Thursday, 24 July 2014

EVENT REPORT: Rainbow Rowell Talk and Signing in London


This year the UK has gone crazy over Rainbow Rowell, author of books such as Attachments, Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, and her latest novel for adults, Landline. So I wasn't surprised - but very excited - when it was announced that Rainbow would be flying over from the US to do a UK tour, consisting of events in London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Birmingham.

The only event there was a slight chance of me attending was the one in London, but by the time I found out about it tickets had understandably already sold out. But then another date was added. July 15th. In the space of three seconds, a lot of things crossed my mind - my anxiety, money, travel, meeting such a famous author - but then I thought 'meh' and ordered three tickets for myself and my parents. I didn't ask them. I probably should have done. Instead, I quickly printed out the tickets and stuffed them behind a stack of books on the shelf in my room, not to be seen again until a week later when I casually dropped the fact into conversation that I'd bought the tickets.

The parents were very reluctant, but I'd already bought the tickets...what could they do? ;) Luckily they ended up having an enjoyable evening anyway.

The day arrived and I was a nervous wreck. I considered not going. I considered missing the talk and only attending the signing. I considered letting my mum go ahead and get the books signed on my behalf - which she had offered to do - as I waited at Stratford station, which is where we were as I started having a panic attack. I think it was because I was already really nervous, and it didn't help that the trains were packed and boiling hot.

Awesome.

Because of that, we had to let around 15 trains go by (at 2-minute intervals - 15 trains sounds like a lot but it really wasn't!) as I got myself together. That's also why I didn't vlog the day, which is what I'd planned to do. Then it took longer than expected to get to Waterstones when we were back on the tube because there were delays at Liverpool Street. So we walked, which was intimidating because...let's just say we were in the part of London where there are more posh suits than tourist backpacks...

Eventually we arrived at Piccadilly Waterstones having completely missed Rainbow's entire talk, so unfortunately I can't tell you what she talked about, but Stacey at The Pretty Books has gone into great detail about it so you can read about that here.

But now I'll tell you about what I didn't miss...



Now, this was my first time at Waterstones Piccadilly. I knew it was the largest bookshop in Europe but nothing can prepare you for the pure awesome of it. We chilled on the armchairs just outside of the event until the queue got a bit shorter because I still felt pretty out of it and I didn't feel up to facing so many people just yet. Instead, I bought the finished copy of Landline and the special edition of Fangirl, and ended up getting two free Fangirl tote bags too. Win!

There was also a table with refreshments and the event was just generally really well organised, although I know the staff are used to dealing with popular authors so I wasn't surprised!



Then we headed into the event area and joined the queue; we were last.


I recognised Charlotte from her Twitter profile and also thought I saw Georgia from The Bibliomaniac out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't do anything about it because I wasn't expecting her to be there. Later it turned out it was her and we were even wearing the same shirt! WUT? I was also meant to be meeting Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa but she couldn't make it. :(



The stage where Rainbow had been sat with Bim Adewunmi was still set up but unoccupied, and it was right next to the queue, so I decided to casually hop up onto the stage and sit in Rainbow's vacated chair. I SAT WHERE RAINBOW SAT. SOMEONE HOLD ME.


Then it was my turn and Rainbow signed all of my books even though there was a 4-book limit and I had 6, which was lovely. She didn't say much and I felt really awkward; Rainbow because she was understandably tired, and me because I was so incredibly nervous. She asked if there were any of her books which I hadn't read, and I said Attachments. She replied that it was the lighter of her books - the funniest - so I'm looking forward to it even more now! Then she said "I hope you enjoy it," and I said, "I'm sure I will," which made me want to die because I sounded so formal and forced and I SOUNDED LIKE SUCH AN IDIOT. Also, publicist Kat McKenna was next to the table but I didn't want to sound like a weirdo by saying hello when she wouldn't have recognised me.

I got my photo taken with Rainbow.



Click to enlarge.
Signed:

Fangirl (paperback)
Fangirl (hardback / special edition)
Eleanor and Park (paperback)
Landline (paperback / ARC)
Attachments (paperback)
Landline (hardback / not dedicated)


After the event we wandered around the city for a while, watched some buskers in Piccadilly Circus, and ended up in Leicester Square. It's like that place has this weird magnetic pull on me because whenever I'm in London I always end up there, even if it's not in the original plan. We then headed to a pretty little restaurant but ended up leaving after half an hour without having ordered any food because the waiter seemed to have forgotten us... so off we went to Pizza Hut instead. I didn't order anything myself, and all I ate that day was two packets of crisps. Anxiety really messes with my eating habits sometimes.




As we were waiting for the tube home, I saw a mouse on the platform. I've been to London a million times but I've only ever seen mice on the tracks. I resisted the urge to run away and instead backed away slowly... and in doing so, I discovered this poster. I fangirled.


If you were paying attention earlier on in the post, you'll know I bought a hardback copy of Rainbow's latest book Landline, but I asked her not to dedicate it. That's because I bought it for...you! This is an international giveaway.

Good luck!


Thanks to Rainbow, the publishers, and Waterstones Piccadilly for hosting such an awesome event!



79 comments:

  1. This is awesome Amber! You are so lucky to have met her in person! Hopefully she'll come here in the Philippines! Great post! :D

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    1. Thank you! Keeping my fingers crossed for you that she goes to the Philippines ^-^

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  2. Fantastic post Amber!! I'm glad that despite the panic attack you managed to get everything under control, went there and got the books signed!! You brave lady, you!

    What I love the most about Rainbow's books? I cannot explain how her writing is compelling and how her characters simply feel so alive, so real!! All the books by her I've read, I've loved!

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this, I'm so glad you got to meet Rainbow!

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  4. I love her very chatty style of writing and how she makes you care about her characters
    Gill x

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    1. Her writing is definitely chatty ^-^ Good luck!

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  5. I want that tote bag! It looks so awesome! And really lovely photos. I hope Rainbow visits PH soon. I love her books so much, I can't even choose which one I love the most. They're all so amazing! :)

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  6. AMBER I'M BAWLING I WROTE THE MOST TACO COMMENT EVER AND THEN IT DISAPPEARED Y WOULD U DO THIS TO ME BLOGGER.
    *composes self*
    omg i'm a piece of music.
    *poker face*
    ALL HAIL THE PINK EDITION OF FANGIRL I NEED I WANT WHERE IS MINE
    And I approve of that stack of books photo, I see you have been taking tips from the genius that is me.
    Rainbow<3
    Rainbow<3
    Rainbow<3
    Why do I like her books you ask? Well if anyone looks at our old messages THEY WOULD KNOW and basically I'm too lazy to type a *good* answer so why do I love her books? BECAUSE.
    Yes, that is my answer. Rainbow is QUEEN, her books are like her jewels: aka. pErFeCt.

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  7. I have not read any of the rainbow books yet but would love to

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    1. You should give them a go! Fangirl is a good place to start, I think :)

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  8. You're so lucky Amber!! I've only read 100 pages of Fangirl and I'm already in love with Rainbow <3 :)

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  9. I'm SO jealous that you got to meet Rainbow! What I love most about her books is that she can create such cute, swoon-worthy romances without it getting cheesy and boring. Rainbow keeps the reader interested, eager to find out what happens next.

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    1. I completely agree. They're never cheesy, just... real. Good luck! :)

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  10. You're so lucky!! I'd love to meet her someday but think I would be super nervous! I've never met an author before. I haven't read her books yet but have Fangirl and Eleanor & Park. My daughter did read Fangirl and adored it. My favorite part of your post is this quote: "I SAT WHERE RAINBOW SAT. SOMEONE HOLD ME." I love that!!

    Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl

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    1. Haha, hopefully you'll be able to meet her one day! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  11. I tried to comment but I'm not sure if it went through, so sorry if I double-post! I said well done to you for facing your fear! And also that I spotted Cassandra Clare's name on that noticeboard too, so I can guarantee if I lived anywhere near a store with that many great author signings I'd pitch a tent and never leave!

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    1. Aw thank you! Haha me too, Piccadilly gets all the good authors! So jealous of everyone who lives close enough to attend most of the events.

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  12. I personally enjoy the fact that she can encapsulate a specific time period so well in her books. I may not always enjoy every aspect of her book, but I always love picking them up to see what era she has brought to life again.

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  13. Rainbow is perfection. She's my auto-read author and I spread the Rainbow virus to my friends as often as I could. She writes the things I always can relate to even if it seems impossible. SHE'S BRILLIANT!!! Ahhhhhhh I love all the pictures you included!!!! So good for visualizing. Hahaha. I'm so jealous!!! And I'd love to win that Hardback. Would be a first. Meow. Thank you Amber, you're lovely as always. ❤❤

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    1. Aww thank you! Well done for spreading the Rainbow virus haha. Good luck, and meow to you too! :D

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  14. I'm new to her books. Lots of catching up to do.

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    1. Hopefully you'll enjoy her books when you get round to them!

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  15. I love this post!! So happy for you that you got to go to the event and meet her despite your anxiety! <3 <3 I love the pictures on this post as well! What I love about Rainbow Rowell's books is her quirky characters and her writing style :) :)

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  16. Lovely post! Glad that you finally got to meet Rainbow and fantastic Giveaway!

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  17. SO EXCITED!! XD Thanks for the giveaway, Amber!!

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  18. Love her writing style and no matter what mood I am in she. Can pick me up! Thanks for a great giveaway!

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  19. I'm glad you had a good time. I feel ya about the anxiety thing. Sarah Maas is touring next month and I'm already having anxious thoughts about that but I can't miss it!! I can't wait for landline. Rainbow is such a cutie!! Thanks for being international as well. Your awesome sauce

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    1. The Sarah Maas event sounds fun and I'm sure you'll have an awesome time. You can do it! :)

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  20. Great giveaway! I would love to win this one and I'm glad I've discovered your blog! I love the way Rainbow Rowell writes!

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  21. I'm so ashamed of myself because I don't own a Rainbow Rowell book because I'm a bankrupt fangirl her books aren't cheap and I don't have an allowance and I only get money when it's either my birthday or Christmas but I really do want one because her books just look so appealing and I can so relate to her books even though I just read the synopis I love that she can relate to the generation now and that's what I love about her books

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  22. Fantastic write-up, Amber!

    I'm really glad that you made it to the event and had such a good time whilst in London! Whilst reading, I found myself getting quite jealous about the fact you got to sit in Rainbow's chair! You look pretty comfortable, there! ;)

    I never know what to say at signings; it's always awkward for me too!

    -Sophie :)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who turns into a big awkward lump who's unable to speak. Seriously I nearly died ¬_¬

      Thanks for commenting! ^_^

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  23. I like that the characters are flawed and plausible :)

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    1. Well said. I always struggle to describe her characters but you've summed it up perfectly :) Good luck!

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  24. OMG! I love everything on your post! I'm excited to meet Rainbow too, maybe next year. I love the photos and your books (you have lovely covers there)! <3
    I also understand you on meeting the author face-to-face. I've met several authors but it was always awkward because I can't think of anything witty to say (nice is so common)! Early this year when I met Veronica, she was the one who entertained me! I was just standing there, giggling and saying incoherent stuff. She was really cool but I feel like I should be the one making her feel welcome in our country. LOL

    I have only read Eleanor and Park but I love it so much. I'm also really looking forward in reading Fangirl because I can relate to it and Attachments (already have a copy) because it sounds fun.

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    1. Aw thank you! At least you were giggling and saying incoherent stuff, I was pretty much silent ;) Good luck!

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  25. I love how she writes cutesy romance. Rainbow knows how to give flaws on her characters and how they will be developed throughout the book.

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  26. I've heard so many great things about Rainbow, but haven't read any of her books yet. She's so friendly and funny on Twitter, that I have very high expectations for her writing. I wanted to go to the signing in Birmingham, but it's now sold out - so winning this would make up for that! :) x

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    1. Aw that sucks! I don't know if you'll see this but I think you can turn up after the talk part of the event and go in without a ticket? That's what I ended up doing even though I'd purchased tickets! Might be worth a try :)

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  27. I don't know!! That is why I would love to win this book. I followed her on Twitter about a month ago for another giveaway and I love her tweets, so I am figuring I will love the spirit of her books. I am happy you got to meet her. Thank-you for the fab giveaway. :)

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  28. I didn't read anything by Rainbow Rowell yet. She's been on my radar for wuite a long time but only a couple of days ago I bought her novel Eleanor&Park and really looking forward to reading it!

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  29. I've only read Fangirl and I thought it was epic, she just understands romance. I don't know which book I want to read next by her but I think I'll read Eleanor and Park.

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    1. Eleanor and Park is frustratingly good - you'll know what I mean when you've read it ;) Good luck!

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  30. Eleanor and Park turned me into a fan of Rainbow Rowell and I am excited to read more of her books. OMG she is awesome and I am jealous. I have never actually been to a signing because I can never make them, but there is still hope for me yet ;)

    Chloe

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  31. I loved Fangirl and these pictures are awesome! Such a great giveaway :D

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  32. So great that you managed to meet Rainbow! :) My favorite part of her books are the romance sections and how sweet everything ends up to be :D

    (sorry if i posted twice - my pc was hanging so I wasn't sure)

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  33. I love Rainbow Rowell! Fangirl is one of my favourite books... I hope I win this! :D

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  34. I think my favorite part of Rowell's books is how she portrays the characters...there's sweet romance, but it's realistic at the same time.

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  35. i've love the way she writes. So realistic and cute. My favourite is Eleanor & Park.

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  36. I love that she writes awesome characters but they still have their own weaknesses and strengths. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

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  37. What i love about Rainbow's books is that they are a co op

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  38. So far,I haven't read any book from Rainbow Rowell,but I heard wonderful things about her books and saw and read great reviews!
    Looking forward to read :)
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  39. Oh god I went to a book signing last year with Cassandra Clare/Jamie Campbell Bower and Sarah Rees Brennan and I just froze up as soon as I got to the signing table! I barely got a word out! So don't worry you're not the only one haha. So jealous you got to meet Rainbow though. I'm dying to meet her (though I probably would freeze up again!) x

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  40. Her writing style is amazing! :)

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  41. I love her writing style and her books are sooo romantic! Thank you very much for the chance to win one of her books and making it an international giveaway :)

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  42. I love that they flow so well, I never want to put one down!

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  43. i love the romance and the humor!
    They are fantastic!

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  44. I love how her books are always filled with really relatable and beautiful characters. I TOTALLY understood Cath. She was amazing. :)

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  45. What I love the most about her books are the way she portrays her characters - they aren't the perfect people, they have flaws and imperfections. They're real and we can relate to them. Also, her writing is amazing. :)
    Thanks for a giveaway! :)

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  46. It's fun to read and I can relate to her characters.

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  47. Her books are still on my TBR pile so I don't yet but I want to read them all as they sound amazing! :)

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Feel free to leave me a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can! :)