For those who are not familiar with it, BEA is an acronym for Book Expo America, a yearly event in New York City which brings together publishers, authors, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and other industry professionals to hear about new and upcoming titles, network with other professionals in the field, participate in educational programming, and to just talk about books with other people who love them as much as you do!
BEA is held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a HUGE (and I mean GIGANTIC) convention center. And it is packed full with retailers and publishers who are marketing their upcoming titles, new technology, etc. There is so much going on in the Javits that your head can and probably will spin just trying to figure out what to do and where to go.
But I went in with an agenda, meticulously planned out and executed quite well, I must say. There are only a handful of things I was not able to attend, but I am okay with that. I checked a suitcase for $3 and I am SO glad I did that. It’s much better than lugging around heavy books all day. Definitely worth it.
BEA is exhausting and awesomely fun. You are literally on your feet all day and there are SO MANY PEOPLE, it’s practically impossible to find a breathing moment to relax and regroup, unless you truck back to your hotel. The author signing lines were way out of control. They wrapped around other booths, in the middle of aisles, such that no one really knew where the line began and ended. People were constantly policing the line so other people didn’t cut in. It was just out of control. And, for me, I really only wanted a copy of the book. I didn’t really care of the author signed it or not. For me to have to wait in a line like that for the author to sign the book was nuts. Yes, there were some authors I wanted to see, but others I did not care as much about. But, the publisher would not give out a copy of the book unless you joined the author signing line. I don’t know how, but I wish they could find a better way to manage the signings or maybe move them elsewhere within Javits.
But, anyway, here’s a brief recap of who I saw and what I did. This is definitely not a comprehensive list.
One of the first things I did Tuesday morning was get in line for Heather Gudenkauf’s book signing of ONE BREATH AWAY. I LOVE her books, so I was super excited to meet her and get her latest book. The one thing I did NOT want to do was be all fangirl-like. So, you know what I did? I told her how I much I loved her books and said I was a fangirl. Yup. I didn’t say FAN, I said fanGIRL. *smack forehead* I’m in BEA 10 minutes and I’ve already made an idiot out of myself in front of an author. The pic below is of me and Heather. I’m the one with the curly hair.
I happened to be walking by the Hachette booth and spotted Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee signing the second book in their Book of Mortals Series, titled MORTAL. I enjoyed the first book in the series, FORBIDDEN, so I was really excited to snag this book. And these two are a hoot! I asked them what it was like to write together and Ted jokingly said “Well, she’s a pain in the a**!” They are awesome and I really enjoyed meeting them.
Next I jumped in line for Andrew Gross’s signing of 15 SECONDS.
One author I really wanted to meet is Chris Bohjalian. He became a must-read author of mine many years ago when I read MIDWIVES. He was kind enough to say that I did not look old enough to have been reading his books for many years (thanks, Chris!). He also touted his latest book, THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, as the most important book he’s ever written. I’m looking forward to reading it!
On a side note, I’ve heard a loud raucous about Fifty Shades of Grey and apparently a character in the book is named Christian Gray. Although I have zero interest in reading this book, I did spot Christian Grey on the floor of BEA while I was waiting on line for Chris Bohjalian… (Look at the guy with the glasses in the background and then at his nametag. Click the picture for a close-up view.)
I made it at the very last minute for Jen Lancaster’s signing of JENERATION X. I have all of her books, but have yet to read any of them. People keep telling me they are hilarious. I hope to read them someday soon! The pic below is of me and Jen. As you can tell, the hair is back, it’s getting hot walking around the Javits, and I’m starting to look a little beat!
I’ve been reading James Patterson for a very long time. I was thrilled to get a copy of the newest book in his latest teen series, CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT. This was also another author fail. I asked him if I could take his picture and when I went to take the picture, I clicked the button and realized I had the video camera part of my camera on, so I was actually taking video instead of a picture. I felt like such an idiot that I said “Thanks” and ran away to the side and snapped this actual picture.
To wrap up Day 1, I waited on line for an autographed copy of THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE by Adriana Trigiani. She is such a cool person. I just love her!
Yes, folks, all of the above happened on DAY 1 of BEA. I was completely exhausted and could barely move my body by the time I stumbled back to the hotel. All of the signings listed above were in addition to me wandering around and picking up books as they sparked my interest. There is always so much going on. I wanted to go to an event at the New York Public Library that night, but I just could not do it. I ended up laying in bed and watching a Law & Order: SVU marathon with my roomies all night!
I think this post is long enough, so I’ll call this the Day 1 Recap and create another post to share the rest!