This weekend, I attended the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) and it was the highlight of my month. That’s not to say the rest of my month has been rubbish – just that my day surrounded by books and favourite authors was really that good.
Some agent advice (and a bit of chickening out)
I got there early as, apart from book talks and signings with authors, the YALC provided chats about publishing: Q&As, How-To’s and general advice that I greedily lapped up. Some of you might know I’m querying my debut novel as we speak, so any snippet of information I could gather was a boon. I spent an hour listening to three very knowledgeable women talking about literary agents and the best approach strategy, and came away feeling slightly securer in my own plans.There was a later one-on-one opportunity to pitch to the agents, but I wasn’t brave enough or properly prepared enough to try that just yet. Baby steps, Goodacre. Baby steps…
Victoria Schwab is a Snorlax
My second goal for the day was to find the elusive V.E.Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, Vicious and This Savage Song. I finally got a taste of why everyone else is obsessed with Pokemon Go lately; finding this wonderful author was a bit like finding Snorlax. However, I finally managed to track her down and gabbled at her for a bit before pleading with her to sign my AGOS and take a picture with me. I’m the one grinning like a goof.
A lovely, lovely lady, by the way. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, you really should. She’s a fantastic writer.
A blast from the past
Many years ago, when I was actually a teenager and not just able to pass for one because of my lack of height, I read a great book called Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Well, I was half-way through the day before I realised that Malorie was actually in the same room as me, and about to start signing! Alas, my copy of Noughts and Crosses was destroyed many years previously by an accident involving my then-baby nephew and a cup of hot chocolate, so I hastily bought a brand new copy and joined the lengthy (55 minutes!) queue.
Completely worth it.
Derek Landy: Speaker of Lies
In the afternoon, there was another talk, this time about the fantasy / horror mix, held by such genre greats as Darren Shan, Alex Scarrow, Dawn Kurtagich and, of course, Derek Landy, author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
Towards the end of this entertaining talk, Mr. Landy was dubbed ‘The Speaker of Lies’ because he had long suggested that he would not be returning to the Skulduggery series… which, of course, he now is. This title proved true on another level when I queued to have him sign S.E. Berrow’s copy of the first Skulduggery book, as she’s on holiday at the moment and unable to attend YALC herself.
After the longest queue in the history of queues, I reached the front. Mr. Landy and I chatted for a while, and I explained the situation. He promptly announced Berrow had offended him by choosing a holiday instead of a book signing featuring him, so told me to tell her we’d gone out for pizza together afterwards.
I kept this lie up for about twenty minutes, and could feel Berrow’s jealousy radiating all the way from Italy, which was an excellent way to end the day.
One last thing…
I spent quite a lot of today on my feet, waiting in line. I’m not one to waste down time and, as my cousin had soundly told me off for not finishing Winter Court yet, I dutifully chipped away at it whilst waiting to meet my literary heroes. There was something about being in a room full of my favourite writers that was very inspiring. Can’t think why…