Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens in the Movies Newcastle Party with presenter and author Katie Thistleton
Waterstones, Newcastle Upon Tyne
7pm, Wednesday 25th October 2017
£5 - redeemable against a copy of the book on the night
Before it Started
As usual on a weekday, it was a race against rush hour traffic to get in to town from work. I ended up texting ahead so a friend could get me a cuppa before the cafe closed, as I knew I wouldn't make it in time. A group of Northern bookworms were going and we'd arranged to meet a little ahead of the event to chat books, look at books, buy books and generally be around books. Because that's what we do. And also we wanted good seats.
We were super early for the event itself, so once we were down in the basemnet we unloaded coats and bags onto seats to reserve them and launched ourselves at the YA section. It was pretty quiet so early, but even then we were a few rows from the front as there were some people more eager than us. It did quickly start to fill up, so I purchased my copy and we all took our seats, stopping to grab some juice (I went for the cranberry).
The Main Event
It was pretty packed when the event started, there were very few empty seats and even the hot seats on the front row were taken.
Confession: I did't know who Katie Thistleton was. But by the end I had an idea and her own book, Dear Katie looks excellent.
There were hilarious conversations around the book, the general themes, how Sheffield isn't Proper North, whether characters should be kissed, married or killed... And all of it had everyone in stitches.
This is not to say that there wasn't a serious note to the event. With the subject matter of the book there was a lot of tearing down of the patriarchy and girl power and discussion of what is right and what is harmful and how the world sucks for women but it can be changed. I loved the discussion of bad romance, and how a lot of "romantic" tropes are terrifyingly harmful, and Holly Bourne's own background working with teens who experienced this made me want to cry.
There were some games like film trivia, Kiss-Marry-Kill and questions from the audience to wrap it up. I think everyone tried to wheedle something about Floored out of her, but her lips were sealed.
After the main event itself it was book signing time and there were goody bags! Inside was some cinnamon popcorn (a reference to the book) a fan, a 2018 sampler and an advanced copy. Unlike previous events (perhaps because Newcastle tends to be last on the list) there were only two books to choose from. I ended up with The Unpredictability of Being Human, but looking back I kind of wish I'd gone for Orphan Monster Spy.
In the signing queue I got a post-it note with my name on and at the signing table I just squealed as Holly Bourne signed my book because she is amazing and I was pretty much overwhelmed by that point.
It was so much fun! There was so much laughter and joy from a full house of bookworms, and I got to hang out with some fantastic people. I left feeling so happy and empowered and with a fantastic book in my hands.
Only when I opened it on the bus I realised my name was spelled wrong, despite the post-it.