Monday 11 October 2010

Quercus Blogger Party with Jennifer Lynn Barnes - 4th October 2010

The fabulous Jennifer Lynn Barnes

When I first heard about the Artwork my ARC tour of Raised by Wolves that was arranged by Parul from Quercus and Lynsey (Narratively Speaking & UK Book Tours) I couldn't wait to take part.  I really loved Raised by Wolves (you can read my review here) so the idea of getting to meet Jen was too good to resist.  The idea behind the tour was that we would all get to make notes, draw pictures & generally decorate an ARC of the book that would then be presented to Jennifer Lynn Barnes at a party during her UK tour.  I'd like to say a massive thanks to both Parul & Lynsey for all the effort they went to organising the tour and the event - it was such a fun idea and I'd love to take part in something similar again! 

I know Lynsey was getting quite stressed worrying about getting the book back in time to present to Jen so we arranged to meet up early on the day of the event for lunch & so I could add my notes.  I ended up getting to London really early so as Lynsey was delayed I spent a couple of hours sitting at a coffee shop in Waterloo station.  I'd planned on drawing some pictures in the book but since I had time to kill I drew them on paper instead so I could stick them in the book before the presentation.  I ended up keeping a few other travellers amused while they sat drinking their coffees watching me doodling.  I'd printed off quite a few pictures from google to help give me ideas & here are the pictures I came up with:

Because of strikes on the underground we'd come to London prepared to have a nightmare travelling around but luckily the only tube line we needed was still open.  We had agreed to meet Jenny (Wondrous Reads) at Euston station so we could all figure out the bus to the event together but as we had plenty of time Lynsey & I decided to have a look around Waterstone's in Piccadilly first.  We managed to get a tube to Leicester Square & then had to walk to Piccadilly but luckily with the help of a couple of passersby we managed to find it quite easily.  We happily spent ages wandering around the YA books (they have such a huge selection to choose from!) and then completely lost track of the time after getting chatting to a lovely member of staff (Hey Nicole!!) who was an absolute expert about all things YA. 

By the time we'd dragged ourselves away from Waterstone's and made it to Euston Station we were very late meeting up with Jenny (I'm so sorry Jenny!!) but at least we found her in the end.  I have to say it was so lovely to finally get a chance to meet Jenny, I've been following her blog ever since I started blogging but hadn't had a chance to meet her before now.  We just about had time to grab some food and for Jenny & I to make quick notes in the book before we had to leave for the event.  I didn't have quite enough time to add everything I wanted to but at least I had already prepared my pictures to stick in.

I don't think any of us had ever needed to navigate London by bus before so we were all a bit nervous that we wouldn't know when to get off the bus but luckily Parul had given us fantastic directions & we found Truckles bar really easily.  It was a lovely surprise to find that Lauren (I Was A Teenage Book Geek) was at the event, I hadn't seen Lauren for ages so it was good to have a chance to catch up.  It was so disappointing that Caroline (Portrait of a Woman) couldn't make it though - we can blame that one on the tube strike!  I did manage to get her a special pressie though, so I'm looking forward to seeing her soon to give it to her.  When we arrived we were greeted by Parul and given drinks & these fabulous Raised by Wolves cupcakes

Aren't they cute?!

We also got given these lovely carved wooden wolf pens (& yes one of the ones I'm holding in this picture might just be for a halloween giveaway I'm planning for the end of the month along with a signed copy of Raised by Wolves)

Me, Jen & Lynsey

After spending some time chatting with Jen (who is absolutely lovely by the way) and getting to meet some of the staff from Quercus it was time for speeches and for Lynsey to present Jen with the ARC we'd all doodled in.  It was great fun listening to Jen talking about Raised by Wolves, she got inspiration for Brynn from growing up as the only girl hanging around with her older brother & his friends so she knows exactly what it's like to be the younger, smaller girl who the boys want to protect.  Having a degree in cognitive science and spending time studying primates has also come in handy when it comes to writing about a werewolf pack.

Lynsey & Jen after the presentation

After the presentation Jen was happy to spend time chatting to us bloggers and signing all of the books we'd brought with us.  She really is so sweet and I'm amazed at how much she has achieved at such a young age - she wrote the first draft of Golden in just 3 weeks when she was only 19 years old and it was sold to a publisher just before her 21st birthday.  I don't know where Jen found the time to write & publish 7 novels while studying for her degree but it is obvious from talking to her that she is very passionate about both her writing and science so she works hard to fit it all in.  We did manage to get a few hints about Trial by Fire (the sequel to Raised by Wolves) and I was very excited to find out that she is currently in talks with her US publisher about writing a 3rd book in the series.  We won't know if this is going to happen for at least a couple of months but I for one am keeping my fingers crossed!

Another fun Jen fact for you - she is the only person I know who reads books in the shower (yes the shower!), she has perfected the art of holding the book with one hand and still being able to turn the pages while using her other hand to wash with.  I'd never heard of anyone doing that before but Jen assured us that Sarah Rees Brennan does the same so perhaps it's an author thing!

Me & Jen

The picture above shows Jen and me with a werewolf picture I'd made for her with encaustic wax.  I have to confess I'm very new to encaustic art so it isn't a fantastic picture but I had fun trying to create it - it's amazing what you can do with coloured wax and a travel iron!

Lauren, Lynsey, Jen, Jenny & me

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Jen for being so lovely and answering so many of our questions.  I can't wait to get my hands on Trial by Fire (is it 2011 yet???) and I'm really hoping you get to write a third book in the series!  I'm definitely planning on ordering Jen's previous books too (hopefully we'll get them publised in the UK soon).  Thanks again to Parul and all of the staff at Quercus who went out of their way to be so welcoming to us bloggers - we had a fantastic time :o)

Here is a slideshow of some more of the pictures I took that evening:

Who was there:
Parul - Quercus


  1. I'd forgetten about the books-in-shower thing, that is pretty amazing.

    Wasn't it a fun night? Your sketches are brilliant, and I'm loving the slideshow.

  2. Yay Fantastic report!!!
    A book in the shower? Seriously? I am highly impressed!!!
    I love your drawings, they are amazing!!
    And thanks for my surprise :)

  3. I am totally bummed that I couldn't make it now. Boo hoo! It looks like you all had such a fab time. I refuse to miss anything else even if it means I am impersonating the grim reaper ;-)

  4. @ Lauren - I was very impressed with reading in the shower, I read in the bath but I'd never have thought of trying it in the shower (to be honest I don't think I'll try it now as I'm sure I'd end up dropping the book LOL).

    Such a fun event & I'm really looking forward to the next ones we have coming up :o) So much fun to get together with other bloggers / book peeps!

    @ Caroline - I was so disappointed you couldn't make it :o( I still feel guilty about hanging up on you when you called but the timing was just so bad as they were just starting the speeches LOL. I'm sure you'll love your pressie - can't wait to see you soon & give it to you :o)

    @ Becky - Such a shame you couldn't come but we've got lots of events to look forward to in the next month :o) Have you decided about the Foyles Halloween thingy yet?

    Looking forward to seeing you all on Monday :o)



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