The day after the big “Snowmageddon”, a bunch of us bloggers headed into the city to attend Random House of Canada‘s second annual blogger lovefest (aka #RHCBloggerLove 2.0!) Andrea (Cozy Up With a Good Read) and I met on the train and soon met up with Christa (More Than Magic) and bumped into Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) where we made a fairly impromptu macaron stop (since Christa & Andrea had never tasted my favourite Parisian treat before!)
We finished our yummy Parisian treats and headed over to the event where we were greeted by the lovely RHC gals! With about half an hour of mingling before the event was going to start, it gave us a chance to say hello to familiar faces and meet some new friends. I see our usual group of Bloggettes all the time so I definitely made a conscious point to chat with people I don’t see that often, and to meet some new bloggers as well. This was also the first time I’m seeing many of them since my engagement news so there was a lot of excitement to be shared as well. 😳
The afternoon festivities began with the introduction of the special guest, Andrew Kaufman – author of All My Friends are Superheroes and his latest release, Born Weird. He spoke a bit about the book and his writing style, with Born Weird being his longest book. He likes making novels short, with an average of 20k words. THE quote of the afternoon was probably when he said “It’s all about the girth, and not the length” in reference to the quality of books rather than the length books. To perhaps clarify his point in a less “crass” manner, he shares an analogy using food. You’re not getting any less licorice because there are fewer words. I absolutely love that mantra to his writing. There’s no “fat” to his books. It gets to the point where some lengthy books can be just full of filler material.
During the chat, Andrew had mentioned Trinity Bellwoods and Palmerston Ave, so I asked about him setting stories in Toronto because I don’t think there are enough books that do, and I love when it’s set in this city. He says that since his stories have elements where you need to suspend your disbelief, he wants the setting to be believable. He wants to get it right so that if you believe the setting, then you’ll believe the “magic realism” of the story. Andrew also spoke briefly about the Canadian authors who don’t set their books in Canada, opting for an American location instead because they might think it “sells” better to the U.S.
His next project is going to be 6 unrelated “novellas” (though he uses that term loosely, see previous comment about story length) with one of them entitled “Bob’s Ark” because God wouldn’t be that stupid to only have one ark. Hilarious. I’m already sold just on that alone.
After Andrew spoke, Lindsey started the blogger love portion of the presentation, where she highlighted some key books and events from the past year (with excerpts from various bloggers!) and shared some of their online marketing team’s recommendations for upcoming books for the spring/summer season.
- Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter by Alison Wearing <– Amanda & I both originally thought this was a fictional story of a girl who really thought her parent was a fairy..
- Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly <– This sounds SO GOOD. Great for fans of Gone Girl. It might just be the one I’m MOST excited about from all 8 of the recommendations.
- Night Film by Marisha Pessl <– Turns out I already had this on my TBR list.. no wonder it sounded so good when Ainsley was talking about it!
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan <– A sorta Sophie Kinsella-ish read
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson <– I won this during the RHC Christmas twitter contest and can’t wait to start it. I’ve been hearing so many fantastic things about this book!
- Drunk Mom: A Memoir by Jowita Bydlowska
Once the presentation was over, we all had an opportunity to meet Andrew and get our copies of Born Weird signed. He seemed surprised that I wanted to take a picture with him. 😛
The RHC gals told us that originally, Elias (aka the “hunky guy” from the SECRET tour they did to Chapters & Kobo this past Tuesday) was supposed to stop by as well but due to the weather he wasn’t able to make it. We had some fun with the props and photo-op fun anyway!
What I loved was that there was a lot of time to chat and hang out with each other afterwards. Often at events, there is just enough time to follow the scheduled programming that even though we see one another, there isn’t much time to actually catch up – so this was really nice to get the chance to sit and talk with those I don’t often see!
A huge snowmageddon thank you to the Random House gals, Andrew Kaufman and all the awesome bloggers for a great Saturday afternoon!