This post is ridiculously late, but NEVER MIND. The weekend before last I was lucky enough to attend YA Shot, an all-day literary festival celebrating young adult books and authors in Uxbridge! I admit that it took me a little while to get there, but I made good progress into The Archived by Victoria Schwab. (I mean, OBVIOUSLY I had to read a book on my way to an event in which I listened to people talk about books all day… What could be better? :P)
I had missed my first train so I arrived about 15 minuted late which was annoying, but thankfully I was allowed to pop into the co-writing panel. 🙂 I hadn’t read books by any of the authors but it was really interesting to hear about their writing and there were some very amusing questions right at the end! (Like which celebrity do people mistake you for, among others.)
There were SOOO many things that I wanted to go to at the noon slot but I decided to head off to a workshop by @helloiammariam on blogging, publishing and feminism. (And there were also some other really cool bloggery/bookish people there. I was such a smol person.) We chatted about stuff like reasons for blogging, and how that’s evolved, and the blogging community, and on creating a space for yourself online — like, it’s okay to share different levels of things. Also, there was TURKISH DELIGHT.
Although I had missed Alice Oseman’s event which I was disappointed about, I still wanted to get my book signed! So I brought along a copy of Radio Silence and a postcard of Frances and Aled from Alice’s Redbubble shop. (I’d got Solitaire signed at YALC haha.)
I sort of hung around and ate lunch after this until the Melinda Salisbury and Julia Gray event in Waterstones! Now, I’d actually never heard of Julia Gray before but there was a lot of talk about darkness and the nature of evil. And her book has NORSE GODS. HOW AWESOME. Plus lots of darkness… It sounded absolutely awesome and I’ve now firmly added it to my TBR. And you can too! It’s called The Otherlife.
Melinda Salisbury was also wonderful and basically there was lots of talk about evil, religion and their roles in both authors’ books. Melinda talked about how freeing it was for her to write such an evil character, which got some laughs but is also something I deeply relate to. (I mean, like, this is in smol Eve forum era. But I just created utterly AWFUL characters who manipulated all the fierce red-haired green-eyed girls, ha. Good times.)
After this I hurried off the the Terms of Endearment panel about navigating feminism and romance. (With Holly Bourne, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Holly Smale and Rachel McIntyre.) This was one of the highlights of my day — they talked about examples of problematic vs healthy relationships and how we can write healthy relationships. Wise advice is imagine the person is Wormtail and then see if their actions are creepy. Because sometimes physical attractiveness makes us excuse problematic behaviour.
My next panel was called Little Women and it was about fantasy and gender with Samantha Shannon, Alwyn Hamilton and Zoe Marriott! I adore Zoe Marriott’s books but I never see many people talking about them, which is very sad. Anyways, this was ALSO a fabulous panel! Yes to more complex female relationships, especially friendships and to awesome retellings where the girls can drive the story themselves. Yet more books added to my TBR, mwahaha. 😉
Finally I attended the Resurgence of YA Sci-Fi panel with SF Said and Kat Ellis, chaired by Lauren James. I read Lauren’s book The Nest Together just the other week and it was SO GOOD GUYS. Time travel and humour and reincarnation and cute romance! It was just so enjoyable. I was excited for this panel because my WIP is technically sci-fi (that I’m supposed to be writing for NaNoWiMo, oops) and I think it definitely did inspire me. Sci-fi doesn’t have to be a ‘classic’ sci-fi book; it can blend genres. And sometimes real technology is even crazier than fiction…
I got my last books signed and then I hopped back off home on the Tube! Overall I had SUCH an amazing day and I would really recommend it to any book lovers who are able to go.