So last week I told you about my trip down to London and the Random House book event…. this week I want to share with you the Faber & Faber book event, complete with cake!
I went from the Random House event to Foyles for book shopping and the pub next door for food with wonderful bloggers Viv from Serendipity Reviews, Sarah from Feeling Fictional, Kirsty from The Overflowing Library, Jesse from Books4Teen and Michelle at Much Loved Books. Then we struggled to find the Faber Offices but eventually got there last and had to sit at the back, oops! But nevermind, we made it!
The event started with Leah from Faber introducing us to them and talking about how F&F have always been known for their literary titles including poetry and how the children’s side of things is quite new for them and that they really wanted to pick the best of children’s lit to keep that prestige up… but also that we should part with any preconceptions about Faber because the children’s section is a whole new thing for them and they are treating it that way. I definitely have preconceptions about F&F so I was glad she said that because I’ve known them from my university days for being quite high brow, nothing wrong with that of course but now I know they just want to deliver the best, and they have some great things in store for 2014!
The books Hannah, Leah and the team went on to talk about sound brilliant. First us was Dead Ends which I was lucky enough to read very early on and I even have a quote in the finished copy! This book is incredible but with my review already up I won’t say too much about it. Then the announcement that Bone Dragon is coming in paperback this month, which reminded me that I must, must, must read my copy. Bone argon is apparently a lyrical masterpiece (I’ve heard a good amount of agreement with this) and needs to be read, so that was me told!
Then we got to the really exciting stuff I hadn’t heard about. Sweet Damage, by Rebecca James is a thriller, almost NA rather than YA , that takes place in a sinister house in Sydney. I have Beautiful Malice by this author on my bookshelves but I don’t know much about her and I loved the sound of this one because of its creepiness.
Then came Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. I need to read this book. The book was introduced by the author herself with a reading she recorded and put to freaky music and a collection of images that set the scene perfectly. Unfortunately I believe that was F&Fs own video and it hasn’t been put up on YouTube but I decided to share the trailer with you anyway… Its not as creepy but is still awesome. The book was inspired by the authors stay in Scotland and features creepy kids who hold stakes to ward off the devil, what more do you want!
Next up was Winterkill by Kate A Boorman, a Blood Red Road type book which sounds to me like it has elements of The Village in it. The main character has a disability which makes the small community’s ‘council’ members fear her which sounds like an interesting kind of element, I am intrigued to find out what that is and how much the book will stand on its own despite the fact I instantly thought of that movie when I heard about it.
The talk then went to the middle grade books which in the last year I have found a fondness for so I was interested to hear about these too. Author Natasha Farrant was there and read a bit of her book Flora In Love, the second book in the Gadsby Family series, which sounded funny and featured a very realistic family. She talked about how she wanted to create a family that any read could relate to, one that the reader could say ‘that is my dad’ or ‘wow, she has to know my sister’ about. It sounds fun and I would love to read After Iris now I know more about the series.
Author Jeff Norton was also there to do a reading and talk about his new book, coming out in the summer, called Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie, which sounds incredible! The book is about a 12 year old boy who dies and wakes up in a grave as a zombie, but he’s still himself. He had OCD when he was alive and that has carried on so he disgusts himself with the skin peeling and the bad teeth etc and Jeff reading it had everyone in absolute stitches! I can’t wait for this book because it sounds absolutely brilliant and I love the idea that Jeff actually went back to his own middle school library to write it. Jeff also came up to me after the event to introduce himself and mentioned that he reads my blog which was awesome so Hi if you’re reading this Jeff!
The Girl Who Walked on Air will be out later this year and is the second book from Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall. I ADORED Frost Holllow Hall and I love Victorian Circus books so I couldn’t be happier to find out that Emma was writing a Victorian circus book! The Girl Who Walked on Air is a ‘dare to dream’ story about a girl who grew up in the circus and is just a ticket seller, but who has a secret talent for acrobatics. I really, really want this book right now but I know I have to wait and that wait is killing me!
The last middle grade book that was mentioned was Archie Green and the Magicians Instruction by DD Everest which is a middle grade fantasy about a boy who is given a box on his 12th birthday and finds out that his family, who he didn’t know even existed, are Historical Flame Keepers, that they keep a museum of magic books which are hidden under Oxford Library. The idea is that Librarians are Magic and it sounds AMAZING! I also need this book in my life as soon as possible but alas, I have to wait until May for it!
Finally the discussion moved to picture books and how this is a brand new thing for F&F. They wanted to keep it simple and not override the rest of their books with picture books so they narrowed the selection down to four for the year. These are The Hog in the Fog, a story about a Harry the hog who goes missing in the fog and his friend Candy Stripe Lil who tries to find him, it sounds adorable and apparently kids are absolutely loving it! Then there is Macavity, obviously taken from TS Eliot’s Cats, this is the first in a series of picture books to highlight some of the characters from Faber’s poetry collection! There will also be Dinosaur Rhyme Time which I am soooo getting my hands on as it takes well known nursery rhymes and adapts them so they feature dinosaurs! and Snow, based on the Walter De La Mare poem of the same name. I love the idea of taken poetry and making it accessible to very young children in this way and am excited to see the response F&F get from this.
It was an absolutely awesome event and although I had to leave early and had a nightmare time running through London to get to my coach home in time (I managed but only just, it was trying to go when I practically ran out in front of it!) I still had so much fun. Thanks Hannah and the team for putting on such a great event!