On Friday 17th, I met Cassandra Clare at a signing in Hampstead’s Waterstones. The day after, I met a bunch of amazing authors at YALC! So I’ve decided to merge these two fantastic experiences together into one post – excuse the fangirling.
So, Cassandra Clare (author of The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices trilogy) has to be one of my favourite authors. On Friday, a talk was held at Waterstones where she and Sarah Rees Brennan (author of the Lynburn Legacy series) and Mila Furstova (who designed the *new* absolutely GORGEOUS TMI covers – see below). were also signing. Mila talked us through the process of making these beautiful covers, she used special zinc plates and ‘etched’ in the designs – it was all very technical and fascinating. We even got to see/hold the plate used for the City of Ashes cover!
As well as getting three books signed by Cassie Clare (The Bane Chronicles, City of Bones original cover, and the new-cover City of Glass), I also got a book signed by the lovely Sarah Rees Brennan, who asked me whether I’d choose being ‘good’ or ‘evil’. Being nervous and put on the spot, I spluttered something along the lines of ‘well, being evil seems to be more fun…’ Luckily, Sarah was nice enough to accept this unimaginative response and even signed it off on my copy of her book!
The day after, the fun started all over again. I met a friend, +BrokeFromBooks at the tube station and we made the journey to YALC together! The first thing that hit me was all of the cosplay. I’d never seen so many Shadowhunters in my life! (Cassandra Clare was also at YALC on Saturday, but I didn’t meet her). I met many amazing authors. First was Malorie Blackman, who was super lovely! I had the Noughts and Crosses graphic novel for her to sign among other books and we started talking about graphic novels in general – she recommended some of her favourites, which I can’t wait to check out! Then it was on to Taran Matharu, author of the Novice! He was very nice as well, and since I had just sat through one of the panels he was on, I should have had many questions but I was a bit overwhelmed and my mind went blank. Then, Alice Oseman, author of Solitaire, and Nick and Charlie which came out on Thursday 16th! Then it was on to Samantha Shannon, author of the Bone Season and the Mime Order! Other authors I met included CJ Daugherty, author of the Night School series, who was wonderful and even recognised me after I mentioned that she follows me on twitter! (Her sign off on my book is great!) and Charlie Higson.
|The books I got signed – and 2 of my fave messages!|
As well as meeting authors, I went to two panels – ‘YA: The Next Generation’, and the ‘Being a Girl’ panel. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, they were both great and it was fantastic to hear the opinions of authors on topics such as diversity in YA, what they perceive as ‘feminism’, and their individual experiences of the publishing industry.
Another great part of the day definitely had to be meeting other YA book lovers – especially bloggers that I’ve seen and interacted with on Twitter. Seeing all of them in the flesh made everything seem more real and oddly made me feel like a ‘real’ book blogger? I’m new to this – Cassandra Clare’s signing was my first ever signing, and YALC was my first convention, so it’s safe to say I was very nervous and overwhelmed.
The YALC crew, publishers, and everyone involved did such an amazing job – I don’t think I/we can say this enough. Especially with the quiet book zone. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I found it quite difficult at times to keep up with everyone and I had to sit out sometimes but that is fine. I read tips beforehand e.g. this post by the lovely +Jessheartsbooks , and it made me realise that it’s okay to take time out – and as the quiet book zone was an area dedicated solely to that, it was a Godsend. I can’t wait for next year (hopefully, there will be a next year) I will definitely be getting a weekend ticket – and have already got three others to agree to come. Who wouldn’t want to go? Look at these amazing freebies!
That was my experience of YALC! Did you go? Did you meet any amazing authors? And if you didn’t go, would you have attended if you had the chance?