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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Look Back

It’s been a banner year for Wastepaper Prose. We’ve read some great books, met amazing people, made great friends, been to awesome events, added reviewers to the site and expanded our approach to blogging.  

In late 2011, a random Twitter conversation about the Beautiful Creatures series reconnected me with Jessica, an acquaintance from high school, and not long after that she came aboard as a reviewer. She joined the team and dove head first into the world of YA lit, including reading, reviewing and attending conferences. The New Year marks Jess' first full year on the blog. She’s been a tremendous addition!

Lynsey linked up with Wastepaper Prose in February  when her life got a little crazy and she was trying to figure out a way to stay in the game. Knowing it would be a great loss to the blogging community if Lynsey, who also runs Narratively Speaking, stopped blogging all together, I extended an invite and she accepted.  She’s become our resident New Adult expert, reviewing a new title on the last Friday of every month.

Come Spring, I hopped a plane to New Orleans for the launch of my critique partner Suzanne Johnson's debut novel, Royal Street. We spent about four days in the city touring places that inspired the book and eating some damn good food. Ooo-weee! I was the youngest member of what Suz termed "The Cougar Tour of N'awlins" but it was a blast.

I came home for a little less than two weeks, popping into Fountain Bookstore to see Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate, who made the trip down to Richmond for a signing. We had lunch before and had a wonderful time chatting. (If you ever have the chance to meet her, dooooo eeet! Aimee is a sweetie.)

Me and Katie from Mundie Moms.
After my brief stop at home, I was Texas-bound, making my first trip to The Texas Library Association annual conference. Christin from Portrait of a Book was nice enough to house Stacey from Page Turners Blog, Jen from Novel Thoughts and myself and we had a blast. I got to see some far-flung friends like Yara from OnceUpon a Twilight and meet friends I’d known online but never had the opportunity to meet like Katie from Mundie Moms. I even met Neal Shusterman, author of lots of awesomeness! The conference was pretty laid back which was a nice change of pace given the normal speed of conferences and trade shows, which is "roadrunner on crack" if you aren't familiar.

Things were pretty quite until early summer. We kicked off the warmer months by co-hosting the super-enjoyable insanity that was June Is Audiobook Month with Page Turners Blog, Once Upon a Twilight, and Emily's Reading Room. During the first week of June, 75% of the Wastepaper Prose Posse (as Wes likes to call it) headed to Book Expo America (Recaps Part 1 and Part 2)

Of course I rose at the crack of "Oh my God, why am I awake?" on the day we left and picked Jess and Wes up on the way to NYC. (Lynsey unfortunately couldn't make BEA this year.) It sounds crazy, but BEA was the first time I met Wes in person and I've "known" him since I was 15 years old. Not to get mushy, but it was a pretty awesome highlight of my year. (He may have a different take, but he's been stuck with me this long right?)

We arrived at the tiny Best Western and the room we later termed "our cubicle" and had about two hours to settle in before the whirlwind week of exhibits, publisher parties and blogger outings that nearly burned the soles off our shoes. 

We got to attend a party at the home of the lovely Katherine Tegen, publisher of Katherine Tegen Books, meet fabulous people and see an amazing view at a Penguin Young Readers party in the meat-packing district, and hear Libba Bray sing at a speakeasy-style party to celebrate The Diviners.  

I wasn't lying about the view.
And Libba Bray has a fabulous voice.
Jess met John Green finally! She also said "star penis" to him. (See related story.) Wes, who had always been behind the scenes, enjoyed his first BEA picking up titles such as The End of Men while on a quest for the strangest book at BEA. (I was hoping to find something like Men Who Love Women Who Love Men Who are Emotional Amoebas, but alas.) On the upside, BEA did suck Wes into the world on reviewing when he received copies of Michelle Gagnon's Dont't Turn Around and Libba Bray's The Diviners.

Tiffany Trent, who I met back in 2007 while she was trying to abscond with a candy basket at Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver Launch, came to DC in August to launch her latest book The Unnaturalists. Appropriately enough, the event was held at the Museum of Unnatural History. (AKA 826DC). 

Tiffany Trent signing at 826 DC.
Julie Kagawa tries to kill me.
In September, I hit the road again to meet up with some author friends and Stacey from Page Turners in Louisville, KY. Kelly Creagh, Katie McGarry and Julie Kagawa met us for pizza and hung out talking, books, covers and publishing, not which was fit for innocent ears. Julie also attacked me per usual. Out of love, naturally. (...but we really have to get her a non-violent hobby.

Me, Jess & Kat and Malinda. 
Malinda Lo stopped in Richmond in October for an appearance at the James River Writers Conference and postponed her book signing until I found parking. I was infinitely flattered.  

Jessica represented at YALLFest in November. She met Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl, Lauren Morrill and many, many others. For the holidays, the stateside reviewers for WPP, got together for a holiday party involving donuts and zombies and we were reminded that you should "always go toward the brains."

I think I'll make that my mantra for 2013 - "Always go toward the brains." Cause you know, "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." is pretty played out. :) 

WPP stateside crew: Jessica, Wes, and Susan
Thanks to the authors, publishers, bloggers, friends, readers and the Wastepaper Prose family for making it a truly outstanding 2012. I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring! 


  1. I also like "Always go toward the brains" as a motto!

  2. Wow, such a packed year! It was great being at BEA with you guys!