One huge perk of blogging (other than getting to read so many fantastic books!) is being invited to events where I get to mix with authors, publishers and other book bloggers.
On 2nd February 2017, Books and the City (@TeamBATC) held their annual Spring Blogger Evening at the Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) HQ in London. I have attended this event for 3 years now and it is always an absolutely fantastic evening, largely down to the hosting skills of the HILARIOUS Sara-Jade (@BookMinxSJV) and her exceptional team at BATC.
On arrival, I was really excited to see some friendly faces and to catch up with my fellow bloggers. Whilst I feel as though I know a lot of bloggers through Twitter, it really is fantastic to catch up face to face. Obviously, this involves a lot of book chat and laughter! In particular, it was fantastic to get reacquainted with my old blogger friends Mary, Annette, Linda, Rachel, Julie, Sophie (and everyone else whom I've forgotton to mention!) and meet some lovely bloggers whom I've not had chance to meet before.
The next part of the evening involves an organised talk in the boardroom where a panel of amazing BATC authors introduced us to their upcoming books and face some questions.
The authors on the panel this year were Alice Peterson, Dani Atkins, Milly Johnson and Kate Furnivall. We were also treated to two special guests in the form of Juliet Ashton and Sarah Vaughan.
To break the ice, the first thing the authors were asked to do was to play truth or lie. They had to provide 3 facts about themselves, 2 being true and 1 being a lie. The facts were as follows:-
- Alice Peterson:-
(1) She named her dog Mr Darcy after meeting Colin Firth in a lift.
(2) She met Bryan Adams and all he talked about was juicing.
(3) Tennis player Tim Henman was her first crush
- Dani Atkins:-
(1) She one caused a police search when going missing as a child in Copenhagen, Denmark.
(2) She hates roller coasters despite once spending several months at Disney World.
(3) She once saw a ghost cat after moving into an old cottage.
- Milly Johnson:-
(1) She once kissed Alan Rickman
(2) She was once paid to pretend to be a ghost for a wealthy American man
(3) She has slept through two earthquakes
- Kate Furnivall:-
(1) She used to write erotica about a lady called Sophie Hard.
(2) She was once swept out to sea in an inflatable boat with her young son and had to be
rescued by the RNLI.
(3) She once hit a 'yob' with her handbag after he shouted abuse at her twin sister.
- Juliet Ashton:-
(1) Having passed her driving test, she drove onto a floral clock and destroyed it.
(2) A celebrity stole her fiance.
(3) She has danced with George Michael.
- Sarah Vaughan:-
(1) She once met Colin Firth.
(2) She once trekked to base camp on Everest.
(3) Former Prime Minister David Cameron signed her mortgage deeds.
I'm not going to tell you which were the truths and which were the lies, it's more fun to leave it to your imagination!
Interestingly, when asked, all authors agreed that they did not really use plotting when writing their books.
Alice explained that she was a skilled tennis player until rheumatoid arthritis cut her dreams short and that when writing she starts to hear her characters speak to her.
Dani compared writing a book to driving in the dark without headlights!
Milly advises that the best thing to do is to keep on writing, little and often, but keep at it.
Kate explained that she has a whole cast of characters waiting to be picked for a novel.
Following the panel discussion, we were then herded into the next room to grab a glass of prosecco and a cheese straw (not to mention the fabulous cupcakes!), before picking up a goody bag and getting time to speak to the lovely authors present. As always, being a huge reader, it is fascinating to meet those authors either whose books I have already enjoyed or which I hope to enjoy very shortly. I remain in awe of not only their writing skills but also their incredible immaginations!
The evening ended with a bit more chatter before I had to run for my train.
On looking through my goody bag in the morning, there were copies of some additional books, along with lip balms, tissues, cards, a pencil and a notebook.
A special mention (at Milly Johnson's request) for Perfect Pout who provided the lip scrub and lip balm, both of which I am regularly using now!
A huge thanks to SJV and the BATC team for hosting such a fun and entertaining evening, and for inviting me to share it with them!
If you are interested in any of the authors I have mentioned above or any of the books displayed in the photographs, the links can be found below:-
A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson (out on 9 February 2017)
This Love by Dani Atkins (out on 23 March 2017)
The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson (out on 9 March 2017)
The Liberation by Kate Furnivall (out on 3 November 2016)
The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton (out on 20 April 2017)
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (publication date not announced as yet)
Additional books in the goody bag:-
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon
Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan
How Not to Fall in Love Actually by Catherine Bennett