Just to recap: The Summer Scream Event at Foyles (in Charing Cross in London) is my first public event with other authors, and I will be doing a panel and then a signing alongside really amazing fellow YA writers Michelle Harrison (UNREST), L.A. Weatherly (ANGEL, ANGEL FIRE) and Karen Mahoney (THE IRON WITCH, THE WOOD QUEEN).
Our panel will be from 2pm-3pm. Later there will be another panel and signing with authors Laura Warburton (A WITCH IN LOVE, A WITCH IN WINTER), Laura Powell (BURN MARK) and Thomas Taylor (DAN AND THE DEAD).
I'm very excited about this! Living, as I do, in the farflung wilderness of the north, I don't get the chance to do many events, or meet many of my readers. And I'm especially thrilled that so many friends I know from online have pledged to come. I cannot *wait* to meet you guys.
I have a new dress! I have blue tights! I have a box of swag ready to give out to anyone who stands still long enough!
But I also have two simple rules for anyone coming to this event. Failure to comply will result in me throwing a tantrum of truly fantastical proportions. There will be screaming, arm-flailing, heel-drumming and possibly even foaming at the mouth. You don't want to see it. Trust me. You will be traumatised for life. So PAY ATTENTION.
Rule Number One:
If you are a Dear Reader or an online friend person? YOU WILL APPROACH AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Oh, yes you will. Yes you will.
You're all going to know which one is me because they're going to introduce me. Plus my face is up there on the event poster. But I'm not going to know who you are unless we've met before, which 90% of the time we have not. So I'm helpless to seek you out. Do not make me helpless. Do not lurk at the back of the room feeling unsure of your welcome. Do not Tweet or comment a week later to say that you were there all along but that you didn't know if I would want to be bothered. I do want to be bothered. I live to be bothered. Bother me! SAY HELLO TO MEEEEEE.
Rule Number Two:
Tell me your online name first.
I mean, if your name is Sarah-Beth and your online name is Sarah-Beth37, great, not an issue. But if you have been chatting to me for a year under the name HermioneGraingerOK and then you bounce up to me and say 'Hey! It's Janice!' I will be confused and bewildered and give you the polite handshake, and you will walk away sadly thinking 'Oh, I suppose I'm just one of her legion of fans and she doesn't really care about me...' I DO CARE ABOUT YOU. In fact, I want to give you a huge hug, because I don't have a legion of fans and even if I did I would still love each one like I love fluffy baby kittens. But I'm not psychic. Online names first. Then tell me your real name. I can't promise I'll remember not to call you HermioneGraingerOK for the rest of the event (because I am somewhat senile like that) but I can certainly promise that it will be a pleasure to meet you. You are the reason I am there in the first place. Capiche?
I am very much looking forward to seeing you, my duckies. If you do not like hugs you might want to wear a sticker saying that in a prominent place on your body so that I get the idea, because I plan on physically snuggling as many people as they let me before someone threatens to call the police. Make a note...