Belgium was my holiday this summer, with none other then my sister. Now, Lola and I haven't been on holiday together since New York and I think that was when I was about 13 or 14. Lola and I are complete opposites in every single way so I was a bit concerned how this would work out but it was fun! We did get really lost finding the hotel because it took us ages to get out of the shopping centre (the eurostar is at the bottom of the shopping centre), I really needed to pee and I was hungry. On top of that, not one person spoke English! Turns out our hotel was literally opposite this massive shopping centre and it is one of the nicest and coolest hotels I have stayed in. We got there about mid afternoon so we walked to the botanical gardens, which were beautiful. If I decide to get married, I would want it there. We then had steaks and chips - they are obsessed with chips! I wanted to have some traditional food but chips is their traditional food lool.
We were staying in the centre of Brussels which was awesome and I said to Lola the next day we are going to have a full day of activities, which she was up for. We tried to book tickets to go to another city like Bruges but the coach was all filled up and I soon came to realise, after using Google to find the top 10 things to do, that Brussels was a little dry.
In the morning, we had a London native who worked at the hotel and she gave us advice of where to go. She swore that seeing Mini Europe and Grand Place was a must. Mini Europe sounded crap so I was like no thank you but to be honest, there wasn't much to do! In the end, we decided we would go to this Mini Europe, which was a bit far out and then do Grand Place in the evening. Unfortunately I was right. Mini Europe was the dullest thing I have seen. It's basically mini statues of 'iconic' things in Europe e.g. Big Ben. I thought there was going to be rides but no. The most exiting thing I did there, was press a button on a fake volcano and it erupted - but even that wasn't cool.
Afterwards we went to see Paper Town which was AMAZING!! Salvaged the crappy day.
We went back to the hotel so I could put on some tights and Lola wanted to chill for a bit but me being me was like no, no honey, we've got to keep the holiday moving! Grand Place was ten minutes from us. It was so pretty. We got to see Mannequin Pis and some beautiful cathedrals. Brussels is buzzing at night, especially Dellirium bar. Lola was complaining that she was tired and wanted to go back to the hotel. It was only 10pm! But in fairness we had been constantly moving since 9am.
We were in Brussels for 3 days and the first two, it was chilly and I had only brought summer clothes. Thank the Lord, H&M was opposite. The last day was really hot and we spent it shopping and walking around Grand Place. We found this very cool animation museum as well. The last thing we did was go back to the Botanical Gardens. Perfect.
And to finish my amazing Summer, Leanne took me to Benihana's in West End. I have always wanted to go. We were seated on the most random table. We had an Arab couple, the girl was very pretty and the man was not. They were rude and dismissive to the staff and a brother and sister with their dad who barely spoke to each other. I love to people watch. Call it the writer in me so I said to Leanne, I think the Arab girl is using the guy for his money and the dad is divorced and today is his night with the kids so he is trying to do something 'cool' for the kids. Leanne and I were clapping at everything the chef was doing. He flipped a prawn into his hat! I mean, come on! Everyone else on the table was not impressed. I had a strawberry mojito - there are no words for the amazingness.
We ran The Author School and it was amazing!! Twenty minutes into the class, I looked around and realised we were onto something big. The speakers were brilliant, we had great writers who came and got really engaged. Plus, I learnt so much from them. I can't wait for the November 27th class. We have a literary agent, editor, publisher, cover designer coming to speak. Our 60% offer ends tomorrow, so get a ticket for Nov or Jan while you can - 60%
One thing I learnt that really opened up my eyes was POD. That stands for print on demand and when you have a print on demand book, bookstores can't stock you because you don't have a warehouse. Which explains the whole Waterstones palaver I went through before. So I am most likely going to re-publish Emily Knight I AM so that it's in a proper warehouse and can potentially get into the massive book stores.
Whilst I was in Belgium, I was asked by Renee to speak at her event Out The Box Live at Google Campus. I said yes but I have a bad habit of committing myself to things and not really knowing what's going on. I just thought I could blag it and just say whatever but as the event got closer, I thought, maybe it would be best to make a Power Point presentation. On the actual day, I was so nervous! When I got there, I was more nervous!! It had been such a busy week, I hadn't had loads of time to practice my speech. But fortunately it went very well. People were laughing and really engaged when I spoke. The other speakers were so good and I felt like a proper author that day! I got to speak to people afterwards about what their dreams were and hopefully I encouraged them to go for it.
Backpack is currently being shopped around for a deal!AAAHH!! So excited!
If by December I haven't signed a publishing contract for Emily Knight 2, I'm going to self-publish it. So watch this space because I may have a new book out next year. Holla!
Last bit of good news is that I am a finalist for the Young Enterprise Minds Awards 2015!!! How cool! The event is on Halloween so fingers crossed I win something or I'll throw toilet paper over someones house.
I keep having this same dream that Drake and I end up being bff's.
I dressed up like Cruella De Vil for a costume party. I'm a bit concerned how well the costume looked. Check out my instagram to see it in all of it's glory.
See you in two weeks x
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