Tuesday 3rd March started out as a normal day: I got up and went to work. Part way through the morning, I noticed that fellow book blogger Rachel Gilbey had tagged me in a tweet, drawing my attention to the fact that SJV, Brand Development Director at Simon & Schuster, had a couple of spaces open up on her Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening. Well, I jumped at the chance and thankfully a space was still available!
This was my first blogger event at Simon & Schuster and SJ and her team really know how to put on a showcase! There were perfectly themed cupcakes (made by Restoration Cake), a quiz, flat lays, author pitches and Q&As, author 2 truths and one lie (what is said at a Blogger Evening, stays at a Blogger Evening!), and good merchandise. We got to hang out with the authors, get our proofs signed and mingle. Sometimes, the best days cannot be planned 😊
Before I delve into the authors at the event and their books, I am going to side track for two minutes and explain a little about flat lays – yes, I heard some of you say earlier ‘what the hell are flat lays?!’.
A flat lay is a photo taken at a birds eye view of a collection of items laid out on a flat surface, with one item as the main focus whilst the others are decorative. Flat lays are a game changer, particularly for book photography. They have been around for a while but it’s only recently, since I’ve got more into bookstagramming – the book side of photo sharing app Instagram – that I’ve really taken notice of photo composition.
On Tuesday, the Simon & Schuster marketing team had laid out 7 flat lays for us, one for each book. They’d arranged lots of objects related to the book and placed the book in the middle. This was genius! The photos of the books below are from the flat lays.
Now onto the books!! There are some fabulous books coming out this year from this magnificent seven.
Up first was Sara-Ella Ozbek and her debut novel The High Moments, out on May 28, 2020. Sara-Ella read from the first few pages. It made me laugh and also made my eyes water. This is a book to watch!
Next was No. 1 bestselling author Santa Montefiore and her upcoming novel Here and Now. This sounds like an emotional read but a heartwarming one too. It is a positive take on dementia and follows a community that comes together to capture memories for one of their own. It’s out on July 9, 2020.
Then Sunday Times Bestselling Author Paige Toon told us about The Minute I Saw You, which is out on May 14, 2020. When Hannah and Sonny meet, it’s love at first sight. However, they are both trying to fight it for reasons us readers find out as we go along. This is going to be a curling up with a cuppa read.
Holly Hepburn, author of A Year at the Star and Sixpence, introduced Coming Home to Brightwater Bay, set on the Orkney Islands. It follows an author on her journey to find her writing mojo, a welcoming community and some love interests. We are promised a handsome viking!! Coming soon.
Christina and I had actually met the previous Saturday at RNA London Chapter meet-up. At Simon & Schuster, she spoke about her debut novel Love Songs for Sceptics and introduced us to Zoe, one of her main characters, through her own version of Reddit‘s ‘Am I the Asshole?’ . It’s out now in Kindle and due out in paperback in April 2020.
Next, Caroline Scott introduced her second novel When I Come Home Again. Set in the aftermath of the First World War, a soldier has lost his memory and appeal goes out to try and find out his identity. Three women come forward claiming him as their own but who is telling the truth? I think it will be a powerful read. Watch out for this one hitting shelves in hardback from October 29, 2020.
Last but not least and fresh from her RNA Award win for The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton the previous night, Anstey Harris read from her upcoming novel Where We Belong. It is about a mother and son who move into a museum for a summer and the secrets they uncover. It’s out in hardback on May 14, 2020.
Thank you to SJ and her BATC team for a wonderful evening and for the very generous goody bag. I feel like part of the gang now. I cannot wait for the next S&S event!!