Top Ten Tuesday: Who ya gonna stalk? #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is…Top Ten Bookish People to Follow on Social Media

I probably don’t use social media as much as I should do considering I have a blog to promote. Twitter and Instagram are the only ones I really use for bookish/blog stuff and I go through phases of remembering to use them. I’m the same with following people too. But there are some really great bookish people that I do follow on Twitter (and should pay more attention to):

@Patrick_Ness: I mean let’s face it, Patrick Ness is my just my favourite, ever.

 

@BookSmugglers: Self confessed ‘Review Mavens & Super Dorks’, UK-based The Book Smugglers are award-winning bloggers who post great reviews, features and book news.

@MattHaig1:  I actually haven’t read any of Matt Haig’s books (yet) but his presence on Twitter is funny and inspiring.

@BookBloggersChat: These guys are based in the UK and arrange book blogging chats on twitter which is a great way to get involved in the community and support each other.

@Jabberworks: Sarah McIntyre is a children’s author, illustrator, comic book creator and cosplay enthusiast. She does a lot of work with libraries and schools, promoting creativity in kids. She’s a whole lot of fun.

@AitchLove: Hannah Love is Children’s Publicity Manager at Faber Children’s and reviewer for and . She tweets about everything bookish, both promoting and just generally fangirling. She’s very active in the book blogging community and sometimes even sends out books. A must-follow for YA bloggers.

@SarraManning: Sarra Manning is an author and Literary Editor. Her tweets make me LOL (as well as keeping me up-to-date in bookland).

@Cleo_Bannister: Cleo is one of my favourite book bloggers who reviews mainly crime fiction and dark thrillers. She’s very active on Twitter and retweets her favourite posts from the book blogging community.

@IsobelJournal: Isobel Harrop is the author of The Isobel Journal which was published after she became a Twitter sensation by tweeting her old high school diary. She tweets about books, life and vegan food.

@YALC: YALC is the UK’s YA Lit Con at the London Film & Comic Con . This year the convention is on 28-31 July 2016 so if you’re thinking of going give them a follow.

 

Who are your bookish must-follows on Twitter? 

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YALC UK 2014 Book Haul

I meant to post this like two weeks ago. Better late than never, right?

Here are the books I picked up at the Young Adult Literature Convention & London Comic Con earlier this month.

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These books were all free. Girl done good. I’ve already read and reviewed Immortal Beloved. The Mission is the second in a series, so I need to find the first one, The Hit first. I love the vivid yellow pages though. I’m also really intrigued by the new Scott Westerfeld book. I was lucky enough to grab the last proof copy they had.

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These two were from Hot Key Books’ genius bookswap. I’ve been meaning to read Ally Condie’s series for ages so I was really pleased to pick up a copy. Embers was a good find too, there was a tag in the book to tweet about finding it, and the author got in touch to say that she will send me the other two books in the trilogy if I like this one. YAY thanks, Amy!

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There was also a free sci-fi book stand at LFCC to spread the work about the 72nd World Science Fiction convention held in London next month. These ones took my fancy!

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After attending the Going Graphic talk, I had to buy this Manga Shakespeare Hamlet, and got it signed by the lovely Emma.

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This was my own copy of my favourite Sedgwick book which I took to get signed. He was so lovely. And I love that he drew me a coffin.

You can read my YALC experience in full here, if you so wish.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #6

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so there should be lots to talk about but….

1. Why is it that every time I come to write this post I completely forget about all the things I wanted say? It’s like a curse. I even leave links to things I wanted to mention in a draft post, but by the time I come to write it, I’ve forgotten what I had to say about it. Must try harder.

2. Does anyone remember Jim Henson’s The Storyteller? I loved it so much. My memory of it was jogged because it’s being made into a graphic novel and it looks stunning. I’m kind of on a graphic novel kick since Comic Con a few weekends back. But more on that later.

Archaia, the official publisher of Jim Henson comics and graphic novels, is launching a new comics miniseries based on one of Henson’s franchises. The Storyteller: Witches will focus on different folk tales just like the television series from the late ’80s. The Storyteller featured a narrator sitting in a cozy chair by the fireplace; he told viewers about magical creatures and happenings. As the Storyteller wove his tales, you watched them come to life before your eyes.

More info and photos here!

3. How have I only just discovered Gay of Thrones?????. It’s brilliant.


 
4. I was thinking about publisher websites the other day. I rarely go on them and wonder if maybe I should? I know some publishers have their own reading groups and forums, and some seem to have their own reading services for bloggers. I only really use NetGalley, but now I’m starting to think maybe I’m missing out..Am I…AM I?

5. Two really good things (and one potentially bad thing) came out of my weekend spent at the first YA Lit Convention (YALC) which took place at London Comic Con a couple of weeks ago:

5.1 It definitely seemed to start a buzz about YA in this country and hopefully the genre will continue to go from strength to strength and maybe even gain some credibility – stranger things have happened.

In the News:
The Guardian – Why You Should YA

The Telegraph – YALC Review

Grown-Ups: You can read YA!

5.2. It inspired me to dust off my unfinished YA manuscript which I’ve been ‘working’ on for YEARS. I hadn’t even looked at it for about 18 months, and it was pretty much as bad as I feared, but I’m enjoying the puzzle that is a complete rewrite. For now!

5.3. My slight obsession over Peter Petrelli Milo ventimiglia has come back with a vengeance after seeing him in all his bearded glory at Comic Con. My friend Dora and I had a film night at the weekend consisting of the classic that is Pathology (hot) and this HILARIOUSLY bad Hammer Horror-esque vampire porn. Hello.


 
My review of YALC and LFCC can be found here: Part 1 / Part 2

6. I went to see Begin Again, the new Kiera Knightley film and I actually quite liked it (the trailer looked pretty awful). There’s just something I love about films about musicians. Maybe it’s because I wish I was musical, but I’m so far from it – I barely know what an instrument is. I quite like music-based books too and found this list of YA Music-Based Books on MTV.com the other day. Oh look, my wishlist just expanded.

7. I’ve been back on a healthy eating & more exercise mission the last few weeks. It’s going pretty well. I made THE best tuna burgers the other day. Seriously, THE BEST!

8. I’m kinda over the summer already. I want it to be Winter. I love Winter! I want cosy nights in, hot chocolate, mulled wine and fairy lights, and I want it now. I’m sick of getting sunburnt, I’m sick of hayfever and my constantly itchy face and I got biten all over my legs the other weekend so I’ve had to cover them up. It’s too hot for that. Roll on Christmas.

9. I can’t shake the idea of moving somewhere new. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages but it’s hard to know where to start. I think I need a new adventure.

10. I’ve been using Pinterest for a while and I really like it. It took me a while to figure out what the point of it was, but I think I have now. I’ve started using it to post about my blog too, not many seem to do it, and I wonder why…

Well, that’s what’s been on my mind lately. You should join the fun and tell us what’s on yours!

YALC UK – Day Two

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If you missed my Day One post, click here.

On Sunday we arrived at Earl’s Court a bit more refreshed and prepared for what lay ahead compared to Saturday. We took solace in the fact that we actually had tickets and knew where everything was this time. We were also hoping to explore a bit more of the LFCC in between the book talks and signings.

The queue was still ridiculous but thankfully a lot more organised, and we got in after about an hour. We got tickets for all of talks that day but thought we might skip one or two to explore the rest of the comic con. When I say explore, I mean stalk Peter Peter Petrelli, the Game of Thrones cast and keep checking if Giles returned. He never did. 😦

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Murder Most Magical

With Ben Aaronovitch, Paul Cornell and Suzanne McLeod

The first event we attended was actually on the LFCC schedule rather than the YALC one, and it was all about crime fiction with a magical twist, based in London. Despite not having read any of the author’s books I really loved this talk. Dora is a big fan of Ben Aaronovitch, and after the talk we headed to the signing area to get one of her books signed.

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How to Get Published

With Phil Earle and Sally Green, chaired by Ben Horslen (Penguin Books)

This talk on how to get published was a great opportunity for any aspiring writer such as myself. I picked up some great tips, and felt pretty inspired to be honest. It’s been a long time since I thought about the novel I’ve been working on (or not) for years and this really put some wind back in my sails again.

Sally Green, author of one of this year’s biggest YA debuts, Half Bad, came across as really lovely, but I couldn’t help be envious of her story. Everything just seemed to fall into place for her quite easily.

On the other hand, Phil Earle shared his experiences too, and he seemed to have had more of a struggle with the publishing process so it was good to get that different perspective. The talk was chaired by an editor from Penguin too, and he gave some valuable insights into the editor/author relationship.

Crossover: Not Just for Kids

With Matt Haig, Anthony McGowan, Nick Lake and Meg Rosoff, chaired by David Maybury

After having a wander, and debating whether it was worth spending £20 to hug Peter Petrelli (we decided against it), we got back to catch the end of I’m too Sexy for This Book which was a talk we weren’t too bothered about but on hindsight I wished we’d stayed for. They talked a lot about LGBT sex in YA fiction and it sounded like an interesting discussion.

The next talk, about YA being a crossover genre was the one I was most looking forward to that day, and oh my, it did not disappoint. It was definitely the most controversial talk of the weekend, mainly thanks to Anthony McGowan playing devil’s advocate.

I don’t even know where to start, firstly he offended quite possibly most of the audience by saying that adults should be ashamed to read YA. He then went on to say how terrible Twilight and The Hunger Games are and that all YA fiction should be realistic and based in high school…what the hell?

It wasn’t completely serious though, there was a lot of banter, and the other panelists did a good job of shooting him down, but I was slightly miffed. I liked how Nick Lake went on a rant about why he thinks Twilight IS a great book.

One of things that came up in this talk and had been popping up in a lot of the talks, was about the term YA being relatively new. They posed the question of if The Lord of the Flies was released now, would it be classed as YA? They put it to Anthony that most of the books he considers classics would be classified as YA today. It managed to shut him up for a while.

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Read the bloody books you want to read!’

-Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now) was brilliant.

‘It’s a desperate fallacy that a book has to be complex to be worthwhile’

-Nick Lake (Hostage Three)

Sisters Doing it For Themselves

With Tanya Byrne, Isobel Harrop, Julie Mayhew, Holly Smale and Sarra Manning

This was another one of the talks that on paper, I wasn’t too bothered about but I’m really glad I attended. There was a lot of talk about how the likes of Katniss are great characters, but present an unrealistic view of girls. They asked the question, why do we have to be physically strong to be a heroine, or thought of as a strong female character?

I thought the authors did a really great job on this panel, not to mention that they managed to sneak in that perfect Joss Whedon quote. Tanya Byrne especially won me over, talking about how she is careful to never describe her female characters as thin or beautiful and just letting the reader picture them however they wish. I must read her books!

Holly Black & Sally Gardiner in conversation

The closing talk of YALC was all about fairy tales and magic – perfect! I was particularly excited because I love Holly Black a little bit. I feel like me and Holly Black need to be friends, and this only confirmed it all the more.

Afterwards we just had time to grab some free books (YAY) and head over to Holly’s signing table to get my copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown signed. She was lovely, of course, and she liked my unicorn t-shirt. We’ll be BFFs before you know it.

Random Happenings:

  • GILES NEVER CAME BACK 😦
  • Following Peter Petrelli around was pretty fun
  • I didn’t realise how popular T.J Thyne (Bones) is, his signing queue was constantly huge
  • It’s really heartbreaking when you see some people with massive queues, and others with none. I felt really sorry for them.
  • Someone gave me a free ticket for a Michael Madsen photo shoot which would have been hilarious, but clashed with the Holly Black talk so I had to give it away.
  • Free Sci-fi books? Oh, OK then!

YALC UK 2014 – Day One

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At the weekend my friend Dora and I attended the UK’s first ever Young Adult Literature Convention which took place as part of London’s Film & TV Comic Con at Earl’s Court (more details here). It was amazing and manic and painful all at the same time. But totally worth it.

Here’s my run-down of day one:

I had been a bad friend and hadn’t booked the advanced tickets in time so we had to go and queue to buy tickets on Saturday morning. We got there at about 9am, slightly hungover and very tired from a late-night outdoor Labyrinth screening the night before.

When we saw the queue we wanted to cry. It was so busy, and unorganised, and the closer we got to the door, the more people were trying to push in. The Rage set in. But we amused ourselves by admiring all of the costumes, and there was a nice man and his seven year old Spiderman son in front of us who were lovely.

There were also some guys promoting the new book by Joe Abercrombie, ( which is on my wishlist) by giving people rides on their Viking Wheelbarrow which was amusing.

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After just over 2 1/2 hours, a lot of standing, and some sunburn later, we made it inside. And oh holy hell, it was not a good place to be with a hangover. People EVERYWHERE. Hot, sticky and no air. But luckily we had the forefront to ask the guy on box office where the YALC area was so we knew where to aim for – otherwise we may never have found it. It was worse than trying to get to the barrier at a festival.

The good news is that we made it, and there was a bit more breathing space that end. The bad news was that we’d missed the first talk were hoping to attend, The On-going Appeal of Dystopia. Instead we collected tickets for the other talks that were available and checked out all the book swag, and the publisher’s area including the Hot Key Books’ book swap which was a genius idea.

Going Graphic: From Novels to Graphic Novels

With Ian Edgington, Marcus Sedgwick, Emma Vieceli and Sarah McIntyre

 
The first talk we attended was one that we actually weren’t too bothered about initially, we just wanted to sit down to be honest but I’m so glad we went, it was great. Sarah McIntyre chaired the event in an awesome cosplay and discussed the process of adapting a novel into a graphic novel.

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Marcus Sedgwick was the only one on the panel whose work I was familiar with, and I’d been wanting to get a hold of his graphic novel Dark Satanic Mills for ages, so it was lovely to hear him discuss his experience of writing it, compared to writing a novel.

Emma Vieceli, was full of enthusiasm for her work on illustrating The Vampire Academy graphic novels (which I really, really want now!) and talked about her new web-comic Brakes which she has written as well as illustrated.

It was really interesting to hear the panel talk about how to turn classics such as Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace into a graphic novel.

After the talk I wanted to buy a copy of Emma’s Vampire Academy but they didn’t have it, however both Dora and I bought one of her Manga Shakespeare books (we’re easily converted) and headed over to Emma’s signing table to get them signed. She was so lovely. I couldn’t resist telling her what a good job she’d done with Dimitri – Manga Dimitri is so hot, you guys.

We also headed to Marcus Sedgwick’s signing, and he was the nicest man ever. He chatted away to Dora about Poland (where she’s from) as he’d lived there for a while, and was planning on taking his partner there this summer. I got my favourite book by him signed, and he drew a coffin in it – he knows me so well already!

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Bring me my Dragons: Writing Fantasy Today

With Frances Hardinge, Amy McCulloch, Jonathan Stroud and Ruth Warburton, chaired by Marc Aplin

 
We didn’t actually have tickets for this talk but we got back just as they were finishing the introductions and there were still some spare seats so we sat down. After that I’m not really sure what happened to be honest. There seemed to be a lot tangents going on, and definitely no talk of dragons. The early start and sunburn perhaps got the better of me.

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Heroes of Horror

With Charlie Higson, Will Hill, Derek Landy and Darren Shan, chaired by Rosie Fletcher

 
Thankfully we managed to perk up for the final talk, because two of my favourite British writers were on the panel – Darren Shan and Derek Landy, and it was hilarious as well as interesting!

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A lot of the discussion revolved around how much is too much in YA Horror. And the answer? You can get away with anything, apart from decapitating mothers! Both Landy and Shan also discussed the beauty of publishing long series and how you grow as a writer, alongside your characters, from book 1 to book 12.

Random Happenings:

  • I knew Rainbow Rowell was popular but woah! Her signing queue was INSANE. They were everywhere, and most people had like four books to sign. Crazy!
  • I really wanted to go and talk to Lucy Saxon who didn’t have anyone in her signing queue when we got there, but I couldn’t justify buying another book. I really enjoyed her book Take Back the Skies, despite the ending, and she looked awesome, but it’s not really the done thing is it…just walking up for a chat with nothing to get signed!?
  • I was proper fangirling over the fact that Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy) was there, and half way through the day they set up a place for Anthony Head (GILES) next to her but he was never there 😦 I was totally willing to spend £20 to talk to him. GILES!!
  • While we were waiting for the first talk, Stan Lee walked past us to get to his Photo Shoot area. It was pretty cool.

Don’t worry if you missed YALC, look out for my post of Day 2, and I’ll also be posting a gallery and links to the best news coverage of the event – you’ll feel like you were there by the end of it.

WWW Wednesday 16.07.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I was all set to pick up The Princess Bride as part of my TBR Pile Challenge marathon, but (I’m laughing at the rubbishness of me right now BTW) I got some awesome looking books at YALC at the weekend (the post will be up ASAP) and ended up starting one of them on the way home. Said book was Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan, which started off pretty awful to be honest, but the Goodreads reviews of it suggest that it’ll really improve, and it has already started to so I’m glad I’ve stuck with it. I have started The Princess Bride too so all is not lost.

Recently Finished: I finally finished Cress! Which was amazing, obviously, but I wish I’d been able to read it all in one go, rather than here and there over two weeks (I was busy and Wimbledon happened). It ruined it a bit. But, it’s not like I can’t read it again. I should have a review up by the weekend.

Up Next: After The Princes Bride, it could be any from the Coming Up! post I did on Monday, but I’m leaning towards either The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick because I met him at YALC and he was the nicest man ever, or The Godmother by Caroline Turgeon, also inspired by YALC – from a great talk about fairy tales and retellings.

Leave your link and I’ll come take a look. 🙂

YALC UK is upon us!

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The UK’s first ever Young Adult Literature Convention is taking place this weekend at Earl’s Court, London, and I can’t wait. Are any of you planning on going?

I’m aiming to go for both days because there’s SO much I want to see/do, and because the entry also gets you into the Film Comic Con I’m hoping to see some of that too.

About YALC 2014


Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses; Knife Edge) is acting as curator and director for the first UK Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) which is taking place at the London Film and Comic Con 2014 (LFCC).

The two-day convention taking place 12-13 July will bring together the UK’s YA publishers to provide a host of author events in a dedicated Book Zone, with talks, workshops, signings, a book sales area and publisher stands promoting new and upcoming titles. 50 authors plus a host of industry experts will be taking part in the event over the course of the weekend.

2014’s YALC event will be the first time a large-scale public convention around Young Adult books has taken place in the UK, and its setting among the fans of cultish film and TV will help set books at the heart of entertainment for teenagers and young people. The event will aim to showcase UK YA’s best books and authors, as well as bringing international authors to UK audiences.

Events

Here are just a few of the events I’m hoping to attend – excitement is at an all-time high right now!

It’s the end of the world as we know it: The ongoing appeal of dystopia
With Malorie Blackman, Sarah Crossan and Patrick Ness, chaired by James Smythe

With Divergent and Catching Fire achieving box office success and a host of hot new dystopian tales in the offing, the trend for dystopia shows no sign of fading. YALC curator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2013-2015 Malorie Blackman is joined by fellow authors Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan, plus chair James Smythe, to talk about why dystopian fiction appeals to young adult readers today.

Superfans Unite!
With Tim O’Rourke, Rainbow Rowell and Lucy Saxon, chaired by Andy Robb

Superstar US author of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park Rainbow Rowell joins three other teen authors and self-declared superfans – Andy Robb, Lucy Saxon and Tim O’Rourke – to discuss the impact that being a fan has had on their writing.

Bring me my dragons: Writing fantasy today
With Frances Hardinge, Amy McCulloch, Jonathan Stroud and Ruth Warburton, chaired by Marc Aplin

With Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings making fantasy increasingly popular in the mainstream, what does it mean to write fantasy for young adults today? Four authors who each take innovative approaches to the genre come together to discuss contemporary fantasy writing with blogger Marc Aplin.

Heroes of Horror
With Charlie Higson, Will Hill, Derek Landy and Darren Shan, chaired by Rosie Fletcher

Heroes of horror unite: Charlie Higson, Darren Shan, Will Hill and Derek Landy come together to discuss their work with SFX’s Rosie Fletcher.

How to get published
With Phil Earle and Sally Green, chaired by Ben Horslen (Penguin Books)

Join award-winning author and industry insider Phil Earle, and this year’s publishing sensation Sally Green for a panel discusison giving advice on getting published, chaired by Penguin Books editor Ben Horslen.

Crossover: Not just for kids
With Matt Haig, Anthony McGowan, Nick Lake and Meg Rosoff, chaired by David Maybury

With books like The Fault in our Stars and The Hunger Games being read as much by adults as they are by teens themselves, we investigate the phenomenon of so-called ‘crossover’ books. Award-winning authors Matt Haig, Meg Rosoff and Nick Lake, together with chair David Maybury, will discuss the appeal of young adult fiction for adults, and whether there are any books that are ‘just for kids’.

Holly Black & Sally Gardner in conversation
Bringing YALC to a close, this exciting event brings together superstar US author Holly Black with one of the UK’s biggest names in writing for children and teenagers, Sally Gardner, to discuss fairy-tales, magic and more with chair Jonathan Douglas.

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There’s also a ridiculous amount of good stuff going on at the film and TV convention including the Game of Thrones panel, and GILES (Anthony Head) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) from Buffy in attendance….and PETER PETRELLI.

Ahhh too good! One more sleep! Maybe I’ll see some of you there?