When I began blogging I never dreamt that it would lead to the events I’ve been lucky enough to experience recently. The past few weeks have been particularly exciting and so I thought I’d take the opportunity to let you know what I’ve been up to.
A Celebration of Women’s Fiction
Pan Macmillan invited me to attend an evening celebrating women’s fiction.
I felt a little out of place as the event focused on chick lit, but I met up with Elle from Trashionista and I enjoyed learning about the world of UK Romance blogging. I hadn’t heard of her blog before, but it made me realise how little interaction I have with bloggers from different genres. I’m going to make the effort to familiarise myself with a wider range of bloggers (especially on Twitter) as we all share that passion for books and have many of the same issues with blogging, reading and balancing the two.
The night was very glamourous and several celebrities were in attendance. Unfortunately I’m very unobservant and so failed to spot any!
I came away with copies of two books:
Emma Donoghue’s Room was also being promoted that night and so I was able to let people know how wonderful it was. I don’t think that was necessary though – copies of her book were flying off the shelves and lots of other people were raving about it too!
It was a lovely evening and I felt very spoilt.
Author Speed Dating
You may have already seen that Chris Cleave mentioned this event on the Guardian blog. Sceptre invited several bloggers to meet a wonderful group of authors in central London. I was particularly excited to meet Andrew Miller and Chris Cleave, two authors I love (if you haven’t read their books then you really should). I was also introduced to many new-to-me authors including Jenn Ashworth, Jill Dawson and Giles Milton.
I got to talk to a group of three or four authors for 20 minutes before moving on to another set. They let us know about their new books and I explained a little about my life as a blogger. I have never felt more like a celebrity and was embarrassed by the attention lavished on us. Time flew past and the whole day was very special. I’m looking forward to reading the books written by these authors when they are released later this year.
An Evening with Jean Auel
Last Monday I headed to The Natural History Museum in London to hear Jean Auel talk about her Earth’s Children series. I found her fascinating. She was in conversation with palaeoanthropologist, Professor Chris Stringer, and I was impressed by how knowlegable Jean Auel was about the life of early humans. She has been deeply involved in archaeological research since she began writing the series 30-years-ago and seemed to have a close relationship with those in the field.
I loved hearing her talk about her trips around the world to visit important archaeological sites and was impressed to learn that she has tried most of the techniques mentioned in the books herself. She didn’t stop at making snow caves and starting fires, but even went as far as tanning leather using the brain of the animal. It is always nice to know that the facts in books like these are based on thorough research, but I’m glad she is the one squashing brains and I only have to read about them! If you ever get the chance to listen to Jean Auel talk then I highly recommend that you go.
World Book Night
For World Book Night I gave away copies of A Fine Balance at my son’s school. It was a wonderful experience! I was worried that people wouldn’t be interested in a literary chunkster, but they seemed genuinely delighted to receive a copy. The great thing was that it became a catalyst for conversation about books. By the time I’d finished giving away my copies all the little groups of parents/teachers were talking about books. I could hear people recommending a whole range of different genres to each other and I think that this conversation about books was the most important aspect of World Book Night. I’m sure that many people will read books based on the recommendations they received and if that is the case then WBN can be declared a success.