A few Saturdays ago, I was lucky enough to attend the RHCP Blogger’s Brunch in London. While it meant getting up before 8, on a Saturday too – the horror!, I was really excited about getting to meet the lovely people at Random House and seeing a lot of my blogger friends again, even meeting a few for the first time.
So one early Saturday morning, I somehow got myself over to Pimlico tube station where I met up with Clover (Fluttering Butterflies), Carly (Writing from the Tub) two bloggers I’d chatted a lot to on twitter as well as Raimy (Readaraptor). I also got to meet and see even more of my blogging friends like Kirsty (Overflowing Library), Viv (Serendipity Reviews), Sarah (Feeling Fictional) and Sammee (I Want To Read That) and Jesse (Books 4 Teens). I also finally got to meet Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts) and after months of chatting, I was so nervous as Faye was probably the first book blogger I ever made friends with! Everyone was lovely though and events like this are great as they remind me the world is full of fellow book lovers and book geeks like me!
So after a quick chat and everyone arrived we headed over to Random House HQ ready for an exciting morning of books!
The theme of the brunch was Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and there were delicious homemade red velvet cupcakes (my weakness, well one of many), jam tarts, donuts as well as pink lemonade, fruit juice and hot drinks. They also had cafetiere coffee, which as a complete coffee snob and addict, may have resulted in me proclaiming my love to the lovely people at Random House.
Firstly we had a presentation from the children’s team about the upcoming titles in the next twelve months or so. There are some amazing books coming up and a really versatile mix of genres and styles too! Some of the books mentioned I wanted to talk about are:
Red Rain by R L Stine
This is being pitched for adults but is perfectly suitable for the higher end of YA. As Goosebumps was a huge series when I was growing up and this sounds delightfully spooky. It’s set after a hurricane when two supposedly angelic boys, who sound anything but, are orphaned and taken in by a travel writer. As you can probably guess, it all will go wrong from there. We heard a little extract from it and it does sound brilliant so do keep your eyes peeled for that.
Crusher by Niall Leonard
At the time they told us he had a super famous wife, but they couldn’t say who. It has since been revealed she is E L James of Fifty Shades Of Grey. However, before you groan and say no to this book, I have to say it sounds amazing. I like crime/ thrillers and this is one for the YA crowd set in London and everyone on the team said it’s fantastic! Niall Leonard has written for several TV shows, including Wire In the Blood which I loved, so I am very hopeful about this book!
Boys Don’t Cry 2 by Malorie Blackman – no cover yet!
We won’t get it until 2013, but Malorie Blackman – one of the most eminent writers of UKYA and an author of my childhood – has written a sequel to her previous fantastic novel, Boys Don’t Cry about two brothers. One of the brothers is gay and ends up being attacked in a hate crime, while the other suddenly is left caring for his baby he didn’t even know existed. I loved this book and so I am desperate to read the sequel when it’s available.
We also had a talk from the design department about what goes into making a book cover which was really interesting. I loved seeing all the alternate covers they had to choose from.
We then had another break, where somehow I ended up tempted into eating another yummy cupcake, and then the team over at Vintage Classics came to talk to us about their new Children’s Classics. There’s a great range of classics and modern novels on their list and they’ve taken a lot of time and effort into making these books come even more to life; for example some have quizzes at the end, maps of the worlds and all sorts of extra goodies.
Then the lovely Laura Dockrill came to see us. Her new Darcy Burdock series for 8-12 year olds is out next year and she did a reading from it. It is honestly hilarious and everyone was in stitches. Laura has a background in performance poetry and I would love her to do the audio reading of the book as she’s fab. I know she’s planning on going round schools when the book is published and I think everyone will love her.
We then were given fabulous goody bags including proofs of The Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (think YA Time Traveller’s Wife), Muddle and Win by John Dickinson (a hilarious sounding inner battle between good and evil), Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (about the Cambodia killing fields and a book I am really interesting in reading, though will probably cry in). We also got a finished copy of Now Is Good, which is Jenny Downham’s debut novel Before I Die repackaged ready for the film release in September. We were shown a trailer and it looks great! Plus some of the staff have already seen it and said it was brilliant and they cried. We also received a copy of Alice In Wonderland from the Vintage Children’s Classics range and lots of bookmarks, postcards and swag!
After the brunch most of us reconvened in the nearest pub and spent ages chatting and having lunch. All in all, it was well worth getting up at seven for! A big thanks to the team over at RHCP who gave up their Saturday morning lie-ins as well and put on a fabulous brunch.