Bookish Ramblings: Tales from YALC 2019

Another year and another YALC has come to an end. It was only peripherally on my radar last year, Biba and I had tickets to LFCC downstairs and we came up to YALC for a look around but didn’t really understand enough, however this year we were well prepared! We could only make it up for the Sunday this year but I think that was good when you have a child with you as it wasn’t as busy as it could have been and also we got to get some of the best book bargains!

In the foyer we bumped into the lovely Kasia (Kashpoint) and also Kirsty from We Read Box, this was especially lovely as Biba got to meet the people she will be repping for in September and November. We then made our way up with Jemma from @fantasticbooks_awtft to head straight to the Rock the Boat News stand to find out which Aurora Legion we would be in, both Biba and Jemma got Alpha, I got Face! We got to spin the Sythe wheel of fate, whilst I will die by falling hardback, Biba managed to get immunity and won a shiny sweetie ring too! I have to say that I found it a little overwhelming as it was still our first proper visit and I wasn’t really sure how it all worked. But we made our way round picking up some wonderful bits and pieces, sadly we didn’t win any arc raffles, but we got lots of other lovely things!

The “New voices of YA fantasy” panel was a must for me and it was a great one to sit in on. I was there primarily for Bex Hogan and Adrienne Young, both of whom were lovely and I think I was the only person to put my hand up when Bex Hogan asked about people who played Hero Quest when they were younger (I’m now gutted that my mum sold mine on ebay years ago) so now we’ve like totally bonded lol.  I had both Viper and Sky in the Deep signed by the authors too and it was lovely to get to meet them both, it was even lovelier to spend my time in the signing queues catching up with Emily from @emilysbookcorner who got me up to speed with all the gossip 🙂  Sadly Lauren James had to cancel her appearance as her dog needed emergency treatment, I hope they had a speedy recovery.

The highlight of YALC was finally getting to meet Rebecca Gibson, lost twenty something blogger and author. We have been friends online for around 3 years, never quite making it to meeting in person, but we were determined that YALC would be the place. It was so wonderful to meet her, sitting chatting like it was the most natural thing in the world even though we were doing it in person rather than over a screen. We managed to snag some bargain books, The Binding hardback for £5!!! buy some Cake in a Jar, fill out a strangely harder than it looked book quiz from Hodderscape, and just generally enjoy hanging out with one another ❤

The real stars of Sunday though were Geeky Clean, because I’m part of their rep team we were able to base ourselves with them for the day. Steph and James are truly wonderful, kind and lovely people, they helped to look after Biba when she was to tired to stand in the signing queues with me. I came back to find that Steph had helped her find lots of goodies around the room, James chatted to her about Japan and her fandoms and she loved keeping the candles and soaps restocked! In fact more often than not Biba wanted to stay with them and Emily, who was showing her the ropes on the till, than come out around the floor with me! I can’t thank them enough for all they did on Sunday, we also made sure we bought as many candles, scrubs and bathbombs as we could fit in our bags!

I think the only thing that I have to gripe about what the fact that I had to buy a full price ticket for Biba, who is 8. Children under 4 are free and I get that it’s a convention for young adult readers, but she is a middle grade reader and other than one lovely author there wasn’t really much there for her at all, I loved having her with me but it would be nice if in future years they could consider a child ticket, given that LFCC offer these and last year we came up to YALC on that ticket mid morning. It was a wonderful day though, I’m definitely going to try for 2 days next year if we can afford it, I think Biba is already more than willing to help run the Geeky Clean stand again!

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