Yesterday, on the 23rd of June 2018, it was time for the first ever YA Day in Boekhandel Donner in Rotterdam. This event was all about celebrating English YA, hence why my event recap is in English.
Until the last minute, I was doubting whether to go or not. OK, I was planning to, but I was not sure on how and when. I knew that there were three Skype interviews planned with authors, but the time gaps between those were big.
I intended to go to the interview with Mackenzi Lee since I was reading her book. However, that interview was in the late afternoon and I DNF’ed the book for now. I started reading The Art Of Being Normal, so I decided very last minute to go to the interview with Lisa Williamson. In fact, that was at 10:30AM and I decided to go at 8:30AM. I haven’t gotten ready so fast ever in my entire life and within an hour of getting out of bed I was en route to Rotterdam. Just to arrive when they just called Lisa. Mission accomplished. Luckily The Hague is quite close and my train and metro had no delay.
Unfortunately I can’t recap the entire interview because A) I was a little sleep deprived and B) Lisa talked a lot. A real lot. She answered each question extendedly and I honestly think this was great. However, I can’t remember everything. I asked her if one of her characters would be put in another book, who it would be and in what book. She found that a really difficult question, because she was not sure. She would love them to be set in a book they don’t fit into and she would love to see how they would manage. Furthermore, she told us that she is a real contemporary writer, but would like to write some historical fiction one day. She also mentioned two recent projects she has been working on – one which is only available in the UK and Floored (out on July 12)- and she gave some writing advice. But honestly I can’t remember that. Same for the story behind her second novel All About Mia. The interview nearly took one hour and this is not all Lisa talked about. I’m sorry I can’t recap that.
After, it was time to buy books and fetch a goodiebag. you got one goodiebag whenever you bought English books. I got someone Glass Sword and took a lot of free bookmarks with me. There happened to be “blind date books”, but these were all gone within several minutes. There happened to be people waiting in front of the store before it was even open! However, the goodiebags gone rapidly too. Within 2.5 hours, they were all dispatched.
It wasn’t until 3PM till the next Skype session, with Julie Murphy. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I decided to stay. Unfortunately, the wait was long and there were no extra activities to do in the meantime. Except shopping, eating candy, lunch, doing some more shopping, eating some more candy and chat with other people. In fact, I ended up losing the people I know and hung out with some complete strangers. We all didn’t know each other and all of a sudden we sat down for lunch and we still didn’t know each others names haha. In the end, we all hun out for the rest of the day. Later on, someone I knew – and fetched a book and goodiebag for – joined us. But I think this is the coolest about bookish events.
When it was time for the Skype session with Julie Murphy, I really didn’t know what to expect. As stated before, I’m unfamiliar with her books. However, the interview was nice too. She also shared the stories behind her books and some writing tips, but I’m not able to recap this as well. I’m so incredibly sorry. However, I will be reading Dumplin’ ASAP. After this interview I went home because the session with Mackenzi Lee wouldn’t be starting for another hour.
I really enjoyed this event, but somehow I missed some extra activities e.g. workshops. I understand that it’s hard to organise this since the store is also undergoing renovations and you of course need extra staff present for these activities. I also understand the huge time gap between the interviews, but for me it really made it hard to decide if and when to go. However, I absolutely would go again if this event is getting a next edition. It is, in fact, the only Dutch event around English YA. The bookstore has a really big YA section, including an extended English one. I absolutely didn’t regret going and I’m really looking forward for a next one!