Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since my last event recap, but the last few months have been relatively light on book events, bar a Derek Landy signing at the beginning of the month which was a signing line and an hour and a half of waiting in a signing line doesn’t make the most exciting blog post.
Anyway, this week I got to go to a pretty cool publishing event, HarperCollins were introducing their summer and autumn books and authors and I got an invite, the first event I’ve got to go to since I’ve been back based down South. I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about going, since it was an adult rather than YA event and I didn’t know anyone else who was going, but I figured it would be a good chance to get to meet some more UK bloggers and publishing industry people, so I decided to go.
I had a bit of a rush getting out to the event because my doctor’s appointment had run late, so by the time I’d got home and changed, I had to rush out the door in order to get the bus in time to make it to the station. Thankfully I got there, with some time to spare, and made my train into London.
Once I got into Kings Cross, I got on a very packed tube to London Bridge and once I arrived, after a little bit of wandering around in circles because it wasn’t entirely clear what exit I had to take out of the tube, I made it to the HarperCollins office building.
We’d all arrived a little early, so we had to wait a bit before going up to the HarperCollins office, but that was okay, I got to talk to a couple of the other bloggers, including two that I’d met at the Hot Key brunch back in February, Jane and Faye. I was so glad that they were there because having a few familiar faces immediately made me feel more comfortable!
After our bags had been checked, we got the lift up to the HarperCollins office, where we were greeted with a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks and then we mostly milled around chatting for a while. I spent my time with Jane and Faye, and we were introduced by one of the Harper team to Felicity Everett, one of the authors. She told us a bit about her book and then asked if any of us did writing. I explained that I was writing a book but then of course totally buckled when I was asked to pitch it (that’s something I know I definitely need to get better at!).
Once everyone had got settled and had a chance to chat, the Harper team came out to introduce the main portion of the evening: showcasing their upcoming books and authors for the next few months. The setup was basically that the authors would have a few minutes each to essentially pitch their book to us and they were split into debuts, commercial fiction and domestic suspense. I’ll admit, most of the books weren’t really for me, but I was kind of expecting that, since I’m not a massive reader of adult fiction, especially when it’s not fantasy! The authors all did really well though, and some of them were incredibly funny.
When the authors were all done, we were once again left to our own devices, to pick up proofs if we wanted, chat to the authors, etc. I missed the proofs I wanted because I needed to pee, but that’s probably a good thing since I already have more books than I can actually fit on a shelf. Faye and Jane both left shortly after the showcase part of the event, so I sort of stood around awkwardly for a while. Thankfully I found another blogger I recognised from the Hot Key event, Aislinn and we chatted for a while with Helen Monks Takhar, one the authors who was really nice, her book is all about the Millenial/Gen X divide. She graduated from Cambridge as well, so when I said that I live here, we talked a bit about that.
I also talked for a bit to Luan Goldie and Sara Alexander, who were both really nice as well. One of the best things about these kinds of events is that you get a bit longer to talk to authors, in a more informal setting than regular book events, which is great.
I spent the last part of the evening chatting with Alyson Rudd and one of the Harper team publicists, talking about my writing and my plans for the future, which was pretty cool, given that Alyson is a journalist for her day job, so it was nice to get to talk to someone who is doing the things that I want to one day.
The event actually ran longer than the Harper team intended, so by this point they were trying to clear the room as we were meant to be out of there about half an hour ago! I needed to get back to get my train home anyway, so I headed off, and ended up meeting another blogger in the lift and since we were both heading back to Kings Cross to get the train, we made our way back together. She was really lovely, I only wished I’d remembered to ask for her name (we had name badges but we’d both removed ours by this point!).
This was a really nice, quite casual and relatively low key event and I’d definitely be happy to go to another one like it in the future. It was great to get to catch up with some familiar bloggers and meet some new authors and lovely staff from Harper. Hopefully I’ll get invited to more HarperCollins events because I really enjoyed this one!
Did anyone else go to the DestinationHQ event? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments!
I’m going to be in Scotland for graduation all of next week, so my posting schedule might be a bit patchy, but I pre-scheduled my usual Top Ten Tuesday post, so you’ll definitely be getting that on Tuesday!