Harper Collins Frenzy | Fall 2018

Last weekend Chelsey and I were lucky to attend the Harper Collins Frenzy event in Toronto. Since we first started running Death of the Author we’d been interesting in attending one of these events but never had the chance to. HC Frenzy was our first chance to attend an industry event in our hometown instead of our yearly pilgrimage down to Book Expo.

It turns out that the Toronto HarperCollins office was on the 40th floor. The view of the city was stunning. I took this picture before my brain promptly reminded me that I was afraid of heights. I then sat down on the opposite side of the room far away from the window.

To start off the presentation the Frenzy team introduced themselves and showed the trailer for the upcoming Hate U Give film.

Then they spoke about Angie Thomas’s next novel On the Come Up.

On the Come Up follows sixteen year old Bri who wants to be a rapper. Thomas describes the novel as being about what it’s like to be young and black in America. She also mentioned the importance of hip hop and the impact it has on young people and how that plays out in the novel. She spoke about her own teenage years and how she wasn’t much of a reader at a young age because she didn’t see herself in the books she read.

But she could find herself in hip hop. On the Come Up serves as a a companion to Hate U Give. It’s not a direct sequel but readers will recognize some characters and locations.

And don’t forget. if you’re around Toronto for TIFF you can catch a screening of Hate U Give before the wide release in October

Frenzy Presents: The Books

After discussing Hate U Give and On the Come Up, the Frenzy team took us straight into the catalogue for the fall season. Oh man there are so many cool and interesting books coming out.

The Reading List

(All of the books discussed during the presentation)

Sawkill Girls – Claire Legrand

Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa

The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee

A Very Large Expanse of Sea – Tahereh Mafi

Broken Things – Lauren Oliver

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree – Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Four Three Two One – Courtney Stevens

Oh My Goth – Gena Showalter

Sex Plus – Laci Green

The Caged Queen – Kristen Ciccarelli

Pride – Ibi Zoboi

Pulp – Robin Talley

What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

This Splintered Silence – Kayla Olson

The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth

Two Dark Reigns – Kendare Blake

Swing – Kwame Alexander

This Is Kind of An Epic Love Story – Kheryn Callender

When We Caught Fire – Anna Godbersen

Damsel – Elana K. Arnold

After the featured books presentation we all played the game Book Nerd Questions. The question asked that caused the most impassioned answers was “If you could change the end of any book which would it be?” Everyone in the room had an answer for this. Some of the titles shouted out that caught my ear were: Breaking Dawn – Stephanie Meyer, His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman, Alligient – Veronica Roth and Bloodlines – Richelle Mead.

The Main Event: Laurie Forest

Then it was time for the guest of honour Laurie Forest to talk about her upcoming sequel to 2017’s The Black Witch: The Iron Flower.

Forest described her inspiration behind the series. The Black Witch came from Forest’s own experiences during Vermont’s fight for civil unions (and eventually marriage) for the LGTBQ community. Forest described the type of hate that she was engaging with on a daily basis shocked her. And how in the middle of the night someone tore up her lawn and destroyed the rainbow signs she and her family had placed there. Forest mentioned how that was only a taste of what some of her friends were experiencing every day.

Forest works in the medical profession and began writing what became The Black Witch around her day job. When asked how she managed to write such a long book around her busy schedule she had some advice: “Any writing advice that tells you there is a certain way to write is the worst advice” and just try and write every day.

In the past year The Black Witch has been surrounded by a lot of controversy. Check out Chelsey’s review of the novel and response to that here.

The Most Important Thing: The Swag Bags

I had heard the swag bags at these events were legendary. I wasn’t disappointed. My bag contained three arcs including A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, one of my most anticipated releases!

Check out the rest of the goodies below:

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
Arc of The Iron Flower  by Laurie Forest
Arc of A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Arc of Sex Plus by Laci Green
Arc of When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen
Becky Albertali Pins
Angie Thomas Pins
Smash Box samples
Bookish towel from OwlCrate

Not Pictured:

Cotton Candy from The Sugar Shop (I ate it)
Epic Reads Popsocket
Bookish Questions Game
The Black Witch inspired candle from WickAndFable

Overall I had a great experience at HC Frenzy. I met a lot of really interesting people involved in the book blogger/vlogger scene in Toronto. I was also called an Influencer for the first time in my life… which I’m not going to lie was kind of strange.

But for now, I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

Thanks again to the Frenzy Team for inviting Chelsey and I and we can’t wait for the next event!

Chelsey, Myself and Heather from Krimsuun Pages

Written by
Alexandra is always looking for the next book she can devour. She has a love hate relationship with teen fiction specifically when it comes to fantasy, post apocalyptic and failed shakespeare adaptations.

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