Saturday 2 January 2016

My 2015 ~ A Year of Bookish Events

One of the very best parts of being a book blogger is the wonderful bookish events that happen throughout the year. I'm always thrilled when an invitation arrives through the letterbox or into my inbox.

2015 has been a fabulous year of party going for me. Most of the events are held in London, which is not so great as I have to take lieu time from work, and get the train down from rural Lincolnshire. It does make it a long day, but it is always worth it. Sadly though, I have to decline lots of enticing invitations as I just can't go to everything.


My 2015 events began in January, with an invitation to the annual Pan MacMillan Party on 29th January. I've been attending these parties for a couple of years now and they are always fabulous. Sadly, this time, the weather got the better of me, and I had to cancel at the very last minute. However, my lovely friends Nina and Jenny made sure that I still got my goody bag!


The weather was better in February, and I was delighted to attend the launch party for The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (which made it into my Favourite Reads of 2015 list). The party was held at the amazing Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, and I took my friend Nina along with me. It was really good to meet the author, and to get my copy of The Kind Worth Killing, and his earlier novel, The Girl With A Clock For A Heart signed.


I was off down to London again in March for the Books In The City Spring Blogger Evening, held at their HQ on the Greys Inn Road.

It was really great to meet up with some of my fellow bloggers at this party, there was wine and cake... lots of cake!

The room was packed and we were all given great goody bags and told to take our pick from the piles of newly released books that were everywhere!  We then sat back to hear four wonderful authors read from their novels; Milly Johnson, Iona Grey, Andy Jones, Jane Costello and Heidi Swain.


At the very end of April, I travelled down to London again.  I'd been invited to the Legend Press 10th Birthday Party, which was held at the Grafton Hotel.

I really love Legend Press, they are a great independent publisher and have some amazing authors, I'm lucky enough to review lots of their books, and it was an honour to be asked to join their celebrations.  I took Nina along with me, we had a good evening, with wine and cake and more goody bags! 


In May, I was London bound yet again. This time I was headed for Avon Books Demystifying Digital event held in Harper Collins' lovely new offices at the News Building.

I was thrilled to meet some great authors that evening, I spent a long time putting the world to rights with Cally Taylor, whilst being plied with alcohol by Kerry Fisher!  I was delighted to meet Claudia Carroll, Paul Finch and Amy Lynch as well as lots of  lovely bloggers.


June was a busy month, with three bookish events.  The first was the launch party for Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger which took place at Treadwells Book Shop in Bloomsbury. It was a really hot evening, the tube was packed and I felt like I'd battled my way there, but it was a lovely party. 
I was delighted to meet Nellie from Nellie Pom Poms ~ we spent a lot of time huddled in a corner, or standing outside and drinking wine.  Red wine!  If you ever see Nellie and I tweeting about Red - it all stems from this event.

Photo from Jackie Law at Neverimitate

My second June event was in Lincoln!  Hooray, no travelling.  It's great to have some local bookish events - I wish there were more.

Meeting Vanessa Lafaye
I was invited to the launch party for Rebecca Mascull's Song of the Sea Maid at Waterstone's on Lincoln High Street.

I had such a fabulous day, not only did I get to meet Rebecca (and her cute daughter Poppy) again, but I finally got to meet Vanessa Lafaye, the author of one of my favourite books; Summertime.

Rebecca signs my book 
Martin and I had a lovely lunch with Vanessa and her husband James, we got on like a house on fire and ate beautiful cake.

Not only did I meet Vanessa, I was also delighted to chat to Iona Grey (author of Letters to the Lost), and SD Sykes (Plague Land and The Butcher Bird).  

The launch party was fabulous, more cake, lots of laughter and music and I was thrilled to get my copy of Song of The Sea Maid signed by Rebecca.

My final event in June was in London again

I met Jenny Blackhurst
The Three Bloggers!
Crime in Court, hosted by Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court. Again, the weather was so kind to us, gorgeous sunshine which allowed us to spill out onto the street and
celebrate the wonderful world of crime fiction.

I went to Crime in the Court with my friends, and fellow bloggers Leah from Reflections of a Reader and Anne from Being Anne.  There were so many crime authors at this event, we were all a bit star struck!  Every time we turned around, there was another of our author heroes! 
I was so happy to meet Jenny Blackhurst and Elizabeth Haynes, and to catch up with Amanda Jennings again. There were so many people there, it was amazing!


Just one event in July and it was the hottest day of the year!   Nina and I went to the Faber offices for the launch party of Sarah Ward's In Bitter Chill.

I was honoured to be asked along to this party.  I met Sarah years ago at an event hosted by Constable & Robinson CR Crime and have followed her blog, and her writing career ever since.  The party was full of crime book bloggers and lots of crime authors too.  The wondeful Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books made the most beautiful chocolate cake and I was thrilled to catch up with author Quentin Bates and to meet Daniel Pembrey at last.

At the end of July I went along to an author event at Lindum Books in Lincoln.

Lindum Books is a gorgeous independent bookshop that has been opened for almost two years now, in the Bailgate area of Lincoln.

I love that shop.

David Mark is a crime author who originates from Hull, his stories have a Hull setting.

He now lives in Lincolnshire and it really was a last minute decision for me to go to this one.

I'm really pleased that I went along. David was very funny, very entertaining and had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. 


Mid August found myself and Nina at Carmelite House, the home of Headline, we'd had VIP invitations for their very first Rooftop Book Club, with the theme of Holiday Reads on The Roof.

Headline's rooftop garden is very impressive, although it wasn't the nicest of evenings, so we couldn't really spend any time out there. However, the wine and the goody bags were fabulous.

We were treated to interviews with three top authors; Tasmina Perry, Jo Thomas and Stella Newman. The interviewer was Isabelle Broom from Heat Magazine. 

Authors, more bloggers, cocktails, books, nibbles and goody bags ~ the perfect evening! 


September started out with a really special event. I was invited to a special picnic, organised by a fabulous group of authors who wanted to say thank you to bloggers!
Such a lovely gesture!  The weather was kind to us too.  

There were seven bloggers: myself, Leah (Reflections of a Reader), Anne (Being Anne), Dawn (Crooks on Books), Rea (Rea's Book Reviews), Stacey (Whispering Stories) and Laura (@grumpygirlie) and thirteen authors; Michele Gorman (chief organiser!), Josa Young, Rosie Fiore, Julia Williams, Vanessa Greene, Claire Sandy, Julie Cohen, Rowan Coleman, Katy Regan, Kerry Fisher, Fionnuala Kearney, Fanny Blake and Chrissy Manby, along with lots and lots of wine, some amazing nibbles, including the best quiche that I've ever tasted and lots of cake - of course!

The park was a great setting and everyone got a chance to chat and catch up, we even had a very nosey, cheeky squirrel who was desperate to find out what was going on.

A week or so later in September, Martin and I took a trip over to Nottingham to see Steven Dunne who was signing copies of his latest book A Killing Moon in Waterstone's.

Both of us are huge fans of Stevens Damen Brook series and we've met Steven before. It's great to support local writers.


James Hannah, Leah, Nina & Me
Towards the end of October I was off down to London once again. This time to attend an event at Waterstone's Piccadilly with Nina (Notes From The Chair), and Leah (Reflections of a Reader).

We had front row seats for the Narratives of Memory event with authors Jason Hewitt, James Hannah and Emma Hooper.  This was a fascinating event, the authors read from their books and were interviewed about how much of what we remember is a fiction, and what happens if we lose our memory, or it deceives us. The event was chaired by the brilliant Anna James (A Case For Books)

Nina and I meet Jason Hewitt


November was another very busy book event month.  My first event, at the beginning of the month was the Transworld Showcase, held at Waterstone's Piccadilly.   I was really excited about this event as my lovely friend Caroline Wallace (aka Caroline Smailes) was one of the authors appearing. Caroline read from her novel The Finding of Martha Lost which will be published in March 2016.

There were lots of fabulous authors, bloggers and bookish people at the event, and some really exciting books and authors were showcased.  I was thrilled to meet Anna Hope, whose second novel The Ballroom is out this year, along with Cathy Bramley, Fiona Barton, Lissa Evans and Sara Crowe amongst others.

I was really proud of Caroline, and I am so excited about her book, look out for my review here on the blog, nearer to publication date.

My second November event was much nearer to home.  Martin and I travelled over the Humber Bridge to Hull on a very wet and windy Sunday afternoon, to Hull Library to the Louise Beech and Friends event.

Louise was joined by three other local authors; Cassandra Parkin, Brian Lavery and Nick Quantrill. I've never been to Hull Library before, the room was really beautiful and perfect for the event. Louise hosted a fabulous event, with readings from their books, questions and answer sessions and interaction with the lively audience. It was great fun, and there was cake!  

My final November event, and the last bookish jaunt of the year for me was the W&N Ficton Showcase, again in London, and again I went along to this with Nina.  More cocktails, more nibbles and more exciting authors and books to look out for in 2016.  Oh, and another fabulous goody bag!
2015 was certainly a great year of bookish events for me, and I'm hoping that 2016 will bring lots more.  I already have two dates for London events lined up, but am sad that I've also had to turn down four or five other invitations for 2016 too.  


1 comment:

  1. I've recently bought 'The Kind Worth Killing' and added it to my list of 157 books that I own but haven't yet read! I can't wait to read it!