Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Event Report: Headline Meets Online

Phew, I've been home a couple of hours now since the event, and my back is hurting! Why? Well, I was carrying home a big canvas goodie bag home full of books (and I had been bending over boxes earlier today when helping my Nan pack for her move). It was heavy! Sorry for the lack of many photos in this post, I didn't take a camera. The photos you do see I took when I got home.

I had such a great time at the Headline Meets Online event! I met a fair amount of bloggers today that I know online, and it was great to finally put faces to names! It was great to see Sophie (So Many Books, So Little Time), Becky (The Bookette), Jenny (Wondrous Reads - who I have met briefly before), Carla (The Crooked Shelf), Sammee (I Want to Read That), Liz (My Favourite Books), and Carolyn (Book Chick City). I met two new-to-me bloggers too; Ros (Warpcore SF), and Rhys from Thirst for Fiction.

The event started off with some mingling, and I met some of the Headline staff; Sam, Maura, Kasi, Helena, and Caitlin. I think there may have been a few others there, but there were SO many people, I'm not sure. They were all very lovely ladies, and did such a great job of putting on a great event. Kasi gave out the canvas goodie bags, which have some nice things (spec fic catalogue, Little Black Dress series nail files, pencil and lolly, Carole Matthews bookmarks, Laurell K. Hamillton backlist flyer, and I am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells Chapter 1 sampler), and said we could fill them with whatever books we wanted. As I said at the beginning, my bag was heavy! Keep an eye out for this week's IMM post ;)

After the mingling, it was time for the presentation, which was a film of some of the books Headline will be publishing this year. Several times I was watching and thought "Oooh!" but I seem to have forgotten most of them (my memory seems to be awful!), but the one I do remember and absolutely need to read is Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw. I really want it! It sounds so good! Sophie and I were sitting right at the back, and I had trouble seeing the screen at times because of the people in front, and I went and spilled have my water over me when I moved. Brilliant, huh?

Then it was back to mingling, eating (mini eggs!), and meeting some authors as they were then brought in. Becky, Sammee and I had a great little chat with Alex Bell - author of Lex Trent Versus the Gods. She's really cool! She told us about why she went into YA (adult comic fantasy isn't selling as well, apparently, and she really wanted to write a comic fantasy), she didn't have to change her writing style for YA, and about her involvement with the cover. Very cool lady.

And then it was time for the quiz! It was pretty much a pub quiz on bookish things. When we all arrived and got our name tags, we had little coloured shapes on them, which indicated what team we were in. I was in the Hexagon team along with Liz, Sammee, Rhys, Kasi, and Dan Wells. Kasi told us that the award we were playing for was delivered yesterday, and they found it was broken when they opened it, so they had to call up and get another one ready for today. There were six rounds.

Round 1 - Sci-fi/Fantasy
Round 2 - Chick Lit
Round 3 - Crime Fiction
Round 4 - Horror
Round 5 - YA
Round 6 - Picture Round (name the characters in the photos of book-to-movie adaptations)

Guess what? Team Hexagon won with 26 points! Oh, it was so cool! Dan Wells was such a cool guy, he was funny throughout, and when we won, he didn't think it was fair that only one person would take the award (Liz's photo!), so asked if the broken one was still about, and could we each take a frgament - or he would break the one we had one. So we all got a piece! It made me think of the end of Mean Girls when Lindsey Lohan breaks the home-coming queen crown for people, haha! So here is my winning piece:

headline quiz award piece
Click image for a larger view.

Cool, huh? Sorry about the flash and the blur, it says "Headline Quiz 2010". And then Dan Wells signed a few books! I already had a copy of Mr Monster, but I grabbed another one to get signed as I didn't bring any books with me. Dan also gave out business cards to those he signed for, so we could email him once we've read Mr Monster to let him know what we thought. I said I will do, but would have to get I am Not a Serial Killer first. Maura overheard, and managed to get me and several other people a copy! So Dan signed that for me too. Photos:

signed I am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

signed Mr Monster by Dan Wells
Click images for larger views.

The first says "May you have many horrible nightmares," and the second says "I apologize in advance for the cat." What cool people are those at Headline and Dan? Awesome!

I had another mishap! Sophie asked me to hold her drink while she got her copy of Mr Monster signed... and I kind of dropped it. Water and glass all over the floor. I swear, I am a right muppet! I was so embarrased, and apologised a fair few times, but they wouldn't let me help clean up, I think it was a health and safety thing. Good job, Jo! So sorry for losing your drink, Sophie!

And then it was down to the pub! I sat at a table with Carla, Jenny and Carolyn, and there were others on another table, and people standing up. Dan came and spoke to us for a while before he had to leave about cultural difference (the tube/underground as opposed to the subway, and why we have no clocks in our shops), and Sam had a chat with me about getting into publishing, which was lovely of her! And then it was time for me to leave. I had SUCH an awesome night, so thanks to those at Headline, the authors, and the bloggers I met. You're all just so cool!

If that wasn't great enough, guess who was on the platform when I got to Great Portland Street? Only Joel Beckett, who played Jake Moon in Eastenders. I didn't speak to him, but I was thinking "Ooh, I know you, you were in Eastenders!" It was a really awesome night!


  1. Thank you for this wonderful report. Sob - wish I could have been there! It sounds like such a good night, and congratulations on your prize. I love the way you all took home pieces of it, and I especially love the way you related that to Mean Girls in your report - brilliant!
    So glad you had a fantastic time.

  2. You're welcome! Oh, if only you could have come, it was so good! Cheers, I love my little piece of a prize! I think Dan is just a genius for suggesting we all take pieces. I am so chuffed to have something from it! As soon as Dan started talking about breaking the award into fragments - before we had even one - I thought of Mean Girls! :D

  3. Sound like an awesome event and I loved reading your report, Jo! What a wonderful trophy by the way, congratulations. I agree that Wintercraft sounds so, so good! I featured it on one of my Wednesday posts a little while back.

    I'm reading Lex Trent now by the way(since it is mentioned in your post ;)).

  4. It was so much fun wasn't it! And, seriously, don't worry about the drink! It was fizzy water which I don't even like!

    And Dan signed the same in my copy of Mr Monster - wonder what it means?!

  5. Bookaholic - Thank you! :)

    Ladybug - Thank you! I had a great time! I know, the trophy is cool, right? I love my piece! Cheers! Oh, I am so excited for Wintercraft, you have no idea! Ohh, I'm yet to read Lex Trent, but I am excited for it! Hope you're enjoying it! :)

    Sophie - It was a great! So awesome meeting you! Haha, I didn't like the fizzy water either - which was why I spilt it on me; I wasn't going to finish it, so it was practically a full glass. Haha! Sorry though.
    When we had won the quiz, and were sitting in our teams, Dan was asking those in our team if we liked cats while he signed. According to Rhys (he's read it already), apparently there's a scene in the book where something not so great happens to a cat. Fun, huh? ;) It was great to meet you!

  6. He asked me that too, I was a bit thrown, it was so out of context! It was great to meet you too!

  7. Oh sounds like you had such a great time. Thanks for the awesome report! :D

  8. Sophie - Haha! :) I'm looking forward to reading these books, I'm intrigued!

    Sasha - No problem! It was such great fun! I loved it!

  9. It was so great to meet you and the other lovelies from the UK blogging scene. A lovely way to spend an afternoon. I was so tired at work today though. I didn't even bother with display. I just trawled amazon and ordered new books for the library. Fun!

  10. It was a great time! I so enjoyed meeting everyone! :) Haha, what a great way to work! Looking through Amazon and getting paid! Awesome! :)

  11. I'm glad you all had such a good time!! I'm just soooooo annoyed I couldn't make it (let me just say I wish I didn't have a MIL sometimes grrrr!! LOL).

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Headline will have another event soon & I can come to that one. I'm really looking forward to meeting you all at the UK blogger meet up in May too though :o)

  12. Really entertaining report, Jo - it sounds like such fun, especially the quiz. Spilling the drink is exactly the kind of thing I'd do, so I feel your pain!

  13. It was great to meet you - and the event was great fun! Wintercraft stuck in my mind too as the book I MUST read:) Glad you had a great time:)

  14. Sarah - It was a shame not to see you there, but life happens! Oh, the Uk blogger meet up is going to be awesome! It'll be great to meet you! :)

    Lauren - Haha, I'm a right muppet! :) But it was a great event! I didn't realise we were having a quiz until the day, and I LOVE pub quizzes! Such fun!

    Sammee - Same to you! :) The event was awesome, I loved it! Sooo looking forward to Wintercraft, it's going to be awesome!