Yesterday, Day Two of YALC, got off to an early start. Hannah (new Hannah) and I got up at around 8am. We were expecting Hannah (YALC friend Hannah) to arrive at our hotel at 8.45, but she overslept, so we decided to just meet at the convention centre. After getting ready for the day and checking that we had cleared everything from our hotel room, we checked out and headed to the train station, making brief stops at Wilco (both of us had family members to buy birthday cards for) and Costa for some breakfast, Hannah had a latte, I had a chocolate Frostino and a blueberry muffin.
Once we had got our breakfast, we headed to the train station and confirmed which train we had to get, since the overground train to Olympia still wasn’t running, darn engineering works! We got on the train to Wimbledon and then got the District Line to Earls Court. We were meant to get the bus all the way to Olympia but we unfortunately got off early (as the stop said it was Olympia train station-it wasn’t) and then had to walk the rest of the way!
After a longer than anticipated walk, we finally made it to the convention centre and met up with YALC friend Hannah. When we got up to the YALC floor and had checked our bags in the cloakroom, Hannah (new Hannah) wanted to go to a talk on Careers in Publishing and so YALC friend Hannah and I decided to go get lunch as we hadn’t yet had the chance to.
Once we got back up to YALC, we decided to wander around for a bit. Hannah got the last Ace of Shades at the HarperCollins stand, which she was very happy about because I’d told her how good it was. I tried to talk her into buying the new Skulduggery Pleasant but she’s waiting for the paperback. I was slightly disappointed that they had sold out of An Ember In The Ashes as I would have liked to get that one, but was pleased to hear that Fawkes had been so popular and sold out as I’m really enjoying that one at the moment. We also picked up a French Translation Quiz at the Faber and Faber stand, as Hannah quite wanted to win In Paris With You in order to read something that her French penpal would be able to find in France. I also took a free YALC cupcake off them (to celebrate five years) as we had missed them the day before. For a day old cupcake, it was actually quite good! I also bought a metallic bookmark from a stand which I can’t actually remember the name of (sorry!) which had a Throne of Glass quote in it, so I was super excited about that.
By this time, Hannah (new Hannah) had finished at her talk, so we sat for a bit and tried to complete the French translation quiz-I’m pretty sure we only got like 5 or 6 of them and at the end of the day, YALC Hannah and I just filled in random books!. After this we wandered around the stalls some more. We all bought books at the MyKindaBook (Macmillan) stall, Hannah (YALC Hannah) and I got Alex & Eliza as we both love Hamilton and Hannah (new Hannah) got a copy of Heartless as I had told her it was really good and it actually turned out to be signed by Marissa Meyer, and it was the only one of the copies that was!
When we had finished wandering around all the stalls, new Hannah decided that she wanted to leave (so from now on when I refer to Hannah, I’m talking about YALC Hannah-thank you for bearing with me in the Hannah confusion), but before she left, we wanted to get a picture of all of us in front of the YALC sign. We had to settle for behind as there were people sitting in front, but the picture was still nice!
We then said goodbye to new Hannah and got into the queue for Tomi Adeyemi virtual tickets. We got 156 & 157 which we didn’t think would be a problem (more on that later) and then headed off to eat lunch because by this point we were very hungry. I had a chicken, bacon and sausage sandwich (which yes, was as good as it sounds) and some fruit.
Once we had eaten lunch, we went back to Waterstones, so that Hannah could buy The Song Rising before Samantha Shannon’s signing at two. We kept periodically checking in at the Tomi Adeyemi signing, but our numbers were quite far back, so we weren’t too fussed when they hadn’t been called yet. We sat in the Samantha Shannon queue and chatted to the two girls behind us, one of whom I think really didn’t like me and I’m not quite sure why, as she was kind of passive aggressive towards me and then later pushed in front of my friend and I in the queue which yeah, wasn’t great. Most of the time when I meet people in queues at YALC they’re really nice, but there’s a first time for everything. We liked chatting to her friend though so it wasn’t so bad!
Samantha was fairly chatty, so though we were near the front of the queue, it was a while before we met her. She was so lovely though, she asked if she’d met us before and we said that we were at her event in London with VE Schwab and Neal Shusterman in March and she actually remembered us, which was so sweet, since all these authors meet so many people every year! She said she hadn’t signed many Because You Love To Hate Me copies before, and I said that I had run out of Bone Season books for her to sign and that Hannah and I both really wanted to read Priory, which she thanked us for. She even signed my copy on her story, which was great as that was what I had wanted and she didn’t have to, it took a lot longer to find than the title page! We also joked about how sharing Priory between three of us in different parts of the country was going to be difficult and Samantha said it was so big it could easily be split into three parts, which we loved! Both Hannah and I agreed that she and Alwyn were our favourite authors of the weekend and I bemoaned that her curl game was so much better than mine!
Once we were done with Samantha’s line, it was really just a waiting game for when our number would come up in Tomi’s line. We had thought they’d be further along since it was a while since we lasted checked but they were only up to 110! We decided we didn’t want to stand and wait, so we went back to the comfy sitting area and made friends with a girl from Comic Con, Koshani who was really lovely and was also waiting for Tomi.
We kept going back in the hope that our number would come up, but by the time it hit three, Tomi’s official signing was over, and our only chance of meeting her was if she stayed longer. She could only stay another twenty minutes and her line was cut at 120, which was such a bummer because I had just finished Children of Blood and Bone the day before and really wanted to tell her how much I loved it. We sat with our new friend for a while and commiserated, there were I think over 100 people who didn’t get the chance to meet Tomi, and while I totally understand that she had to leave, it felt like the whole thing could have been organised better on Showmasters end, because there were a lot of disappointed people!
When we knew we weren’t going to meet Tomi, we decided to do a final run of the stalls before our last signing at four. Hannah bought the next three Throne of Glass books at the Bloomsbury stand and I got the Gryffindor 20th anniversary edition of Chamber of Secrets (I want to get a full set of house editions, so I have a Hufflepuff and a Gryffindor, will get a Slytherin and Ravenclaw with the next two twentieth anniversary editions). We also entered a proof competition to win The Way Past Winter, which, spoiler alert, we did not win and we got Clan cupcakes (inspired by COBAB) from the MyKindaBook stand, which made us laugh because the woman behind the stand told us to pick the one which called to us and we said we just wanted them all!
We decided to get in early for Laura Steven’s signing line as we didn’t want to get burned again like we had earlier with Tomi, so we were there even before she was! We sat for a while and then she arrived and took a picture of her signing queue, which we thought was super cute because we would totally do that if we were authors. She swore when she found out her line was being ticketed, which she apologised for, but I found it endearing, because I probably would swear too if I found out that many people had liked my book and wanted it signed. When we met her, she commented that she hadn’t seen her proofs in a while as we were some of the few in our signing group that had them, and she had apparently given all of hers away, She was super lovely, I told her how adorable I thought her puppy was and she said he was but also super mischievous, to which I said, that our dog Otis was the same as a puppy. She asked us who our favourite character was and we said Ajita which she loved as apparently Ajita is inspired by her best friend, also called Ajita. She was super lovely and we got a really nice photo with her before leaving.
After that we were pretty much done, we did one final sweep of the stalls and Hannah won a proof by tweeting a funny story. We were going to stay a little longer but we had dinner plans and we had seen everything so we left.
We then got messed around by several different London bus drivers before we got the right bus to get to the restaurant we were going to. It took us forever to get across London and we were fifteen minutes late for our reservation, but thankfully they hadn’t given away our table and we soon met our friend, Zoe. We had a delicious dinner, Zoe and I had pizza, mine was a delicious calzone and Hannah had pasta. It was great to have a chance to all catch up and was the perfect end to a great weekend.
Once we were done, I had to head back to Kings Cross to get my train home. Sadly I had missed all the fast trains thanks to the leisurely Italian service and I didn’t really get to say a proper goodbye to my friends as I had to run for the train. Still at least I got home, even if it was on the slow train and I didn’t get back to my house till quarter to midnight. It was a very long, but very awesome two days and I cannot wait to go back again next year!
My YALC Saturday haul (left is bought, right is signed)
My signed copy of The Exact Opposite of Okay
My signed copy of Because You Love To Hate Me
Us with Samantha Shannon (see this is the level of curl game that I aspire to have!)
Us goofing around at the InkRoad stall
Us with Laura Steven
Laura Steven looking the actual cutest while signing our books!
The delicious YALC cupcake
A Jo and two Hannahs living their best lives in front of the YALC banner
My entire weekend haul!
So what do you think of my haul? Did I make good choices? Anyone else been at YALC this weekend? Did you have fun? Anyone actually manage to meet Tomi Adeyemi? Anyone now want to go to YALC next year who has never been before? Basically talk all things YALC with me!