I’m home! My first BEA was a whirlwind. So many awesome books and awesome people. As much fun as I had, it’s always good to be home. I’ve already unpacked my books and stared at them for a while. I’ve already ordered another bookshelf to hold them, and I can’t wait to get them all organized.
My final day at BEA started out with a mission: Get to the Julie Kagawa signing! Her signing was at 10 AM, and the doors open at 9 AM. My plan was a simple one; get through the doors quickly and immediately make my way to the Harlequin booth to settle in for an hour long wait. I figured that no matter how quickly I moved, I would be at the end of a long line. Harlequin did something no other publisher did. They had eleven authors signing at once (Katie McGarry and Amanda Sun among them), so it seemed certain that there was at least one author to appeal to everyone. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. I was the SIXTH person on line! I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I guaranteed a book from all of the authors, but I would also have more time to hit other signings. I was lucky I got there when I did, because the line quickly became massive. When it was my turn, I told her how she was the author I most wanted to meet, and she was just so sweet.
I stayed for about two more hours and wandered the floor and hit more signings and more galley drops. I managed to get:
- Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner
- PODS by Michelle Pickett
- Dare You To by Katie McGarry
- Find Me by Romily Bernard
- Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
- Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
- Awaken by Meg Cabot
- This Strange and Familiar Place by Rachel Carter
- Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
- False Sight by Dan Krokos
- The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
- Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
- And a few others
I have to mention the volunteers at BEA. They were incredible. Always cheerful, always knowledgeable, always organized, and always adapting. Without them, the conference would have been a chaotic mess. Picture the scene: at any given time, there are 25 authors signing in the autograph area. People start lining up up to two hours early for a signing, so there were always additional lines off to the side in addition to the primary 25. These volunteers kept everything organized, even with huge lines snaking all over the place. I don’t know how they did it. I frequently asked questions, and they always had an answer. (This is in contrast to an employee of one publisher – cough, Random House, cough – who did not even know who one of his authors was when I asked about a signing!)
Every author I met was 100% gracious, grateful for support of readers, and just as excited as we all were to be there. When an author told me he or she was actually aware of my blog (and some had even read it!), I can’t tell you how good that made me feel. Meeting other bloggers I’d interacted with online was just as wonderful. I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience. OK, maybe one: next year, I’m bringing a backpack!