My first bookish event! |The story of how I fangirled so hard my face hurt from smiling

first book event

Believe it or not my friends, I hadn’t been to any sort of bookish event before now. Β Here in the UK, it’s rare for people to come to my city…which is quite surprising actually, considering I live in one of the largest cities. But, with my inability to travel elsewhere, I just hadn’t been to any kind of bookish event.

Until now. And ohhh I started with a good one. Because Samantha Shannon – one of my FAVOURITE authors – came to do a book signing/”evening with” event. And when I found out, I genuinely squealed. I was at my friends house and just shouted at her “OHMYGOSHWECANGOWECANGOI’LLGETTHETICKETSTOMORROWWE’REGOING.”

And so this has been planned for over a month.



So, my friend and I ended up arriving an hour early. Woops. But never fear, we didn’t mind. Things weren’t looking good to begin with, because the entire venue had had a power cut, and so there was no electricty. Which wouldn’t have been a problem…but the event started at 7pm, so it was going dark very quickly.

But since Samantha Shannon had come all this way to hold the event, the staff at Waterstones simply said we’d have the event by candlelight. We could even hold a seance before beginning, right? (A nice nod to the books. I appreciated it way too much). Luckily, the electricity came back on just before the event began, and things from there ran smoothly.

It started off with Samantha reading a couple of pages from The Bone Season. Nothing spoilery, but just enough to make me want to reread the books all over again – despite only just doing so in March πŸ˜† We then went on to the Q&A section, where one of the employees asked her a whole bunch of questions before opening up to us in the audience.

I loved seeing how passionate Samantha was. It seems obvious, considering it’s her own book, but the sheer depth of how well thought out everything in the series is really blew my mind. I don’t know what I was expecting. All I know is that I was fascinated, and just sat beaming at her for a good 30-40 minutes or so while she talked. Yes, I probably looked super creepy staring at her like that. Yes, my face hurt by the time I got home.

With this being a tour for the third book – The Song Rising – it was mentioned how she expanded the world in her books beyond London. In the book, we see a glimpse of Manchester, Edinburgh, and even the smallest glance at Stoke-On-Trent, and book 4 is planned to be set in Paris. Through character’s memories, you see how Ireland, Bulgaria and Sweden were all affected too. Samantha discussed how she wanted to do this because of her own wondering at other books. She brought up The Hunger Games, and how she always wondered – what were the rest of the world doing about America? Just sat there, shrugging off the fact that they had this weird child gladiator fight-to-the-death event every so often? In most dystopias, you only see a small section of the dystopian world. But then she talked about how in The Handmaid’s Tale, she found it to be the first book which acknowledged how it could be different somewhere else in the world. There’s one particular scene where there are tourists from Japan, using this slice of a dystopian world as a holiday attraction. And it was this scene that sparked Samantha’s world exploration.

I could go on for hours about the things she talked about, but that would make a rather long post. But there’s just one more thing I wanted to mention.

For those of you that don’t know, a while ago the movie rights for The Bone Season were bought. Someone asked Samantha if there were any updates on this. During this conversation, she talked about how much input she has in the movie. While she doesn’t have total say in what can go into the movie, she is consulted throughout the process. While they don’t technically HAVE to listen to her, she can do her best to keep certain things in the movie.

I’m mentioning this because there’s quite a bit of diversity in her books. There are people from different countries, people of different skin colours, people with different sexualities. And Samantha said this is one thing she will vehemently argue for, to include the diversity in the movies. She said that ideally, she’d want the right people to play the roles – for example, there’s a Bulgarian Transgender woman, so she’d hope to find a Bulgarian Transgender actress. While she might not be listened to – she doesn’t have full control, after all – I was so incredibly happy to know that she won’t let the diversity go easily. Whitewashing and the erasure of all diverse groups is such a huge problem in the film industry!

And so, after the book talk, we all queued to get our books signed. Admittedly, I wish I’d said more to her. But I kind of expected that from myself. I do have anxiety, and a huge part of that is how I get a voice block when I know that speaking will bring unusual attention to myself. But, I did have a brief chat with her and turned into a fangirling mess. She is such a lovely person, and I’m so glad I could meet her ❀

I hope I can go to another event of hers one day!

I have a review of The Song Rising coming on Wednesday, and you can see my reviews for The Bone Season and The Mime Order now πŸ™‚ They’re all spoiler free!

Share your thoughts!

Are you a fan of Samantha Shannon?Β 

Is there anything I’ve mentioned here from the book talk that you’re particularly interested in? Feel free to ask questions about other things she might have mentioned, I’ll answer them as best I can!

Have you been to any bookish events? Which ones?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…


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37 thoughts on “My first bookish event! |The story of how I fangirled so hard my face hurt from smiling

      1. Ever heard of Toward a Secret Sky? The author is coming to the Detroit area-ish so I’m going with Melanie cause she lives in Lansing. Haven’t read her book but there aren’t many authors that come to Michigan!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve not heard of her. I know quote a lot of people turn up to events without reading the author’s work, or even knowing who they are, just to discover someone new! I hope you have a great time πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think it will be fun bc apparently that location has a used book section and I can’t resist that! We can shop before she gets there and have some fun. Sometimes other local authors will show up, too, which is what happened at the first event I went to!
            (You should look the book up bc the cover is super pretty!)

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I have just started to go to some book signings. I’ve seen/heard Victoria Aveyard, Sophie Jordan, CJ Redwine and Greg Iles. I’ve written blog posts about those events. They really make you more invested with that authors writing don’t they? Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ashleigh, I was there too and it was my first ever book event as well! I was so nervous and had no idea what to expect, but she was lovely and it was amazing hearing her speak about the series and the film! I definitely plan to go to more events, but it’s weird that hardly anyone comes to Sheffield, and I’m not sure I want to travel to Nottingham… I’d love to see Laini Taylor or Sarah J Maas! πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh what a coincidence we were at the same event! Glad to hear you enjoyed it too πŸ˜€
      I’d love for more people to come to Sheffield. Sarah J Maas did actually come to Sheffield once, but I couldn’t go so I’m REALLY hoping she comes back one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never been to a book event either! I’m so glad you got to meet her, I know from your blog and your channel how much you love her! I definitely need to read her series a try!
    I love what she wrote in your book too.

    P.S LOVE your new design.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I hope you get to go to one, one day! Yeah…I’ve been mentioning her a lot lately so no doubt people will be glad when my talk dies down ahaha!
      And thank you so much! I’m glad you like it! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awww I’m so happy that you got to meet Samantha Shannon! I’m sitting here fangirling for you because that had to have been amazing. Also, I’m a little jealous because I want to meet her so bad too lol. Hopefully one day she’ll do an event in my city! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this recap Ashleigh! It sounds like it was such an amazing event! ❀ I adored TBS + TMO & just got The Song Rising from my library! Hopefully I'll get to it this month ❀ ❀ Your fangirling/excitement is basically me at bookish events too :')

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! πŸ˜› I’d be nervous after that thing with the lights tho haha But I’m really happy for you, I hope you get more opportunities like this one ^^
    (& I love your new blog design ❀ )

    Liked by 1 person

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