Meeting Pierce Brown, Hero At The Fall launch and the British Book Challenge

January being the first month of 2018 (and my 21st Birthday, I'm an adult now y'all), I was skeptical on just how many bookish events would enter my horizon. Turns out I had nothing to fear as the YA scene was bursting with opportunities with plenty of book launches, publisher previews and even author panel talks.

I started the year off with a total re-brand, now focusing on fantasy and sci-fi books as well as movies and TV shows so get ready for a full media storm on That Fiction Life from now on. This of course required a new logo, which is why all my social media has been gradually changing, the current design follows the graphic below, which I spent weeks designing so I'm glad it's finally out in the world.

My first event of 2018 had me right in my element. Author discussion panels remain a book lover's dream event, and Waterstones Gower Street Sci-Fi/Fantasy sessions always host an incredible line up of panellists and this month we were joined by Vic James (we can't have a Gilded Cage-less post now can we), Lucy Houston and Anna Smith Spark. Many interesting threads of debate were started, what stuck out to me was how each author created their magic systems. In contrast with each other, Vic James created her system to challenge the trope that rebellions happen way to easily in fantasy, whereas Anna focused on creating her own language for her fantasy world before considering any magical rules.

Next, Walker Publishing hosted a Blogger Evening showcasing their upcoming YA titles and I feel a strong need to preach about them all. The highlights for me were of course the fantasy titles, namely Scythe by Neal Shusterman and Cassandra Clare's new collection of stories set in the Shadow Market (FEATURING JEM CARSTAIRS JUST SAYING). Scythe is a thriller where only humanity has control over death and not to speak too soon before I even read it but doesn't that sounds like my new obsession? Headlining the night was Tom Pollock, the genius behind White Rabbit, Red Wolf a story about murder, maths and mental health. I have had this book in my sights for over a year and I cannot deal with the fact that it's finally in my possession.

The end to the month compiled of two book launches, beginning with Hero At The Fall by Alwyn Hamilton. Having known Alwyn for a while now, it is incredible to celebrate the end to the trilogy and learn insights at the panel. Led by author Samantha Shannon, the two authors discussed the series and what's it's like to finish a trilogy, namely stating that it's a highly satisfying feeling as after being in the same characters head for many years, it's exciting yet nostalgic to move on.

The final book launch was for the highly anticipated Iron Gold by Pierce Brown at Foyles Charing Cross. This was one of the most insightful talks I have attended to date, Pierce Brown is one of the most interesting and expressive people I have encountered and the extra detailing into the Red Rising series that we were able to hear definitely enhanced my love for the series.

As a movie and TV buff, the discussion on the film rights stole my attention, as the whole notion of adaptations is so intricate that hearing an authors perspective is second to none. I had no idea that movie rights had been purchased for the series, although thankfully they have reverted back to Pierce and this allowed headway for a TV series instead, which will permit much more character development and world building due to the increased screen time. This however does also mean that there is scope for change from the core material, for instance the show writers considered a love triangle (EVEN THE NOTION!) between Darrow, Mustang and Sevro, in which Sevro is a girl! Thankfully this plot point will never see the light of day, you can all relax.

This month I also achieved a top blogger dream by being nominated for a UK Book Blogger Award! First being long-listed in three categories, never in my wildest dreams did I see myself getting on the shortlist and so seeing that nomination has motivated me more than ever; I'd like to thank you all so much for the support. I wrote about the awards here, if you'd like a more detailed account of the experience.

British Book Challenge 

Since it is a new year I am also joining the British Book Challenge, which aims to celebrate UKYA by reading at least one book by a British author each month. It is hosted by Chelle from Tales From Yesterday and you can find out more about it here, there are giveaways and prizes to be won for participating! In January I read The Fandom by Anna Day which qualifies for this challenge and I will be updating this page throughout the year as I add more books.  

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  1. Thanks so much for signing up to the British Books Challenge lovely. Love your videos and reviews so I can't wait! x


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