July 1, 2017

And you all know what was last month . . . BEA! I went, I saw, I killed my feet. It was actually really, really bad how much my feet hurt by the end of that day. I could barely stomach it. But it was totally worth it. I didn’t really take any photos within the exhibit hall, but I don’t normally. I took some of the Hillary Clinton and Al Franken events I went to but that was about it. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen those (if you don’t follow me on Instagram, why not? *side-eyes sidebar*)

I won’t keep you hanging. Here’s my haul.

This was my first BEA since moving to Arizona (last time I went was in 2012 just before the move) and I was extremely conservative with what I grabbed while there. Mainly because I had to ship everything back. No longer could I just stuff everything in a suitcase and drag it back to Connecticut with me. And with a $41 handling fee per box PLUS the actual cost to ship I figured one box was enough. And I filled it. Comfortably. None of this overstuffing.

One of the benefits of going on the last day is publishers are trying to purge the stock they brought with them so they don’t have to lug it back to the office. So I ended up with some totally random (but cute!) stuff.

I was thrilled by all the comics that were there and how it’s becoming such a mainstream and popular (and accepted) medium for reading. While I’m not the biggest Dark Crystal fan I will give the comic a try! And give me a moment while I pet The Wicked + The Divine. Ugh, love that one.

And who doesn’t love swag? Again, super conservative with it this year. Stuck mostly to bookmarks. I do wish I grabbed a few more pens. I can always do with more pens. But I’m sure I’ll survive.

I really hope they start switching coasts again with the show. It’s been a long time since they’ve done that. Granted last year was the first year out of New York City since 2008, I think. Still, some variety would be nice. It works for ALA! Maybe New York, Chicago, LA? Please?

And a couple of digitals that I downloaded earlier in the month. There always seems to be one or two of these a month, just sneaking them in there. Because my reading pile isn’t already unmanageable. It’s literally larger than the library itself. Such problems I have.

By the time I put my feet in my shoes Wednesday morning it felt like they were being sawed off.  Oh sure, I had my gel insoles.  My feet didn’t actually feel tired at all.  But my cute little ballet flats were digging into every bone and tendon in my feet.  My Achilles were literally torn apart and I had band aids wrapped around anything else that stuck out.  Namely everything.  The walk to the subway was accompanied by a sound teeth-gnashing as I bit back the pain.

I was headed to Random House for their Power Reader Breakfast and I was swearing the entire way that I was going to stop back in Times Square and buy a pair of flip flops if it killed me.  I had to.  I valued my feet too much.  Lucky for me there was a Strawberries  (a kind of Forever 21-ish store) two blocks from the publisher.  Glory be the day!

The breakfast was an interesting little meet and greet.  I got to chat with some lovely bloggers and have a nice breakfast.  The lobby for Random was pretty neat, lined in books they’ve published over the years.  By the invitation I was expecting a little more of a tour since it intoned a behind the scenes look at publishing but once you checked in it was up to the breakfast room, eat, chat and then back out.  That was fine.  I was really too tired for anything else anyway.

They had some of their authors walking around chatting with people and a couple of them got up and pitched their books for a few minutes.  Random handed out some bags of books as we were leaving and that was about it.  It was a pretty laid back affair, of which I was grateful for since I couldn’t move much anyway.

I walked as quickly as I possibly could hobble over to Strawberries and made the best $6 purchase ever in the history of my existence.  I’m not lying when I say it was almost orgasmic to get my feet out of confined shoes and into flip flops.  My whole body literally felt better once they were no longer being chewed.  So much for my business casual get-up.  I had the look from the shins up.  That was enough for me at that point.

Then I had to go back to my hotel, check out and drag my suitcase over to Javits before I could check in to the new hotel.  Why did I change hotels?  Originally I was just going in for the night.  After I booked the hotel I found out I was going to an event on Thursday that I really wanted to attend.  I tried to tack on another night to the hotel I was already staying at but it would have cost me an additional $500 to do so.  Pass.  I was able to find a room at an equivalent hotel for the same price down in Chelsea.  I was okay with that.  While it was far easier being so close to Javits (a whopping four blocks) it wasn’t worth nearly $1,000 for two nights.  God I hate New York sometimes.

By the time I got back to Javits I sooooooooo did not want to be there.  I was pretty much over it.  I’d never gone for more than a day in the past.  Add together my tiredness, my soreness and overall fuck it attitude of the people around me and I was done.  I just didn’t have anywhere else to go and I was beat so I wasn’t about to wander.  I ended up kicking off all but one signing for the day because my back was killing me, my chest felt like it was going to explode (I have a weak muscle there and it literally felt like it was tearing away from the bone) and I just didn’t want to accrue more books than I already had.  So I waited.

And FINALLY met up with Nicole from WORD for Teens.  It only took us a day and a half to get on the same page and meet up.

She was with her co-blogger and roommate Julia and we just kind of hung out and chatted, mainly around the Penguin area because Julia was desperate for a MG title they were putting out.  We ran into Barry Goldblatt, aka Libba Bray’s husband, and chatted him up.  Maureen Johnson ambled on by and joined the fray for a bit before we headed out.  I had to introduce the ladies to Ellora’s Cave.

While I’m not a romance fan, there’s a certain it factor to all that is Ellora’s Cave.  Mainly they give away some great stuff and this year they had the Cavemen.

Muscly mens in tiny shirts.  On Tuesday they were signing calendars.  Of which I grabbed.  The calendars.  Nicole got a huge kick out of it since there was some irony there for her.  No, she’s not a closest smut reader.  Although I may be.

That was where we ran into Cassandra (of Yorgey fame) and she had a total WTF moment when I recognized her but she couldn’t tell me from Adam.  Loved it.  We talked and then parted ways.  We were told there were cookies in the press booth so we went hunting.  We missed the game but there was lemonade.  Score.

Nicole and I ended up parting ways, I went to my one signing, grabbed my bags again and headed to the taxi queue to get out.  I almost had to let loose my baggage on a woman who tried to swoop in on my cab and then had the audacity to look at me funny as I rolled up to it.  She actually asked, “Are you taking that?”  Yup.  Peace.  Bitch, you know what a line it?  I was in front of you.  That’s how this works.

Once I got to hotel number two (again, no bedbugs, hooray!) I had every intention of just wandering down to Books of Wonder to get some bacon products, crossing the street to get some Subway and then being fast asleep by 8.  One and two worked out well.  I was only seven blocks north of BoW between the same avenues so it was a nice easy walk.  I purchased a chocolate peanut butter bacon cookie.  It was awesome.  I had intentions of going to a restaurant and getting some real food but New York gremlins kept stealing my money and, well, I was TIRED so Subway it was.  Having not really eaten much by the way of substance in two days I readily snarfed a packed foot-long and immediately felt like a fat kid in a food coma.  I was okay with it.

As I was settling in to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I got twit by Cassandra about coming to Kidlit Drink Night at a bar near Javits.  With very little arm-twisting I succumbed and got my drink on.  What an awesome woman, truly.  And she loves her birdie!

Her parrot not pictured.  We drank, we talked, Michael Northrop joined us.  We had a lively discussion on the wiles of Connecticut, as Michael knows this pain.  It got intense as we discussed the demilitarized zone of Hartford compared to the Stepford qualities of the Gold Coast.  Damn richies.  Michael left us to pursue his networking requirements and not long after we were joined by Cassandra’s friend Bill, one of the guys behind Unshelved that gave a presentation that day on how to ban a book.  Apparently the event got a lot of complaints because people in the publishing industry don’t really read, according to Bill.  Blurb reading is rather difficult, if I do say so myself.  Too many words.  On the plus side I let him know he bears an uncanny resemblance to Simon Pegg for which he bowed to my awesomeness.  Really, he was flattered.  Really, he looks like Simon Pegg.  I figured he got it a lot.  Apparently not, I’m assuming because people are unaware of the brilliance that is Simon Pegg.  No one better ask me who he is.

The drinking didn’t last long and I was back in my room by 9 and ready, willing and able to sleep.  Thursday morning was  the Carolrhoda Lab blogger and author breakfast at a nice little dig down in Soho.  It was a great, intimate way to just chat with Andrew Karre (the man behind the Lab) and Lindsey Matvick (the promotions guru) along with some of their authors.

From left to right Meagan Spooner, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff and Maggie Stiefvater.  No big deal.  There were only maybe seven bloggers there so when I say it was a small get together, it was a SMALL get together.  And Brenna and Tessa shop at ModCloth.  They officially have a new fangirl to deal with.   All four of these ladies are wonderful, including the people at Carolrhoda Lab (of which it was totally awesome finally meeting the people I’ve been promoting like Cujo for the last couple of years).  I talked with Tessa the most since she was sitting right across from me and she’s just freaking awesome.  Seriously.  Awesome.

After that it was time for me to come back. Finally.  I love New York but every time I go back there it sours on me a little more each time.  Since I’m nursing a bruise the size of a golf ball on my arm from a guy’s elbow because I walked a little too close to him on the sidewalk, and just the rush in general, it’s just not me anymore.  I prefer San Francisco.  New York gets a place in my heart but I don’t have the enduring love for it that I used to.

I made out pretty well overall.  I got most of the books I wanted to get plus a couple more.  I have more tote bags than I know what to do with and I definitely have some swag that needs giving away.

You can see the full album on the Bites Facebook page where I have a few more pictures and I’ll be doing an Added to the Pile in a bit with the books that I’m actually adding to my pile (not all of those are for me).

Overall it was a good trip and I’m really glad I went.  If I attend BEA again it’ll definitely only be for a day.  I can’t handle more than that.  And I’ll definitely be wearing flip flops the entire time.  I say if because I most likely won’t be in the region next year and it looks like BEA is staying at Javits for a while.  Sad but I’m okay with it.  I can go to the San Diego Comic Con.  I’ll manage.  Jensen?

Every blogger who attends needs one, right?  So here’s mine, part one.

I woke up way too early Tuesday morning to grab a 5:30 train into New York City so I could get to the Javits by 8.  Yes, I absolutely passed out on the train.  The guy sitting next to me was smarter, though, since he had a blind for his eyes.  Jealous.  At least this time around I don’t believe my jaw completely dropped open and I was sitting there unconscious and gape-mouthed for all to see.

I arrived at Javits and its hugeness on my intended time, checked my bags and piddled around before they opened the doors officially at 9.  This having been my fourth year I was over the OMG I MUST GET IN NAO! anxiety that some people feel.  I avoided any and all lines to get in, mainly because I think actually queuing to get in is pretty dumb.  There are at least three entrances onto the Javits floor and people only line up at one of them.  And it’s a stupidly long line.  Pass.  I walked to the opposite end of the hall, where NO ONE was and waited in peace.  What a surprise I got in at the same time everyone else did who were a half mile back in the other line.

It was far more crowded this year and many walkers were far more of the school of FUCK COMMON COURTESY hence my homicidal urges were rearing their ugly heads by 9:30.  I wandered my way over to the Disney booth only to get sucked into a gaggle of tweeners that I’m pretty sure were just dropped off on a field trip.  And I mean sucked in.  As in I couldn’t get out.  My FUCK PEEPSOMETER went soaring real quick in that and as it’s not proper, nor is it, I believe, legal, to throw an elbow at a foaming twelve-year-old I used my shoulders instead to get as far away from the cluster of Big 6 as I humanly could.

Until I had to loop back around for the RL Stine signing.  Over and over and over again.  Deborah Harkness was signing just before him so I literally looped the S&S booth at least 7 times looking to see if people were queuing for Stine yet.  Not so much.  Maybe 20 minutes before he sat down to sign the line started forming.  I was maybe five people up from the front and in front of them were still Harkness signers.  I’m okay with that.  I felt sneaky, like I knew a secret that others didn’t.  A Stine secret.  And his signing was for an adult novel.  I’m super excited for it.

My signing schedule didn’t have a lot going on so I was able to do some laps around the exhibit floor, take some token Javits pictures to share with you all.

That first one is obviously Ally Condie’s display for her MATCHED title.  People could actually get behind the ball and get their photos taken in the bubble looking like the chicks on the book covers.  Check out Penguin Teen’s tumblr for some of those.  The other photo is just a random one of an area on the floor.  It’s a trade show.  There are people milling about and booths.  I shot booths at random.

Eventually it came time to get into Melissa Marr’s signing line for CARNIVAL OF SOULS.  The signing was at the booth in the 3300s.  My place in line was somewhere in the 2500s.  Yeah, long line. And I just have to say if you think Harper Collins is the author of the book whose line you’re waiting in to get, you need to vacate the line immediately, and quite possibly the entire trade show.  This was a real overheard conversation.  People within earshot didn’t know the title of the book they were waiting to get and didn’t know the author.  While they were waiting one would stay in line while the others would go out and forage for books.  Not an uncommon practice but usually people do it for specific signings.  Nope.  They were coming back with literally piles of books to throw in their bags.  Shove all of that together and I wanted to rail on someone.  Seriously, what is your purpose at BEA if this is how you’re acting?  It’s not so much the shameless book hoarding that bothered me but the fact that these people couldn’t tell an author from a publisher.  Gross.  Get out.  You make the rest of us look bad.  Yes, they were bloggers but not of a site I was familiar with.

At least I had an internet-familiar face in line behind me.  Lo and behold Danny from Bewitched Bookworms was there!  She’s the lovely that designed the site you’re looking at.  Since she’s from Germany imagine my surprise that I finally got to meet her.  And she’s a total doll.

That’s her on the right, your’s truly on the left.  Let me tell you how many people I had kind of freaked out that I recognized them but they had no idea who I was until they saw my tag and were like OMG!  Yeah, that’s totally purposeful.  Unless you know where to look you will not find my face splashed about my blog.  I like hiding in plain sight.  I can be incognito and be standing right in front of you.  Sneaky.
Chatting with Danny made the line go much faster although in reality is didn’t take too long to get through.  One of the good things about BEA is that the pubs putting these events on know how to organize and make things as succinct and as streamlined as possible.  Everyone has someplace to be and they know it and they do their best to get you from Point A to Point B and it’s something I appreciate as an attendee.  Love me my organization.

 Between Melissa’s line and the line for Maggie Stiefvater’s THE RAVEN BOYS I spent about 45 minutes in line total.  That’s really not bad considering the popularity of both authors.  I’ll take it for sure.  Also in my wanders of the floor I came upon the Egmont booth and OMFGBBQ there was a copy of SHADOWS, that’s ASHES #2 by Ilsa Bick, guys, sitting on the table in front of the series’ posters.  I literally, and I mean literally, squealed and jumped at it before jumping right back.  I made one of the publicists laugh.  I didn’t know if that lone ARC was a display copy so I asked and he said to go right ahead and take it.  So I did.  And I hugged it a little.  He also offered up an ASHES survival pack giveaway for when I get to reviewing SHADOWS.  So nice of him!  So keep your eyes open towards the end of August for that to pop up.

I very much like the change in cover design they did although I did like the original ASHES cover too. This one definitely looks more YA and I think that’s what they were going for but you know me.  I like my creepy and the original cover was total creep.  No, the Starbucks wasn’t mine.  I’m not a coffee drinker.

I made my way down to the Apocalypsies event to hang out for a bit.  A very small bit.  It was a pretty small room with a way lot of people which rankled me by default.  I’m really not a crowd person but for something like BEA I can halfway manage because the floor is huge.  A classroom is not so I didn’t stay long.  I chatted with Lenore for a few before running into my fellow YAckers that were able to attend.  My girls are awesome.

From left to right, Sandy at Pirate Penguin’s Reads, Holly at Book Harbinger and Angie at Angieville.  After that I hightailed it out of there pretty quickly.  I had a hotel to check into.  That ended up being blissfully bedbug free.  Hooray!

Tuesday at BEA was my packed day and it was an overall success.  The pub people and fellow bloggers I interacted with were all gems.  So were the authors.  I really can’t ask for more.  But on top of what I mentioned above about irksome issues, another big one was people’s inability to read at a publishing trade show.  The signs that stated no rolling suitcases allowed on the floor are gigantic.  People walk right under them.  Let’s count how many I saw those bags on the floor.  The only people that are allowed to have them are those with special permission, usually people already in motorized carts.  Not a problem.  Unless the organizers got really liberal with their permissions, I’m pretty sure the majority of the people I saw with those damn things shouldn’t have had them there.  Aside from the fact that they’re actually really difficult to roll over some of that really thick carpeting, it’s a pain navigating the people let alone having to watch out flipping ass over tea kettle over a suitcase that comes up to your shins.  Or having a full one roll over your toes.  Grrr.

And then there were the people that couldn’t grasp the concept of moving off to the side of the aisle to have a conversation or check their phone or gaze around.  BEA was far too crowded to have to deal with people who are the only inhabitants of their own universe and couldn’t be bothered to move out of the way of the tide trying to get around them.  All the stop/starts were making me motion sick.  And were slightly impeding the flow of traffic.  Maneuvering around the lines were bad enough without adding in aimless, oblivious people to the mix.

Thankfully I got out of there and headed to the New York Public Library for the Penguin panel on bridging the gap of YA fiction.  The turnout was small but the panel was still lively and the people in the audience asked their fair share of questions when the time came to keep it engaging.  And I got to meet Mari Mancusi, FINALLY!  And she gave me a set of Lost Boys fangs.  I am forever a fangirl.

And then, the piece de resistance, dinner with Angie and Holly at Max Brenner.  Or should I say dessert?  I did order chili and chocolate sprinkled waffle fries because I needed something of substance other than ice cream.  While the wrap I half ate earlier was $9, it wasn’t very filling.  Or all that good.  Love the overpriced food at Javits.  Let’s not forget my $3.65 bottle of water.  Yes!  Hooray for drinking fountains and refilling!

But the sundae was the kicker and the size of a meal itself.  And it had bananas in it.  That’s a fruit!  And protein!

Those are absolutely extra bowls of fudge and peanut butter sauce.  Yes, it was divine.  It would have been uncouth for me to just sick my face directly in it so I refrained but I did snarf.

By the end of day one my feet were dying and I could have slept face down in a subway train.  A few gripes but far more fun and entertainment.  Overall a productive day and I ended up with more books than I intended.  At least Wednesday was looking to be much lighter because I REALLY didn’t want to have to haul that bag all over the damn island.

Stay tuned for more!

June 5, 2012

This is it!  I’m out of here until Friday when I re-emerge from my overtired shell to make a post again.  Until then, I won’t be checking email but you can get a hold of me via Twitter and you’ll want to hang around my Tumblr too just to peek at the pictures I’ll be posting.  Let me tell you I’m totally looking forward to dinner with some of my YAckers tomorrow night.  Hopefully I won’t pass out in my ice cream.

June 3, 2012

As you can see from above, the BEA streaming video is all set up and reading to go!

Streaming will actually begin Tuesday morning with the Book and Author breakfast, featuring Stephen Colbert.  It’ll feature two more author breakfasts through Thursday along with buzz panels and events on the author stages.  Check out this list for all of the details on what you can watch streaming throughout the week.

Armchair BEA is also doing their version of BEA streaming with their online correspondents set up to chat about the event as it goes on.  So even though you may be missing out on actually being there this year, you have a bunch of options to make it FEEL like you’re really there.  Be sure to jump in on these opportunities.  I’m sure you’ll end up seeing more than those of us on the floor!