Posts Tagged ‘Book Signing’

Love Books Will Travel: Upcoming Book Events

If you have spent any time visiting us here at Big Book Little Book it couldn’t have escaped your notice that we love attending book events. If you are lucky enough to live in the south, or don’t mind traveling, there are some absolutely fantastic opportunities coming up over the next few months.


Who: Michelle Harrison, Zoe Marriott, L.A.Weatherly, Karen Mahoney, Laura Powell, Ruth Warburton and Thomas Taylor
What: YA Panel Event
What the hosts say: “Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, for one day only Foyles will once again be hosting a circus of literary delights to spook even the bravest amongst you.”
Where: The Gallery at Foyles,Charing Cross Road, London
When: Saturday the 4th of August 2-6pm
Tickets: Free, but need to be reserved by emailing [email protected]

I am so excited to be attending Foyles Summer Scream event this Saturday. Where else can you find this much YA talent, not to mention dozens of salivating book bloggers, all in one room?
I’ve just checked Foyles events page and there are still tickets available!!


Who: Philippa Gregory
What: Book Talk and Signing
What the hosts say: “Join us on the day that The Kingmaker’s Daughter is published as historian and internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory discusses her books, the history that has inspired them and her prestigious career as a novelist. Philippa will also be reading from her new book and signing copies of it afterwards. We are thrilled that such a well-known and popular author is choosing to spend her publication evening with us and anticipate that this will be a popular and fascinating evening.”
Where: Hosted at Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford, GU1 3RR
When: Thursday 16th August at 7pm
Tickets: £5 / £3 for Waterstones loyalty cardholder, available by calling or visiting the bookshop: Waterstones 171-73 High Street, Guildford, Surrey.
Tel(01483)536366
Email [email protected]

I shall be taking my copy of Changeling along when I meet the queen of historical fiction (do you see what I did there!)

Who: Derek Landy
What: Book talk and Signing
What the hosts say: “This is a brilliant chance for Skullduggery fans to meet this fabulous author. Derek will be talking about his novels, answering questions and signing copies of all of his books”
Where: Hosted at Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford, GU1 3RR
When: Thursday 13th of September 7pm
Tickets: £3 available by calling or visiting the bookshop: Waterstones 171-73 High Street, Guildford, Surrey.
Tel(01483)536366
Email [email protected]

I haven’t read any of Derek’s Skullduggery series yet, but it certainly looks like it would be a fantastic addition to my middle grade collection.


Who: John Boyne
What: Book talk and Signing
What the hosts say: “Acclaimed author John Boyne will be talking about his internationally best selling novel, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas…”
Where: Hosted at the Guildford store, 171-173 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3RR
When: Tuesday 30th October 7pm
Tickets: £3 available by calling or visiting the bookshop: Waterstones 171-73 High Street, Guildford, Surrey.
Tel(01483)536366
Email [email protected]

I can’t believe that I still haven’t read The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas. A situation I plan to rectify soon.

Hopefully we will meet some of you at one or more of these amazing events.
Post by Caroline

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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: Oliver Jeffers

What: Book Signing

Who: Oliver Jeffers

Where: Waterstones
      O2 Centre             
Finchley Rd
       London

When: Tuesday the 12th of June 2012

Why: To promote The Hueys in The New Jumper

The Thing about the Hueys was that they were all the same.
Until the day one of then knitted a nice new jumper…

Having had some public transport issues with some of the more recent events I’ve attended I made sure that we left for the event in plenty of time. Alas, I did not do my research properly and committed the rookie parenting rookie mistake of arriving more than two hours early for the event, at a shopping centre with little entertainment for my small people and I’d forgot to pack my usual survival pack( Colouring book and pencils, stickers and snacks)!

What the centre did have was numerous food venues and I do believe that after consuming a Starbucks Coffee, Some frozen Yogurt and a substantial volume of sushi, I  gained a stone in weight form this event alone.The saving grace was Finchley Waterstones. Friendly helpful staff and a child friendly environment ensured that the last hour of our wait was alot smoother than the first! It was very evident while we were their that the children’s department is very much the hub of mother and toddler society in Finchley.

Oliver Jeffers took the time to talk to his waiting fans in addition to signing and doodling in each book! While waiting to meet our favourite picture book author Ava and Seth investigated what else the children’s department had to author while  I had a chance to catch up with the gorgeous Rosi From Harper Collins HQ.
While  The Sniffing Pug had taken himself off for a walk, I did have the opportunity to meet his fabulous person. I urge you to check out Sniffer’s awesome interview with Oliver Jeffers here and check out the rest of his equally awesome blog.

When It was our turn to meet the man himself I did my usual tongue tied impression of a tomato while my daughter took it all in her stride, posing for pictures and giving Oliver hi five’s!

Verdict: Totally worth the wait! I know that our signed, doodled books will take pride of place on our book shelves!
Post by Caroline (30), Ava (4.5) and Seth (2.5)

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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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Love Books Will Travel: Steampunk Soiree with Gail Carriger

What: A Steampunk Soiree, Book Talk and Signing

Who: Gail Carriger and Lauren O’Farrell

Where: Foyles
Charing Cross Rd

When: Monday the 9th of April

Why: To Promote Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate #5): Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Now I have to begin this report by confessing that I haven’t read any of Gail’s work prior to attending this event. Her book Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) has been sat on my Amazon wish list for quite a while but, like a lot of books undeserving of my maltreatment, has been buried as other books have been added on top of it. However I absolutely adore Cassandra Clare’s:The Infernal Devices series and I’ve enjoying dipping in to Trisha Telep’s anthology, Corsets and Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances so I thought I’d take the opportunity to learn a bit more about this genre and one of its authors.

The first thing I discovered (while queuing) is that I was underdressed. Jeans and trainers just don’t cut it at a Steampunk soiree! Steampunk fans take their fashions very seriously. The majority of gathered fans were liberally sprinkled with goggles, top hats, visible corsets and clockwork mechanisms with about a third of those gathered, including Gail Carriger herself, kitted out from head to toe in Victorian inspired regalia.

The second thing that steampunk enthusiasts, or at least Gail Carriger fans, take very seriously is Tea, a sentiment I embrace whole heartily. On entering The Gallery at Charring Cross Foyles, the room had been set up as a tea parlour, complete with towering cake stands of fondant fancies, fairy cakes and jam tarts with bucketloads of hot, strong tea, poured from colourful, assorted sized tea pots. I partook of three cups of perfectly made tea, but decided to shun the confection following the chocolate excess of the Easter weekend.

Once the accompanied guests were all suitably fed and watered we were introduction to Craft book writer extraordinaire Lauren O’Farrell, author of Stitch London. I loved her knitted book covers and her knitted octopus (knitted from used plastic carrier bags). Alas I have not a single crafting bone in by body so I’ll just have to admire such creations from afar!

Gail Carriger began her segment of the evening reading from Soulless. Despite her very American accent 😉 Gail beautifully brought to life her very English characters and read a passage that highlighted an eye for detail and a delightfully British tongue in cheek humour. I really can’t wait to start this series.

A question and answer session revealed that Gail’s writing process begins with a single scene, which she visualises like a scene from a movie, and the rest of the novel takes shape around it. Soulless, originally intended as a standalone novel, began with Gail visualising a couple of proper Victorian ladies discussion how one of them had accidently killed a vampire the previous evening.

Initially attracted to the aesthetic of the steampunk movement, Gail felt that it was the perfect genre to combine her love of Victoriana  and her interest in science (particularly medical science) with her desire to write about immortals and their influence over history. A lot of the kookier parts of the history of the British Empire, it can be explained, by werewolves soldiers in the British army and vampires as members of the aristocracy!

Tea is absolutely vital to Gail’s writing process! Growing up with a British ex pat mother, Gail was weaned on tea, starting with milk and a dash of tea and graduating to a strong builders brew. Each afternoon after school her family would take tea, a tradition she keeps to this day. If she’s had a good writing day she will treat herself to a little chocolate with her tea. In fact Gail’s writing is dependent a personal reward system; one good days writing equals Chocolate, when she finishes a draft she treats herself to sushi and a finished book brings new shoes!

When asked how she would imagine her vampires would fair in an encounter with a certain modern incarnation of *cough* vegetarian vampires Gail replied that she likes to say that her vampires sparkle… because they are fabulous!

I came away with a signed copy of Soulless in traditional paperback form and the Soulless graphic novel, a first for me.

Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable event enhanced with lashings of tea and a very humorous hostess. Now please excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, while I go and Google corsets!

Post by Caroline

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Love Books Will Travel: Patrick Ness and Jim Kay

Who: Patrick Ness and Jim Kay(illustrator)

What: Book discussion, signing and art exhibition

Where: Foyles
Charring Cross Rd
London

Why: To promote the paperback release of A Monster Calls: 

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Connor.
It wants the truth. Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

Patrick Ness comes across as very confident and personable and if I’m honest, pretty easy on the eye 🙂 I left the talk feeling very envious of those lucky enough to have attended his lectures on creative writing and looking forward to reading, ‘A Monster Calls’.

The event showcased the genius pairing of Patrick’s penmanship and Jim Kay’s engaging illustrations whilst also paying homage to Siobhan Dowd, the award winning author, who dreamt up the initial premise of, ‘A Monster Calls’ but unfortunately passed away from cancer before committing her story onto paper.

It was clear from the talk that Patrick has a lot of respect for Siobhan’s books and his passion has encouraged me to seek out her works. He was also insistent that he had to write, ‘A Monster Calls’ his way as he wouldn’t have done the story justice by trying to second guess how Siobhan would have written it. Instead he allowed the process to be much more organically driven which has resulted in a truly remarkable book that I’m sure Sinead would have approved of.

During the talk, we were given the chance to admire original prints dotted around the room featuring artwork from the book. Jim Kay described how he completed the project, solitarily working 20hr days whilst staying in Scotland. A country not known for its warm climate at the best of times was being particularly cruel as he found himself in sub zero temperatures and reliant on very dodgy heating.

An image will remain with many of us of him trying to stay warm by wrapping an electric blanket around himself, held tight by gaffer tape. An interesting albeit not recommended way of staying warm. Especially when he had to greet the postman in thus set up and, whilst trying to reserve some shred of dignity, having the hidden plug fall to the floor from between his legs…I can so picture both of them looking down, staring at the plug and neither quite knowing what to say! But…as cruel as it sounds, his discomfort may, rather selfishly be our gain as the artwork is so dark and intense and filled with brooding menace, making you pause at each illustrated page to savour the finer details created by unique and experimental tools such as breadboards and obliging beetles leaving their ink stained footprints on the paper(beetles do have feet right?).

It was also apparent to me that he is such a perfectionist, explaining to us which pieces of artwork he’s not happy with and what he would have done differently even though his artwork on this book has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Art’ award from the BSFA (British Science Fiction Awards)

Verdict: Patrick and Jim Kay were engaging and down to earth speakers and I would happily make the effort to see either of them again.

Post by Karen

Waiting in line to meet Patrick Ness and Jim Kay


 

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Love Books Will Travel

What: Book Talk and Signing.

Who: Cassandra Clare
Hosted by Sarah Rees Brennan

Where: Foyles
Charing Cross Rd

When: 26th October 2011

Why: To Promote City of Fallen Angels,the forth book in the Mortal Instruments series.

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power.Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And-most important of all-Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering the shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side-along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re all willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls-neither of whom knows about the other.
When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of the mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves.Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Foyles, Charing Cross Rd, London

I can’t let the opportunity pass without commenting on my first visit to the spiritual home of UK book bloggers. With the help of the Foyles very useable website and only one slight detour the wrong way around some serious looking tube improvements, I managed to find the flagship Charing Cross Rd store. I wandered throughout the rabbit warren of book shelves, my eyes alighting on gorgeous cover after gorgeous cover, the need to touch, examine and smell the many fantastic books on offer undeniable. If like me you have a thing for signed books, you will be interested to know that I spotted at least half a dozen autographed lovelies in the Young Adult department alone!

Lynsey and Casey!

Eventually though, I had to drag myself away from all of the shiny gorgeousness and make my way to the main event. Following signs for the third floor and looking out for a blogger in a maroon top, I managed to rendezvous with the fabulous Lynsey Newton who had kindly said that I could tag along with her for the event. After introducing me to Casey, from Dark Readers, we waited at the front of a very impressive queue. Finally we were shown in to The Gallery, festively decorated in cobwebs, rubber rats and sparkly skulls. Complete with Halloween masks, bookish feebees and even goodie bags for a lucky few.

The Event was hosted by Sarah Rees Brennan, YA author and friend to Cassandra Clare. Sarah was vibrant and witty,with just the right amount of kooky excentricity. I immediately warmed to her and I’m looking forward to adding The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy to my bookshelf. Cassandra and Sarah had a natural and wonderfully funny rappour as they bounced off of each other and the audience.

Following some very amusing anecdotes about borderline criminal activity, all in the name of research you understand, question time commenced…for the audience! Boy was I under prepared, I mean who knew Simon even had a cat?! While Sarah questioned the audience about The Mortal Instruments Series, Cassandra provided gorgeous Mortal Instrument charms and jewellery as prizes for the more knowledgeable fans. Then finally it was our turn to grill Cassie. Cassie managed to keep tight lipped about the future of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal devices series although Sarah was less reserved and may have let a few juicy morsels slip 😉 While Cassandra doesn’t rule out the possibility of  ever writing for the “adult” market, should an appropriate idea grabbed her, with two new series in the pipe line, it appears YA reader will have have her to themselves for quite a while longer. The Dark Artifices series will be set in present day LA and feature grown up (hot) versions of The Mortal Instruments tweens. Providing us with the opportunity to check in on surviving (gasp!) characters from The Mortal Instruments Series. While not categorically stating that this is what she will focus on next, Cassandra did admit to tentatively working on this series as her “Mind wanders, where it wanders“. Cassandra also has plans for a fantasy series set in an entirely new, shadow hunter less world.

Cassandra Clare, Caroline and Sarah Rees Brennan. While waiting to meet Cassandra I was introduced to lovely bloggers Viv and Yvette.  Despite a two hour wait everyone was good humored and friendly, sharing book recommendations, blogging experience and general YA book love. Some well timed boiled sweets from the Foyles staff boosted our sugars at the optimum moment and finally we got to meet the lady herself.

Cassandra gave her time generously to each fan, signing any number of books, taking pictures and providing us with a little something extra: Magnus’s Vow, a bonus short story set during City of Bones.

Verdict: Foyles certainly know how to host an event! I had a brillant day. I got to meet Cassandra Clare, one of my favourate YA authors, I was introduced to Sarah Rees Brennan and I got to talk books all day with a group of fantastically friendly bloggers (LynseyCaseySarahKirsty, Viv, Leanne, Laura and Andrew).

Post by Caroline

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Love Books Will Travel: Becca Fitzpatrick

What: Talk and Book Signing

Who: Becca Fitzpatrick

Where: Crawley Library 
        West Sussex

When: 24th October 2011

Why: To promote Silence, the third instalment in the Hush Hush Series:

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They’ve overcome the secrets riddled in Patch’s dark past…bridged two irreconcilable worlds…faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust…and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they’ve worked for—and their love—forever.

The evening began with Becca regaling us with some of the events that have shaped her early writing career.

Despite being a prolific and dedicated journal keeper as a teen Becca stated that she didn’t consider a career in writing until her husband bought her a creative writing experience for her 24 birthday. She joked that had her husband chosen differently she would be standing in front of us discussing Japanese cookery!

It was while set the task of writing a scene for her class that Becca recalled a  humiliating experience from her school years. Having allowed her mind to wander in a reproductive biology class, teen Becca was abruptly called upon by her biology teacher to describe, in front of her class mates, the characteristics she looked for in a boyfriend. Having written this scene, which some of you will recognise well, Becca found herself writing another scene and another.

Becca has a wonderfully warm personality and a self depreciating humor. Providing the audience with the benefit of her experience as well as her blushes. Becca discussed her road to publication and her writing process, including her initial naive attempts to get published with an unfinished debut manuscript and recieving just shy of 100 rejection letters for Hush Hush.

In response to my question if, the as yet untitled, Hush Hush #4 was likely to break hearts Becca simply stated that her readers will recognise, from her work to date, that she is a bit of a happily ever after kind of girl and  Patch and Nora definitely won’t be blown up leaving Marcie to rule the world 😉

Following on from the awesomeness of Hush Hush, Becca has plans to write a stand alone, paranormal free, contemporary YA thriller (rest assured there will be romance!).

Verdict: This ticketed event, while well attended, managed to retain an intimate laid back feel, promoting a relaxed environment for Becca to share her experiences and facilitate questions from the audience. I would definitely attend another Becca Fitzpatrick event and I  look forward to Becca’s future works.

Karen and Becca Fitzpatrick
Caroline and Becca Fitzpatrick

Post by Caroline

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Love Books Will Travel: Lauren Kate

What: Book Signing

Who:  Lauren Kate

Where: WHSmith
 Guildford
Surrey

When:  27th September 2011

Why: To promote Passion the third book in the Fallen trilogy:
Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has.
Over and over again.
Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way…
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime…going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel…and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames…forever.
Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

This event attracted the eclectic mix of ages I have come to expect at YA signings. The crowd was very friendly. I had lovely conversations with a young woman who was attending her first book signing and an awesome lady who was there to get a gift signed for her granddaughter! I also got to meet fellow twitter inhabitant Mel Taylor.

Lauren was warm and welcoming. In addition to discussing the unseasonably warm weather like a native, she disclosed that Passion is her favourite book in the series so far. She kindly signed all  three books from the series, writing individual inscriptions in each book.

Post by Caroline

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