Tuesday 29 November 2022

EVENT RECAP: An Evening with Alice Oseman!

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore the work of Alice Oseman. They are easily one of my favourite authors, and I Was Born for This might just be one of the most read books on my shelf at this point. When I found out that Alice was going to do a mini-tour and Manchester was one of the stops, I just had to get a ticket! 

i wore my hand-painted jacket of course

Since I don’t get to visit Manchester very often, I went pretty early on in the day so I could visit some bookshops. My favourites are the Gay Pride Bookshop and Queer Lit. They have such a fantastic range of diverse books and you should definitely check them out if you’re in the area. 

Alice came by to quickly sign a few things at Queer Lit, so I was able to pop back there before the event and picked up a signed copy of my favourite Heartstopper volume, the third instalment! After that, I walked around to the venue to see where the entrance was because I’d never been there before, and I found someone queuing by the main door. Even though there was an hour before doors opened, I thought I might as well just stay there. I’m so glad I did because I met some wonderful fans who showed up just after.

I’ve spoken before about how much my anxiety messes with my ability to get out to events and signings, so to find fellow fans who were lovely and welcoming made the day even more memorable. Everyone was up for talking about why they love Alice’s stories and how they discovered them in the first place. I also loved seeing the diverse set of fans that came out to show support - there was no specific age-range that dominated the audience. 

The host for the evening was the lovely Joel from fictionalfates. He did such a fantastic job of asking all of the right questions, and we could see how much it meant to him to be asked to take part in the event.

Alice had a chat about Hearstopper in general for the first half of the evening, talking about the growth of the comic and, of course, the love for the Netflix adaptation that graced our screens back in April. Alice also spoke a little about the future for their career. After the final volume of Heartstopper is released to the world, they want to take a hard-earned break! But the only other thing they’ve been thinking about for the future is a potential sequel to I Was Born For This. Needless to say, I’m very on board with that plan. 

The second half of the event included audience questions. I didn’t get to submit a question because they had to be typed into a box during the ticket-buying process, and I was so stressed about actually securing the tickets that I didn’t put anything in the box. Oops. But it was exciting to hear what everyone else had asked! 

One of the questions Alice answered was about their advice to aspiring illustrators, something I kept a keen ear out for as a fellow artist. They recommended to simply draw what you love rather than focusing on what you feel like you should be drawing. 

When asked about their recent favourites, Alice said they’re loving Disney Dreamlight Valley at the moment. They’re also reading the ARC for the new novel by Allison Cochrun, which they’re particularly excited about since The Charm Offensive is one of their favourite stories! 

Alice was asked what her favourite musical moment was in the Heartstopper TV show, since the soundtrack is so adored by all of us. They said that Nick and Charlie’s snow day was the best, and they loved how it came across on screen. 

I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to see Alice in person after being one of my favourite writers for so long. It was just such a joyful experience and I’m thankful to everyone involved for making it such a memorable day!

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