BEA Recap: Blogger Con, musicals, and Day 1

June 7, 2014 / 3 Comments / Uncategorized

Hi all! I’m back from BEA and somewhat back to real life again – last week was insane for me, as I did BEA, hopped a flight back to Toronto, and got to see all of my old friends at my 10 year reunion from university. On top of that, our entire apartment is in disarray because we’re moving very soon…we bought a house and we take possession in about a week!

Anyway, you came here for BEA news, not my personal life! I got into New York late Tuesday and got settled into my friends’ place in Brooklyn. Note that I did NOT adhere to the suggestions to stay close to Javits – that was a bit of a mistake, as it made my mornings WAY earlier than they should have been. Guys, if you ever go…USE THE TIPS.

Day 1: Blogger Con

I was a bit nervous about this day since I was going it alone, but as soon as I got there, I found a seat at a table at the front and met Keri (Quill Cafe), Wendy (Book Scents), Chelsea (Starbucks & Books Obsession), Cece (Cece Reads), who were all really sweet and welcoming. I felt really lucky to have such a chatty table so early in the morning.

We chatted for a bit, then MAUREEN JOHNSON came up to give the keynote. Guys, Maureen is the person who got me back into YA again after university with 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Her keynote was awesome – it touched on her obsession with the British show MI-5, the craziness of verbose and idiotic reviewers, and how bloggers are really on the frontlines of influencing and getting people interested in creativity. I laughed a ton. I felt inspired.

And then I MET MAUREEN. I had my copy of 13 Little Blue Envelopes with me in the hopes of meeting her, and I totally got to. She was so gracious and hilarious, and her publicist was like, “Yup, Maureen is the YA gateway drug.” YES.

After that, I went to a couple of sessions on design and advertising…and kind of found them a little dry. But at the second session, I met Tiffany (About to Read), who I recognized from her BEA Tips video! I totally didn’t take a photo with her because I’m an idiot. Hey Tiffany!

At lunch, I ran into Ottawa bloggers Emilie (Emilie’s Book World) and Katherine (The Lady Critic’s Bookshelf), and we met Steph (Cuddlebuggery) and Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), who were really, really sweet! I actually had a bit of an OMG moment when I met Jamie – she’s definitely one of the bloggers who inspires me the most.

Emilie, Katherine and I dashed back to go check out the panel on vlogging – and we met up with Kathy (A Glass of Wine), Kelly (Pingwing’s Bookshelf). The panel was okay, we were all really looking forward to the panel on the publishing process…but then it kind of turned out to be a panel on one vlogger and how she worked with publishers. It was…a little polarizing.

The panel on the Publishing Process

Books were out in the main room by this time, so we snuck out to grab galleys. This was my first experience with a galley drop, and it was pretty cool – books were just out on the table and there was a line-up to pick them up. I was being very picky about my books, so I ended up just picking up Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

After that, we met author Michelle Madow (The Secret Diamond Sisters), who is one of Tiffany’s college buddies/favourite people (I didn’t get a pic, so sorry!). I got to meet Aussie blogger Adele (Persnickety Snark) and we had a chat with her about the panel we were just in.

I got a tweet from Jamie saying they were headed to Mac Bar, so I dashed down there, where I got to meet April (Good Books and Good Wine), Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads), Christina (A Reader of Fictions), Kim (The Midnight Garden), Debby (Snuggly Oranges), and Elena (Novel Sounds), along with Jamie and Steph. These ladies are my blogging celebrities, so I was super excited to chat and have mac and cheese with them. It was really fun and relaxing to have a moment away from Javits.

After that, I parted ways with the ladies to head to Broadway for If/Then! I was super excited to see the show, and it did not disappoint. Idina Menzel was AMAZING – she did things with her voice that I haven’t really heard any other Broadway singer do. I didn’t really take pictures of anything, but here’s my favourite song from the show.

Day 2: Tongue-Tied Around Big Authors, Shopping, and ICE CREAM

Heading into the first day in the exhibit hall, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d heard that I’d be overwhelmed, that I’d bump into lots of people. Firstly, neither of those things happened right away, mainly because I decided to stupidly take the BEA shuttle from Penn Station. MISTAKE. Because of traffic, what would have been a 15 minute walk ended up being a 45 minute bus ride. Lesson learned: DON’T TAKE THE SHUTTLE IN THE MORNING.

I finally got to the exhibit hall and rushed over to the Shannon Hale line to get The Princess in Black. As I was standing in line (and chatting with lots of librarians!), I met Andi (Andi’s ABCs) really quickly.

Then I noticed that the Ann M. Martin (The Babysitters Club series and the upcoming Rain/Reign) line was still going. I dashed into that line and got to meet Ann, who was so kind, gracious, and basically made me completely mute. I think I mumbled something about having read all of the BSC books and loving Dawn and Stacey.

I managed to get my voice back to meet Shannon Hale, and I told her how much I loved Austenland (the movie AND the book), and that I was looking forward to reading her YA and MG stuff.

I ran off to go check out some of the booths, then, and tried to get schedules for galley drops. Passing by Random House, I saw Neil Patrick Harris signing!


I wandered a couple booths and met Alexa (Alexa Loves Books) and Elena again – they were really sweet and it was so nice to meet Alexa after following her for so long.

I headed over to Steve Brezenoff‘s signing line for Guy in Real Life and ended up meeting Adele again (start counting, we literally bumped into each other six times in three days). And then author Dawn Metcalf (Invisible) came up and said she recognized Adele. She was super nice, and asked if she could join the line because her signing was at Harlequin next, and she really wanted to meet Steve. This was such a cool thing to witness – authors being fans of other authors. In line, she totally convinced me to read Steve’s first novel, Brooklyn Burning.
Here’s me with Steve, who seemed shocked that I wanted a photo with him.     

I ran with a couple of other bloggers to the Harlequin booth where Adi Alsaid, Julie Kagawa, Robin Talley, Dawn, and Jennifer L. Armentrout were signing, but it was too late – the line had to be cut off.

Since I didn’t have anything else to do, I got lunch and ended up meeting Alexa and Rachel (Hello, Chelly) outside the exhibit hall. Rachel and I chatted about how we both didn’t really get Lauren Oliver, and luckily, she had an extra copy of Lies We Tell Ourselves (Robin Talley) and generously let me have it. Thank you, Rachel!

We were all waiting for the galley drop for Jandy Nelson‘s I’ll Give You The Sun and Meg Wolitzer‘s Belzhar, so I ran back inside to line up, with promises to tweet them if there was a line. There was (of course!), and I got in line and met Alexis (Alexis Adores Books) and a few other bloggers. I grabbed my books and dashed over to Harper Collins where I saw Jamie again and got to say hi to Allie, one of the HC publicists. And I got an ice cream sandwich there!

My last signing of the day was Leslie Connor‘s The Things You Kiss Goodbye – Leslie was very kind, and I told her how excited I was to read the novel.

After that, I headed off to Union Square to do a little shopping. Of course, my first stop was at The Strand to pick up some book totes (because I clearly didn’t have enough), and I wandered down Broadway to Soho, where I grabbed some basics from Uniqlo (hey, it doesn’t exist in Canada yet!). Then I headed down to Century 21 with only a little time left and managed to find a gorgeous pair of Jason Wu shoes at a major discount.


I had a beautiful Italian dinner with my hosts at their favorite neighborhood place, and then we walked down to go get ice cream at Van Leeuwen, at the recommendation of Elena. I can honestly say that the Earl Grey ice cream there was worth EVERYTHING – the cold air, the achy feet…it was all made better with that ice cream. I must go again!

So that was the first two days of my whirlwind trip to New York! Stay tuned for my BEA Day 2 recap, in which I completely humiliate myself and tell you all about it because I don’t want anyone to do what I did ever again. Ominous, I know…

Did you go to BEA and live to tell the tale? Leave me a link so I can check out your recap! For those of you who didn’t go, are there any books I picked up or authors I met that you’re interested in? Hit up the comments and let me know!

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3 responses to “BEA Recap: Blogger Con, musicals, and Day 1

  1. Hmmm I think my comment disappeared? sorry if you get 2 comments.. anyway, loved meeting you at blogger con! the mac bar sounds amazing so does that ice cream place! awesome that you saw neil patrick harris because i lovehim! also If/Then — omg i just love idina menzel and If/Then was so good!! Loved it.

  2. Ok, first of all: PRETTY SHOES ♥♥ And now, moving on the the bookish stuff hehe: Last year for BEA I stayed in New Jersey and because of the loooong travel times and stress, vowed NEVER to do that again so I definitely feel your pain on not staying close by. Other than that though, you sound like you had a wonderful start to BEA! You got the meet the Babysitter Club author, see Neil Patrick Harris (which I missed *sniff*) and got to meet amazing blogger and get tons of fabulous books 😀 Lovely recap post, and I'm off to read part 2 😀

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

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