Aside from the crazy queues to actually just get in and the craziness of being amongst thousands of cosplayers while clutching my heavy bag of books for dear life, the day started well once I found the YALC area. I stood at the back of a panel discussing dystopia (a favourite genre of mine) in YA with Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan - all three authors I love and admire. It was interesting to hear about their thoughts on genres in general and where they think the genre is going. It was such a surreal moment standing and listening to these authors whose books I have devoured, spotting a few familiar faces in the crowd who I knew were bloggers and then, Stan Lee walking past me on the way to his photo taking session. Very, very weird and brilliant moment.
|The Dystopia panel - Sarah Crossan, Patrick Ness,|
Those kind of moments only got more frequent. While walking away from getting my book signed by Sarah Crossan, I happened to look over at the group of people I was passing and came face to face with none other than Lucy from Queen of Contemporary. Out of all the people I wanted to meet and see at YALC, she was the one I wanted to meet the most. Lucy is a really good blogging friend of mine, and her blogs are one of the best in my opinion around. She's helped me so much from motivating me to blog, talking to me constantly for the past two years to helping me write a feature article all about blogging for a university assignment. I've watched her blog work its way and it was just so amazing, so surreal and so brilliant to talk to her face to face. We went to the Superfans panel together with some other bloggers, where I think we both geeked out about Rainbow Rowell being one of the speakers, as well as then meeting Rainbow Rowell herself together and I spent a bit of time going round with her with so many authors, bloggers and publicists recognising Lucy, it was really nice to see for me.
I am so awe struck by both how lovely and genuine everyone was. There were times people had a conversation with me having probably no idea who I was, but merely because of a shared love for books and publishing. As Lucy put it in her reflection of YALC, no-one cared what your gender was, no-one cared where you came from, no-one cared about your age, everyone just cared about you being there for your love of literature. And that is something that makes me put faith back in humanity.
I left YALC about 5pm at a point where I felt utterly exhausted and like my shoulder was about to turn permanently numb. I continued my celebration of an amazing day by meeting my boyfriend and some friends who were in London for the day and had dinner at this nice restaurant just off Oxford Circus called 'Vapiano' (the cheesecake was so good).
Upon already commenting that I felt like the amount of books I had brought with me up to Central London made me feel like I'd robbed my local Waterstones store, I handed my boyfriend my goodie bag of books to him exclaiming 'Wow, that's heavy, that's a lot of books'. Yes, it was and yes my shoulder hated me on Sunday morning but it was so worth it. Bring on the next YALC!