On Thursday, the wonderful YABirmingham hosted a Q&A and signing with James Rice, the author of Alice and the Fly(find my review here) and I was so excited to attend this because whilst Alice and The Fly wasn’t my favourite book in the world, it was a really good book that had an excellent plot, interesting characters and beautiful writing. So today, I thought I’d tell you guys more about the event itself.
The weather on the day wasn’t the best which meant that I was considering not coming due to the fact that I may get stuck in the city centre due to the snow on the outskirts of Birmingham but as I had the whole day off, I decided to brave it and go anyway. After spending the day with my friends, we sat down and waited(though we were admittedly an hour early). As it grew closer to 7:30(when the event started) we were shocked at how empty the room was but then we found out that the weather on the outskirts of Birmingham was quite bad so most people didn’t risk coming in. Due to this, the booksellers decided to make the event less formal so instead we all sat in a circle.
When James Rice came in, he sat down and read the first chapter of his book, Alice and the Fly. Having already read the book, it felt quite different to actually hear the author read part of it aloud. I don’t know if it’s just me that feels this way but it’s a different experience when somebody else reads the book to you.
After that, there was a Q&A which was really interesting to listen to because it helped me learn so much more about the book and where the ideas came from. So many questions were asked as all the booksellers had already read and loved the book so they wanted to know more about what happens and why he wrote it the way he did. As there were less people, the Q&A was actually quite long and it actually turned out to be like a chat between everyone about the book and about being a Waterstones bookseller(as he himself is one!). I really enjoyed listening to everyone talk about things(though I didn’t actually participate because I’m incredibly socially awkward).
After that, James then signed everyone’s books and the stock of the books that they had(so if you live in Birmingham, definitely go down and pick one up!) and that was it. While it wasn’t the biggest event, it was incredibly fun and James was incredibly lovely, especially about the fact that not many people actually turned up! I definitely suggest that you pick this book up because it really is a great book and definitely look out to see if James Rice is coming near you because he is worth going to meet.