another Jenny who was representing A Life Bound by Books - I had crossed paths with her so many times over the course of Saturday afternoon that it was starting to seem like we were following each other.

I also met Jim from YA Yeah Yeah, Carly from Writing from the Tub, Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa, Faye from A Daydreamer's Thoughts and most likely a few others that I'm forgetting. *begging a thousand pardons*. I also was able to chat with Lindsay who has been great to talk about writing things on twitter these past few months since I've been having a damn good stab at writing a book -Lindsay is currently drafting on her second book in a YA Speculative series and editing the first and I gotta say that I shall be vair eager to read it when it gets published as it sounds tres intrigue :D

Once everyone had got settled Sophia thanked everyone for coming and encouraged us to buy raffle tickets (all the proceeds were going to the Siobhan Dowd Trust) for a chance to win one of seventeen awesome stacks of books. Then the photographic expertise of Jo Cotterill was called upon to get shots of all the bloggers and authors who came. Here be the Blogger pic - Can you spot me and Jess?

In the time before the raffle was drawn I scarfed down my chips to try and stabilise my super-wobbliness. Jim then got called upon to be the glamorous raffle assistant to help draw the winners; I actually got my ticket drawn so I got to pick from the amazing selection of book prizes.

I plumped for a stack containing books by Sophia Bennett herself, Kendra Leighton and Susie Day which all sound excellent and since all three ladies were at the Fringe event I was able to get them signed! Although pretty sure I looked rather like a plonker shyly sidling up them to ask for a signature. But had wonderful conversations with them all despite my inability by this point to string proper sentences together - I am very much looking forward to reading these three books. Thank you so much!

It was not much later after this Jess and I decided it was finally time for us to crash back to our hotel to sleep because we needed to be up in the morning to go to the Blogger Brunch! That being said I did read more of Heir of Fire (off Jess's Kindle, which she kindly lent to me for the weekend but then CRUELLY TOOK IT BACK ON SUNDAY NIGHT *sobs*) before I finally passed out for the night.

Next morning was just as early a get-up as Saturday and didn't bode too well to begin with because Mother nature is a bitch. But a hot shower and a pilfered cup of tea later and I was feeling a bit more alert and indulged in some more of Heir of Fire before Jess and I had to head out for the Blogger's Brunch. I did have the slight hiccup in that I had rather idiotically left my shoes out on the balcony overnight and of course - it rained. Cue 10 minutes of frantic hairdryering of my shoes to get them to a state of wearableness that wouldn't leave me with trenchfoot.

When we got to Earls Court we found that the queues were much more subdued and with the previous night's rain everywhere was considerably cooler *thank the gods* so Jess and I were able to just saunter round the building to Gate M where a YALC rep was waiting with a clipboard to let us breeze into the Con with no effort at all. Which was rather thrilling since it was only about 9:40 and we only had standard entry tickets :P

The Blogger Brunch had been organised by the lovely folks at Indigo (Uber thanks to Nina for letting me come along!) and we had the extreme pleasure of being able to meet James Dawson - Queen of Teen himself, Non Pratt, Matt Haig and Holly Black and hear them speak about their upcoming books, before we reverted to a more informal structure and everyone grabbed tea, coffee and pastries and mingled.

James Dawson was looking fabulously regal in his crown and was telling us about his new non-fiction book - This Book is Gay - which as you will quickly infer is about LGBT topics and issues. We all got an early copy of the book in our goodie bags and it looks to be a very interesting and informative read. James was passionate in talking about wanting this book to get into the hands of teens who may have questions about their sexuality especially as it's the kind of book he wishes he could have read when he was a teen. It's available from September 4th!

I did take with me my copies of Say Her Name, Trouble and The Coldest Girl in Cold town and the authors were all very lovely in signing them - James even drew little crowns when signing his books!

Overall they were both great events and I felt really lucky that I was able to go as they were quite small gatherings. I always tend to question my worthiness as a book blogger at these type of things since I've not actually done a proper book review for a couple of years. But everyone I spoke to was so nice and welcoming and I am really excited to get through all of their books during this summer.

Anyways it is getting late and I want to start a new book tonight.

My Saturday Write-up is here, Jess's Saturday & Sunday write-ups have now been posted so check them out! Stay tuned for my Sunday post.

Night folks!
Ray x


Ellie 19 July 2014 at 13:26  

This sound so fun! And that is a cracking line-up of people to have brunch with, obviously. I still need to read Trouble and ANYTHING by James Dawson, all his books sound amazing, but I'm already stalking them all on Twitter which sort-of counts, right?

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