Talk, Q & A and book signing
22nd February 2019
Glee Club, Birmingham
The King and Queen Tour was hugely anticipated since its announcement. Featuring New York Times bestsellers, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, the pair visited a few places in the UK while promoting their latest releases; Black’s sequel to the first instalment in The Folk of the Air series, The Wicked King, and Clare’s final book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, Queen of Air and Darkness.
The event itself was different to what I usually encountered with Birmingham’s Waterstones. For starters, it was being held in a comedy club a little further away from the store. However, due to the success of the authors, it wasn’t difficult to understand why that was. Although, a little awkwardly laid out for a book signing, the venue accommodated the 400+ people that attended easily, making the event run as smoothly as possible. The staff were efficient throughout, coping with the volume of people and short time frame to the best of their ability. Although, it was a fairly long wait, their efficiency made it an overall pleasant experience.
The talk was also a fairly new experience, it being the first time I’d attended a book event where there wasn’t a member of staff leading the talk. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare directed the event themselves, asking each other questions and discussing their worlds with enthusiasm. Holly Black, clearly besotted by faerie lore, spoke highly of her works history, while Cassandra Clare explained her reluctance. Both authors had clear history, having worked together in the past and been friends for many years by this time. They bounced off another, moving through the talk and question and answer session with ease, becoming an entertaining comedic duo.
The question and answer session was less about the author’s latest releases and more about their popularity and worlds as a whole. Holly Black answered passionately about the fan art community and her love of the creations she finds online, while Cassandra Clare discussed the relationships between various characters within the Shadowhunters world and the origin of its idea.
“The difference between those who are professional writers and not is that they finish.”
During the signing, I was given the opportunity to speak to Holly Black first, as Cassandra Clare had a larger queue. She was a joy to speak to, it being a few hours after the signing first began and was still genuinely happy to speak to people. She complimented my jewellery, wearing a ribcage necklace at the time, before we spoke of her beautiful way with words and how much I admired it. Cassandra Clare was equally as enthusiastic, and I was overwhelmed with happiness and how much she seemed to appreciate the way I spoke of her talents of world-building. It was an overall positive event, and just what I needed to rekindle my bookworm flame.