Mary Hooper Event & my meander around London

Way back in July or something I was invited to an event for Bloomsbury. It was event which would take place in their (amazing) London offices and I would meet and chat with Mary Hooper, author of Velvet and Fallen Grace. I couldn’t resist the offer and booked my train tickets there and then.
Of course the one downside to wandering off to London on my own was that I’d been only twice before. The first time really doesn’t count as it was with the guides when I was around 11 and we spent the entire time on a coach or in the Millennium Dome. Then the second time saw me doing a few of the touristy things and going to Wembley arena to see one of my favourite bands play (Yes it was worth the long journey! They were amazing). So needless to say I wasn’t sure where I was going or how to find anything.
Thankfully the wonderful Laura, better known as Sisterspooky in the online/blogging world, came to my rescue and offered to meet me at Euston station. She took me to visit the wonderfully huge Waterstones in Picadilly and there we met up with Carly from Writing for the Tub, Sarah from Feeling Fictional, Becky The Bookette, and Sammee from I WantTo Read That. It was lots of fun but then to follow I was taken to the palace of books… Foyles! Ahhhh I would have spent longer in that place if I could have! And who better to meet in Foyles than the wonderful Vivienne from Serendipity Reviews! That topped my visit off a treat!
We made our way to the Bloomsbury offices which I really wish I’d taken a picture of! (I believe the picture to the right is of the buildings they’re in… I got that online though so cant be certain!) They are in what was obviously a very beautiful house at some point and I love the little square they were around! We were shown into a gorgeous room and my eyes were instantly drawn to the amazing cupcakes on the table. In fact I was probably still distracted by them when Mary was speaking to us… oops!
Mary arrived and we all kinda introduced ourselves. Then Mary started talking to us about how she got into publishing. It was fascinating to hear how that happened, how she started as she was at home with her two children and women didn’t tend to go back to work. It was really interesting to hear about her writing short stories for magazines like Jackie and Blue Jeans, I couldn’t believe that there were 14 teen girls magazines around when she was writing for them because those types of magazine are in such a decline these days.
Mary took us through how Bloomsbury found her when they wanted to make up a children’s list and how she first wrote about contemporary fiction. I found her reason for moving into historical fiction very amusing, as she thought she’d written almost all there was to write about modern teen girls so she ventured into the unknown instead of writing about drugs and female characters with their mobiles permanently stuck to their heads! I love that Mary didn’t really have much knowledge of history; it inspired me and reminded me that we can all achieve things if we work hard enough!
I found out so much about Mary and her work and also about publishing in general that I really think the event was a success. Mary spoke to us about her work, her research methods, where she got her ideas from and it was amazing to hear it all straight from a published authors mouth! She really did inspire me.
Emma from Bloomsbury really did organise a great event and even though it was my first I think it was a great success… nothing would stop me from travelling all that way again. The chance to speak to Mary was brilliant, the goody bag was like Christmas come early and those cupcakes I had my eye on? Mmmmmmmm. Thank you for everything Emma! 
PS. The bookcase picture there? Yeah, I’m a Harry Potter nerd, and that’s an awesome collection of Potters right there! I wanted to take those home with me! 
  • So cool!! Thank you for sharing your adventures, even if the rest of us are now drooling with jealousy!! Aren’t blogger friends the coolest?!

  • It sounds like you had a fantastic time!! I’d love to go to one of those events at some point.

  • Mel

    Wow – sounds like such a fun event! I’ve not read any Mary Hooper but I was lucky enough to win one of the sets of her historical books from her recent blog tour and they turned up today. I’m so excited to try these books!

    And I agree – Red Velvet cupcakes are the best! 😉

  • That seems so fun! CUPCAKES!!! Yay ^^
    We’ve had Mary at our school a few times. She’s really nice, isn’t she. Seems like she told you what she told us too. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • I wish I could have been there 😀