Today I attended the Book Expo Australia and aside from coming home very tired with sore feet, I also came away with a few books and freebies, but also a bunch of new authors to read and will no doubt fall in love with.
As it is the first year of the Expo there was a small crowd, but still rather decent. As we wandered up and down the stalls it was really interesting seeing what books were out and seeing publishers and authors known and new. The freebie book I got was The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss, but I also got A Mad and Wonderful Thing by Mark Mulholland and Word Hunters: The Curious Dictionary by Nick Earls and Terry Whidborne as well. All three were already on my to read list which was great so I look forward to being able to read them.
It was a fun and interesting day. Getting to chat with various authors and publishers was really fun, and I even managed to get a picture with John Purcell from Booktopia in the process. I also found out a few new ways to improve my blog which was an added bonus.
There were a range of stalls covering a range of genres, books, styles, interests, everything anybody might be interested in. Truly the amount of bookmarks and things I have come away from it with is great and I am looking forward to being able to sit down and go through them, adding more books to my every growing to read pile.
It wasn’t just author and publisher stalls though, there were a few illustrators and artists teaching kids and adults alike on how to drawn cartoons. Walking past them today made me again wish I was a better drawer. There was even a wonderful display of knights battling in an arena which amused me as I passed them throughout the day.
Where there was a small downside was with a couple of the seminars. I can only speak for the ones I attended, and I’m sure others were great, but my first session of the day that I had been looking forward to faltered slightly when the author who was supposed to speak with a publisher about short stories and anthologies didn’t show up, meaning the poor publishing guy had to try and hold the session on his own unexpectedly. To his credit he did a decent job, and we got out early as a result which meant I could jump into another session I was interested in so not all was lost. The second disappointing session was later in the afternoon and it was cancelled completely. I don’t know what was happening; the general consensus seemed to be poor communication, so hopefully my few experiences were the few amongst the many as there were certainly a lot more seminars happening on a range of other topics that I’m sure were wonderful.
I really don’t want to give the impression that they were all bad, the last session I attended was excellent. Belinda Williams, Kaz Delaney, Adina West discussed with Shannon Curtis the darker side of romance and the various paranormal elements they included in their books. Discussing the paranormal aspects of the romance world was great and I got to learn more about each author’s books and approaches to the paranormal romance genre. Having read a few paranormal style romances and other paranormal stories lately it was interesting to listen to three very different takes on the genre and the degrees in which the paranormal plays a role.
For those of you coming tomorrow you should definitely come and check out Belinda, Kaz, and Adina at their stall. I was there for about ten minutes today chatting with them, and they are all super lovely people and listening to them in their seminar was even better. I have met Kaz multiple times but it was a pleasure meeting Adina and Belinda as well. If you are interested in some interesting paranormal romances you should go and check out their stall. They are located near some very comfy looking giant pillows so what I suggest you do is grab a copy of their books and then go and sit on the large and colourful pillow chairs and have a read!
I am heading back tomorrow for another day of fun with no real plan which should lead me into some interesting stalls and seminars. If you’re also coming don’t forget to check all the stalls and aisles because you may find some real gems hiding in plain sight!