New Voices 2019 Event Recap

Hi everyone! I know I haven’t done one of these since I did my Sarah J Maas event recap last November, but I haven’t been to any book events since then (I am forever in pain that authors tend to miss Scotland out of their UK tours, especially since where I live out of semester is a lot closer to all the fun book events!).

Anyway, if you recall, last year I went to Headline’s New Voices event in Glasgow, and had a great time, so when I found out they were coming to Edinburgh this year, I immediately jumped on the chance to get an invite. This year, I took my friend Nicola with me, and thankfully, there was no snow, so she was able to make it this time!

Nicola was coming straight from a class at Uni, so we met at the train station to get the train into Edinburgh. We were a bit early, and had a minor snafu with the ticket machine as the station’s internet connection was down, but I managed to get my tickets from the lady at the ticket booth so it all worked out okay. Then our train was a little delayed setting off, but luckily it wasn’t by too much and we arrived in Edinburgh around the time we were hoping for anyway.

Neither of us had been to the pub where the event was being held, but Nicola had Google Maps on her phone, so we found it pretty easily. We were greeted by a member of Headline’s team at the door, Becky Hunter who I’d met at last year’s event and shown the cloakroom, and the bar, and of course, all the free books!

Nicola and I put our coats and bags away and then headed into the main room to meet everyone. We were introduced by a member of the team (I think it was Becky) to authors Rhik Samadder and Richard Lumsden, who we spent a while talking to. Rhik kind of freaked me out by asking lots of hard to answer questions about my future plans, but he seemed nice enough and I chatted to Richard a bit about my own novel, it made me feel a lot better about how long I have been working on TINALS to hear that he started work on his debut 25 years ago!

When we were done chatting with them, we were a little hungry, so we went to get the free food. I have to admit, this was probably the most disappointing part of the night, because last year they had quite an extensive buffet and this year it was just chicken drumsticks, sausage rolls and a veggie option, none of which were particularly great.

All the authors were then introduced to us by Phoebe, a publicity manager for Headline, who told us a little about them and all of their books, I swear she must have been out of breath after that because she spoke at like a mile a minute!

Nicola and I kind of milled around awkwardly after that, neither of us are particularly good at approaching strangers, so we figured we’d just stand there chatting until people came over to talk to us. We were introduced to one of the authors Emily Gunnis, by the Headline team and although we didn’t chat to her for very long, we did get our books signed, which was nice.

We also got to chat to some of the Headline team, which was great. Nicola and I spent a while chatting to Phoebe and completely fangirled, because she said that she’s worked with both Neil Gaiman and Deborah Harkness, I might not have read any of their books, but I definitely know who they are, and it was a very cool moment getting to meet someone who has actually worked with them (yes, I have small dreams). We also chatted to Jenny Harlow for a while, which was lovely, she remembered me from last year and she was just really nice to talk to, we chatted about the books we liked and how we find books to help the Headline team reach more people.

We were then introduced to Sarah Davis-Goff, another one of the authors. I hadn’t actually intended to pick up her book, because zombies really aren’t my thing, but she was so lovely, we chatted about dystopian books and feminism and all sorts of cool stuff like that, so Nicola and I both ended up leaving with copies of her book, and Nicola even got hers signed.

The last author of the night we met was Harriet Tyce, and I’m not going to lie, she was more than a little bit tipsy by the time we got to her, but she was lovely to talk to, told us all about her book, Blood Orange and her time working as a criminal barrister and very kindly signed our books.

By this point in the evening, Nicola and I were very tired, not to mention kind of hungry, given that the free food had not been as amazing as we’d hoped, and the room was starting to thin out anyway, so we decided that was the time to make our exit-it was about 9 o’clock and we both had quite early mornings the next day, so it was better to get out sooner rather than later.

Thankfully getting back home this year was much simpler than last year, we picked up some food from Pret at the station and then got on the first train back home, which we only had to wait half an hour for. No replacement bus, ridiculous amounts of snow or late night taxi for me this time!

Once again, I really enjoyed this event and it was so fun to get to go with Nicola this year. I also didn’t get pictures this year, sorry, but it was kind of dark in the venue and they wouldn’t have come out very well! I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to this event if they do it again next year, since I don’t know where I’ll be living, but it has been great fun to get to go the past two years!

Did anyone else go to the New Voices event in Edinburgh, or the one last night in Liverpool? Is anyone planning to go to the one in Bath tonight, or the one in London next week? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back on Tuesday with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, so stay tuned for that!

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