Hi guys, this is the last of my BEA15 recaps – phew, I’m exhausted just reliving this. Let’s get to it!
We got to BEA early (but not too early) so that Sarah (You Should Read This) could get in line for the Six of Crows signing with Leigh Bardugo. I had extra time, so I went to drop off our suitcase (VERY IMPORTANT TIP), and then ran into Rainbow Rowell, said hi, and hugged her! I knew I wasn’t going to get into her line later on, but honestly, all I really wanted was to do that because Rainbow is awesome, so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
I did some wandering and found Margot of Epic Reads again – she was checking out some of the other panels in advance of her own. I also got to meet Maggie Searcy, who designed the fantastic 365 Days of YA graphic for Epic Reads. I love ER’s marketing work, so I was in a little bit of awe.
I then headed over to meet I.W. Gregorio for her None of the Above signing. None of the Above is definitely one of my favourite diverse reads of the year, and Ilene had the best swag – a button that said “I Heart My Gonads” =)
After a major disappointment from Sarah (she waited in the Six of Crows line for 1.5 hours, only to be told right at the end that they ran out of books, even though the publisher had counted people at the beginning =(), we headed over to Spencer Hill to try to get Liza Wiemer’s book Hello? In line, we met a bunch of other Canadian bloggers, including Beth (Fuelled by Fiction) and Lucy (Moonlight Gleam Reviews).
Right behind us in line was Hazel (Stay Bookish), whom I was so excited to meet – we’ve chatted a few times, and I stalk her Instagram (Me: “How was Beijing?!” Hazel: “Yeah, it was great” Me: “I can’t believe those fried starfish, though” Hazel: “I know, ew!”). I love her design work, too, so we chatted about her helping me with a redesign (this is HAPPENING – stay tuned!)
After getting Hello? (didn’t get a chance for a pic as the line was too long, but Liza was hilarious!), we headed over to one of the stages for Margot’s panel on Talking to Teens About Tough Subjects. Aaron Hartzler (What We Saw), Ellen Hopkins (Traffick), Patrick Ness (The Rest of Us Just Live Here), Lynn Weingarten (Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls), and Cammie McGovern (A Step Toward Falling) were on the panel.
Aaron Hartzler, Ellen Hopkins, Patrick Ness, Lynn Weingarten & Cammie McGovern | Margot of Epic Reads moderating!
They all had great things to say, but Patrick Ness’ comments were my favourite: “There are a lot of books that I call CBAITs: Crappy Books About Important Topics. YA is full of these. But the thing is, YA books don’t have to be important, they just have to be true.”
He also made some hilarious comments about the silly names in YA, like Finn or Augustus or Hazel, which made the audience gasp (I was sitting in the front row, and he totally made fun of me for that gasp).
|Patrick Ness totally gets me.
At the end of the panel, I went up to grab Patrick’s book, and then begged him to sign it even though there was no signing line, and we chatted again and I JUST LOVE HIM, OKAY?
We grabbed sandwiches then headed straight to Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me line up…which was not a line-up. Essentially, everyone started lining up, but the woman at the Penguin Random House booth insisted that there was no line-up until half an hour before. So people were just lining up anyway, or milling around the booth, which made it crowded and horrible. Every so often, we would go up to the front of the line to see if anything was happening.
The good part of that was that I got to see/meet Gaby (Bookish Broads) and Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) as well as Jen Ellision (author of Threats of Sea and Sky and blogger at The Bevy Bibliotheque) and Katie (the Bevy again).
The bad part? When the PRH people started the line, a bunch of people who had been milling around rushed the heck out of the line, and PRH was yelling, “No pushing, no shoving” the entire time. The people who had waited HOURS ended up separated at various parts of the line, including my roommate Sarah, while I ended up nearer to the front with Mandy Wan (Forever Young Adult). The first person in line happened to be Sarah (Clear Eyes Full Shelves) and she told me she felt terrible about being first. But you couldn’t leave – they were real sticklers for that.
Once people were in line, everything seemed okay. They handed out super adorable Mindy pins, which Mandy and I put on right away. Once Mindy started signing, the PRH people discovered that she really wanted to personalize, even though they hadn’t planned on it, so they rushed to get our names. Apparently she also wanted to take pictures with people, but was told no. I appreciate the fact that she really wanted to make the most of her time with fans, especially since she’s a pretty big TV star (there were crazy paparazzi around her the entire time).
When I got up to meet her, I told her how much I loved her blog from many years ago, Things I Bought and Loved, and she exclaimed, “Wow, that is a deep, deep cut – that means a lot.” I thanked her for the Office and the Mindy Project, and she was really really sweet. I meant to tell her more about how she is an unintentional inspiration for women of colour, and female comedians, but honestly, I totally lost my cool. She is beautiful and her clothing was fantastic, and can I just say, she is NOT CHUBBY AT ALL like her character on the show is supposed to be. Cameras, man.
Afterwards, Mandy and I raced over to Simon & Schuster to see if we could get in line for Felicia Day’s memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). She was signing at the same time as Mindy, but luckily we got there just in time to get one of the last spots. Sarah managed to join us right at the end.
|FELICIA DAY & me. BEST DAY EVER.
Felicia was lovely and I’m embarrassed that I made a terrible joke in front of her (I was so starstruck that I told her I loved the Guild, but only the first season. She was like, “That’s okay, you don’t have to like everything!” Me: “That was a joke” *facepalm*). I did manage to tell her to be careful and that I was grateful for the strength she had with GamerGate. She said thank you and that we can’t be cowed by things like that.
|Terri & me
I was standing by the Simon & Schuster booth, and Canadian blogger Terri (Read and Riot) showed up, so we had a pic and short chat – have I mentioned that I love my Canadian book blogger friends?
Speaking of which, Canadian book blogger, librarian, and bookseller Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) showed up just after Sarah finished with Felicia – we had been looking for each other all week, so we had a great moment of yay and hilarious photos (Jenn was there for cocktails with Felicia – I was like, “Are you for real?!?”), and then who should show up but Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce (Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures). We chatted for a bit (I met Maggie at a Toronto event last year where she and Indigo Teen blogger Chandra made fun of me…long story), and I told Maggie that she should come to Toronto again (Maggie: “But it’s so far!” Me: “You can drive your car…” Maggie: “You’re trouble!”) =p Jenn insisted on a photo, which was amazing, but also WHY AM I CLOSING MY EYES?!
|Jackson Pearce, Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah & me
We headed back to the autographing area to see if the Patrick Ness line was still crazy – unfortunately, it was, so, we sat down with some friends, including author Katherine Locke (Second Position), Ciara (Lost at Midnight), Jess (Read My Breath Away), Katherine (Lady Critic’s Library), and Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner).
|Jamie, Katherine, Sarah & me
After dropping stuff off at our hotel, we headed over to a restaurant for our Blogger Dinner & Drinks. I organized this as a way to meet up with bloggers in a more relaxed environment – it was really chill and fun, with lots of drinks and chatting about the best books we got!
Thanks to everyone for coming! (For more pics, try hashtag #BEABloggerDinner)
Things To Learn/Keep in Mind from BEA Day 3:
- GO TO THE STRAND and buy discounted YA!
- DO NOT PUSH TO GET IN A LINE; respect the people who have been waiting forever
- Prepare something to say to authors (especially if they are people you are starstruck by)
- Go to the panels; seriously, guys, I have gone to panels every year, and I always come away feeling like I know more about my favourite authors. Also, they give you CHAIRS.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Saturday was our free day, so Sarah and I woke up a bit later and headed to Gotham West Market for a breakfast sandwich at Court St Grocers (recommended by Bloomsbury’s Erica Barmash!), coffee at Blue Bottle, and for me, Ample Hills Ice Cream (recommended by Bloomsbury’s Emily Ritter!).
I have a bit of an obsession with ice cream – Ample Hills was AMAZING
After that, we headed down to Books of Wonder to take a look – I didn’t take photos inside, but what a great, wonderful bookstore. I loved the rare and special editions section.
|Me with a sign at BoW promoting Adam Silvera!
We did a bit of shopping, then headed back to the hotel so that Sarah could pack (I took a nap), and then went to meet Estelle (Rather Be Reading) for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
The view from Manhattan going to Brooklyn | Sarah, me & Estelle | Badly taken selfie | This section of the bridge is where the cars go
Even though it was really busy, the breeze was wonderful and the view was great, and we had fantastic conversation as the afternoon dipped to evening. It was so nice to NOT be at BEA and to just be walking together. Estelle was so fun and full of sarcasm – I really hope I get to hang with her again!
After a delicious Mexican dinner at Lobo in Brooklyn, we went to the Paper Lantern Lit party at BookCourt a few doors down. The party celebrated Lexa Hillyer’s first YA novel Proof of Forever, as well as the five year anniversary of Paper Lantern Lit. There were lots of fun drinks and candy, and a YA quiz that I totally failed (and Sarah won at – seriously, she is so good at that). Eleanor Herman read from her new novel Legacy of Kings, and Lauren Oliver and Lexa talked about starting PLL.
I forgot to take pictures of the entire party, but after the formal part of the evening, there was a swarm of people trying to talk to Lauren. A ton of YA authors and publishers were there, including Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not, also, my new fave person), Leila Sales (Tonight the Streets Are Ours), and Rebecca Serle (Truly, Madly, Famously). We chatted for a bit with Leila and Rebecca, then with Lexa.
I insisted on stopping by my favourite ice cream place in New York, Van Leeuwen, so Sarah indulged me. After grabbing some earl grey and hazelnut, we headed back to our hotel, chock full of books and food.
Sarah grabbed an EARLY flight out the next morning, but because I was so keyed up, I woke up super early and headed down to the High Line.
This was SO WORTH IT. It was a gorgeous morning, and the walk on the High Line was empty but for a few joggers and photographers. I had a great time reading, and walking the former rail line all the way back to 34th. It was the perfect last event in New York.
- Don’t overschedule yourself; we did a lot of cutting back, and I was glad. Next year, I hope to have an even easier time.
- Indulge in that really good food – you deserve it!
- Friends are the most important part of BEA – also, go see the city!
If you made it through this entire recap, you deserve a reward! Check out my haul below, and win a pre-order of any of the books listed (open internationally)!