As some of you know, today I attended my first ever book festival! The Northern YA Literary Festival, Supernatural and Fantastical YA event, which is a spin-off from their usual yearly YA book festival.
My sister and I were so insanely excited for this event (which started at 12pm) that we set off at 8am (with an hour drive ahead of us!)....yeah...so suffice it to say we were pretty early!!! 🤦😂
Luckily, we weren't the only early birds and it was so lovely to meet the amazing, sweet and friendly book bloggers that I've been getting to know online over the past few months, in person.
Lots of chats, laughs, and cups of coffee (well, hot chocolate on my part) later, the doors finally opened and in we went.
First up (and the reason for our supreme earliness) was a fantastic bag of NYALitFest swag which included; an NYALitFest tote bag (because you can never have enough book storage and clearly the 3 bags I took weren't enough) and pin, an ARC of Jinxed by Amy McCulloch from @hashtagreads (which I'm super excited to read) along with a bunch of other bookish swag - all pictured below!
There was also a bookish face painter at the event but I dropped the ball and forgot to get this done!
The other stalls at this event included Waterstones (who were selling the author's books who were speaking at the event), an NYA Merch Stall, where I picked up a pen, badge and COLOUR CHANGING MUG!! (It's the one on the left below...)
Also, muchos praise to the organisers for providing us with a snack stall - it was much needed and kudos to the staff who were super helpful i.e. the lovely people who swapped my slightly damaged mug and the lovely guy running the snack stall who understood my need for sustenance!
The event started with the 'Fantasy' panel which consisted of author's Melinda Salisbury (running the panel), Alexandra Christo, Sally Green and Taran Matharu.
The talk was fantastic, the authors were lovely, they gave great advice and insight. They were funny and took the time to answer questions from the audience.
After the panel (which lasted a little over an hour), the author's were available to sign copies of their books.
The authors were so lovely and, more than having my books signed, I really loved being able to just spend a few moments chatting to these wonderful authors. Melinda, who's book, The Sin Eater's Daughter, I'm a quarter of the way into, reminisced over the time she visited and had a boyfriend in my city and ate our local 'delicacy' (for want of a much better word) oatcakes. Sally, who's book, The Smoke Thieves, I absolutely loved and cannot wait for the second, took the time to chat about demons (which feature heavily in her book) and Tash (one of the characters from this book that I love. Taran, who I chatted with about just starting the first book in his Summoner series. After hearing him talk about how the book was inspired by Pokemon, I'm even more excited to keep reading!
Also, Alexandra Christo who I was so, so excited to meet since I loved To Kill a Kingdom so much! We chatted about how we'd already chatted on Twitter, and we both fangirled a little over the gorgeous artwork on her book. She's so incredibly sweet and bubbly and meeting her was such a pleasure.
Then onto the second panel which was all about the Supernatural. This was another really interesting, insightful, funny talk and since sadly Marcus Sedgwick (who's book, The Monsters We Deserve, I picked up from the event) couldn't attend, Sally Green stepped in to fill his spot alongside David Owen, Melvin Burgess, and A.J. Hart.
Again, the authors were available for signings afterwards and I was able to get my advance copy (only available at the event) of Melvin's new book The Lost Witch signed.
Here are the books I took with me or bought at the event and was able to get signed (click on any to head to Goodreads or my review):
Last, but certainly not least, there was a book exchange stall at the event. I took around 8 books with me to trade and here's what I came away with:
Those Disney re-tellings!! 😍😍😍
Overall, I had and absolutely wonderful day. I met some incredible people, bloggers, booktubers etc and the authors of course and I am definitely intending to attend the March NYALitFest next year!
Now, I'm off to bed since I've been up since 6:15am....which might be the reason why I've re-read this entire post with Sarah Millican's voice in my head...🤦
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
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5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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