I was so excited to be attending this year’s Young Adult Literature Convention. I read quite a lot of YA even though I’m in my late 20s and this year there were loads of authors attending who I had read and would have liked to have met or seen in discussion. I was so gutted to have not been aware of YALC 2014 that I had watched for tickets to this year’s event like a hawk.
To say that the LFCC (London Film and Comic Con, of which YALC is a part) was crowded is an understatement. I think that Showmasters must have forgotten to take into consideration the space taken up by guests and stalls when they were given the halls’ maximum capacities because it was difficult to move anywhere inside the Olympia and to top it off the sign posting was atrocious. So it took us another hour to even find YALC which we had know for at least 30 minutes was on a mysterious second floor that could only be reached by seemingly top secret stairs.
So, when we did finally find it, we were 4 hours late (thanks in large part due to a ridiculous Mega Bus route) and I was quite upset. It didn’t last long though because we were still able to grab our goodie bags, and the space on the floor was not in the least bit crowded which was nice. There weren’t many authors out signing at this point but we got the opportunity to see Charlie Higson and Arabella Weir in conversation, which pleased the OH; he doesn’t read but he did watch The Fast Show (Brilliant to those of you in the US).
The workshops had fairly long queues but I hadn’t wanted to attend those anyway, nevertheless it was nice to see that they were popular and also I noticed whilst waiting in line to get The Enemy signed that Cassandra Clare was signing books long after her session had ended- this was either because she was awesome and wanted to sign as many as she could, or because the queue during her session was so long, which still makes her awesome for signing every single one.
Whilst waiting in line, we met two girls from Wakefield who were having the excellent experience that we had hoped to have had, so it was nice to see that my miserable start to the event was really only due to my complete n00bishness (yes that is a word >.>). Meeting Charlie Higson was nice and he signed my copy of The Enemy so that I could give it away in a competition, thanks Charlie!
There were some nice touches to YALC, I particularly liked the Leave a Book, Take a Book shelf although it was a little hidden away. It was also fun to get a good look around the publishers stalls and grab some freebies here and there. We talked to the people from Electric Monkey who are currently running a competition to win some books and also met the lovely ladies on the Paisley Piranha stall. Anthony Ergo had a stall there too, selling and signing his Dystopia novels and from what I can gather, he pretty much sold out which is awesome.
We had to leave early because the OH wanted to see if he could meet Christopher Lloyd (which against all odds, he managed- YAY!) so I only got a couple of hours at the event. I enjoyed it immensely but was disappointed to have experienced so little of YALC 2015 that I am determined that I will be present for at least the Saturday and Sunday of the 2016 event. Next time, I’d like the opportunity to meet up with more like minded people as well as take in the convention because there’s nothing like getting book-nerdish with like minded folk.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that the key is in thorough planning and research. Roll on 2016, I want to get it right next time!!