Thursday, 17 July 2014

YALC Diary: Sunday Day Two

After being convinced that I’d sleep like a baby after the mania of yesterday I of course had another rubbish night’s sleep and woke up with a headache. I wanted nothing more than to roll over and go back to sleep and I would have if we didn’t have to check out of our hotel before 11am. Turns out this was a blessing in disguise as I had the most wonderful day at YALC today.

Before another day at YALC began I was invited to a blogger breakfast. The first wonderful thing to happen today was that lovely Debbie saw my tweet of pain and brought me in some paracetamol from home. After something to eat, lots of water and some medication I started to feel more human and really enjoyed the breakfast. Having our names on a guest list to get in meant no queuing and the book zone was lovely and quiet first thing in the morning so I had lots of time to chat to authors, bloggers and publicists and I could actually hear everybody, yay! I also had time to catch up with my friend Jasprit who came down for Sunday which was really nice.

We had authors Holly Black, James Dawson, Matt Haig and Non Pratt as guests at the breakfast and they each spoke about their books new and upcoming alike and signed our copies. We were also given an awesome Grisha tote bag full of swag and copies of This Book is Gay by James Dawson and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I was only saying before the event how much I was looking forward to This Book is Gay so to have early copies there was amazing!

Queen of Teen James Dawson looking regal and wise

Once again there were so many lovely authors that I finally got to meet today. Comic Con was so much quieter and the showmasters team were there to structure queues and make sure there was some order which was so much better.

My author highlights for Sunday had to be James Dawson, Sarra Manning and Cat Clarke. James is doing wonderful things for LGBT teens and I’m so glad that he won Queen of Teen because he’s providing a much needed voice in UKYA. I’ve been reading Sarra Manning’s books since I was twelve years old and so I got all emotional when she knew me and my blog, if that wasn’t enough she then went on to give me two rare early editions of her books as a thank you for your support gift which meant so much to me. Cat Clarke was so lovely to talk to and gave me a hug and thanked me for supporting her books which was so nice. As for actors today I spotted Sibel Kekilli and Kristian Nairn AKA Shae and Hodor from Game of Thrones and had a little fan girl moment over that.

Meeting Sarra Manning

Cat Clarke hug

The only negative thing that I have to say about YALC day 2 was the lack of monitoring for the panels. They didn’t appear to be supervised at all and being right next to the Stan Lee booth meant that LFCC people would just sit there taking up seats for a break and something to eat or to wait for friends to finish seeing Stan. Not only did this take up seating but they’d chatter away to one another and once again I couldn’t hear what the authors were saying. As I stressed yesterday next year we really need our own hall!

At 5pm on the last day of YALC an event that shall forever be remembered as ‘The Great Book Giveaway of 2014’ took place. Basically the YALC team took down all of the books from the book wall and posters and gave them away for free. There were so many amazing books to choose from from YA classics to brand new releases that aren’t even out yet. Luckily I was there when the queueing began and so ended up being 5th in line and after a lot of consideration picked up Red Rising by Pierce Brown which I’ve heard amazing things about and am so excited to read.

After the great book giveaway it was time for Rach and I to say our goodbyes to people and catch our train home. It was actually really sad saying goodbye to all of my bloggy chums not knowing when I’ll next get to see everyone and when we will all be together again.

Me with the awesome Michelle

Me with lovely Faye 

I feel like YALC really picked a lot of bloggers up – myself included- and motivated us. There was a lot of love between everyone and it reminded me of how special our community is. Each of us is different and we all have something to offer but all of us together as a community makes our voices even louder.

I came away from YALC feeling like I’d found my people. It was a truly special weekend and despite all of my bad experiences I still walked away with some amazing memories. I only hope that if there is another YALC next year that the people behind it take on board what everybody is saying to ensure that YALC 2015 is an even bigger success.

Missed day one of my YALC diary? Check it out here.
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