The best part of YALC for me was getting to catch-up with some author/publisher/blogging friends, including Phil Earle, Marcus Sedgwick, Lucy Christopher, Non Pratt, Cat Clarke, Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time, Leanne from District YA, Carly from Writing from the Tub, Kat, Nina and far too many other publicists/editors to mention. It was great to meet some of said publicists and editors for the first time after emailing and tweeting with them for so long, and each and every one of them is brilliant! I talked about books SO much and I could have carried on talking for hours. It was the best way to spend my weekend!
[Me and lovely Lucy!]
Of course there were a few glitches with both events, which is normal for something of that size (LFCC grows every year attendee-wise, but this year was the worst I've known it). It was far too hot and crowded on Saturday, and the YALC author signing queues were a nightmare to navigate. The Sunday was a LOT better - calmer, more organised and a little bit cooler where the temperature was concerned. There was more good than bad, though, and most of the bad just had to do with my personal distaste for extreme heat and crowds blocking me in!
The line-up of authors was pretty fantastic, with a lot of my UK favourites in attendance (see those mentioned above). I really enjoyed Sunday morning's YALC blogger brunch which I was lucky enough to be invited to, and I also tagged along to Saturday night's Fringe event which wasn't part of YALC but was fun nonetheless. I finally met Keren David - yay!
[Phil Earle signing books like the cool dude he is.]
I personally think YALC was a great success and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I came back with more books than I arrived with, lots of cool promo bookmarks, many signed books and a big grin on my face after seeing so many of my lovely friends who I only see in person every now and then. Thank god for Twitter and email, eh?
I hope there's another YALC next year, and I hope one day it gets its own venue. There's enough interest out there to warrant it, and it would be great to have more space. I think this was the beginning of what could be a very successful annual YA convention in the UK, full of fantastic authors and enthusiastic book lovers, and I really hope it did well enough to happen again. (That's a lot of hoping I'm doing, isn't it!)
[Den Patrick after signing my copy of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade.]
Special thanks go to Non Pratt and Daphne from Winged Reviews for making my weekend in London possible, and to the whole YALC committee for organising everything. Thanks, ladies!
Here are a few pics, and you can see more images from the weekend on my Instagram.
[Juliet Landau! Drusilla from Buffy!]
[Anthony Head! Giles from Buffy!]
[My stack of signed books.]