Tuesday 15 August 2017

London Film and Comic Convention with YALC!

Every year London is host to LFCC - the London Film and Comic Convention and for the last 4 years it has also hosted YALC - Young Adult Literature Convention, this is an awesome opportunity to meet authors, publishers, book sellers and other book geeks!
I didn't think I would be able to go this year as we are having our hours cut at work and just overall my husband and I are short of money. However this year the convention also fell on the same week as my 1 year wedding anniversary and my best friend - being the truly awesome person she is - bought us tickets as an anniversary present! So we got to go on the Saturday (29th July)
We always dress up when we go to these things so we had to come up with a costume. We wanted to stay more on the book character side as we knew we would spend more time in the YALC part than the comicon itself. One of my favourite book series is the Skulduggery Pleasant books by Derek Landy, and my husband has just finished reading the series for the first time and loved them too, so we decided to go as Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain.
Here we are dressed up: -
There was a stand advertising the new book in the series - Resurrection- (which is awesome by the way) so we had our photo taken by it, disappointingly Derek Landy himself wasn't there - we had hoped he would be as he has been at all the previous 3, but we tweeted him our photo and he said we were 'cool' so I'm happy!

Once there I had a few authors I wanted to see, unfortunately due to my University course I haven't read as much over the last couple of years so some of the authors I hadn't heard of and out of the 7 I wanted to see only 3 were there on Saturday, the others were spread over Friday and Sunday.

However first up was an author I had wanted to meet for years. I had been invited to the book launch of her very first book back in 2013 but I couldn't get out of work and I had been regretting it ever since. So now after her 6th book in the series! I finally got to meet her. It is of course, the lovely - Holly Smale!!!! She was due to arrive at 11 and we started to queue at about 10:30, I was at the front of the queue, and my wonderful husband went to buy me the 'Sunny Side Up' special novella as it was the only one I didn't have and I wanted a full set. He got back just in time, and Holly was kind enough to sign all 8 of her books. and then she also posed for a photo

I took my Valkyrie costume off and replaced it with my Geek Girl glasses for the photo.
Holly was really nice and willing to talk. She asked me if I had any questions about her series and like a total idiot I froze and couldn't think of anything. I just told her that I loved her books, that they made me laugh out loud and that I would be looking forward to her next project.
Of course for the rest of the day I thought of about 30 questions I could have asked her, but never mind, maybe next time.

We then spent some time exploring the comicon - it was hot and very crowded. There were loads of fab costumes, I saw captain Jack, Baymax from Big Hero 6, some Daleks, a few Doctor Who's, many superheroes and lots of others. There were stalls selling loads of realy cool and very geeky things, but it was so busy!
I was carrying a backpack with me, containing all the books I wanted to get signed that day -13 in total so by this point I was flagging. We headed back up to YALC where is was calmer and cooler and had a lunch break.
We met up with my best friend and her boyfriend, dressed up as Yoda and a character from Avatar - they looked fab, but stupidly I didn't get a photo of them.
We explored the stalls, picked up some free bookmarks, badges, bags and even a mug from one. There was a Harry Potter stall and I managed to solve the potions riddle from the first book and one a gold star and lollipop for my efforts along with the knowledge that I was just as clever and logical as Hermione! I was so proud. My friend couldn't solve it and the ladies at the stall said not many people had managed to do it - so GO ME!

After lunch I met Will Hill - I saw him a few years ago when I first started reading his Department 19 series, now I have read all but the newest one I wanted to see him again and tell him how awesome I thought they were. Unfortunately I only own book 1 & 2 and couldn't afford to buy the rest before I went, so he just signed book 2 for me (i did the first one last time). However he was glad that I liked his series and was still  a fan, he had just released a new book which is what most people were getting signed, so it was refreshing to still see a Department 19 book he said. He was very nice and we had a good chat. I didn't manage to get a picture with him, but I'm glad I met him again. Now I want to read the last book in the series even more, so look out for the review in the coming few weeks.

We then wandered round a bit more, said goodbye to my friend as she had to leave and then headed back upstairs. It was 3pm by this time and we were both knackered (having been up since 5am!) so we decided to head to Zoe Marriotts table and start queuing. We were an hour early so we took the chance to sit down and relax a little bit, putting down our bags and taking off our shoes. We got talking to some other fans in the queue and I bumped into one of my other friends so we had a chat.

I was a bit disappointed because the book stands had sold out of all of Zoe Marriotts new books so I couldn't get one, however I had an old copy of 'The Swan Kingdom' and 'Daughter of the Flame' that I had read years ago and I still think they are beautiful covers so I had taken them with me.
At just after 4 o'clock I met Zoe and she was so friendly. She was astounded that I still had her original books and said how much she had loved the covers and was sad when the publishers changed them. I said how much I enjoyed her work and that I was looking forward to reading her new stuff. We then took a photo together
She was so nice and happy to talk, I am definitely going to be reading her other books and I hope to see her again sometime in the future.
After that we decided to leave and make our way home, exhausted but very happy.
Next year I think I will take a wheelie suitcase to carry my books - a lot fo people there had done that and after carrying the wait of 13 books on my back all day I was exhausted and in pain, so I will definitely follow their example next time - and maybe then I can take even more books!

Have any of you been to YALC?
Who did you meet?
Who would you like to see in the future?


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