Book Expo America was a bit of a whirlwind this year. Barely four days including travel, burning the candle at both ends as usual. Such is the life of a BEA-goer right?
Prior to my leaving Alex London, author of Proxy, described BEA best: "You go there for one panel, 6 weeks & 473 tote bags later, you emerge and still haven't found a way to get a cup of coffee." Yep, that's pretty accurate.
I retrieved one woefully under-caffeinated boy blogger AKA Wes after two hours of driving and a lot of traffic. We arrived in NYC around 1 p.m., parked the car with relative ease, and checked into the hotel before immediately heading out to Rockefeller Center to meet up with Emily at a lunch get together where I also got to see Katie from Katie's Book Blog, Bailey from IB Book Blogging and Lauren from 365 Days of Reading.
Afterwards Katie, Emily, Wes and I hopped the subway to Penn Station and made the walk to the Javits Center to get our badges in preparation for the opening of exhibits the following morning. We found Yara at the hotel and spent some time catching up before getting ready for the Harper Collins Blogger Party.
|Me and Jessica.|
Overwhelming doesn't even begin to cover the Harper shindig. It was packed to the brim and you could barely hear your own conversation at times, but we had a blast. I got to chat with number of authors, some I was already familiar with and others who I was meeting for the first time.
Thursday morning we began a marathon day. Harlequin breakfast with Julie Kagawa, Amanda Sun, Katie McGarry, and Elizabeth Scott. While waiting for things to kick off I got to chat with Katie from Mundie Moms and D.J. from D.J.'s Life in Fiction. Jessica also arrived and we breezed past each other several times before actually getting to hang out in a signing line.
|Katie (Mundie Moms) and Emily (Emily's Reading Room)|
autographing lines, non-stop back and forth across the massive Javits Center. There were plenty of highlights though, including getting Bob Shea's latest picture book Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great. Macmillan's Blogger Happy Hour came next, and along with great bookish conversation, the Macmillan team gave us an early manuscript of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski.
A short subway ride to the Lower East Side and we found ourselves in front of this building...
You'd be right if you're thinking that's the gorgeous building where Simon & Schuster hosted its City of Bones party. We waited outside for a long time, baking on the street, which prompted a little bit of silliness. That led to this supremely embarrassing yet awesome photo of Emily and me. I do not think we could recreate these faces if we tried.
|Emily and me.|
The building was pretty fantastic from the outside, but inside was beyond amazing. Pretty swanky, eh?
Gorgeous does not begin to describe it. To add to the atmosphere, there were tarot card readings and rune airbrushing. By the end of the night the place was packed with all manner of bookish people - bloggers, authors and publishing industry representatives. We also got to see a clip of the movie and, wow, is it going to be good.
Friday we got up and did it all again, minus the parties. While waiting in line to see Jeff Hirsch and get his latest book The Darkest Path, I meet Cait from Escaping Through the Pages and we wound up in many lines together. I only wish we'd gotten a photo.
I also wound up running into Vania, photographer to the stars, and Sabrina of YA Bliss while trolling the exhibit hall. Emily, Sabrina and I caught up in the signing line for Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave, which was super duper long.
|Sabrina, Emily, and me.|
Then Wes, Vania, and I found a corner of the Javits and took a little break. Vania took the opportunity to oppress the cupcake people.
|Vania and the cupcake in question.|
Friday night there was a late night post office trip. Only in NYC is the post office open until 10 p.m. I have to tout my cab hailing skills here because I got one on the first try. After mailing books, Emily, Wes, and I sat on the steps for a long while just talking before making the trek back to the hotel.
We popped into exhibits Saturday morning and snagged a few more books, including Never Fade by Alex Bracken. Then we said our goodbyes to the Javits Center and loaded up the car for the drive home. I'll admit I had a bit of a heart attack when a certain blogger (YARA!) assaulted by car by banging on the trunk as I was pulling out of the parking deck.
In spite of temptation, I was the picture of restraint this year. I went home with an entirely manageable TWO tote bags worth of books. More surprising, Wes, who only took home a handful of books last year, found enough to fill a tote bag. Once we arrived at Wes', we celebrated our conquest (or survival) or BEA with steak... that we ate like cavemen because Wes owns one knife.
And so, until next year, I leave you with this adorable picture of Wes and a cat.