And YALC is over. Alright, it was over last weekend, but I feel better able to reflect on it with a bit of time (and have been busy at work).
This YALC was even better than last year, namely because I went with friends. I attended with Beth (Planet Beth) and Emma (Emma’s Library). Emma and I met for the first time on the Friday morning and clicked. By Saturday afternoon, we could accurately recommend books based off covers.
Over the weekend, we were joined by various friends, which was great – particularly when meeting people in person for the first time! As any of my family can tell you, I am atrocious at taking pictures, so all credit to Beth – hence not having pictures with everyone.
Going with people rather than a lone is a very different experience, and I think better.
We could geek out at stalls over books (and convince each other to buy our favourites). It’s easier to plan signing lines, and more fun, when there’s more of you. We were in one queue for over an hour and a half, and didn’t notice.
Also, when you’re with book nerds, it’s totally normal to go on a hunt for bookish locations in the evening when you find yourself in Covent Garden with a copy of THE MIME ORDER. You can just about make out the dials on Seven Dials in this picture.
Despite being a native Londoner, it was the first time I’d been very tourist-y in the evening. Central London is much nicer at 8:30 pm than during the rest of the day.
I went to more panels, because we’d pooled the list. They were great. A side-splitting conversation between Eoin Colfer and Derek Landy, three great fantasy panels with a host of amazing writers and a YA thriller panel that had me picking up even more books! There was one panel we slipped out of (not to be named). I also attended a few workshops (Jenn of Literary Galaxy’s bookmark making, and Bex Hogan’s world building).
The week before YALC, I’d be anxiously checking the weather as London boiled. Thankfully, it was raining a fair bit of the weekend, so Olympia was a pleasant temperature (and I look bottles of ice).
Meeting authors, this time as a book blogger, is a different experience. Some remembered me from interactions online, which was rather incredible. I also felt far more confident talking to them this year.
I . . . hmmm, went a little mad buying books, shall we say? My TBR jar is more than half full now – and it’s a large marmalade jar. Still, should keep me occupied this summer, right? As could have been predicted, I largely bought fantasy, but with some thrillers in the mix.
I’m excited for next year and can’t wait to meet even more friends!