Oh. My. What an event. It turns out that being a screaming fan-girl is hard work! Who knew? This was my first ever literature festival and I was completely star struck seeing some of my absolute favourites.
Hazel and the team at UCLAN did an amazing job of putting this event together and I feel so lucky to have been involved alongside my fellow Northern Book Bloggers. Hazel reserved us front row seats and some of the goodies from the event which was such a lovely touch. I got to meet so many people from Twitter in RL (Donna, Faye, Kelly, Layla and Rosie to name a few) and it is so, so lovely to finally be able to put faces to names.
There was a proof stall where attendees could take any two from a variety of proofs as well as loads of great bookmarks, postcards, posters, pin badges etc I chose to take proofs of Truth Sister by Peter Gilvin and I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman. UCLAN also had their own stall where they were selling books they have published themselves! Waterstones had a stall there too, where I bought physical copies of The Bone Season and The Mime Order, as well as The Next Together, Traitor to the Throne and Hero at the Fall. I also sampled the cake stall (because bookish cakes are a thing that must be done), and my lovely friend Rebecca’s stall Taken Moons, selling fabulous candles.
From the candles, I chose the two I haven’t previously bought: Why is Straight the Default? inspired by Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda and scented like cookies and cream, and Two Continents One Planet inspired by The Extinction Trials and scented like evergreen forest. Both are incredible.
As if this wasn’t already amazing there were panels of amazing authors, and signings too. I got loads of books signed at the event, and I got to see a sneak peak of the cover of a book I am hugely excited to read from the author! I almost died on the spot when Katherine Webber recognised me from Twitter, and I actually squeaked at Lauren James when she drew a purple star in my book. It turns out that, faced with authors I admire, I have no chill. None whatsoever. I just wish I’d been brave enough to ask for photos with some of the authors!
And the absolute icing on the cake for me, was standing up on stage with Rebecca to introduce Holly Black and Samantha Shannon. We were so scared before hand that we walked up to Samantha in her signing queue and anxiety babbled all over her about how nervous we were. She was lovely. It’s handy I hadn’t finished The Mime Order at that point though or my babbling might have been somewhat more sweary and led to me being escorted out of the building. I babbled right in Holly’s face at the end too when I got to have my photo taken with her before heading home on the train.
You could be forgiven for thinking that was the best ending to the day, but Cora, Steph and I got chip-shop chips for tea on the way home, and it’s hard to beat a portion of cheesy chips.
I had a great book-filled day with lovely friends and I am so hoping that NYA Lit Fest will be an annual thing.