It’s taken me awhile to get this up, I know, but I needed time to reel from and digest the insanity that is/was BEA and BBC. It was a crazy whirlwind of an adventure, flew by way too fast, and also at times, way too slow (like when I was lugging books around on aching feet), and was the experience of a lifetime… except that it happens every year, which is the best part!
I know there have been hundreds of BEA posts already, so I won’t regale any of you with information that you already know, but will just highlight some of my personal experiences.
My mom attended with me, and together, we divided and conquered the shit out of BEA! Seriously, we were running around like crazy women, each attending different signings at different times, to get all the autographs we (read: I) wanted. We got most of the ones I wanted, but had to miss out on a few. Ah, well. We did what we could and met so many awesome authors! Holla!
We went to one of the adult author breakfasts. I was envisioning an intimate breakfast of around 100 or so, and was in for a big surprise. It was huge with an even HUGER line to get in. However, Mindy Kalling was hilarious, and Charlaine Harris was sweet as heck. Jeffrey Eugenides and Diane Keaton were there as well. So, all in all, it was a cool experience, but I was hoping we would get to meet and mingle with them. WRONG. After the breakfast (in which we had no breakfast), we hit the floor and went on an author meeting spree.
*CHUCK PALAHNIUK!!!! Um yes, this was one of those moments in life where you wish you could stop time for a little while and stay in that moment a little longer. Epic, epic, epic. He is one of my absolute favorites and was so delightful and sweet. It was a total mob scene. I, as well as about 20 others, showed up to his signing area about 45 minutes early (what can I say? I’m hardcore) and got yelled at by… the publisher… (not naming any names). They said we could not line up until 3:00 (signing started at 3:30), so instead, we just stood around in clumps. Wouldn’t a line have been better? Ah, well. So, I was about 20th in line to meet the man, and I told him that Invisible Monsters is my favorite. He personalized my ARC of Damned and wrote “look out for the Monsters movie.” Then we took a picture together. It was fab, fab, fab. I love him even more now.
*Tricia Rayburn, the author of Siren, which I LOVED! I got a signed ARC of the sequel, Undercurrent, and am STOKED to read it! Ahhhh! And Tricia was so sweet. I tweeted her that morning and told her that her name on my signing spreadsheet (nerd) had exclamation points next to it (nerdier), and she remembered me. Holla! Tricia is AWESOMESAUCE.
*Sarah Mlynowski, Sara Shepard, Ellen Hopkins, Susan Mallery, Kristan Higgins, and tons of debut authors! Oh my goodness, everyone was SO SWEET. I loved the set up for HQN, because they had different signings where you would go down a line and meet like… 5 authors-ish at a time. I went to the romance session and “fresh fiction.”
*My mom got to meet Harlen Coben, who is her favorite author and she said he was super nice.
*I was lucky enough to get to hang out with Michelle from Red Headed Book Child! We had a blast together and she is even funnier and cooler in person! She is one of my oldest blog friends… I have known her pretty much since I started my blog almost two years ago! Michelle pretty much took me under her wing and I will always be grateful. I adore the girl and hope to be lifelong friends.
*Other bloggers I met include: Jennifer from Reading With Tequila (pictured below), Sheila from Book Journey, Mandy from The Well Read Wife, Rhiannon from The Diary of a Bookworm, SenoraG from Reading, Reading and Life, Natalie from Coffee and A Book Chick, Stacy from A Novel Source… it was so awesome meeting you ladies! Hope to see you again next year! I met some other great bloggers too, sorry if I forgot to list you!
*I saw Otis Chandler from Goodreads (the founder) just standing around and I totally creeped on him (pictured to the left). I went up to him and was like “Hi Otis, can I have a picture with you? IloveGoodreadsalot.” He looked startled but was very nice and asked me what I liked about Goodreads. Bahahaha. I was so awkward. Sorry to Otis, you celebrity, you!
Wish I would have been able to spend actual time with more bloggers instead of just a quick hello. I am really shy though, so I blame that. Maybe next year?
I attended a fabulous event for S&S Atria books for bloggers with my mom, Michelle and Stacy. It. was. AMAZING. This was one of the highlights of my BEA experience. It was held at S&S and was cozy and intimate. There weren’t too many people there which was a nice respite from the craziness of the day. There were a few publishers, a few bloggers, and a few AUTHORS! They gave away copies of the author’s books, who were mingling and eating with us. Ellen Hopkins (pictured with me to the right) sat next to me when we were eating! She told my mom and I about her new adult book, Triangles, and took a picture with me. I also got her book Perfect signed while at BEA. Sweet! We also met Spencer Quinn and had him sign our copies of his dog mystery series. We also met Lisa Tucker, and saw Sarah Pekkanen and MJ Rose. Holy moly! Cool stuff! The authors were all amazing and great to talk to.
Book Blogger Con
*At the BBC reception the day before, I met some cool authors and publishers, including Kristine Gasbarre, (pictured with me to the left) whose upcoming memoir, How To Love an American Man, I am actually on tour for, so needless to say, I was delighted to meet her, and let me tell you, she was a DOLL! I adore her and loved hearing about her book. I also met Alice Ozma, author of The Reading Promise, which I’ve been dying to read! She was too sweet. Lastly, I met upcoming author Hilary Graham, whose young adult novel, Reunited, is due to be released next June. We had a nice long chat about books, blogging and blog tours, and I can’t wait to read her book!
*My favorite panel was Ask A Publisher. This was really insightful and informative. Basically, I learned that publishers really do love bloggers and not to be afraid to contact them! They are super nice!
*The best part of the day was the author speed dating event! So. much. fun! The bad thing was they made you pick between YA and adult, and you would only meet those authors. I read both so I had a hard time choosing, but went with adult because that’s what my mom reads. We ended up sitting at a table with just us and Sheila from Book Journey, and had a blast! I was super excited to meet Sarah Pekkanen and Diana Spechler, who were SO lovely, and was also honored to meet a lot of new-to-me authors. It was really casual and fun and I loved hearing about all their books. I won’t list them here because I’ll be reviewing many of them in the near future.
*Awesome build your own swag bags! I got a lot of books that I am super stoked about, especially The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
Things That Sucked
*Jane Lynch was there and somehow my mom and I DIDN’T KNOW. Gahhh! Can’t believe we missed it.
*Diane Chamberlain running out of The Midwife’s Confession three people ahead of me in line. This was one of the books I wanted the most and I didn’t even get to meet her. 🙁
*Not meeting as many of my blogger friends as I wanted to.
*Being in constant pain from my shoulders to my feet, from all the walking and book lugging, but it was WORTH IT!
But, that is all for the letdowns. The experience was just wonderful. So many authors and book lovers all in one place. Woowee!
BEA, be ready for Steph the Bookworm in 2012… and 2013… and 2014…