Join YouTube star Joe Sugg as he discusses his first book, Username: Evie, an original and imaginative graphic novel. Username: Evie follows a socially isolated girl who fights to save a virtual world – created as a safe place for her by her dying father – from descending into mayhem.
Time 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
I received a free ticket for reviewing this event.
This event was always going to be a little different from the others… I probably underestimated the enthusiasm of Joe Sugg’s audience to be honest. Actually I think I expected it to be more of a mix, as this was the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, but with the exception of a handful of parenteral figures this was a sold out auditorium of devoted fans.
I asked the girls I was sitting next to what made Joe so special and they told me that “he really stands out from the rest [on YouTube]”
While the audience was coming in Joe Sugg reminded everyone (over the sound system) to collected their copies of Username Evie. The signed books were lined up on tables at the front of the stage and whole system ran smoothly.
Once Joe Sugg took to the stage we learned a little of his growing up before discussing Username Evie. Having always loved comics, Joe was introduced to graphic novels during his A-levels which is why, when the opportunity creating a book came along, this was the direction he chose.
Joe also talked about the creative team behind Username Evie (including the incredible Matt Whyman of The Savages genius), how his fans helped choose the character’s name, and some of the in-jokes in the book. Sadly this part of the event was all too short for me – in fact I timed it. The Username Evie section was 5 minutes of the hour long event, which I felt wasn’t long enough and wanted to hear more, BUT I was one out of 1500 people in that audience and everyone else seemed ecstatic with how it was scheduled.
The second half was a fan Q & A from twitter and members of the audience. The Chair made sure that as many fans as possible got to ask questions and at the end 50 fans were chosen to meet Joe Sugg in person.
I’d say the event certainly catered to what the audience wanted.
Despite his failing health, Evie’s father comes close to creating such a virtual idyll. Passing away before it’s finished, he leaves her the key in the form of an app, and Evie finds herself transported to a world where the population is influenced by her personality. Everyone shines in her presence, until her devious cousin, Mallory, discovers the app… and the power to cause trouble in paradise.
The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival runs from
Friday 25th September to Sunday 4th October.