What: Launch Event Who:Will Hill hosted by Nick Lake author of In Darkness Where: National Army Museum Chelsea London
When: 18th Febuary 2012
Why: Launch of Department 19: The Rising Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter’s life was violently upended when he was brought into Department 19, a classified government agency of vampire hunters that was formed to deal with a little problem…known as Dracula.
But being the new recruit at the Department isn’t all weapons training and covert missions. Jamie’s own mother has been turned into a vampire – and now Jamie will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on her captors. Even if that means facing down Dracula himself. The Rising is a fast, furious, can’t-turn-away thrill ride that will suck readers in just like a video game. This riveting second book in the Department Nineteen series is packed with cutting-edge gadgets, international locales, and daredevil action that tumbles ferociously across the page – perfect for fans of Darren Shan and Anthony Horowitz.
The bestselling debut of 2011, Will Hill’s Department 19 had made it on to my kindle but unfortunately had never quite reached the top of my To Be Read pile. That was until I discovered, via Will’s twitter account (@willhillauthor), that there were places available at the launch of the sequel, Department 19: The Rising. An email or two later and I was booked on to the event, I deposited my kids in front of Cbeebies and settle down with a cuppa and my kindle.
I’d like to say that I finished the book in plenty of time to attend the event but alas, despite perfecting the art of reading on the tube on my way to the event, I managed to fall just short of this task (I failed to confess this at the event!). The book was fast paced and thrilling and I have to admit that I’d contemplated missing the event I’d travelled nearly two hours to reach in favour of finding a quiet spot somewhere and finishing the book!
Bumping in to Sarah (Feeling Fictional) and Leanne (District YA) prior to the event, we waited patiently to be shown in to the Gallery of the National Army Museum.
A long, slim room with high ceilings and imposing military portraits: not far from my imagined gallery of the dead! Brandishing goodie bags and having finally met the lovely Rosi from Harper Collins, I settled down with my fellow bloggers for the main event.
Flanked by two Black light operatives (more on them later) and introduced by Nick Lake, Will Hill enthralled us all with the inspiration behind the series, his experiences as a debut author and his recent, extensive road trip around America researching book two.
Following Will’s talk and the audiences Q and A’s we had the opportunity to watch a suitably gory trailer (coming to a twitter feed near you soon!), and torment some operatives. Yes that’s right Sarah and I took our turn behind the pre-teens in the audience to get our photos taken with the operatives, one of them even let me hold his T bone (totally innocent, I promise!). We then had the chance to meet the man himself. Will kindly signed the contents of my goody bag and remained good natured despite my likening the 700 page tome of The Rising to a door stop (not my finest hour!).
The Things I learnt:
Reading while standing on the tube is not as easy as it looks!
Despite having a six year career in publishing prior to the release of Department 19, Will Hill certainly isn’t blasé about his journey to being a published author. He acknowledged his anxiety at Department 19’s reception among people he has met.
The premise of Department 19 grew out of Will’s desire to write a book about an ordinary teenage boy with flaws who through extraordinary circumstances “grows in to himself” and Will’s need to know what happened after the hero’s returned to their lives following the events of Bram Stokers Dracula.
In the process of researching Department 19: the Rising Will Hill travelled over 7200miles around America. The trip includes a visit to the not so secret area 51 and the realisation that the presence of a super secret military base, hidden 600m2 of desert was “weirdly plausible” Verdict: This was my first launch event! I had a great time and would definitely take up the opportunity to meet Will Hill again.
If you want to find out a little more about the event check out the YouTube clip below. Post by Caroline