Then the event started. Barry Cunningham, the Managing Director, gave a talk about how Chicken House started, and how far they've come as a company, with the novels and the authors they've published. He also mentioned that two of their novels, Flyaway by Lucy Christopher, and The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh have been shorlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2010. Then several authors were invited to come up.
First up was Cornelia Funke. who spoke to us about her experiences with Chicken House, and about her new novel, Reckless, which will be released on 14th September. She also read out an excerpt from the first chapter, and it sounds really good!
Next up was authors Rachel Ward (Numbers) and Lucy Christopher (Stolen, Flyaway), who both spoke in turn about why they write teen fiction, what they love about it, and their publishing experiences with Chicken House.
Then up came Di Toft (Wolven), who did the same, but also spoke about how Wolven is supposed to be funny as well as scary, and how she was inspired by Steven King. She also spoke to us about Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound, and a book who's name I can't remember for the life of me, nor find online anywhere (sorry!), but I believe it's by Ross Mackenzie. It sounded good though! About magic and dreams! Both authors were also in attendance.
(ETA: Ross Mackenzie commented, and his book is called Zac and the Dream Pirates, released in August)
We then had Sophia Bennett (Threads), who talked about her experience of winning the The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction competition, as well as that of previous winners Pat Walsh (The Crowfield Curse) and Emily Diamond (Flood Child).
Finally came Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (Tunnels series), to talk about their Chicken House experience. It was great to hear how they originally tried to self-publish before receiving a call from Barry. There was also news about Tunnels being optioned for a movie! Apparently there will be more news on this next week on Chicken House's website.
Then Barry came back to the mic to end the event. It was a pretty good event, and it was great to hear about so many books! Barry mentioned several other books during his speeches, and there were so many novels mentioned throughout the whole event that I want to read! Chicken House is publishing some brilliant sounding books this year, and I can't wait to read them!
And, just as I was on my way out, who did I happen to bump into? Jenny of Wondrous Reads! Neither of us knew the other was going to be there, but it was great to meet her! Unfortunately, I had to get going, so I wasn't able to speak to her for very long, but I saw someone I knew in the end!
Here are some of the books Chicken House will be releasing this year, either by authors who spoke, or were mentioned by others:
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh - Jan 2010
Flyaway by Lucy Christopher - Jan 2010
Pretty Bad Things - March 2010
Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound - March 2010
Threads: Boys, Beads & Bangles by Sophia Bennett 2010
Closer (The Tunnels Series Book 4) by Roderick Gordon and Brian Willams - May 2010
Wolven - The Twilight Circus - May 2010
Numbers 2: The Chaos by Rachel Ward - June 2010
Flood & Fire by Emily Diamond - August 2010
How awesome are all those covers?! I love them!