Hey guys! I have quite a different post for you today! I absolutely love Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs. It’s such a unique series and Hollow City was one of my favourite books of 2016 (Was that really 2 years ago?). So when I saw he was coming to the UK and only visiting Manchester and London, I knew I had to go! I hope you don’t mind me sharing my experience with you all because it was pretty exciting!
Normally authors visit places that are hours away from me and I never get to go but Ransom was coming to Manchester which isn’t that far from me so obviously I had to go! I couldn’t miss this opportunity and I’m so glad I went! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of A Map of Days and it was so fun being able to hear Ransom talk about it and then sign copies afterwards! I ended up getting the book and a goody bag because I’ve never received one before at an event, I wanted to see what it was like!
I’ve been to a book signing before but never to one of the events where they sit down and discuss their new book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I got their fairly early and it had already filled up quite a bit but I managed to get a seat fairly close to the podium, so it wasn’t too bad! While I was waiting I had a peak inside to see what goodies we were given! The tote is obviously my favourite item but there was some other nice things too!
So we got the tote bag, a small bag of sweets/chocolate which was very nice to munch on, a small black plain notebook and three postcards.
Ransom arrived at 7pm and spent around an hour talking about many different aspects of the series. One of the things he discussed was the explanation for how the first book in the series came about. He said he visited many flea markets to buy cheap furniture and always noticed stacks of strange photographs which he then started collecting. He was told he should write a book about them and he said that when he started writing it, and even when it was published, he didn’t think anyone would actually read it. He said a few times that he never imagined so many people would love these books and the characters.
He talked about the editing process for A Map of Days and how some scenes didn’t make it into the book, one being where the peculiars are attending school. I found this part especially interesting because I always struggle with editing and he said that the reason he cut this certain scene out was because it was holding the story back. I liked how he basically explained how he had identified a problem and what his solution was to fix it. It was really sound advice and hopefully something I can keep in mind next time I get stuck in an endless cycle of editing.
He then spent around 30 mins answering fan questions and it was really fun hearing what kind of questions people had. There was a lot of aspiring writers seeking advice so it was incredibly helpful listening to what Ransom had to say! Someone asked if anyone has come forward to identify the people in the photographs since the books were published. I thought that was a really great questions and was curious to what his answer would be! Unfortunately no one has come forward so the people in the photographs continue to be a mystery which I guess is rather fitting to the story! He also explained why he chose a peregrine. When he was thinking of what title he could use, he read about peregrine’s and all the amazing things they could do, and he instantly knew he had to have that in the title and the story.
Another fan asked a question about the film and how much he was involved in that. He said he didn’t have a lot of say in the changes that were made but he was invited to the set when they were filming and it was a really great atmosphere.
Around 8:30pm we were taken to another room where Ransom was seated a table ready to sign books! I ended up taking the whole series with me (except Tales of the Peculiar as that copy is already signed) and he signed them all no problem! I was worried he would only be signing A Map of Days, so it was really nice of him to sign all the copies fans had brought along with them! So every book I own by Ransom Riggs is now signed which is fantastic!
If no one has been to an event like this but is thinking of going one, I encourage you to take the plunge and do it! I hope I can attend another one in the future because it was very interesting but also a lot of fun! Ransom was very lovely, funny and friendly! He listened to his fans and encouraged them to ask him anything, no matter how bizarre it seemed! Plus he then happily signed five books for me (I had two copies of A Map of Days)! I was so exhausted afterwards as I’d been up since 6am and didn’t get home until about 9:30pm but it was definitely worth it! I haven’t actually read this book yet as I was waiting for the event, so now I’m hoping to cosy down with it one weekend! As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading!