Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Salon: BTL Live!

Today Bree from All the Books I Can Read and I were lucky enough to be part of a group of Melbourne bloggers who visited the headquarters of Penguin Australia! The event was BTLLive! - an opportunity to showcase the YA titles that are going to be published by Penguin in the coming six months or so, and I have to tell you, there are some fun titles coming out!

In case you are wondering BTL stands for Between the Lines which is the name of the YA publicity team at Penguin. You can check out their blog here.

The morning started with a live chat with Marie Lu, author of the book Legend which has been recently released here and is receiving some good reviews! Apart with having to deal with the delay each time a question was asked and answered the cross was a lot of fun, and it was great to have the opportunity to discuss a book and it's sequel in that way with the author.

Marie talked about where the idea for Legend came from, the movie adaptation which is the book, the characters in the book and so much more! The idea for the book was inspired by watching Les Miserables and also from wondering what the world would look like if the sea levels rose around the world due to the melting of the polar ice caps!

She also said that in the second book in the series we would see more of the impact of the environmental changes around the world rather than just in Los Angeles which is where Legend is set. That did lead to a very important question for those of us in the room - Does Australia exist in this new world? The short answer is not as we know it now!

Other questions she answered were in relation to her favourite reads of the moment, how her main characters evolved, her reading background which consists mainly of spec fic reads and a lot more!

The second guest for the day was Gabrielle Williams who is an Australian author. Her previous book was Beatle Meets Destiny and her next book which is going to be released in February is called The Reluctant Hallelujah. I really enjoyed listening to Gabrielle as she talked through the amazing writing process that she went through for this book (she basically wrote a chapter a day thanks to the hard driving encouragement of her husband), and how that writing process was made easier as she worked through the various elements that have come to make up the story. Some of the particular inspirations for the book included her own children and also a famous, famous movie which includes a main character called Dorothy and some characters who are missing some parts!

Gab Williams talked about her background in advertising, about the fact that the book most likely won't be picked up in America due to the irreverent nature of the subject matter (the cover might give a little clue about some of that aspect), about her previous manuscripts, about being a very character driven writer and also a few little details about her next book after this one!

The third part of the official proceeding was a look at some of the upcoming titles. Here are just some of the covers for books that were talked about!

Other titles included:

Losing It by Julia Lawrinson
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Dark Eyes by William Richter
Immortal City by Scott Speer
Disharmony by Leah Giarratano

There was a lot of excitement in the room for the Kirsty Eager and Leah Giarratano books, as well as the release later in 2012 of Isla and the Happy Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

There were several other books also mentioned during the day as well, but this is already quite the long list!

There was also an unofficial part of the day where there was going to be a video made to be sent to John and Hank Green, but I have had a headache since yesterday and so it was time to go home for me!

Special thanks to the BTL team from Penguin both for the day, and for the loot we picked up (both of which will count towards the Australian Women Writer's Challenge that I will be participating in in 2012 so you will hear more about them then). It was also awesome to catch up with some Melbourne bloggers I already knew, but also to meet some new ones!

I look forward to attending another BTL Live day in the future!


  1. Sounds really fun! Great to see Aussie publishers being more involved with book bloggers.

  2. What a wonderful opportunity for book enthusiasts. This sounds like so much fun. I really enjoyed reading your post, and have recently vowed to read more YA in 2012, especially Australian titles. Many thanks.

  3. This must have been so cool to attend, and I am glad that you got the chance! It looks like there are some great titles coming out in the very near future, and I am excited! Great post today!

  4. Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

  5. What a great opportunity! I've just read a short story by the author of Cinder, so now I'm curious about the book. Hope your headache went away.

  6. Cinder is so much fun. I can't believe how much I loved it.

  7. Sounds like such a great time! I almost picked up Legend at the bookstore yesterday - I will be getting it soon - maybe with some birthday money. :)

  8. That sounds like lots of fun. I can't wait to read Legend. Hope you have another great week.

    My Sunday Salon.

  9. It was lovely meeting you on Sunday and I'm sorry you had to leave because of a headache :( Hope it's a lot better by now!

  10. Sounds like a fantastic event!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out