Last week, I managed to call in some favours to knock off the day job early in order to head up t the British Library to attend the Strange Chemistry imprint launch. Those who’ve ever read my writing might question why I would go to the launch of an imprint specialising in YA fiction. The answer to that goes back to long before the imprint was conceived.
I first met Strange Chemistry editor, Amanda Rutter, at what was essentially a tweetup at Eastercon 2010. I’d been to a number of genre events before and found them quite lonely affairs, so when people I’d been chatting to on twitter arranged to meet up I was eager and excited. We ended up ‘crashing’ the pro’s bar, a massive group of us all gathered round tables in the centre of the room. It was truly great and I still look back to that convention with fondness.
When I think back to that group in the bar, there were so many who’ve gone on to do things within genre: people who now have books deals, people who have agents, and people, like Amanda, who now work in the industry. Even then, Amanda had a keen, passionate eye for books. So much so, I said to her on more than one occasion that she should be an agent or something.
That something came about eighteen months later in the form of Angry Robot, who gave Amanda her own YA imprint. I only know a tenth of how hard she has worked in putting this together, but that tenth is more than enough to be proud of. She has signed up some fantastic authors with wonderful books and I think Team Strange Chemistry is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of YA fiction.
The evening consisted of wine and some books readings from three of the imprint’s authors. All three sounded great and I picked up a couple of free books to add to my already-teetering-to-the-point-of-potentially-killing-someone-in-a-bookslide to-read pile.
Unforntunately, the british transport system being what it is, I couldn’t stay long in the pub afterwards before having to head out to catch the last train home. Still, it was a fantastic evening and I wish Strange Chemistry every success. Be sure to check out their launch and forthcoming books.