Julia Quinn event in Sydney
We had 50 people there for the talk–some who travelled a very long way just to meet Julia–and everyone was thoroughly entertained by the Q&A. The session was led by Kat Mayo, who had come armed with questions, including an icebreaker involving Julia’s preference for broad swords or long swords–but Julia passed on that one. Julia also answered questions from the audience. The session went for just over an hour, but we could easily have gone on for much longer.
Julia talked at length on a number of topics, including the appeal of The Bridgertons, secondary characters, examples of some reader reactions, her second epilogues, authors that she reads, and also her holiday in Australia. In the middle of her talk, Julia suddenly pointed to ARRA member Rudi, who was wearing her now-famous shoes featuring her favourite romance book covers, and asked her to model them to the audience (we were all quite envious). Julia also talked about her current series featuring the Smythe-Smith family, including her upcoming book, The Sum of all Kisses, which comes out at the end of October
Julia had nothing but praise for the three ARRA events she had attended (the book-signing in Fremantle and the reader events in Melbourne and Sydney) and made a point of recommending us to the audience, which was lovely.
We were very lucky to have the Castlereagh Hotel’s grand dining room as the venue for high tea afterwards. ARRA members might recognise this as the venue for our awards dinner every other year. It’s difficult to imagine a more perfect setting to have afternoon tea with the author who gave us Lady Whistledown!
The menu featured a summer punch (delicious!), plus a choice of five teas (served in individual teapots), followed by finger sandwiches (crusts off), a selection of savoury pastries and then beautiful sweets—scones, vanilla slices, fruit tartlets, chocolate éclairs and orange and poppy seed friands. We made sure to sample everything.
Several readers came up as they were leaving to say goodbye and Julia obviously remembered their conversations from earlier in the day, as she would comment on something from that conversation. That’s a pretty impressive feat after a busy event meeting so many people!
Many thanks to HarperCollins for their help in organising the event, and also to Booktopia for bringing along books to sell. Special thanks to Kat Mayo for doing such a fabulous job hosting the talk.