This past Saturday was finally time for UKYACX to happen! WOOHOO!!
The sun was out in force. I got up early (ish). I got dressed. Lipstick was applied (it was only appropriate for such an occasion… it was my favourite lipstick – Soap and Glory Pommie Girl if anyone is interested!). Set off into town to meet my friend Aimee.
We got to the library a little bit early but were allowed in through a secret door so that we could get to event in time. UKYACX was hosted at Newcastle Central Library. For any of you who haven’t been yet you really must. It’s an absolutely beautiful library and we are so lucky here in Newcastle to have such a resource at our disposal. The event was held in the Bewick Suite (which eventually became the hottest room in the world, the staff were stars and tried to keep us all cool! Thanks guys!) When we first got in I met the amazing Kerry Drewery (author of Cell 7) who was an absolute delight. I was amazed. There were authors, their families, readers and bloggers just milling. I was a bit speechless. I couldn’t talk to these people, they were famous. I’m a mere peasant in comparison to them. But not to them I wasn’t. I had a voice. I was a person, just like them. And I loved that. We were all people with a love of books. That’s what we were all there to celebrate. We were all celebrating our love of books. And the power of reading.
The day was set up so brilliantly by Kerry and Emma Pass (author of Acid/The Fearless). It was set up like so: panels of 4 authors, each with 2 minutes to talk about themselves/read an except from their book/make us laugh/tell us about their book, which was followed by a Q&A. After each panel there was a 5 minute break for readers to buy books/get books signed by the authors on that panel. They were timed with a very high tech sand timer and if the authors went over their 2 minutes there was a HORN OF DOOM. They would be honked! DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Each of the panels were incredible. All of the authors were amazing. We laughed, learned, ooooh’d, ahhhh’d and asked questions. I really enjoyed the Q&A section of the day as it was an opportunity for us to learn some interesting factoids about the authors and there were some brilliant questions from the readers and even fellow authors!
I got to meet the two wondeful authors that I had been a part of the book blog tour with and they were both incredible. Gabrielle Kent was absolutely beautiful and she even invited us to have lunch with her and Liz Flanagan (Eden Summer author). Me! Having lunch with famous folk! WHO KNEW. Sara Grant and I had such a giggle together! She was absolutely lovely! It was surreal meeting them both and actually having a conversation with them. But it was incredible.
Here are a few pictures from my day:
Some of my favourite quotes/answers from the MG section of the day:
- Dan Smith (author of Boy X) claiming he could juggle Mexican kittens.
- Learning that some authors have day jobs! Chris Callaghan (The Great Chocoplot) is a stay at home dad, Jane Elson (How To Fly With Broken Wings/A Room Full of Chocolate) works with SEN children, Gabrielle Kent (Alfie Bloom series) is a game development lecturer at a university.
- Great writing tips: John Fulton (The Beast of the Broch) told us that he always leaves a sentence unfinished at the end of the day (I think that’s an amazing idea! I think it would drive me insane though…) and Lari Don (Spellchasers) told us to remember about ‘What if…’ (Just like Gabrielle Kent did in her blog about getting children into writing!)
- Another question asked authors about their writing process: Gabrielle Kent lights a candle and has a deruma on hand when she starts and finishes a project, Sofi Croft (Indigo’s Dragon) told us she does a lot of research before she stars a book, Simon P Clark (Eren) let us in on the secret that he has to work in absolute silence to work.
- James De La Rue (Spy Dog) was the only illustrator there and it was lovely to get his perspective and he said the most amazing quote “illustrations are the fabric of a book” (I love that!)
There were so many amazing moments during the whole day and so much laughter! I would be going on for weeks about all of the amazing things that happened. I am so honoured that I got the chance to go along. It was incredible. Thank you so much to Kerry and Emma for letting me be part of the whole thing!
Watch this space for my book haul post (ooooops) and a recap of the YA panels too!