June 1, 2013
The last day of BEA was definitely bittersweet. At this point my body was exhausted, and I know Gabrielle was getting tired of city life (it’s always fun to see how a country girl reacts to the sights and sounds and crush of people in a place like NYC). We knew that we would be leaving right from BEA to the train station so we had to bring our suitcases with us that were already half full with clothes and toiletries. This meant we knew going in that we were limited in what we could bring home from BEA as we would have to haul everything not only around BEA but also through Penn Station and home.
We somehow arrived at the Javits super early and were first in line. We hung out as more friend trickled in, sitting around together and joking as we snapped pictures like it was the last day of summer camp or school.
|Jenny, Me, and Mary|
|Hannah & Gabrielle|
|Me with Nicole|
Actually, I wish I had a BEA yearbook for all my friends to sign. How cool would that be?
We also made friends with the security guard stationed in front of our entrance. Did you know that these people have to sit there all day and can’t even partake in the BEA fun? How cruel would it be to be a book lover, know there were hundreds of books just feet away and you couldn’t touch them?!
Of course, we gave her some of our extra books and I think Nicole somehow wound up with several bottles of water she gave to a few guards.
By far I got the most amusement out of watching the Power Readers trying to assimilate themselves. You couldn’t miss their neon green badges. Or the way they didn’t seem to understand how lines worked. Did they think we were sitting in front of the entrances to the hall for fun?
Don’t get me wrong—some (most) of the Power Readers were sweet. They were energetic and enthusiastic and full of questions. Yes, a lot bumbled and fumbled their way through a few things, but can any of us say we didn’t do that at our first BEA? The ones that irritated me were the ones who clearly felt entitled. They strolled up to the front of the line a few minutes before the doors opened and argued with the security guards that they were allowed inside, emphatically shoving their passes in the security guards’ faces and saying, “It says we go into the exhibit hall.”
I actually listened to one lady start yelling at a guard in front of me because she wanted to go upstairs but her mother needed an elevator. The guard calmly told her where it was and she found it ludicrous that there wasn’t an elevator right where she was standing and kept arguing.
Yes, because the security guard was the one in charge of elevator placement when the Javits Center was built.
When the doors opened, I made for the Harlequin booth as they were having a massive signing with 13 authors at 10 o’clock. All at once. Gabrielle and I made it to the booth and when we asked where the line was starting, the poor (but awesome) Harlequin people seemed amazed people wanted to line up already. By the time they started organizing the poles our group of four people waiting turned into a crowd of 30. Within 15 minutes I couldn’t see the end of the line because it winded around all over the place, disappearing down the aisle.
Being at the front of this line was fantastic. We got to chat with the publicists and authors as they took their places. Some asked us to take pictures for them. Plus Harlequin has some of the best carpet at BEA and feet really needed that.
|Gabrielle & Jordana Frankel|
I didn’t do much wandering. Honestly, my feet were killing me. Like I said in my first post, BEA was hell on my feet this year (last year I was fine). The last signing of the day I wanted to hit was Cora Carmack and that didn’t start until 1.
At 11:30 I asked the girl working the front of her line if she knew when they would start lining up. She said typically 45 minutes before a signing is when they started lines.
I knew this be a lie because I’d already done two other days of BEA.
No problem, I decided to stick close to the autographing area and see what would happen. I noticed the line for Sean Williams’ Twinmaker was insanely short so I hopped in and snagged a book, getting to chat with him for a minute. He seriously has the best accent. Just, keep talking Sean.
Once I left that line I met back up with Gabrielle and noticed there was now a new person (a guy) standing in front of the line that would eventually hold Cora Carmack, who was signing copies of Faking It. It was now about 11:45. I asked him the same thing I had the other girl (yes, I am that person—the one who will ask multiple people the same question until she gets the answer she wants). He told me that the staff got a break at 12:30 so the line would probably get assigned right before that. Clearly this boy did not know the appeal of Ms. Carmack. That’s cool. He would learn.
Exhausted, I went over back to Gabrielle, who had been joined by another girl and I said I was just going to wait. The girl asked if I meant for Cora Carmack and when I said yes, we unofficially started the official line. Within 15 minutes out unofficial line went from the three of us to close to 40 people. At one point, someone grabbed a #8 sign for the line so people would know that we were waiting for Cora and not staging a BEA sit-in. A little after noon I went back and pointed out how big our line had gotten.
I kid you not, this poor kid’s eyes got huge and he said, “Yeah. Let’s get you guys to move.”
|With Jen, waiting for Cora Carmack|
Well, if you were going to use it, this was the line to use it, so … Well played, my friend. I couldn’t be mad. And then after I got my copy signed, another person used their front of the line pass. As I was leaving I saw them escorting someone else up to use theirs.
Never underestimate the appeal of Cora Carmack. By the way? I already read Faking It and loved it. Not surprising, right?
After this Gabrielle and I wandered aimlessly. Truthfully we were killing time. We figured our train left shortly after six and BEA ended at four, so we would hang out and have fun and—
Lies. OK? Lies.
I think most people cleared out by 1. Even the publishers were packing up shop as we walked around. We went over to the Sourcebooks booth and hung out there. I got the chance to see Derry again (who is one of the sweetest people ever). And we may have totally taken advantage of their comfy table and chairs. A little after 2 I got to be a part of this awesome moment where one of the people working at Sourcebooks told us we could start taking display copies if we wanted any.
I had heard about this phenomenon from other people, but last year I was too tired to stick around and see if it was true. I managed to get ARCs of several of their fall releases they didn’t have available at galley drops and signings (like TMI and Six Months Later). After that Gabrielle and I decided we were done.
We went to the suitcase area, got our stuff and took our time organizing it and making sure we hadn’t grabbed more than we could carry before boarding a shuttle bus headed towards Penn Station. We still had several hours before our train left so we killed time by grabbing some pizza and then settling in to read while we waited (I brought along my copy of Frigid by J. Lynn for the train and Gabrielle had a copy of Red Rising by Pierce Brown).
Another year, another BEA. This one definitely felt different because I had so much more going on in a shorter amount of time (last year I had an extra day to recover before coming home). Last year I went to no parties/events and this year I was lucky enough to go to several. When I left BEA last year I was sure I wouldn’t be back for financial reasons and yet there I was. When I left BEA this year I swore I was done, but that might have been my achy feet and shoulders talking.
See you next year, guys!