Posts Tagged ‘book event’

Love Books Will Travel: Ben Aaronovitch

What: Book talk and Signing
Who: Ben Aaronovich
Where: Waterstone’s Guildford, Surrey
When: Friday 22nd June 2012
Why: to promote Whispers Under ground, book three in the Rivers Of London series.

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.
At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil.

Having just made the talk by the skin of my teeth (no thanks to the ridiculous and unusually busy Guildford traffic), I managed to slink in at the very back. This isn’t so good when you’re borderline deaf in one ear with the other ear not much better, and once through vanity, now through laziness, I never bothered to get a hearing aid. But ho hum. I think I managed to hear the majority of the talk, apologies in advance then if I had misheard anything and start reciting a load of nonsense!

When Ben Aaronovitch(who, from now on will just be ‘Ben’ for the sake of my sanity) arrived you could so tell by his manner that he wasn’t used to doing talks etc. That, and the fact that this is the first thing he told us along with the fact that he hadn’t prepared any notes in advance so was pretty much going to ‘wing it’.

This I guess is Ben all over. A self confessed ‘geek’ who can’t quite believe that his ‘urban fantasy police series’ or as Ben prefers, ‘Magic cops’ has become so universally popular. Ben still tries to get his head round people’s gran’s and middle class women’s book groups enjoying his work alongside the more stereotypical fan base of pasty, spotty teenagers who could recite the entire narrative of the episodes he wrote for Doctor Who without a seconds hesitation.

Ben must have felt right at home in Waterstones as that is where he used to work. He remembers handling so many books by debut authors and thinking, ‘I could do better than that’ that prompted him to start writing. It also explains the intricately beautiful covers on his books as Ben realised how books needed to stand out and be identifiable just by their spines when sat on shop floor book shelves.

Ben explained how some of his ‘one off’ characters just wouldn’t go away. For instance Beverley Brook’s role was supposed to be limited to opening the door in, ‘The Rivers of London’ but somehow she just kept popping up until she became a character that people connected to and needed to know what would happen to her. The common problem with this though is that sequels start to get longer and longer as more and more characters within the book need their own stories told which is a problem for Ben bless him as trying to keep within his publishers deadlines is enough of a challenge let alone having to write more than the agreed word count to try and fit everything in!

Ben confessed that he does enjoy writing about Inspector Nightingale’s character in particular. He will even talk and act very posh to try and capture Nightingales reserved, middle class character. Ben has deliberately ensured that Nightingale is busy with the faceless man and the crocodile club in ‘Whispers underground’ so as not to interfere too much with Peter Grants investigation, knowing that Nightingales methods are to eliminate any threat quickly and efficiently as opposed to Peter’s more holistic approach.

Even though Peter Grant’s dad famously plays jazz, and ‘Moon under Soho’ is very much based on the historical Soho jazz scene, Ben admitted that he doesn’t actually like Jazz! Instead he relies on a good friend to give appropriate music recommendations to add authenticity to his story.

Abigail, a family relation of Peter Grant does have a bigger role in, ‘Whispers Underground’ but apparently will be stepping back in book 4 as Ben is looking into Abigail having her own, spin off book series. Due to Abigail’s age I’m going to assume that this series will fit into the young adult genre and will be something I will look forward to reading!

I always assumed that Ben had personal links to the police force due to his knowledge of police life. I was obviously surprised then to hear that the police are willing to tell you anything you need to know as long as the price is right……although Ben was keen to point out that they have a specific public media officer person thingy, where you contact them saying, ‘I’d like to speak to a 20-30yrs old, male traffic police officer, working in South London’ and if there is someone that fits that criteria and, with the added financial incentive is willing, he then gets the information he needs, all legit and from the horses mouth, so to speak.

Amusingly, Ben has lists. Anyone who in real life or on the Internet that annoys Ben may find their name on his list. When Ben needs a name for a character destined to die, guess where he looks first for inspiration! If on the other hand you’d quite like to be on that list, and the messier the death the better, then may I suggest you start trolling the web and being distinctly unpleasant about Sci-fi. Then you never know, you might find yourself in book 4!

Verdict: I really enjoyed meeting Ben and he came across as a lovely guy. I am also very grateful for getting the chance to read this brilliant series including book 3, ‘Whispers Underground’ that has just been released.

If you like the sound of Ben’s work or are already a fan, keep checking out our site as very soon we will be announcing a huge giveaway including the chance to receive a signed HB copy of the recently released,’Whispers Underground’.

Post by Karen

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Love Books Will Travel: Andy Robb


What: Book Signing


Who: Andy Robb


Where: Waterstone’s Alton
             Hampshire


When: 23rd of June 2012

Why: To promote Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind

If you haven’t worked it out yet, girls don’t do this. They don’t come to the Hovel. They don’t like goblins and dragons. They don’t paint miniatures. They don’t play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don’t talk to Geeks like me especially if they’re pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you’re a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you… For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover … run for the hills … buy a new model elf… Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it’s time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl’s heart and shake off his Geekhood for good.

Uncoordinated and bleary eyed following a night shift and just a few hours of sleep, I flopped into Pruedence’s awaiting car. With a knowing smile, fellow shift worker, Pruedence deposited a large, steaming latte in my hand and set her Sat Nav for the picturesque town of Alton. One shot of caffeine and forty minutes of book talk later and I had a moment of wide eyed horror. Was my sleep deprived brain hallucinating or was I really seeing two ladies in regency dress?! Thankfully it turned out that Alton was celebrating it’s annualJane Austen Regency Week

Small but perfectly formed, Alton Waterstone’s was the venue for for Andy Robb’s first ever book signing!
I’d like to provide you with a detailed report of a fabulous and hilarious afternoon Pruedence, Kerrie and I spent keeping Andy company and more likely than not, scaring Waterstone’s customers. Unfortunately everything is a little blurry around the edges and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to direct you to Kerrie atRead and Repeat and Pruedence at The Library Mouse for coherent accounts.

Here’s what I do recall:

Andy’s warm and charismatic personality.

Starting a lot of conversations with the traditional blogger greeting “Hi I’m Caroline BigBookLittleBook. I follow you on twitter”.
The absence of “The TourHat”.

Meeting a remarkable young man called Jack. Jack sat in Waterstone’s and read Geekhood in it entirety in under an hour, before purchasing it to take home to reread!

Watching Andy and Pruedence create an original piece of artwork for Pruedence to giveaway in celebration of her one month blog’aversary. Then embarrassing myself with my pathetic dog doodle on Andy’s Gallery of Geek.

The terms “bur bon and bourbon”, “Veet for men”, “gentleman’s log cabin” and “vagazzle” being banded about with abandon.

How green food colouring is not a suitable substitution for green face paint when dressing up as the Incredible Hulk

Meeting awesome bibliophiles: Kerrie from Read and Repeat, Sammie from I Want To Read That and Kirsty from The Book Mogul

Verdict: A fantastic afternoon. I laughed so hard my face ached.

Post by Caroline

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Love Books Will Travel: Foyles Creative Voices

What: Book talk and Signing

Who: C J Daughterty
Sarah Grant
Amy Plum
Ruth Warburton

Where: Foyles
Charing Cross Rd
London

When:Thursday 3rd of May 2012

Why: The First of Foyles new Creative Voices events, showcasing the work of fabulous YA authors.

C.J. Daugherty‘s debut Night School is the first book in her new YA mystery series:

Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she’s just been arrested.This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there’s the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch. When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what’s really going on at Cimmeria Academy.


Opening with the orgy that isn’t Sarah Grant Dark Parties certainly captures the attention:
Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield “protects” them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there’s nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says… Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a “dark party” to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she’s ever known, including the people she loves the most

Until I Die is the second instalment in Amy Plum‘s Revenants trilogy and the follow up to her awesome 2011 debut Die For Me:
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series


This 2012 debut from Ruth Warburton had me hiding behind my pillow.
Anna Winterson doesn’t know she’s a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that’s controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

Sarah Grant

If you follow book blogs you will have some idea of the epic nature of most book bloggers “To Be Read” (TBR) piles. My husband honestly believes that I have a problem and doesn’t understand why I would need more than one unread book, let alone a whole shelf of them! bless him 🙂 If  you happen to be on my side of the compulsive book buyers spectrum you will understand that while I had only read Amy Plum’s 2011 debut I did in fact own, albeit unread, the three other debuts featured here.

I must confess to a great deal of squealing and excitement as I booked myself on to this inaugural Creative Voices event.

Mmmmmmmmmm

My non-book obsessed friends politely nodded, as I  bounced in my chair exclaiming that there would be not one, not two but four awesome YA authors, four of them, FOUR! These un-bookish friends are awesome, but can generally only tolerate about five minutes of book talk before their eyes glaze over. Fear not, I know exactly where to turn in situations such as these, where to find my people, I logged on to twitter!

There my excitement turned to delight as I realised that not only was I going to meet, FOUR fabulous YA authors, I was also going to meet up with some amazing bloggers and catch up with some twitter friends “in the real world”.

C.J.Daugherty and Ruth Warburton

Being the eager beavers that we are, Laura (Sister Spooky: Book Fangirl ) Leanne (District YA), Casey (Dark Readers),Vivienne (Serendipity Viv), Lucy  (Choose YA), Raimy (Readaraptor) and myself  arrived early for the event. A combination of  book chat, M&M taste testing and author seat warming ensured that the hour flew by and before we knew it, we were all fawning from the front row!

Amy Plum

Each of the authors read excerpts from their books before answering the audiences questions. The discussion included the inspiration behind their works, their personal paths to publication, the writing processes and whether writing put food on their tables and roofs over their heads. It was interesting to learn that all of the authors wrote their debuts while holding down “normal” jobs and that Ruth Warburton and Sarah Grant continue to maintain careers (part time) in addition to their writing.

You can read Amy Plum’s account of the evening here!

Following the group discussion everyone had the opportunity to meet with each of the authors and have their books signed.

The Pretties

Verdict: The event was as brilliant as I had anticipated. I caught up with like minded friends and met some amazing women who’s passion for writing and enthusiasm for YA shone bright and clear.

I have subsequently rearranged my TBR pile, prioritising all of  this signed gorgeousness to the top of my personal book mountain.

If you enjoy reading our Love Books Will Travel event reports you really should check out some of these awesome events for yourself. Click here to view Foyles upcoming events and here to see what Waterstone’s has to offer in your area. Don’t forget to check with your library for local bookish events.

Post by Caroline

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