It’s Wednesday. It’s been aaaaaggggggeeeeesss since YALC happened. You’ve probably read 900 of these YALC round ups. Here’s mine.
This week I’m drinking another excellent Brazilian coffee: the Santa Ines from Steampunk Coffee Roasters. It tastes good.
I did wonder whether or not to do a write up of YALC. There are so many people writing about it, and a lot of people who didn’t go who are probably sick of hearing about it. Yet, here I am. This was my first time going to YALC, I went for all three days, and I absolutely loved it, so I had to share my experience. This is probably going to be a bit rambly, but Husband suggested I just succinctly write “It took a long time to get there, and I bought too many books” (which is a fair summary).
I spent most of my time at YALC in queues to meet authors and get my books signed. I’ve seen a few people saying the queues were really bad this year, but I have nothing to compare them to and I didn’t find them that awful. Some of the queues were long, but I’m lucky I am able to stand, and I was happy doing it to meet some of my favourites. I managed to see almost everyone I wanted to, and they were all lovely. I also got to chat to some really lovely Twitter (and RL) friends whilst waiting in queues, which helped to pass the time.
I took a fair few books with me to get signed this year. When I go next year, that’s probably one of the big things I’ll change. Books are pretty heavy to carry around! I loved all the authors I met for signings, but there were a few that really stood out and a couple that made me feel quite emotional (I know!) I loved having Joanne Harris tell me that she liked my battered copy of Chocolat, because it was clear it had been loved. Vic James hugged me (!), said my little face on her timeline and the tiny human tear I shed reading Bright Ruin gave her joy (I loved chatting to Vic, and seeing how much she loved Cora‘s annotations in her book gave me life, and kind of has me itching to start scribbling in my own books). I met Lydia Ruffles for the first time after speaking to her on Twitter about her book The Taste of Blue Light and it’s excellent representation of PTSD.
Finally, I met Akemi Dawn Bowman, and I welled up. I had seen her at the Ink Road stall and gave her a card explaining how much Starfish had meant to me (because I knew wording would be hard), and then fan-girled a bit and left. Meeting her again in the signing was everything. I also found out that my card was the first she’d been given, which was super sweet. I am still really overwhelmed at meeting the woman who wrote a huge chunk of my life into a book.
As well as getting my books signed, I asked almost all the authors I met for photos, because I want to be able to remember the experience and I love photos. I managed to get pics with Louise O’Neill, Sara Barnard, Estelle Maskame (who I also had a really great chat with at the Ink Road stall whilst she signed for me), Holly Jackson, Simon James Green, Joanne Harris, Lauren James, Non Pratt, Katherine Webber, Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, Alexandra Christo, Lydia Ruffles, Lisa Williamson, Vic James, Juno Dawson, Holly Bourne, Akemi Dawn Bowman and Jacqueline Silvester. So many happy things to remember.
I only made it to two panels, the Frankenstein panel 200 Years of Frank (with Sarah Maria Griffin, Matt Kileen, Melinda Salisbury, Joanne Harris and Ed McDonald), and Bring a Torch It’s Dark in Here, a dystopia panel (with Vic James, Kerry Drewery, Anna Day, Nicky Singer and William Sutcliffe). I really enjoyed both panels, and I do regret not making it to more of them, so that’s something I want to do differently next year.
I did go to the FLOORED quiz event on the Friday evening, which was great fun, although I drank more wine than strictly necessary and our team (with Lisa Williamson) came last, but I did have a lush evening with all of my teammates and we won sweets, so it’s all good. I also attended the YA quiz on Saturday evening, watching two teams of authors compete against each other in a quiz chaired by the lovely Katherine Webber wearing an Elsa dress. My highlight had to be the moment Jason Momoa walked through the quiz, and Samantha Shannon shouted “My sun and stars” at him and offered him a proof of Priory (I think he’s a bit daft for turning that offer down).
The rest of the time I spent wandering around the stalls. There were some photo competitions to win proofs (I didn’t win any from my photos, but I had great fun taking them!) I also had to take the chance to pose at the Only Love Can Break Your Heart prom wall, and to play at being a dead body at the Electric Monkey stall.
I was lucky enough to win a proof of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and then my lovely friends (Hannah, Jemma and Cora) pinched it to pose with whilst I was busy playing dead. These are three of my favourite photos from the weekend. One of my other favourite moments was sneaking out for an iced coffee with Cora and sitting outside Costa in the most delightful breeze (because inside YALC was WARM). Oh, and screaming and running towards Steph across the YALC hall, because I hadn’t seen her since Tuesday. Also, lovely Kelly (why don’t you live closer?!) Steph and I also got a few photos together at the YALC letters, and the one where Steph is looking at me with a WTF face is just priceless.
My YALC book haul was A LOT, so I’m going to put it in a separate post, because otherwise this post would just be ridiculous!
Thanks to everyone who made my first YALC a lovely, memorable experience. I had a great time!