Tag Archives: event

Unboxing | #MKBParty Box!

When Come Round asked me if I’d be interested in looking at their new campaign for my Kinda Book, Macmillan’s teen book imprint, I said of course. I expected a little package to arrive, with a book and maybe a leaflet about what the campaign was – and OH MY GOODNESS, THE SIZE OF THE BOX THAT ARRIVED.


The #MKBParty is set to happen this weekend – lots of people across the country have been sent, or have applied for, one of these packs of bookish goodies. It’s such a fantastic scheme to get people talking about reading – I love the idea! Here’s a photo encompassing everything in the box (minus the lamp, obvs):



  • An #MKBParty Leaflet / Invite
  • Many, many postcards / bookmarks / posters
  • My Kinda Book bunting
  • Badges!!!
  • Three books – Fangirl, Beautiful Broken Things and The Lie Tree
  • Travel Mug, complete with an appropriate Fangirl quote

And six of each of these:

  • Candles with quotes from The Lie Tree
  • Love Hearts tubes
  • Galaxy hot chocolate
  • Cheek sticks
  • Hand cream
  • My Kinda Book pencils
  • Notebooks branded for Gemma Cairney’s debut book, Open

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever received such an epic parcel before! I adore it, and I can’t wait to make use of everything in here. Keep scrolling to see some of the many photos I had to take:

Join in with the party using #MKBParty!

Don’t have a party pack? Keep an eye out on Twitter – there are lots of giveaways happening and I’ll be tweeting some out soon!


YALC 2016: Recap and Book Haul



I was so pumped for YALC this year, though admittedly, slightly less pumped than usual -I haven’t been to a book event in such a long time (was my last book event YALC 2015…? OH NO) due to exams and stress and life being ridiculously busy and draining. So I was pretty nervous about going and talking to (or not being able to talk to) the many lovely bloggers I know online but haven’t talked to in so long because, as mentioned, life is busy and draining.

BUT. To the fun stuff; let’s ignore my brain for a sec. I was very excited to go, and see how the convention is developing even further in its third successful year. So, onto a messy recap/book haul post!

I arrived at around 8.30 to YALC – earlier than the starting time, because I was very honoured to have been invited to this year’s blogger’s breakfast before the opening. I was really excited for this, as each year of YALC a few authors come and do a small, more intimate talk with bloggers and vloggers – this year, to celebrate You Know Me Well and #BookPride, it was David Levithan and Nina LaCour!

29848950Being me, I didn’t take photos, because I’m stupid. I was also a little in overdrive at the prospect of my two favourite authors in the same room as me. I adore their books more than anything, they’re all so important to me – reading titles from You Know Me Well, to Wide Awake, to Everything Leads To You have been pivotal moments in my life, no exaggeration. David and Nina discussed YKMW, then opened up to the bloggers for questions – and there was a short signing after, in which I was much too shy to say a huge thank you to them for such beautiful books.

It was incredibly cool of them to do the press junket the day after their big YALC appearance, especially as they must have been a lil jet lagged. Thank you to the both of them for the great morning, and to the YALC team for organising the press junket and inviting me!

The first things I did when YALC started officially was sit in on the first two panels. The first was a range of authors mostly with their debut novels releasing this year, celebrating new talent in YA. It was really interesting to hear from a lot of them, as I don’t think I would have otherwise. Claire Hennessey was on this panel, and Nothing Tastes as Good is set to be an awesome release –  in fact, I read an early manuscript of this so can vouch for it!


The second panel of the day was ASK YALC, with Holly Bourne, Juno Dawson and Rosalind Jana, hosted by Gemma Cairney of BBC Radio 1. I loved this panel so much! It was probably my favourite. It had a little twist to it, as beforehand audience members wrote down questions they wanted advice to – and the panel members answered them on stage. I loved hearing all of the advice – they’re all such brilliant, intelligent and funny people. I was also introduced to Rosalind Jana through this panel, whom I hadn’t previously heard of (ok I probably have, I just have an awful memory). I rushed to buy a copy of her book afterwards!

As I went to Juno and Rosalind’s signings after the second panel, I’d missed a lot of the next one, which was a fantasy one including Philip Reeve. I was a little sad about that, but I decided midday to take a lil break from YALC, and hop down a floor to LFCC to see what was going on there!


Having spent most of my money on books, it wasn’t the best use of my time; LFCC is mainly a place for buying merch from stands, and queuing for paid autographs and photos with Sci Fi icons. (Very cool, but less so for a broke student like moi)

I did enjoy wandering around a lot, though! It was so different to YALC. The cosplay that I was was amazing (note: a small six y/o-ish Harley Quinn that outdid EVERY other Harley Quinn I saw, like, whoa) and I loved looking at artists’ stands of prints and comics.

I then went back to YALC, to watch the Morally Complicated YA Panel. Even though I was basically winging the whole day, going to panels on a whim, I knew I had to go to this one. It was set to be fantastic – Louise O’Neill and Melvin Burgess, two authors very well known for their controversial but life changing fiction, were joined by Monsters author Emerald Fennel (which I am still yet to read!) and Girl, Detached author Manuela Salvi (this looks SO GOOD).


So many interesting points were raised about censorship in young adult fiction – from where we draw the line, to banning books, to comparisons with movies. This is a topic I’ve been quietly interested in for a while – and, as I’m currently looking for EPQ ideas (an essay project for extra UCAS points in sixth form) this has actually inspired me to consider writing about YA and censorship for my project!


The only author photo I got at YALc was with Louise O’Neill, but that was incredibly cool – I’ve been to one of her signings before, but I only bought Asking For It today and I cannot wait to read it. I have a feeling I’ll have an in-depth discussion blog post following reading.

I didn’t actually spend as long at YALC as I did the last two years – I left before the last panel (a Harry Potter Party!) had ended. But I still had a fantastic time!

Similarly to my smaller amount of time at YALC, I also got surprisingly few books (I mean, look at 2014…). However, they’re some pretty awesome books. I can’t wait to delve into them asap. Also pictured: a tote bag and poster from the lovely Hot Key Books, and some postcards of books I must keep and eye out for!


Books purchased:

-Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Finally, it’s here! I can’t wait to go back to my childhood again.)

-The Yellow Room by Jess Vallance (Loved Jess’ debut. This looks very mysterious.)

-Notes on Being Teenage by Rosalind Jana (Rosalind was fantastic on her panel and this sounds nice!)

-Asking For It by Louise O’Neill (I’ve needed this book in my life for. so. long.)

-[FREE PROOF:] Girl, Detached by Manuela Salvi (This sounded very interesting, and I don’t read much translated fiction)

A HUGE thank you to the organisers behind YALC for putting together such a fantastic event – the whole weekend looked amazing, and the day I visited was really enjoyable. Thank you also to the authors and publicists for putting together such cool panels! Bring on next year 🙂

YALC: Event recap and book haul!

I can’t believe I was lucky enough to be able to spend a day at YALC, on Sunday! If you haven’t heard of the Young Adult Literature Convention, it’s the first ever of its kind on such a large scale in the UK, and was organised largely by Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman. I’m not sure if a second YALC for next year has been officially confirmed (But I really hope there will be another!), but this year it took up a section of the main hall for the London Film and Comic Con. It ran over Saturday and Sunday, hosting panels, workshops, talks and signings, and the list of authors attending was unbelievably exciting!

I’ve been excited about attending YALC for months, ever since Malorie Blackman announced the event online. I’ve been to quite a few blogger’s and author’s events over the last few years, but not a convention entirely based around books. So I was basically trying not to jump out of my train seat and I was trying to stop myself from squealing as I travelled up to London. I arrived earlier than the normal standard entry, to join a blogger’s breakfast with some other bloggers and booktubers – plus authors Matt Haig, Holly Black, Non Pratt and BoyQueen James Dawson. Thank you to the people who organised this pre-YALC event – it was so fun to get to talk to so many lovely bloggers, meeting new people and talking to friends I’ve met previously again! (Shout out to Alix Long who I talked to most, and is super awesome).

I won’t go over all of the panels I went to in detail as I’ll babble on a lot. Here are some (very blurry) pictures from events I went to, below! I did also attend a How To Get Published panel with Sally Green & Phil Earle, but was too far back / too short to get a good picture. I also caught the last few minutes of Crossover: Not Just for Kids panel, but didn’t include a picture below as I wasn’t really there for much.

Top two, Blogger’s breakfast; Third, I’m too sexy for this book; Fourth, Sisters doing it for themselves; Fifth, Sally Gardner and Holly Black in conversation.

PicMonkey Collage Events1

Also, below are pictures of the majority of authors I met at signings, and talked to in between events. It was so amazing to be able to meet so many brilliant authors in one place! I loved Lucy Saxon’s (Take Back the Skies) cosplay. It was also brilliant to finally be able to meet Holly Smale (Geek Girl), as not only am I a huge fan, but I’ve also tried to get to at least three of her past events, every time having to miss it for various reasons. Thank you to every one for signing my books!PicMonkey Collage Authors1‘Scuse me in some of the pictures, being generally un-photogenic / having my eyes closed half of the time 😛

Basically, YALC was fantastic. I enjoyed the day so much – I got to meet so many authors and bloggers. The day went so well and I think the panels were all really interesting, thought provoking, and a lot of them were hilarious (eg James Dawson & the I‘m too sexy for this book panel). I only wish there was more than fifteen minutes between each panel – I ended up missing quite a few parts because fifteen minutes was too little time to get my books signed during the signing slots that overlapped, for me.

At the end of the final panel with Holly Black and Sally Gardner in conversation, YALC announced that there would be a huge book giveaway- of all of the books that had been hanging on the awesome book wall, plus more stocks from various places. So, I spent the last… half hour, maybe, of the convention getting some really awesome books. At the end of the giveaway, when most was gone, staff said you were allowed to take multiple books at a time. And also, of course, I bought books earlier in the day. So overall, this was the YALC book haul… *deep breath*

PicMonkey Collage

I’m really looking forward to reading everything! There are quite a few books I managed to get at YALC that I’d love to read asap over the summer. I’m hoping to make a Summer TBR post soon, so a few titles may reappear there.

Finally, to wrap up – I loved YALC (and LFCC as a whole!) and I love all of the people who made it possible. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever been to, and I’m so grateful I was able to go and see so many people! It was really nice to meet lots of great bloggers, though I’m sad I missed some bloggers and authors. And, of course, thank you to all of the authors and interviewers who hosted some really memorable panels. The day I spent there was great, and I’m sure the Saturday there was just as amazing. I really hope YALC comes back next year!


Independent Booksellers Week: The #bookshopcrawl

Independent Booksellers Week is run by IndieBound, and essentially celebrates and publicises independent bookshops annually! Most indie bookshops host events and things throughout the week. I love hearing about things for IBW as I love that it gives a lot of publicity to independent UK bookshops – as sadly there are fewer than 1000 in the UK now.

when I heard about this year’s big event, the #BookshopCrawl, I knew I had to take part! One day, visiting as many indie stores as possible? Yesssss.:D  I really wanted to go up to London to check out some stores I’d never been to, but eventually my mum, brother and I stayed relatively local, visiting four bookshops in four different towns nearby. It was such a fun day!

For the Bookshop Crawl, there’s a competition to make a blog post or video about the day – but I realised I can’t actually enter, as no bookshops I went to seemed to be giving out the IBW2014 BookshopCrawl stickers… (Though I’m not sure if you had to ask for them, I assumed they’d be on the counter, idk:D) 

So, this blog post gives me no chance of winning the prizes, but I really wanted to make a recap of the day anyway, as it was really fun. (: Enjoy!



New Books! #37


A large book haul this week (Well, from only today!) and it caused much fangirling (: I had one book I’ve been excited about for months come through the post, and I also went to the RHCP Goes To The Movies! Blogger’s brunch today. It was really awesome. I got to talk to loads of lovely bloggers, and see some exciting info about upcoming Random House releases and trailers for movies like The Book Thief. Matt Haig was also the guest author and he was awesome; his talk about his debut YA book was great, and he signed a copy of his upcoming Echo Boy for me (!!!). Thank you so much to RHCP for having me- if was really great.

RHCP event titles:


Echo Boy by Matt Haig: Echo Boy looks amazing. I love Sci-Fi novels, and I loved Matt Haig’s The Humans- I read it earlier this week. I’m looking forward to starting it. Thank you Matt for giving a great talk about it today, and for signing my copy!

Running Girl by Simon Mason: I love this cover a lot. I also love crime fiction a lot. So, this seems awesome 😀 I’m excited to read it as the concept is really interesting. The hardback is really, really pretty. I’m definitely not judging a book by its cover here. Ahem.

From bloggers-and-bookswaps:


Thank you to Faye from A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, Michelle from Much Loved Books, and Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa for passing these onto me! You’re all seriously awesome and so *bloggy hugs* *virtual cake* 😀 These are all titles I’ve been seeing a lot about around the blogosphere, so I’m excited to start them all. Thank you, lovely people, it was so nice of you!

Received in Post:


GIF image from fiercefiction.tumblr.com


Far From You by Tess Sharpe: First, admire the pretty GIFable cover!! 😀 Stupidly gorgeous. I love it so much! I’ve been so excited about this ever since I saw a synopsis. I’m really interested to see what it’s like, and it’s set to be a pretty amazing debut novel, I think! Thank you, Indigo. (:


The Chaos (Numbers, #2)

Numbers 2: The Chaos by Rachel Ward: I haven’t actually read the first book in the series yet, but I bought it a few weeks ago. I spotted this for sale in the local library today, and I decided to buy it- maybe I’ll really enjoy book one and want to move straight onto book two! Also, again, pretty cover. I couldn’t not.

[Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones: Necklace: Clairvoyant Rune (Product Image)]

This isn’t a book…. but it’s bookish and I want to rant about it! 😀 I went to the lovely London Forbidden Planet today, too, to pick up a comic. I also spotted these: Mortal Instruments necklaces, with the different runes. And they were really, really cheap. And pretty. I ended up going for the Clairvoyant rune, because it’s so gorgeous, and I already have Angelic on a bracelet 😉 Admire the pretty!! :3 You can find out about them here, if you’re a TMI fangirl too…

So, that was the book-haul-plus-a-piece-of-nerdy-awesome for the week! (:

Guildford Book Festival: Darren Shan

I thought I’d written this post up, but I hadn’t! Just before Hallowe’en, the Guildford Book Festival happened! It’s a really awesome festival for literature, that has some really great authors for events. I went a few years ago to see Alex Milway, who writes the Mousehunter series. I know Matt Whyman, author of The Savages, was there for an event this year, but unfortunately I couldn’t get to that one! But, I did get to go and see the ‘Master of Horror,’ Darren Shan, talk about his ZOM-B books! I’m a huge fan of ZOM-B so I was so excited to see him talk about them and get my books signed again (I met him in a Waterstones signing a few years ago :D) I was armed with a notebook and a pen, and nearly went through a whole ink cartridge scribbling pretty much everything Darren Shan said, down! This is only… half of it. And it’s still long…

Darren Shan kicked off the event with a little intro to the world of ZOM-B, then a reading of the prologue of the first book, which was even more terrifying when he read it aloud. It was really atmospheric! He also talked about putting in some emotion to the book, so that it wasn’t all gore and horror. “Any good book, even a horror boo, has to have an emotional journey,” He said. It definitely goes for his zombies book too, because the main character has to deal with an abusive, racist father.

He then read a little of ZOM-B City… and probably picked the worst scene in the book, about a baby and Mr Dowling, the evil zombie-like clown. It was so freaky and Darren made a lot of people jump (including me) at points!

After more talk about the rough plots of the books, and the readings, Darren moved on to a Q & A from the audience. My brother, obviously, had to stick his hand up first and tell Darren to not drop spoilers. He’d been trying to plough through the series on the train to Guildford! During the Questions and Answers, we got to find out that Darren’s favourite films were the old Hammer Horrors (I agree. I’ve watched a few and they’re awesome) and Salem’s Lot, which is an adaption of a bestselling King horror book. Someone did ask about a dream cast, for if the ZOM-B books were turned into films, but Darren couldn’t answer, as he’d rather focus on his writing than possible productions!

He said there’s nothing in the pipeline yet for ZOM-B to become a film… but I hope there will be, as that would make an awesome movie.

In one of the last questions, he revealed the name of the next book to be released in January. Soon after on twitter the cover (left) was revealed… ZOM-B GLADIATOR! ;D I am EXCITED.  According to the author, there’s going to be a new villain introduced… so I am double excited. There was one question on his writing, which I can’t remember, but scribbled down the answer to which was really interesting. Darren Shan said that there wasn’t much, horror-wise for children to read, when he was younger. That’s a reason he writes horror books; to fill the gap in his childhood.


Also, on stand-alones, Darren made a really brilliant point, that I wrote down. “I don’t plot, I just go from story to EMBEDDED IMUJ PERMALINKstory and give a story as much space as it needs.” Which, I guess, is why most books are turned into full-length sagas, because he has so much to write about! He also said he’d rather write stand-alones, but his ideas won’t let him. That’s obvious, considering all of the series he’s produced!

Nearer the end I asked a question, which was What character would he meet, from any of his books, given the chance? He replied that he’d really loved to meet Larten Crepsley, who is a character I absolutely loved, from the Saga of Darren Shan.

The event ended and my brother and I queued up to get our whole ZOM-B series signed! When Darren was signing our books, he recognized me from my blog, as he’d recently written up a guest post for my Halloween Reads event which took place in October- and I interviewed him a few months ago! It was awesome to get to talk to him properly, as I didn’t really talk very much at the signing I’d been to before, when I was about nine or ten. Above is the picture my brother and I got with Darren- he likes to strangle people. My brother pulls good I’m-Being-Strangled faces. I do not.

Thanks to Guildford Book Festival and Darren Shan for hosting a brilliant event, I enjoyed it so much!


Bath Kids Literature Festival!

If you can’t read the text I put on these pictures in the post, click on the pictures for a close up (:

WP_20130929_004Last weekend, (or, well, for the last two days :P) I was lucky enough to have a two-day holiday in Bath, because the Kids Lit Fest was starting! I was really excited to go to a couple of events, though a little disappointed because a lot, like Holly Smale’s event, were on weekdays and so I wouldn’t be able to get to them.

We (brother and I) were booked into two events, a Dave McKean talk (Dave is an artistic director, and amazing illustrator, famously of Gaiman titles!) and a horror writing workshop with Alexander Gordon Smith (who’s actually called Gordon, so I’m callingWP_20130928_007 him that in this post), and we were planning on seeing Charlie Higson but his event sold out quickly, as he’s just released THE FALLEN!

Most of the weekend we spent exploring Bath, because it’s a really awesome place. There are some photos I took on here 🙂 On the Saturday, we went to the Holburne Museum, where our events were, and were really disappointed to be told that Dave McKean couldn’t get to the venue as there’d been an incident on the motorway and there was no way he could get around it. So, we had brought too many books down to get signed for nothing, but oh well! I’ll have to catch him at another event. (I am 100% SURE that the accident happened because we walked under a ladder earlier in the day but no one believes that. Hmph.)

WP_20130929_043On the Sunday, I did the horror writing workshop! I had heard about Gordon’s books in the past, but never read one, so I didn’t know too much about the author/books. However, it was a brilliant event, and definitely made up for the one I missed! After telling us a couple of stories, of inspirations for his books (One involved a very funny expedition to an abandoned house!), Gordon started us on worksheet-packs we’d been given. They were really great! The sheets were all about developing our biggest fears into stories- because if you use something that really terrifies you, you’ll definitely convey that terror into your writing! There were also the tasks of  What If- Where everyone had to put their fears into a question: What If a creepy doll you were given was possessed, and intent on destruction? was one of my wacky ones. We did some character profiling too, where we fleshed out some photocharacters for our stories. Unfortunately, as we had all been doing so much discussing, we didn’t quite get to finish everything! However, the course was amazing. I took away a lot of writing and structuring tips from it, and even a short story idea that I started writing on the train home (:

After the workshop there was also a signing. My brother and I bought the first two copies of Gordon’s FURNACE series (Though I really wanted The FURY but it was sold out 😦 Oh well, I shall hunt it down.), and had them signed, which was awesome! Here’s me with Gordon, right:

HOW DID I FORGET?! I met Lucy from Queen of Contemporary! 😀 We met up in the Waterstones at Bath to swap books (I got two awesome ones, I’ll put my Bath book haul in this week’s haul, by the way), and she’s as awesome in real life as she is in bloggyworld. I think my parents had thought I’d be there for about five minutes, but… uh… we may have fangirled over every book individually in the YA section for forty minutes. But… details. It was awesome meeting her! I’ve tried to save this picture but silly PC won’t let me. I’ve tried to be techy and embed the tweet with the picture here… but it didn’t work. So I gave up.

All in all, the Bath Kids Lit fest was really great, even though I only got to go to one event; but it was so great! The weekend was really cool and I bought a lot of really pretty books, which I’ll post about on Saturday. If you’re looking for a lot more coverage on the festival, I know that Lucy is going to a lot of the events over the whole festival, and she’s interviewing authors too, so go check her site out!