May 30, 2013
Let me start by saying this day was by far the most brutal for me. I knew going in that I had four events/parties other than BEA this day, and I had barely gotten any sleep. I’m one of those people who gets really worked up and isn’t able to sleep in a new environment, so I already that that to contend with. I might have gotten 2 ½ Wed. night and maybe 4 hours max the night before that. Suffice to say I was exhausted and feeling nauseous going into Thursday.
Gabrielle and I woke up at 5 am to make sure we left the hotel by 6:30. Again, this is where my perpetual need to be early is irritating. We got to BEA as they opened the bag drop corral and dropped off our suitcases before going upstairs and getting in line. We joined Tasch, Lexie, Tegan and a couple of their friends in line and then were joined by more people.
At this point I need to apologize. What started as a group of 6 of us suddenly turned into a group of like 15 and I think that left some people behind us disgruntled and annoyed. I did say I would save a couple a spots for a few friends, but that number got out of control and I feel bad. Needless to say, that didn’t happen any other day we were there.
Gabrielle and I ducked out of line with Tasch a bit early because we were invited to the HarlequinTEEN breakfast. We went into the lower level of the Javits Center and after walking up and down the hallways, finally found our room, grabbed our nametags and waited outside with a handful of other bloggers.
After waiting for about ten minutes, my soulmate (AKA Jenny from Supernatural Snark) arrived. There was a great amount of hugging, squealing, and general foolishness. I apologize again to all who had to witness out utterly cheesy reunion, but this was a year in the making. Jenny & I met last year at BEA and hit it off immediately. This girl is the other half of me. She gets me (and my wacky humor) in a way few others do and dishes it right back. Let this be proof that awesome friendships are made at BEA and last.
I also managed to see fellow YADCers: Steph (from TheCuddlebuggery), Andye (from Reading Teen) and Jen (from YABC and JenuineCupcakes) there. Along with Danny andPushy from Betwitched Bookworms and Rachel from Parajunkee. And what BEA party isn’t complete without Bailey & Jamie?
Once the majority of the group was assembled, we went into the room where there were about 8 round tables set up, each piled high with HarlequinTEEN books and an adorable tote bag filled with books on each chair. They also had an assortment of fruit (which was so good) and pastries with coffee and tea. We had a chance to interact with several HarlequinTEEN staff members (like Lisa and Natashya) and 4 of their authors that were signing at their Teen Hour were there—Katie McGarry, Julie Kagawa, Elizabeth Scott, and Amanda Sun. They did a speed-dating type thing where they rotated every 5 minutes between the tables so we could talk to everyone.
A few people (myself included) left a little early so we could be upstairs when the doors opened for BEA. The doors opened and you know the drill—mass chaos for 10-20 minutes as people run around everywhere to try and get whatever books/swag/totes they can.
The first signing I hit was Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess line. I’m a huge fan of mythology, so getting this book was a must for me. This day passed in a blur—partially because I was constantly running back and forth across the Javits but mostly because I was absolutely stupid and barely ate or drank anything. By about 1, I was about to collapse. Between not sleeping then not eating or drinking for hours, I was about to drop.
After forcing myself to sit down and eat and drink, I got my second wind and we kept going. But let this be a lesson—keep yourself fed and hydrated during BEA, even if it’s just snacks and a bottle of water.
I went to several signings that day—Gretchen McNeil, Lauren Myracle (who asked me to text her lunch order to a friend as she signed books), Eve Silver, and the amazing Katie Sise (who I adore and have been dying to meet in person) to name a few.
After a full day, Gabrielle and I left the Javits around 4 with a heavy suitcase. I was proud of myself for not taking as much as I had the year before. I tried hard to really consider what I was taking and before we left, I inventoried my suitcase and gave away a few books I knew I was unlikely to read. We hopped in the shuttle and went back to the hotel.
Have to admit, I was exhausted, but I had amazingly enough been invited to several parties … that all took place Thursday night. Seriously, I think I got invited to 1 party last year and this year I somehow managed to snag several, the bulk of them being the same day. No idea how that happened! Luckily enough I got to spend the entire evening with some of my favorite people.
First up was the Macmillan Kids Happy Hour. Held at the Houndstooth Pub, I was lead down into a back room that was full of bloggers. I hung out with Bailey, her mom, and Katie (from Katie’s Book Blog). The entire event was relaxed and fun, everyone was buzzing about what they had gotten earlier that day. I finally got to meet Ksenia, one of my all-time favorite publicists, face-to-face. This woman is awesome. Seriously.
She also put together a super-special book for all the attendees to take home: a specially bound galley of what is certain to be a huge book in 2014: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutoski. It came in this slightly defective Fierce Reads bag that I loved. I say defective because one part wasn’t sewn right and if it was pulled, it tore apart easily. But it was still a cute bag!
Shortly after Jenny and I left on what will be forever known as The Great Taxi Hunt of
2013. Several of us had other places to go and
there simply were no cabs to be found. We were on 8th street, walked
to 9th and then back to 8th and finally stopped on 7th
where Jenny was able to stalk a taxi driver as he let a passenger out, thus
securing us a taxi.
|Jenny in the cavernous lobby|
@ the Bird Bash
Once in the taxi we headed for the Penguin Bird Bash. We stayed there for a bit, eating some awesome organic hotdogs (who knew I liked organic hotdogs?) and chatting with some really sweet publicists and editors at Penguin. I also met Mary from The Book Swarm, who is energetic and funny and I could chat with for hours.
Penguin also gave us these awesome totes with like 5 books inside. The bag itself was my fave and I used it the rest of BEA because it was the perfect size and so durable. This was probably my favorite tote of BEA this year.
Jenny and I left a bit early with Steph and headed to our last stop of the evening: The YA Author/Blogger Rooftop Party.
I still get the goofiest smile thinking about this party. To say it was epic isn’t doing it justice. Hosted by Liza from WhoRU Blog, this was the party of BEA. It was held at the cousin’s apartment complex on the Hudson and was on the rooftop terrace of the building. The views alone were amazing:
|Jen & Mandy|
I could see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Jersey skyline and the NYC skyline. Everyone was given flashing LED bracelets, rings, hair pieces, and necklaces so when it got dark you saw a ton a flashing colors. There were couches and lounge chairs all around, and I’m proud to say I didn’t fall off the roof (OK, there was one close call, but I survived)!
I wish I would have had more time to talk to Liza, but she was the hostess and was working the crowd, making sure everyone was having fun and constantly moving from group to group. I saw her the next day and BEA and I have no idea how she was so awake and alert.
|Me with Jenny|
Jenny and I spent time outside where I geeked out taking a ton of pictures before spotting Katie McGarry and her editor. We chatted with them for a while before they had to head off to their own Harlequin party. I also spent time with Jen and Mandy (also from YABC) before settling on the couches outside with some other bloggers, authors, and Faye from Little, Brown (who helped provide a lot of the swag and other party items).
Unfortunately Jenny and I were both exhausted and left the party a bit early, but as we left we grabbed one of the best swag bags I’ve ever gotten. There were like 10 books in this bag, bookmarks, a pen, a bracelet, and a bunch of other cool swag items.
|Me with Katie McGarry|
The rooftop party was by far one of my favorite parts of BEA and I really hope I get to go again next year. Liza throws an awesome party, but she insists she couldn’t have pulled it all off without the help of Andye, Jeremy & Jeffrey West, and a ton of others who helped with time, ideas and contributions. These guys need to be in charge of all the parties at BEA.
Thanks so much to all of you who made that night an amazing success—I had such a blast!