Saturday, 17 July 2010

Random House Children's Books Book Blogger Brunch Part 1: The day's events.

In May a group of us UK book bloggers created chaos in Waterstones (London). It was a fab event. I enjoyed putting faces to names, and generally getting a buzz from being with people so enthusiastic about books.

At that event, two of the publicists from RHCB joined us for a little bit, to say hi and give us a lovely proof copy of Lauren Kate's Torment (the book which comes after Fallen).

Well, the whole publicity team (who are lovely (yes I need a wider range of words!)) went a stage further and set up a brunch for us.

This post details the event. Photos will follow once my fellow bloggers put them up. Part 2 will be full of a few links to the photos (I didn't take any).

Friday evening

It took me a while to get to sleep. I kept thinking 'Yay! Will see a publicist's office!'. This was a huge deal.

Maybe that's why I woke up at 5.30am Saturday morning.

Saturday (today)

5.30am actually woke up. Sometimes I wake up now, but usually go back to sleep before my alarm goes. I was too scared of missing my 7am alarm that I stayed awake and played video games. Managed to get to level 21 on Cooking Dash. This is good, because yesterday the wretched game froze. I couldn't exit. Then when it unfroze and re-entered the game it had reset itself! I had been on level 41. Grrrr. Technology!

7:00 am got ready.

7.50am: Felt sorry for my mother who was rushing her breakfast to take me to the station.

8:15am Arrived at the station. Figured out which side to go (had bought the ticket on Friday). Waited for train. It was a bit cold! But I was excited and the train arrived soon.

9:20am: Arrived at London Paddington. Waited around a bit, because fellow blogger and review on this site Carly was on a train.

9:45am After a few texts to Carly, I waited around platform 3 and we met up. Much talking of books ensued.

10:00am We found the next train, and carried on catching up. The excitement was growing. We were heading to a publisher's house! (of sorts). To meet real live publicists! With books!

10:15am: We found a taxi. They weren't entirely sure where the address was, but thankfully the address was written in large letters on the building (it helps). Or maybe beside the building.

10:20am We signed in by security, then were met by Lauren and Kelly. They took us to the board room (at least it looked like a board room). By each chair was a bag full of goodies. I didn't check mine until I got home (bookmarks and a really funky keyring of a girl). A large display of Lauren Kate's Torment (yes we nabbed a copy).

10:30am The others arrived, lots of hugs and hellos exchanged as we met the rest of the publicity team (Publicity Director Clare, Interim Deputy Publicity Director Corrine, Publicity Assistants Louise and Rosi). Coffee, water and juice was grabbed, as were croissants, scones with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.

10:40am: Still saying hello. A really cool thing happened. We all wore funky name badges with our names and our blogs on. I was going to say hello to people, and one of them (didn't recognise her) came up and gave me a huge hug (with an excited hello). I thought 'Okay, an enthusiastic blogger'. I looked at her, then looked at her tag. It said Kaz. I thought 'Kaz? Kaz? Where have I heard that name before?' Then it hit me. 'Kaz! That Kaz' I said rather enthusiastically and hugged her back. It was Karen Mahoney, whose work I reviewed as part of the anthology The Eternal Kiss. It was such a wonderful surprise to meet her. She's just as she appears in emails (we've exchanged a few prior to this - many more will be sent!).

10:45-12:10pm (yes I did look at the clock then): Publicists chatted about various books that are coming up, asked our opinion on different book jacket covers for one book (the final one had been decided, but they wanted to know what we thought of the alternative options). It was brilliant to hear about all the new exciting books.

12:15pm: We had all made it up the slightly dodgy feeling lifts, through areas of the building, then into the RHCB publicity offices.

Much excitement ensued. The offices themselves are really cool. Standard desk, chair and computer. Not so standard pinboards (Book jacket covers, pictures from book covers) (Although to be fair my office desk has lots of postcards). And then there were the bookshelves. In every office. Jam packed full of books.

And we were allowed to take them! If a book was there that we liked, we could have it. The publicity team were super generous. We all had at least one pile of books. Several of us had a few piles. Bags were produced to put the books in. I ended up with 20+. Here's what I got (in time most of these will get mini reviews here)

(This isn't out until August) 

(Different cover) 

Plus proof copies of  Bartimaeus, The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (cover not available, book not out until November) Trash by Andy Mulligan (out September), Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne, Hear the Dead Cry by Charlie Price (out August) and The Hunt by Amy Meredith (out August).

Conclusion: A huge thank you to all the publicity staff at Random House Children's Books (UK) for having us over, for being so generous (books!) and divulging a few upcoming books :) 

(Reminder: I may receive a lot of books for review purposes, but that doesn't automatically guarantee I like the book. I review each book individually, explaining what didn't work or what I wasn't keen on as well as all the parts that I did enjoy. I give honest reviews. I do say if I'm not keen on a book. So far I'm mostly selecting/being given books that I really like.)


Karen Mahoney said...

I think you got more books than me... ;)



Unknown said...

Wasn't it just the best way to spend a morning? I keep wanting to go downstairs and pull out all my books and stroke them LOL

It was so great to see you. Enjoy!

Nayuleska said...

It was great to see you both too!

CarlyB said...

Best morning EVER! Spent ages earlier rearranging my book shelves to fit all the new ones in! So good to see everyone again :) x

Sarah said...

It was lovely to see you on Sat hun! What a fab morning :o) I am still excited about all my new books lol

Nayuleska said...

I'm still buzzing from the event! (Not sure when it's going to wear off...)