I flew to New York on Wednesday morning and, with charmed travel along the way, was able to hit the Javits Center floor by 10:30 a.m. I floundered a bit in that first hour, as the lines were long for every author I wanted to see, and I realized how many of my favorite authors needed tickets that I did not have. But things started to fall in place as toward the end of the signing hour a few of the authors allowed non-ticketed participants, so long as ticketed participants went to the front of the line. In this way I was able to get signed books from Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), Dave Barry (The Bridge to Neverland), Coe Booth (Bronxville), and a poster from Rosemary Wells. I was able to catch Coe later to check up on our mutual writer friend Caroline Hickey, who had just had her baby girl!
I ran into Sarah from The Reading Zone, and she was happy to join me on my signing itinerary. We gave a try to the Harlequin Teen books, but they were already gone, so we stood in line for Jan Brett’s Home for Christmas. It was a bit of a wait, so we were able to chat. Such a nice treat to have a friend on line with me.
Lisa Yee! I’ve known Lisa Yee online for years, reviewed her books, read her blog, but had never met her in person. She was signing at the American Girl booth, so Sarah and I got books and pics with this lovely lady.
Then Sarah and I headed back for the autograph area for what was likely a useless pursuit of a ticketed author’s book — Goliah, by Scott Westerfield. But again, since die-hard fans had been through already, the line was shorter and they were (quietly) allowing people without tickets in line. So we were able to get signed copies of the ARC! (You’ll see it as a prize in the 48 Hour Book Challenge.)
Just after noon, some of the kidlitosphere folk had arranged to meet for lunch before our last walk on the exhibit floor. There I caught up with Charlotte, Anamaria, Alex, Terry, Anatasia, Susan, Katie, and Sheila. Many of this group stuck together as we strolled the booths, enjoying the handouts of cupcakes, candy, and soda as the exhibitors tried to get rid of their last supplies to a dwindling audience. Most booths were clearly packing up by 1:30 p.m., but we still were able to look at books, talk to publishers, score leftover swag, and pick up a book or two.
After shipping home my book haul from two days, Charlotte and I headed to the Book Blogger Convention meet-and-greet. It was indeed nice to meet and to greet bloggers, and I had some interesting conversations. But cash bar? Not so nice. I would have much rather had soda and cookies available than $7 Coronas. Later Charlotte and I also went to the Kid Lit Drink Night, where I touched base with Barry Lyga, Betsy Bird, and Alvina Ling. I had a long conversation with middle-grade authors Matthew Cody, Eric Wight, and Aaron Starmer who graciously kept me company on the perimeter of the very loud party. Through the night I was able to chat with Harold Underwood, Melanie Hope Greenberg, Cheryl Klein, Lisa Yee, Peter Brown, Matthew Kirby, and well, lots of writers, publishers, and editors. It was a fantastic turnout!
Overall, BEA was a great success for me. I did see some line-cutting, rudeness, and grabbiness, but I was generally out of the drama zone. There weren’t as many ARCs available, but I wasn’t there so much for ARCs as for connections with authors, publishers, and bloggers (oh my!). I shipped home one box of books and stuff, and now I can’t wait for it to arrive. Let it be soon, like before the 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend.
THIS WEEKEND???!!! I’d better get busy!
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.