Today is a remarkable day. This is not just because the sun is shining on London and I’ve found the exact spot where I used to work on my dissertation to write this post. It isn’t purely because the Olympics is making me want to cry with its beautiful stories of incredible dedication and success against the odds, or even just because I am sneakily eating a greasy blueberry muffin in a library and just saw someone wearing what appeared to be a sextant hair clip (probably just my nautical eye for detail, ha). It is, in fact, because I am a different writer than the one I was yesterday. Today I am a writer who has survived her first author event!
Yesterday morning I trotted down to a fabulous spot called Drink Shop Do near King’s Cross (you can make Beyonce crowns in this place, people!) for my first event prior to April’s launch. I met a wonderful horde of enthused book bloggers, many of whom I’ve been following (read: stalking) on Twitter for yonks. As my editor, the lovely Ali Dougal of Egmont remarked, it was great to be able to put some names to faces.
My event involved having a chat with Ali about things like what it’s been like working together, the books we loved as children, and everything from my inspirations and writing process to creating my characters and world. One of the most fun questions Ali asked me was what object or creature I would take home from my fantasy world if I could: I chose a moonsprite (they would make the perfect reading light after lights out!) and Ali said she would choose either a sea-hawk or Captain Wren, AKA Grandma, one of my main characters! Not sure how Grandma would feel about that…
We had a quick Q&A with the bloggers and I gave a reading of chapter one. Bearing in mind that I haven’t done a reading since my MA two years ago, I was more than a little nervous. But I got through it and actually quite enjoyed myself (shocker!) even though IT WAS FILMED!
The other authors taking part in the day were Michael Grant, Kevin Brooks and Eugene Lambert. I’m seriously glad I didn’t dwell too long over those guys’ mad skills and accolades before Ali and I got started…reading your work in front of a Carnegie winner, anyone?! Yeah. That is a thing that really, really happened.
Some of my favourite parts of the other authors’ talks were when Michael Grant described his research process and telling the truth as a writer, when Eugene Lambert spoke about world-building and when Kevin Brooks talked about anxiety (with a focus on his new novel Born Scared) something I’m also keen to write about at some point.
Overall the day was an amazing introduction to doing author events and another chance to hang out with the Egmont team, which is always amazing (they are all actual style icons, for one thing, and we freaked out over the glittery bathroom wall and the pineapple/unicorn jewellery for sale in the shop).
And the highlight of the day, other than the whopping chocolate orange brownie I inhaled? A lovely blogger called Sarah who writes over at Feeling Fictional, asked me to autograph her notebook, as my book isn’t available just yet for signing.
I took a moment. Yet another moment along this journey where I have screamed internally and done a little dance (not 100% internally).
Next up: I’m working on my dedication and acknowledgements for book one, awaiting a peek at the next batch of illustration drafts and waiting with bated breath for the bound proofs this autumn, which apparently will have a very fun cover!