Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Foyles Summer Scream Event

Last Saturday I attended the Foyles Summer Scream Event. When I first heard about it, I really wanted to go but most of my family were at work so I couldn’t go. Then literally the day before my grandparents offered to take me to London and I jumped at the chance. As I live in Norfolk, I don’t get to attend many signings as they are mostly in the big cities so the chance to meet seven authors at one event was a fantastic opportunity. I was so excited, I’d packed all my books up and had money ready to buy the books I didn’t have. I also couldn’t wait to meet the authors who I had been talking to online. It was also fabulous to meet fellow book bloggers. To sum it all up the whole event was awesome!

I went to Foyles about an hour early and wondered around the shop which was huge! I’d never been there before and there were so many books! I could have gotten lost in there! Half an hour before the event, I went to the Gallery. This is where the event was taking place and after being ticked off the list I went inside. So the room was huge and full of chairs. Each chair had a pile of swag on it. In front were the mini stage and the chairs the authors would sit on for the panel and then to the left were the signing tables. I sat there awkwardly on my own as I didn’t know any other bloggers in person. This lovely girl called Rachel came and sat next to me and we talked all about books and other things. She was awesome! We kept talking until the first panel began.

The event was separated into two panels and afterwards a signing. Each panel had an hour and a half talking to us and answering our questions. After that they signed our books and we got to speak to each author one to one.

L-R: Michelle Harrison, Zoe Marriott, Karen Mahoney, L. A. Mahoney.

The first panel consisted of L. A. Weatherly (Author of Angel and Angel Fire), Karen Mahoney (Author of The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen), Zoe Marriot (Author of The Swan Kingdom, Daughter of the Flames, Shadows on the Moon and Frost Fire) and Michelle Harrison (Author of The Thirteen Treasures series and Unrest). Each Author gave us a reading from one of their books. From Lee we heard an extract from Angel Fire. From Karen we got a brilliant extract from her upcoming book Falling to Ash. Zoe who came unprepared for a reading, read from Frostfire. Despite not being prepared her extract was awesome! Then from Michelle we got a reading from her new book Unrest.

All the Swag!

Then each author told us how they began to write and their publishing journey. From Lee we heard she’d written many children books and I mean lots! The idea for Angel came to her when she had many contracts on the go and didn’t have to time to write it. But like the others authors at the event she said you remember the good ideas, they don’t disappear so easily. Angel was her first novel for young adults.

Karen told us that she’d always wanted to write but found it hard to finish her stories. She ended up giving up on writing for a few years. She then wrote The Iron Witch for NaNoWriMo and that ended up being her first published novel and now she has all the motivation she needs!

Zoe was very bubbly and enthusiastic. She was very entertaining and had us laughing out loud many times. She told us how she also struggled to finish stories and after many rejections she managed to get her novel published. She told us about her first encounter with the Walker publishers and how she babbled for forty minutes making sure that they got her and her story. Walker did indeed publish her book and all of her other books so far.

Michelle told us how she’d always written horror short stories. But it was the story about a girl who saw fairies that she ended up writing first. She went back to writing Horror in her newest book Unrest and from the extract she read it does sound creepy!

After that the audience asked the authors questions and we found out quite a lot but the only thing that comes to mind now is that how many times the authors characters changed from Male to Female and back again.

Signed books!

Then we all shuffled over to the Signing tables. I went to L. A. Weatherly first and got my books signed. She told me that my copy of Angel looked well read and I said both my mother and I loved it and couldn’t wait for book three. I then joined the huge queue to see Zoe Marriott. It took a while as she had four books from each person to sign but it was worth the wait. She was so bubbly and her happiness was infectious! She was amazing! I bought copies of all her books as they all sound brilliant. I then moved to see Karen Mahoney. I’d spoken to her on twitter a couple of times so I introduced myself and she hugged me! Eek! It was so awesome! I managed to get a photo with her and she asked me about my writing so I told her more about it. She said I sounded really dedicated and said good luck. Just excuse me while I beam with happiness! One of my favourite authors just hugged me and we chatted! It was amazing!

Karen Mahoney and I

Ok, I will try to sound more serious again but in a moment there will be more freaking out! I didn’t get any books signed by Michelle Harrison as I already had a signed copy of Unrest.

Now from twitter I found out that the amazing James Dawson (Author of Hollow Pike) was going to be there watching. I asked him on twitter if he would mind if I bought my copies of Hollow Pike to be signed and he said that should be fine. I went up to him and he knew who I was! I must have blushed like crazy. I loved Hollow Pike and now I was meeting James Dawson and getting my copies signed. He signed my books and I got a photo with him. He called me his super fan! I think this was the best part of the whole event. It still makes me giddy thinking out it!

Myself and James Dawson

There was a gap in-between the two panels where I spoke to more bloggers. Quite a few people left between the two panels so there were significantly less people for the second. Then the second panel arrived. That panel consisted of Ruth Warburton (Author of A With in Love and A Witch in Winter), Laura Powell (Author of Burn Mark) and Thomas Taylor (Author of Haunters).

Each of them read an extract from their first book and spoke about their writing. From Thomas we learnt that as a child he was very scared of ghost and he began to think about ghost a lot and the idea for Haunters sprang from these thoughts. It really did sound interesting and very complicated but I can’t wait to read Haunters. Laura Powell told us about her novel and how she had to change certain aspects of witchcraft to fit into the modern world. Ruth Warburton told us about her writing journey and inspiration. Questions were asked again and many times we laughed out loud. The atmosphere was great.

We then moved over to the signing tables. I went to Laura Powell first and got her to sign my copy of Burn Mark. She was lovely and had some very interesting views on witchcraft. I then bought Haunters and got that signed by Thomas Taylor. Only now did I realise that he illustrated the first Harry Potter book. Anyway, he was lovely and his book does sound very unique. I then went to Ruth Warburton and I spent time talking to her about the covers of her books and asked if A Witch Alone would have the same cover model and she said yes. I even received a bookmark which had the cover on the back and it’s gorgeous! My favourite one yet!

More Signed books!

  After this I said goodbye to people and then left. I had two Foyles bags full of books and my backpack was also filled to the top. It was a brilliant day and I will definitely attend the next one whenever that is. It was amazing meeting all the authors and getting books signed, It was great and I would love to do it all again! There were a few dilemmas on the journey home but apart from that I freaking loved it! I still think about it days later and I will never forget it!

I would like to thank Foyle’s for hosting the brilliant event and also the authors who all turned out and were so lovely to us readers. Thank you readers for sticking around and reading this! I really recommend going to the event when it’s on again!


  1. Hi Annabelle

    It was fun to meet you, and I'm glad you like the sound of Haunters. I hope you enjoy reading it too.

    A great blog post about a fab event.

    Best wishes


  2. I'm really happy for you and also a little jealous ;) I would have loved to go to this event! I live in Switzerland and actually checked the flights when I heard about it on Karen Mahoney's blog, but because of the Olympics it was just too expensive :(
    I love the Foyles store! It's my favorite - the first time when I came in there on a visit to London a couple years back, I thought I was in heaven. I returned every summer(except this one) and spent way too much money :P
    Thanks for your description/summary of the panels! Now I feel like I could at least 'be there' vicariously in a way. I really wished they would hold this kind of events closer to where I live... *sigh* It would be awesome to meet authors and fellow bloggers in real life!
    Again, congrats on the signed books, swag & awesome memories :)

  3. A great write up of an amazing event. Sorry I didn't say hi but I didn't realise you were there. Will definitely look out for you at the next one! :)


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