The old adage "it's a marathon, not a sprint" totally applies to Book Expo America, and after two days of warm-up the endurance test began. Up before the sun, and don't stop till your feet fall off. Re-attach and repeat.
By 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning the line to get into the Exhibit Hall at the Javits Center was longer than anyone in our group had ever seen it, at least at that hour. Excitement combined with the fact that some highly anticipated titles, including The Diviners by Libba Bray and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, were dropping that morning contributed to the extra-long entrance queue.
Jessica and I wound up in two different lines to get in and were like speeding trains passing each other for at least the first hour. When I finally encountered her again, she looked like this:
|Baby's first BEA. Awww...|
Carnival of Souls mask and The Great Meat Cookbook apron. *sigh* And only an hour or so into the expo.
We all buzzed about that morning snagging books that dropped. Stacey, Wes and I wound up in Ruta Sepetys line at the Penguin booth to get Between Shades of Gray signed and pick up a super-early advance copy of Ruta's next book, Out of the Easy. Emily was supposed to be in line with us but was detained on the other side of the Javits. Luckily, Wes was there and able to get a copy for her. Emily was so thrilled she texted me something to the effect of: "I will kiss him!" Wes' equally emotional response can be seen to your left.
Jess, John Green fan girl extraordinaire, had a mostly silent freak-out when she saw him pass by. On finally approaching him, did she profess her undying love for his work? Nope. She said star penis. (Click it and read the whole story. You know you want to.) It must have made an impression though, because she made John's BEA video.
While I was waiting in the Carnival of Souls line to see Melissa Marr, I learned Wes had been kidnapped by Russians and spent the next hour in a panel. Upon his safe return, we made the three block journey back to our hotel room to relax for a few then get ready to party.
First came the Penguin Young Readers shindig. I think Jess put it best when she said, "I am not fancy enough to be at this party." I mean, look at the joint...
|Penguin Young Readers Party|
|...and the view! WOWZA!|
The place was packed with bodies and impossible to move in, so we made the rounds, talked to some folks and headed out. As we were leaving, a male voice behind us said "You can make it!" Low and behold, it was John Green. We failed to sneak him out though. The crowd closed in and John was swept into another conversation. Once we got to the bar around the corner (Brass Monkey), we apologized via tweet for the failed rescue.
After dinner, and by dinner I mean a king's feast of appetizers, we hopped the subway to get to Little, Brown's party for Libba Bray's new book The Diviners. A lady in red waited outside and when we gave her the password she directed us into the underground speakeasy where the Roaring 20s were alive and well. Girls got feathered headpieces, guys got hats, and everyone drank from for tea cups straight out of prohibition. The highlight... Libba sang! What a voice!
Wednesday we were up early for exhibits again. I actually got a chance to sit down with Lenore, which is a rare delight. On the way back to the hotel a mechanic told us we should ditch our books and get boyfriends. Emily told him he should try reading a book. Back at our cubicle of an abode, we began to wonder what housekeeping though of our room, its floor slowly vanishing.
That night at Katherine Tegen's house was the most surreal experience of the whole week. Katherine Tegen (Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins) invited us into her home for food, drinks and mingling. We met many of the amazing folks from Katherine Tegen and Harper as well as authors Courtney Allison Moulton, Kevin Emerson, Elisa Ludwig, S.J. Kincaid, Sarah Tregay, Veronica Roth, and Chris Krovatin. Kevin even sang a song that corresponds with his book called Question Mark. Then on the way home the doors of a subway train almost closed on Emily and Stacey, nearly stranding them on what we termed the "zombie platform." Creepy, huh?
Thursday morning was the Macmillan Breakfast, which turned into an awesome candid talk with their publicity department. We got a cab back to the Javits and hit the exhibit hall one last time. At that point, we were all suffering from BEA Legs, which, if you are unfamiliar, is a verified medical condition caused by the walking of a mammoth convention center while toting your weight in books.
Maladies aside, it was a good last day. I got to see the Merry Sisters of Fate during their signing for The Curiosities...
|Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff, and Maggie Stiefvater|
Then had some laughs as BEA wound down...
|Yara from Once Upon a Twilight and Emily from Emily's Reading Room.|
...and we began our final descent into madness.
So until next year... Good talk. Go team!