Potential recruits Mark de Jager, Liz de Jager and Amanda Rutter attended a top secret event at the Churchill War Rooms last night.
Under strict security we were allowed entrance to a highly classified area where we were made to partake of snacks and wine. Not so bad then. That was until the briefing.
We were informed in strictest confidence that it is only due to the existence of Department 19 that we as humans are still alive today. We sat through the briefing and listened with growing amazement to an elaborate tale of dark forces and monsters encroaching on our shores.
It was an eye-opening experience. We were shocked, to say the least. Needless to say we were in need of more wine and snacks after the briefing and interview with the chronicler of the case files for Department 19.
The following are some highly classified photos of the event. Please, whatever you do, make sure not to let the wrong people see these.
Operatives present at the evening looking as concerned about the new recruits as the new recruits looked and felt being in this unfamiliar territory.
High ranking operatives and case files chronicler, Will Hill.
We are introduced to the existence of Department 19.
The awful inevitable truth.
As Mark, Amanda and I continue our training within Department 19 we will be able to share with you more and more, so please, make sure to check back regularly for updates on both MFB and Floor To Ceiling Books.
I have been an avid reader of your blog for many months but today you have disappointed me. Where other blogs can come across as a little too sycophantic towards authors and publishers in their reviews, I feel your opinions hasve always been far more balanced. Until today.
This post, and the related twitter comments I have observed today, come across as smug and "in the pocket" of Harper Collins. Have you even read this book yet? I thought you were a book reviewer, not a book promoter.
This will not stop me reading your blog as thanks to you I have discovered some wonderful books, although the seeds of doubt have been sown and I wonder whether I have been a little naive over the months I have been a fan of My Favorite Books.
Thanks for your comment, it really is much appreciated. I'm sorry if we've disappointed you today with this blogpost. It's been done all tongue in cheek and for the fun of it.
I am even more pleased that you will be sticking around as your comment is very thoughtprovoking - I apologise if our entusiasm for a "top secret" book launch seemed smug or in their pockets. This is not the case - believe me. I would like to think that us here at MFB suffer from too much integrity for that to ever happen. Also - we have too many authors to be loyal to for one publishing house to take dominance!
Although, I have to warn you: tonight I get to meet Cornelia Funke...and there will be smugness abd geeky fan-girling, as she is one of my all time favourite heroines!
Mel - you have really given me a lot to think about. Thanks again for taking the time out to give us a shout-out.
Very strange comment there, Mel. The launch of Department 19 looked like a lot of fun and was very unusual, so Liz was just keeping with the theme in her report.
It's just a bit of fun, and Liz's report made me chuckle. Fun, you know?
It kinda feels like you've waltzed in to a party and popped all the balloons, which is a shame.
After reading Mel's comment I thought I'd better go back and have another look at the post in question (I also checked out the tweets to make sure I hadn't missed anything).
I think Mel's interpretation of the post is more than a little off the mark. Promo events are designed to create a buzz and make people come away talking and thinking about the forthcoming product. Liz reported on the evening in a way that was amusing, but definitely NOT gushing.
I have to agree with Adam. I heard about this event at Fantasycon and it sounded like a lot of fun. I'm not a book blogger or reviewer, heck I'm not even industry, so I really enjoyed hearing about this as I would never have been invited to go. I'm glad Liz stayed true to the theme of the event with her report, helps convey the atmosphere.
I really enjoyed the post and would love to see more of them. Horses for courses, I guess. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the article, Mel
Oooh I am excited to know more about Department 19!!
I have been lucky to meet Liz a couple of times and please believe me when I say that there are possibly few bloggers who are as disinterested as she is when it comes to writing about books. I have been in the blogging 'game' for less than a year, but it is My Favourite Books that I use as a model for my own blog, and Liz who I turn to if I am unsure about how to write a review about a book that I did not enjoy. Her advice has been invaluable.
Slots that some bloggers feature such as "Waiting on Wednesday" irritate me slightly as I personally feel that it sounds like a blogger is just dropping a big hint at a publisher to add them to a list for a review copy. You don't see anything like this on MFB.
To address your criticism re. smugness - you could not be more wrong. Do you ever see an "In My Mailbox" feature on MFB? No - because Liz does not feel the need to tell the world about the latest books she has been sent. Yes, occasionally Liz will post photos of books on Twitter but that is only through sheer excitement and for me this exemplifies the passion Liz shows towards books.
From what I can make out Liz was one of a minority of bloggers invited to the Department 19 event, with the rest of the guests made up from members of the book selling world. This to me is evidence of the value that publishers and authors place on Liz's work producing reviews and features that are honest and objecti9ve, not at all because she is "in their pockets".
Book bloggers have occasionally had a bad press - because of sycophantic reviews, selling proofs on ebay, etc - Liz is not one of these, she is one of the good guys.
All the best
I just wanted to add a little something here. This event was very rare, especially in these grim days. Having a book launch at the Churchill War Rooms is a big deal - it makes us bloggers excited that a publisher is prepared to put so much effort into a book. I just wanted to let you know that our enthusiam is sincere - we love what we do. Liz and Mark are the most enthusiastic book lovers out there. I'm constantly in awe of how much reading/blogging/event attending they manage to fit in for a wide variety of publishers in their free time. They're probably the most dedicated people I've met.
Like most bloggers we do this simply for the love of shiny, gorgeous books. I hope you do continue to enjoy MFB and that our reviews convince you to stick with us.
I enjoyed this post: it was clearly tongue in cheek and delightfully playful.
I've just discovered this blog today (via manda's blog) and must say I loved this post, did turn me a shade green with envy but love it i did. I'll be back! (Even if it's just to make sure this new recruit keeps ME alive!)
imagine your favourite action film, cross it with your favourite vampire film, throw in a bucket load of Resident Evil fight scenes and you will end up with Department 19. That is how good it is.
good post. . .adore with your review=)
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