First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who organised YALC 2016, manned stalls, spoke on panels, signed, and probably did a million other things behind the scenes that we weren’t even aware of. Thank you! You all did an amazing job! I came out of this weekend drained and sleep-deprived, but also inspired, enthused, and loving the YA community even more!
I am so glad I printed out a personal as well as the complete YALC schedule – I would have missed out on so many things otherwise! And it also means that I can refer back to it now to make sure that I’m remembering things in the right order for this YALC 2016 wrap-up!
In the end I went for generic scribbles rather than any specific book – I was planning on meeting so many authors in three days that it didn’t seem fair to pick a favourite! These ones are Sally Hansen Salon Effect: Love Letter, and you can buy them here. You can also pick them up from Ebay sometimes for less. I do recommend these just on the grounds that I got so many compliments! But make sure you use a decent top coat, otherwise they start to flake quite quickly. The advantage with this design in that regard is that you can paint in the cracks with white nail varnish and hide them fairly easily.
So. Many. Panels. I always love seeing if authors are as eloquent in real life as they are on the page, and this fabulous bunch did not disappoint! I did pop into a few more than these whenever I had a spare ten minutes or so, but these were the ones that I properly sat down and listened to. Highlights included: Melinda Salisbury’s entire being (specifically her passionate speech on Sunday defending her Hogwarts House, Slytherin, against prejudice from the wizarding community), Nat Luurtsema completely owning her panel, Derek Landy gleefully torturing his fans, and Frances Hardinge being eloquent and inspiring. I tweeted from most of these, so check out my feed if you’re interested in seeing that.
A special mention for the Potter Party hosted by Muggle.net, because it was so much fun. Pass the parcel, balloon games, deliciously underhand tactics from Melinda Salisbury, and a quiz that really tested our HP knowledge – our team was called ‘Siriusly the Best’. It was a really great event, run against the backdrop of half the audience holding tickets for the Maggie Stiefvater signing queue, so well done to the organisers for pulling it off so spectacularly!
I’m not 100% up on my own face, so the only author photo I got was with Maggie Stiefvater and special guest Noah Czersky (there’s some glitter on the floor on my right). Highlights of signings were Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands), who gave me her last Rebel of the Sands bookmark; Sofi Croft (Indigo’s Dragon), who then proceeded to paint a dragon tattoo on my arm; and Martin Stewart (Riverkeep), with whom I had a brief but interesting chat about how YA is almost a genre in its own right, which gives authors more freedom between fantasy/ realism/ paranormal/ horror/ contemporary than adult fiction would. He pointed out that YA readers tend to read much more widely between genre than adult readers would.
The other highlight to the signings was that I met so many lovely people in the queues! If we didn’t switch URLs/names and you recognise me here, let me know! I’d love to keep in touch.
Phew! Carrying all this back on the train was not easy! But I’m really excited about pretty much all of this, from the samplers to the bookmarks to the totes. My real pride here is the badge collection I accumulated, which ended up being too big to fit on my lanyard! There’s a Melinda Salisbury short story in there, as well as a Girl of Ink and Stars tote and an exclusive sampler from Laini Taylor’s next book, Strange the Dreamer. This lot is going to keep me nice and hyped for the coming year!
These are just the books I bought at YALC! The books I already owned and got signed probably number about twenty, but these form my new TBR pile! I’ve already made a start on The 100: Day 21, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, London Belongs to Us, and The Sleeping Prince, while in signing queues or while waiting for trains. But I haven’t finished any yet! Fortunately I’m going on holiday for two weeks tomorrow, so I’ll have plenty of time to get stuck in… I’m really looking forward to reading The Dark Days Club and The Grimm Legacy out of the ones I haven’t already started.
*gasp* Can it truly be that I own one of only 10 copies of the signed proof of Garth Nix’s Goldenhand, which isn’t out until 4th October? ME??
Seriously, I’m so excited about this. I wrote my dissertation on Nix’s Abhorsen series, so to have the opportunity to read the new book two months before most people is incredible. Thank you, Hot Key Books! I have only read the first line so far and all I really know is that Lirael and probably Mogget are in it – I want to savour rather than devour this, so I’m going to wait until I’m on holiday before I settle down with it properly. In fact, I’m driving past Hadrian’s Wall on the way – maybe I’ll get a photo of Goldenhand at the Wall!
And yes, that is a tote bag covered in Charter Magic symbols from the books that Goldenhand is resting on. I also have the matching blanket. You can buy them here.
And that’s everything! Again, thanks so much to everyone who put time and effort into this event. If I’m this tired just from attending, I can’t imagine how exhausted you must be! Go and have some more sleep, and lots of tea and biscuits. You deserve it!
My next event will be Gollancz Fest in September, and then YA Shot in October. Closer to the times I’ll put up information about what panels etc. I’ll be attending, and what I’m reading to prep for them.
Bye folks! As long as the wifi holds in our holiday cottage I’ll be back again on Thursday for a main post, plus reviews as I write them. Catch me on twitter @rustlingreads in the meantime!