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Author Talk in Manchester

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

My partner and I went to Manchester on Sunday to see Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera in conversation with Lucy The Book Belle. It was part of their promotional tour for their collaborative book, What If It's Us. I knew I wouldn't be able to go by myself, so I'd asked Lee to come with me. I booked our tickets way back in June; I booked a general ticket for Lee but for myself I got the one that came with a copy of the book and a poster.

Lee and I went across to Manchester on Sunday morning and then ate our lunch in the car just around the corner from the library. The library staff were really friendly and the event was packed - Lee and I estimated there were around 225 people there!

Lucy introduced Becky and Adam and then she asked them some questions. Their book is based around a 'meet cute' between two boys, Ben and Arthur, who meet in New York one day and then try to find each other again. They talked a lot about how they'd written a book together and a little bit about what they're working on next. They talked about fun things like what Hogwarts houses Ben and Arthur are in, and they talked about things they'd disagreed with their editors about. After Lucy had asked her questions they opened up the floor and I decided to ask a question. I asked "What book do you wish you'd written and, relatedly, how would you maybe change it?" It's a question I love to ask authors because it's something I think about a lot - I love books where I think "Yes, I would've written this, only I might have changed X". They both liked the question and gave really nice answers. Asking a question is way out of my comfort zone so Lee was proud that I had.

After the talk was a signing. The queue was ridiculous. We were about two thirds of the way down it and we still queued for an hour and twenty minutes. I wish the organisers had given out raffle tickets or numbers or something. I can't stand for that long due to my chronic pain issues, so I was glad to have Lee with me. There were seats so I kept sitting down, but this could have been done better I think.

Becky was exactly as lovely as I thought she would be, and I really warmed to Adam as I didn't know much about him before the event. I said I was grateful for his tweets about poverty and he thanked me and we agreed that we need more stories about poor kids. They both signed their book and then the others of theirs that I own - I assured Becky that I have read the Upside of Unrequited but it was on Kindle! I'm really glad we got to meet them. They both seem like such forces for good in the world and in the YA world in particular.

Afterwards Lee and I went to Revolucion de Cuba for tapas and cocktails, it was really nice! I'd definitely go back

Lucy and Becky and Adam from where I was sitting

Thank you to the kind person who took this!

These are all signed now :)

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