Cathy Cassidy: Mad Hatter's tea party

This time last week I had the pleasure of meeting children's author Cathy Cassidy at a 'Mad Hatter's tea party' for the launch of her new book Looking Glass Girl, arranged by the MA Publishing students at UCLan. I originally heard about the event through my boyfriend who is currently interning for the UCLan Publishing team, who didn't forget to mention about the free bubbly and cakes that would be there! Jokes aside, I jumped at the chance to get a ticket.

Since the age of about 6 or 7, I've been an avid reader, (and writer! I wrote a whole book about my bear and some fairies who held a festival) reading anything I could get my hands on. Titles ranging from the dull Puffin Dictionary to sparkly Felicity Wishes, anything Jacqueline Wilson and some good old Harry Potter. Literally anything I could read, I'd have it.
My younger sister is particularly obsessed with Cathy Cassidy's books with a whopping checklist of about 8 of her books ticked off. She was going to come but she missed the golden opportunity because of exams. Who even does exams in Year 9 these days?
Me sporting some designer glasses
We started the evening at Scholars, an area catered for by the uni where everything was set up to the theme of Alice in Wonderland (did I forget to mention it was the 150th anniversary this year? Hence the theme!). I was greeted by the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit at the door and lead down the rabbit hole into a room where there were cakes and veg, sandwiches, tea, Prosecco and other tea-party like things laid on beautifully decorated tables. The effort put into the whole event was fantastic.
Josh happy with his copy and the table after we RUINED it
Me being a goober and Cathy signing my book
We ate and drank as Cathy came to each individual table for a chat. The age range of people there was brilliant, it's always nice to see adults and children able to enjoy the same book. 
Cathy gave a quick talk about how she was asked to write the book in honour of the anniversary of Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, how she knew exactly how she wanted to tell the story as soon as the idea had been proposed. She explained her love for the original, the movies and spin-offs, exhibiting a couple of copies from her personal collection obtained from as far as France! We were then lucky enough to listen to her read an excerpt from the first chapter and later get our books signed, which were bought by the uni. We didn't even have to pay a penny!
I got mine signed for my younger sister Eleanor, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the event but was very pleased when I surprised her with her signed book (first edition!).
I actually ended up reading 109 pages of it on the hour and a half train ride home. While it is aimed at pre-teen to older teens, so far I've found it an intriguing read and admire how skilfully written it is.
I can't wait to finish the book (in secret, when Eleanor isn't reading it!) and let you guys know what I think.

You can follow the UCLan MA Publishing team on Twitter and see more from Cathy Cassidy here.

What's your favourite book? Are there any you've read lately that I should have on my reading list?


  1. I'm still really jealous that you both got to meet her and got a copy of her book. She wrote one of my favourite childhood books which I still have because I loved it that much!

    Emma xxx
    Writing Essays With Wine

    1. Aye she was so lovely and quirky, found out that she actually did a degree in illustration like me! Aww, you and my sister definitely have that in common haha xxx