Event Recap: Michael Grant signing

If 7-year-old me could see me now, she would be so jealous. Why? Because on Saturday, at the brilliant Muswell Hill Children’s Bookshop, I met Michael Grant.

Most YA readers will probably know Michael Grant from his Gone series or from Eve and Adam, which he co-wrote with his wife. Me? I knew him from the amazing Animorphs and Everworld series. Admittedly, it took me an obscene length of time to realise that those series weren’t only written by his wife, Katherine A. Applegate – but once I did, he shot up onto the “GODly AUTHOR” list pretty quick.

So, the signing.

First off, the bookshop was completely packed. People were queued up outside to meet Michael – most of them kids accompanied by their parents but I also spotted a few teens and people in their twenties (so I didn’t feel too ancient!). The staff was super welcoming and engaged with pretty much everyone in line despite the limited space. To be perfectly frank, I’ve never seen such great hand-selling before. There’s a reason this bookshop is famous: great staff and great shelves.

I got there right towards the end of the signing, so I only waited about 15 minutes in line. Michael spent a lot of time with people in line, answering questions with surprising detail. Hearing him engage with everyone else gave me that extra boost of confidence to open my mouth and overshare.

Sure enough, I started off by telling him that – though I was sure that lots of twentysomethings had told him this before – the Animorphs series ruled my life as a kid, and that I’d read every single one (and still have them all). I’d written papers on the books and had, quite frankly, been completely obsessed. He had, indeed, heard this all before – so he told me about how, when revisiting the books when older, other fans had seen all the juicy extras going on in the background. It was that political vibe with its lovely moral ambiguity was what I had loved about the books when I was younger, though it was hard to spot at the time.

We then talked about how the series was published under his wife’s name, and he made a few really funny remarks about how they are in constant competition. He directed me towards the Reddit that Katherine did back in 2011 about the series (confirming that, yes, he was hovering over her shoulder for the entire time). I hadn’t known of its existence but, WOW. If you’re a fan of the series, take the time and scroll through it. There are so many great details in there!

All in all: a fantastic experience. I was so happy to see so many kids/adults/Yerks in attendance, and meeting Michael was an absolute treat. 7-year-old me is so, so jealous.

If you are in Ireland, you can still catch the tail end of Michael’s tour this week (more details here). Want to know more about Michael, the universe and everything? Check out:

Upcoming Events in Londontown

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

It’s a conspiracy of authors

The London HQ of Forbidden Planet has a tonne of brilliant author parties/signings coming up this February – seriously, I’m drooling here.

On Friday 9th February the events kicks off with the launch party and signing for Laura Lam’s debut novel Pantomine. (I am so in love with this cover, it’s not even funny.) Then, the very next day, two more debut authors, Liesel Schwarz and E. J. Swiftwill, be having their first Forbidden Planet signings (it’s “A Conspiracy of Authors“, y’all).

Author Christopher Brookmyre will be signing his book Bedlam on Tuesday 19th February. While this book doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, it should be perfect for Tron fans out there.

The month concludes on Tuesday 26th February, with Peter V. Brett reading from and signing copies of The Daylight War – his newest book in his Demon Cycle series.

Pretty brilliant, huh?

Lauren Oliver - Author PhotoLauren Oliver Event 

The lovely Lauren Oliver will be coming to the UK to promote the final book in her Delirium trilogy, Requiem. She’ll be doing a special event at Waterstones Piccadilly in London on Tuesday 19th March. Tickets are £3 – but trust me, having met Lauren a couple of years ago, I can tell you that she’s worth 100 times that! You should reserve your place ASAP – just click here to learn how.

Scandals and Signings and Shakespeare, oh my!

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

De-Gay YA

When I heard the news that a well-respected agency tried to get two authors to “de-gay” their YA novel, I can’t say I was shocked. In fact, what surprised me was that the authors had come out and told their story to the mainstream press. I am sure this kind of thing goes on all the time, we just never hear about it… And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the agency came out denying everything. Which is certainly a new crisis management technique! Aja gives you the full scoop (and a very healthy rant) in her article in The Mary Sue. Read it!

New author deals

In other, less terrifying news, there have been some pretty brilliant new deals signed between authors and their publishers. Here are the ones I am particularly excited about:

  • Historical Fiction writer Phillipa Gregory has signed with Simon and Schuster to write 4 YA Historical Fiction novels. The first will be published in summer 2012. I’ve never read any of Gregory’s work, but it is exciting to have her in the genre! More on Dark Faerie Tales.
  • Dark Life author Kat Falls will be publishing a dystopian romance trilogy with Scholastic. The first book, The Fetch, will be out in autumn 2012. I loved Dark Life, so I am really looking forward to what else Kat comes up with. More on Presenting Lenore.
  • One of my favourite authors, Ann Aguirre, will be publishing an all-new science fiction trilogy with Ace. The books have been pitched as “prison break – in space”, so needless to say that I am desperate to read them! They’ll be out in autumn 2013. More on Ann Aguirre’s website.
  • Rag & Bones is a new YA anthology, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, that will feature a whole bunch of my favourite authors. Among them: Kelley Armstrong! It is being published in 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (World). More on Tez Says.

New Covers

There are always new stunning and not-so-stunning covers coming out. But these are the ones that have really caught my eye:
  • Illuminate by Aimee Agresti – I know, another red dress. But the summary for this book is just so intriguing!
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth – I haven’t read Divergent and I really never planned to… but this cover is just so lovely! I am really tempted to pick up the first book in the series now!
  • The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellsion – No idea what this is about, but I find the cover gorgeously spooky. It’s Dexter meets butterflies…
  • Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – This cover is so spooky! Maybe I am developing a new love for somewhat terrifying things, because I just find this cover amazing.
  • If I Die by Rachel Vincent – I have but one word: F-I-E-R-C-E.

UK Signings!

Some big names are coming to the UK. Some seriously, seriously big names! I really hope y’all can make some of these great signings:

  • Christopher Paolini will be at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 28 September! Christopher Paolini will be signing the first three volumes of The Inheritance Cycle at the Forbidden Planet Megastore. The signing is a lead-up to the publication of the final book in the cycle. I tried to read Christopher’s books, but they aren’t for me. Even still, I find the story of his publication extremely inspiring! For more information about this signing, see the Forbidden Planet website.
  • Erin Morgenstern, author of the highly anticipated The Night Circus will be discussing her fin-de-siècle fantasia of magic and mischief at Foyles in Bristol, Monday 10 October. I have been dying to read this book – so it’s extremely exciting that the author is coming to the UK! Read more here.
  • Peter F. Hamilton will be signing his short story collection Manhattan in Reverse at the Forbidden Planet Megastore on Thursday 6 October. While I haven’t had the chance to read any of Peter’s works yet, he is an absolute rock star in the SF genre!More details on the Forbidden Planet website.
  • Christopher Priest, the multiple award-winning fantasy/SF/horror author will be at London Foyles not once, but twice! He’ll be in the Gallery discussing his career and new book, The Islanders, on 29 September. Read more here. And then he’ll be back for the “House of Fear” event along with Sarah Pinborough and Paul Meloy. Read more here.
  • Moira Young and Philip Reeve will be doing a joint chat in Guildhall, Bath on Sunday, 25 September. Tickets are £5, but I am sure the event will be unforgettable! More information is available on the Waterstones website.

The waters of the Avon…

And last but not least, Oxford Dictionaires has a great new online test for you all… How Shakespearean are you? You just stick a bit of your own writing into a box, and they give you a verdict. Apparently my English is 81 percent Shakespearean. “The waters of the Avon almost lap at your feet.”
Give it a go!

London UF + YA Author Signings

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

The summer signing season is upon us – and while the UK may not be seeing Maggie Stiefvater drive through in her shiny blue Camaro, we are being visited by some great Fantasy and YA authors! Here are a couple of events I’d be at (if it weren’t for that pesky work business!).

Orbit Books Summer Signing – 4 Authors, 1 Event
Saturday 30 July 2011 15:00 – 16:00
Forbidden Planet London – 179 Shaftesbury Avenue

Nicole Peeler (Tempest Rising) Tim Lebbon (Echo City) Simon Morden (Metrozone Series) and Philip Palmer (Debateable Space and Red Claw) will signing their newest novels at London’s Forbidden Planet. I plan on getting myself a signed copy of Tempest Rising next time I pass by the store – hopefully there will be some left. Cat at Beyond Books is a big fan of Peeler’s series, so I am excited that we are finally getting it in the UK!

More information about the authors and the event available here.

Alyson Noel Signing – This Saturday!
Saturday 16 July 2011 – 13.30
Foyles London – 113-119 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EB

Alyson Noel is doing a whistle-stop signing at Foyles in their Teen Noir section (yep, Foyles is awesome enough to have a “Teen Noir” section). It’s the last leg of her UK tour, so this may be your last chance to meet Alyson before she heads back to the US for good!  There’s not much more info, but you can read the official announcement here.

Well, I hope I’ve sorted your Saturdays out for you. Go forth and get some signed books!

Summer Scream Event & Rachel Caine UK Tour!

First off, Rachel Caine is coming to the UK! Whoot! I am a big, big fan of her Morganville Vampires Series and really can’t wait to meet her.

And where do I plan on doing that? At the Foyles’ Summer Scream Event, of course! Not only is Rachel Caine going to be there, but so is Sarah Rees Brennan (who is AWESOME), Sarwat Chadda, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams! There will be goodie bags! Prizes! Sugary snacks! Yay!

Summer Scream event

I have already booked my ticket (they are free, just need advance planning) – anyone else want to come along? Check out the website, or read the rest of the details here:

Do you have the courage to attend the Foyles Summer Scream? If so, you’ll be in the company of a host of leading authors, and the recipient of all sorts of spooky treats!

Q&A sessions with:

  • The Original Vampire Queen – Rachel Caine, author of the Morganville Vampire series.
  • The man who survived The Devil’s Kiss – Sarwat Chadda, with exclusive pre-publication copies of his new book Dark Goddess, only available at the Summer Scream.
  • The world-renowned Demon Tamer Extraordinaire – Sarah Rees Brennan, author of The Demon’s Lexicon and The Demon’s Covenant.
  • Subterranean explorers Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams – Bestselling authors of the hugely successful fantasy ‘Tunnels’ series will be talking about their new book Closer, followed by a signing (until 5pm).

Plus: secret scare recommendations from all your favourite authors – Michael Grant, Neil Gaiman, Justin Somper, Holly Black, Scott Westerfeld, Becca Fitzpatrick, Chris Priestley, Dan Wells, Jon Mayhew, Philip Womack, Patrick Ness, Darren Shan and many more!

And our chilling short story competition – your chance to finish off Cassandra Clare’s short story and win a hamper of signed books!

All this and more competitions and prizes to be won on the day, plus vintage fairground treats and goody bags for all.

See you there… If you dare!

Saturday 19th june, 12pm – 4pm, The Gallery, Foyles.

Tickets: Free, to reserve a place please email events@foyles.co.uk

♥ ♥

Rachel Caine - Author Photo

Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is touring all over the UK, so if you can’t make it to London, check these out:


June 2 – 1:00 pm – Waterstone’s, Guildford
Guildford, United Kingdom

June 3 – 6.00 pm – Forbidden Planet
London, City of, United Kingdom

June 7 – 12:00 pm (tentative) – Waterstone’s Chesham
Chesham, United Kingdom

June 16 – 11:00 am – Waterstone’s Islington
Islington, United Kingdom

June 17 – 5.00 pm – Waterstone’s Bluewater
Greenhithe, United Kingdom

June 19 – 4:00 pm – Waterstone’s Harrow
Harrow, United Kingdom


June 4 – 6:00 pm – BITE NIGHT – Harefield Library, Hillingdon
Hillingdon, United Kingdom

June 18 – 5:00 pm – Hornsey Library, Original Gallery
London, United Kingdom
Caine: “Please join me as I discuss the Morganville Vampires series and writing in general!”

June 19 – 12:00 pm – Summer Scream – Foyles Bookshop
London, United Kingdom