October 7th: the day I met Jennifer Donnelly!

Ok so on Friday 7th October (how did that happen by the way… October? Already?!) the lovely people at Silverdell Bookshop and Lancashire Libraries hosted an evening with Jennifer Donnelly to celebrate the release of Revolution. I was meant to be going to the Leeds Blogger event to meet Jennifer but couldn’t afford the train ticket so had to pull out so I was very happy when I found out about this!
The event was held in the old part of Preston city hall so obviously it was a beautiful room, and it was a pretty decent turn out I reckon! My boyfriend came with me, so I wouldn’t be alone, and we both fully expected him to sit there playing on his phone and not take much notice, but then Jennifer turned up, and she started talking; Tony’s phone didn’t appear once!!
Jennifer started by telling us about her mother, who used to tell her stories at bedtime about her life in Germany during the Second World War. It was fascinating to hear that Jennifer picked up her mother’s passion for storytelling and picked up on the history aspects of storytelling through this. The stories that her mother used to tell sounded scary and not quite childlike but I think it probably helped Jennifer develop the courage that she needed later in life to face the hurdles that life throws at you! I think it definitely helped her imagination!
Jennifer went through the history of Revolution and all the things that made her wan to write the book in the first place. I was really surprised to learn that the heart in the urn was actually real, I didnt know that until this event and thought it was just part of the story for Revolution. I was also surprised to learn that Jennifer first saw the new piece which led to the birth of Revolution around ten years ago! I can’t imagine what it would be like to know something I had done took that long in the making. I loved how much Jennifer really put across her love for history and her experience of writing Revolution. Her anecdotes of the visit to Paris to research for Revolution were hilarious as well as inspiring!
After the talk Jennifer answered any questions the audience had, from tips to anyone who wants to be a writer (write, and do lots of it!) to how the characters came about (they turned up in her mind in what sounded very spiritual and beautiful, I wish some characters would wander into my mind!). I asked about a soundtrack to Revolution and she told me that she listened to a lot of the bands that Andie listened too which made me happy cos Andie had awesome music taste! I was shocked to find after the Q&A session that I was, up til then, the only person at any event to ask about music! Its such a huge part of Revolution!!
After the Q&A Jennifer signed books for people and thanked me for my review of Revolution (Emma from Bloomsbury had shown her it) and spoke to me a little about my blog and things. Then I stood and talked to Emma for a while when everyone was getting their books signed which was lots of fun, she’s very lovely! I was also introduced to Elaine from Silverdell Bookshop, which was great because they have lots of events on in Preston so hopefully I’ll be seeing her quite a bit! Then Jennifer finished signing books and I got a couple of pictures in!
It was a great talk and it was awesome to meet Jennifer, she’s so lovely and it really was inspirational to hear about how she works and all the research that goes into her work. She was such a great public speaker; it was easy to see how her writing comes out so brilliantly when you see how passionate she is about her work


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