When lovely Laura from Laura's Little Book Blog invited me as her +1 to the Penguin Bloggers Night 2014 I was thrilled. Not only at the prospect of meeting some of the Penguin team and authors, but also for the chance to catch up with Laura in person, as so far we've chatted just on the Internet. Unfortunately she fell ill just before the outing and we didn't get to meet up after all, but we should be seeing each other at another literary event next month (fingers crossed).
I still decided to attend the Penguin event (though I felt a bit awkward at first as I was by myself) and I am very glad I did as it was a wonderful evening where I got to meet some of the Penguin team (hi Francesca and Lija!), their authors and fellow bloggers. Also, there was wine, which is always a good thing. I've been to various author Q&As at Foyles on Charing Road Cross before and have nothing but praise for them; they're super well organised and the authors I've met there have always been very approachable and interesting to talk to.
As soon as I walked into the Gallery (the special space the store reserves for these kind of bookish events) I was given a sticker to put my name and blog on, which was a clever ideas as it made meeting new people much easier (even though in the first instance eyes wandered to the chest area of another person - where the sticker was - before introducing ourselves).
I was also shown two big tables stacked high with new and upcoming Penguin releases and a pile of tote bags and was told to make my own goodie bag. Eh... it's probably not a wise idea to let a book
I did start off with just choosing three books, but then I talked to some fellow bloggers (mostly Clare from 50 a Year and Kinga from The Book Snob, hi girls!) and we were drawn to different titles which made me pick up even more. And then when my bag was definitely completely full I spoke to lovely author Elizabeth Fremantle, so OF COURSE I had to grab a copy of her novel too. And so then there were seven.
After some more exciting book chat (I get very enthusiastic where books are involved) it was time for readings from some of the Penguin authors. Obviously this would be the highlight for most people who were attending, but sadly this was also the time I had to leave as I had theatre tickets booked for that night long before I was invited to the event. Even though I normally love my theatre outings I was disappointed this meant I couldn't stay to the end of the Penguin Blogger Night and so prolonged my leaving until the last possible second (I ended up having less than 10 minutes to run from Foyles to the Theatre on St. Martin's Lane and take my seat there), but I still I only caught a bit of the first reading.
Fun to note though is that each author was introduced with a personally picked tune on the piano by a lovely pianist I also got to talk to earlier on the night. Apparently one of the intros was a Beyonce song, which sounds equal measures totally random and completely awesome.
This is actually the back of the tote (the front shows a John le Carré title) but I love the Penguin logo
Many thanks to the wonderful Penguin team for organising such a fab event (sorry I couldn't stay longer - it was me, not you) and to Laura for inviting me (even if you couldn't make it yourself this time around), it really was a great bookish evening.