Hello faithful blog readers! In case you haven’t heard… THE SHADOW’S CURSE IS OUT IN THE WILD! Woah…
Obligatory buy links:
Canada readers: Chapters/Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/the-shadows-curse/9780385678278-item.html?ikwid=amy+mcculloch&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0
But also, check out this KILLER trailer!
So, yesterday was the first day of YALC – the inaugural Young Adult Literature Convention, held at London Film & Comic Con at Earl’s Court. Since this was the first one ever, I was really interested to see how it was going to pan out. Turns out: this is one of the best book events I’ve ever attended. More buzzy than most other conventions, with a real sense of excitement and interest in the panels. I think the YALC organisers did an amazing job in curating the panel discussions, and there really was something for everyone.
I, of course, was brought in to cater for the YA epic fantasy fans – of which there are numerous, and they are loud! The best kind of fans 🙂 I was on a panel with Jonathan Stroud (uh, my hero), Ruth Warburton (another publishing type-author mix; is there a better kind?) and Francis Hardinge (who writes just about the cool-weirdest books ever). It was all hosted by Marc Aplin of Fantasy Faction which, let’s face it, is the best fantasy website out there! (So much so, they’re nominated for a World Fantasy Award – congrats to them!)
But before the panel, I arrived a bit earlier to just a complete sea of cosplay and geeks in comic book t-shirts and authors looking dazed and confused…. my people all in one place! After somehow clawing my way through to the Bookzone (thanks Liz de Jager and Mark for saving me!), I couldn’t believe just how many people were holding, discussing or raving about books. It was amazing. Already dehydrated and overwhelmed, I made my way to the green room, where there was welcome respite. Plus – celebrities galore. Best spot? Lena Headey (aka Cersei Lannister). Amazing.
The panel itself – called ‘Bring Me My Dragons’ was so much fun. Marc had us all well prepared with questions in advance, but YA fantasy is a topic about which I am so passionate; I could speak for hours! Luckily, I didn’t, but I hope I managed to get a few points across. In a nutshell, those were:
– Like my US publisher’s slogan says: YA is a state of mind, not an age range! I intend to be writing and reading YA for a very long time
– YA fantasy is so much fun, and so diverse. In support of the #weneeddiversebooks movement, fantasy is a place where so many people can find their tribe
– If you want recommendations of YA fantasy books for teens who love Game of Thrones, well, let’s just say I’ve covered it.
After the panel, I went straight into signing. This is my favourite part of any event, not least because I was able to meet so many new readers, and chat to them! I loved being able to say hi to loads of the bloggers who I’ve interacted with on Twitter. Putting faces to twitter handles is the best.
Two hours of signing later (and pretty much close to collapsing in a dehydrated pile of author goo), I left to have a rejuvenating drink at the pub before returning for the YALC party. Here was our chance to toast the awesome organisers, Malorie Blackman & Katherine Woodfine, for the immense job that they’ve done in getting this convention off the ground. I can only hope it’s on again next year (and the year after… and the year after that…)