It was another early start yesterday for day two of YALC, Hannah and I got up at around seven o’clock, got ready and headed over to the train station in Windsor. We bought our tickets and then waited for the train. We got a little confused because we thought our train was going to be on the other platform, but it turned out it was already there, so we had to run before we missed it! Luckily we did get it, just in the nick of time. On the train, we basically just chatted about how much fun we had on Friday and our plans for the day, who we were looking forward to seeing etc. We got off at Clapham Junction and then changed to get a direct train to Olympia. It was a relatively quick journey, we left Windsor at around 8 and arrived at Olympia by 9.20.
Once we arrived at Olympia, we headed over to the Tesco Express opposite in order to get breakfast and lunch for the day. Then we headed inside, there wasn’t really a queue at all, so we got straight in. We were early for the first event that we wanted to go to, so we had time to put my phone on charge and go to the bathroom before that. We also got into the queue to get proofs of The Fandom and managed to get a copy each.
The first thing we went to was a talk on publishing in the Agents Arena. It was such a useful talk, even though I’m not at the stage of submitting my novel to an agent yet, it was great to hear about the process, what’s involved, what to do, what not to do etc and I took a lot of notes that I’m sure will be useful when I finally do start submitting my novel to agents. I definitely recommend going to one of these kinds of talks if you’re looking to get your book published one day.
After that we went over to the Chapter 5 stand as we had heard they were giving away a proof of The Beast’s Heart to the first person who came over with a photo of them with a fairytale cosplayer (we had got a picture with someone dressed as Red Riding Hood earlier, she even had a basket and a stuffed wolf) at 10.45, sadly we were too late though!
We then decided to go over to Waterstones so Hannah could buy the books she wanted to get signed for that day. The queue was so long, that I stood in the queue whilst Hannah went to get the books she wanted. It turned out I had to dash to get my own books when she was at the till as I had totally forgotten I wanted to get the rest of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone books. Luckily I got them though!
It was then time for Vic James’ signing, but on our way there we got slightly distracted because we found out that Ed McDonald was giving away free cupcakes for the launch of his book Blackwing, so we went to the stall were those were being given out and got one before heading over to Vic James’ signing. Luckily we had time in the queue to finish our cupcakes! Vic James was lovely and encouraging when we told her we were both writers and that we’d one day like to do an event like that and she said she hoped we enjoyed her book (as we’d said we were yet to read it).
Once we’d done that we were a little uncertain of what to do because our next signings didn’t start until one. We went to check on my phone and Hannah found out that Benedict Cumberbatch was downstairs at LFCC so we went to find him. We had no luck and came back upstairs pretty sharpish because it was crowded, hot and kind of smelly down in the LFCC room. The YALC room actually felt breezy after that.
There was a massive queue for the loo when I got there, but I was so desperate so I just had to wait. By the time I got out Hannah had got a ticket for the Laini Taylor signing, I got one too but they wouldn’t let her get one for me whilst I was in the loo, so our numbers were quite far apart. Hannah agreed to wait with me though rather than going in early which was nice of her. After we’d got our tickets for Laini Taylor, we raced over to the person giving out the Victoria Schwab queue tickets and got them. We were quite far back in the the queues for both authors, so we decided to just go and sit and eat lunch considering we would be waiting for a while.
We just wandered around a lot after that really, not doing anything in particular, just looking at stalls. I swapped a book I had bought in a mystery book buy yesterday and Hannah got a proof, although she later switched that for something else. We had to keep checking back on the queues to see if our numbers came up. We sat and chatted for a bit as well. We dashed for proofs of The Exact Opposite of Okay when they were announced and both got one. We took a picture with a girl in a really cool Belle cosplay. We got more free cupcakes, this time from the My Kind of Book stall. Finally, our numbers came up for Laini Taylor, so we joined the queue. We still had to wait for quite a while when we were in the queue but eventually we got to the front. Laini was lovely, she signed our books, I told her that I had enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone and she said I hoped I enjoyed the others. It was brief but nice to meet her and hopefully if I meet her again I’ll have read even more of her books.
We then dashed to the VE Schwab queue. By this time Hannah was desperate for the loo, so I held our place in line and waited whilst she went. I asked if she had a signing limit since her queue had been ticketed and was so long (I think there was over 200 people who had tickets!) but the woman running the queue said she’d sign as many as you had. I was worried Hannah wouldn’t get back in time as the queue was pretty fast moving, but she did. We finally got to the front and I probably made a complete fool of myself, but Victoria was so lovely, especially considering she’d already signed 120 odd people’s books before us! I told her how much I loved her books and that A Conjuring of Light was my favourite book of the year and she loved that. She’s honestly just one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met and hats off to her because she did two panels and signed for four hours, the woman is an absolute superstar!
I was desperate for the loo by this point, so I dashed in there quickly and then we went into the talk that was going on, simply so we could sit down for a bit. I liked the topic but we didn’t really know the authors so we ended up leaving it early. After this we again just wandered round for a while, I picked up a copy of The Diabolic at the Hashtag Reads stand, Hannah picked up some more proofs. We attempted to find the girl in the red cloak to get an Everless proof, but weren’t able to. We also practised waltzing for reasons which will be explained shortly!
At 5’o clock, there was a proof giveaway of The Beast’s Heart, something Hannah and I had both really wanted all weekend. There were people lining up to wait for it quite early before the giveaway and we recognised one of them as the girl we talked to in the Derek Landy signing queue last year! So we chatted to her a bit before the giveaway started, as well as the other people. We had to waltz in order to win the proof and Hannah and I did it pretty badly, so it’s not too surprising that we didn’t get it!
After we were done there, we decided to go into the last panel of the day, The Books That Made Me, with Victoria Schwab, Laini Taylor and Joanne Harris. I loved this panel, it’s so interesting to hear authors talk about the books that made them readers and writers! Victoria Schwab’s story about JK Rowling really resonated with me because she is also one of the main reasons why I am the reader and writer I am today, so it was so cool to hear someone else say that.
We stayed afterwards to see Non Pratt’s charity headshave but it was taking longer than we thought so we decided to head out (and regretted it later, because it turns out we missed Benedict Cumberbatch!). We saw Victoria Schwab on our way out and asked if we could get a picture with her (as we weren’t allowed during the signing because of how many people she had to get through) and she graciously agreed.
Once we had done that, YALC was essentially finished for the day, so we went to get my bag from the cloakroom and then left, emerging into the pouring rain! We made our way back to Olympia station and then after working out where I was going, I said my goodbyes to Hannah and we went our separate ways.
Here are my pictures from Day 2 of YALC:
My haul, from top to bottom we have:
- The Exact Opposite of Okay
- The Fandom
- The Diabolic
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters
- Days of Blood and Starlight
My signed books from Day 2, we have:
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters
- Days of Blood and Starlight
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone
- Gilded Cage
- Our Dark Duet
- The Unbound
- The Archived
- A Conjuring of Light
- This Savage Song
Us with Victoria Schwab!
Us with the massive YALC sign!
My signed and personalised Schwab, we could only get two personalised, so naturally I picked this as one since it’s one of my favourite Schwabs!
Signed Vic James
Signed Laini Taylor
Us at the Electric Monkey stand with Laura M Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay.
Hannah’s YALC haul, she got twice as much as me, I’m so proud (and a few of these were my recommendations!).
I had such an amazing weekend at YALC this year and we are definitely going back again next year. This is a tradition I hope will continue for a while! I’m so happy with everything I got this year and I can’t wait to dive in to all my new books.
So what do you think of my book haul (or my friends, she has the bigger one!)? Any you’ve read? Any you want to read? What should I read first? Who else was at YALC this year? Did you enjoy it? Did you see Benedict Cumberbatch? Which authors did you see? Which days did you go? Who wants to go to YALC next year who didn’t get to go this year? Basically just talk all things YALC to me, I’m having withdrawals already!
I will have my #RockMyTBR July update for you guys tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!