Dark Fiction: Holly Black Event in London.
So I was invited by Indigo Publishing to a Holly Black event in London last Monday in celebration of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I’ve had my eye on this book for a long while now so I was extremely happy to have received an invitation to this event. Sarah Rees Brennan was also on tour with Holly, promoting her series The Lynburn Legancy.
It’s so hard for me to find time to read during my university term time so I’ve still only read four chapters of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, but damn, those were a good four chapters and I can’t wait to read more. I haven’t read very much paranormal fiction recently because they all started to merge into one and become a bit same-y, but I think The Coldest Girl in Coldtown actually has a unique plot line so it should be a good read.
So I arrived at the event having travelled for two and a half hours from the centre of Oxford. The journey took so darn long, but it was worth it! When I arrived, the room was already packed with people and I had to squeeze my way into a random empty seat near the back. There was a bit of a wait before the authors came out during which most people chatted excitedly with their neighbours or continued with their current reads (standard bookworms). Finally, they appeared and the event got started. Both authors read an extract from their books, Holly Black read chapter three of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and Sarah Rees Brennan read an extract from her upcoming book ‘Unbroken’. I haven’t read any books by either author but both extracts were really gripping and made me want to pick a copy of both books immediately.
I distinctly remember Holly Black telling us that when she was younger her mum used to tell her the story of Dracula, particularly noting the ‘unnatural’ way that he would climb all over buildings and how this was the start of her fascination with gothic fiction. Why do I remember this particular snippet, you ask? Well, the following night, I had a nightmare featuring my friend dressed up as Einstein on Halloween, moving in an ‘unnatural’ way, climbing all over my university tower but also being incredibly stretchy like Mister Fantastic from Fantastic Four – a terrifying combination.
Someone from the audience asked Holly how to deal with writers block, to which she responded that writer’s block is actually just indicative that something else in your life isn’t quite right and is bothering you so the root of the problem may not actually be in your writing at all. I think Holly may have said that this tip was actually taken from Cassandra Clare who I believe is in the same critique circle as Holly Black (omgomgomg) but I’m not 100% sure on that one.
Both authors were also asked whether they plan their novels prior to writing them and Holly said that she started her novels with an image and built her stories from there sometimes rewriting bits that don’t quite work, whereas Sarah Rees Brennan likes to plan the novel out prior to writing it, however, she added that she rarely sticks to said plan.
Both authors are absolutely hilarious, Sarah Rees Brennan being particularly outgoing and spending a great deal of her time running from one end of the room to another or gesticulating wildly at the front of the room whilst Holly Black admitted to being quite nervous in front of people and fearing that everybody hates her. (How could anyone ever hate Holly Black?!)
At the end of the Q&A, everybody lined up to get their books signed. I probably waited for somewhere between 1/2 hour and hour for a mere 30 seconds with Holly Black but who cares – I got my book signed 🙂 I’d read the first chapter of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown whilst waiting in the queue so I was feeling more and more pumped about coming face to face with the author as the queue slowly moved along. Pic to the left 😉