Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Book Expo of America (BEA) 2009!

First off let me apologise with my extra long absence. I realise that I have been starting many blog entries like that of late, but it doesn't make the sentiment any less sincere. Life has a way of being life you know? Getting in the way and all that . . .

At any rate, I am back, and with one of my uber extra long posts sharing every minor irrelevant detail of my adventures that was BEA this year. So put the kettle on, curl up with the cat, and enjoy the following tale!

Our story does not begin well unfortunately. I shan't go into great detail about what happened, but needless to say it involves an 8 hour delayed flight. I was supposed to get into the great and wonderful New York City at 3:30pm. Instead I arrived at the hotel at 1:ooam. This was a bit of a pity. However I did meet the delightful Marian Jarkovich who works for Robert Rose here in Toronto who was also attending BEA and so we hung out for the day in the airport, and shared a cab into the city.

Here is a picture of me pouting about the delay in the airport in Toronto:

I had to get up at a reasonable time Friday morning because that's when I was doing my official signing of copies of Timothy and the Dragon's Gate. I was of course really looking forward to it because there is nothing like a book signing to make an author feel special. That is, so long as people are there waiting for you to sign for them, otherwise it is uber depressing.

Fortunately once I was escorted to signing table number 6 there were a few people waiting for me, and once I started, there was a constant stream of people. It was so awesome, and everyone was just so sweet. I have to say though the highlight of the experience was that I was signing just two tables away from John Rocco, who I have mentioned many times on this blog as he is responsible for my awesome covers (and is a brilliant author/artist of his own work). He came over and we hugged and I might have been just a little too giddy about meeting him, I hope I didn't scare him . . . oy.

Since I only had an hour, we had to end the line for books. But when I went upstairs to the Weinstein Books booth to sign some stock I was kind of followed and I wound up signing books for another hour. I did not mind in the least. How can one mind something so very flattering?

Finally at 1pm we were done, and I met up with my amazing fellow Toronto author Tish Cohen for a brief lunch in the convention centre. We sat on some chairs and people watched and talked all about our experiences and general chat about the book world. Then she was off in a cab and I wondered around the centre for a bit to check things out.

Now I know a lot industry pros are saying the conference was way different this year, and I totally believe them as they kind of know what they are talking about, but from where I stood it seemed just as vibrant and packed as two years ago when I first attended. The only famous face I saw though was Neil Gaiman and that was a bit of an odd moment. See we follow each other on Twitter, but we of course don't actually know each other. The internet though is a strange place, and as I walked right by him I almost stopped and said "Hey" as if we were old friends. Until of course I realised he has no clue who I am. But it was quite a close call. He was of course signing copies of The Graveyard Book with the world's longest queue.

Then I went back to the hotel to wait for my friend Carrie (who lives in Boston) to come join me for the weekend. The rest of the weekend was awesome. Friday evening we had drinks with friends of Carrie's mom, then a late dinner with her friend Faran, her cousin, and her cousin's two just lovely friends. We walked on Saturday (glorious weather btw) from Rockefeller Center (which was right where the hotel was) all the way down to Battery Park - stopping off at lunchtime to meet with my friend John from LAMDA.

For dinner we met up with some amazing author ladies who I've met on the internet over at Verla Kay (aka The Blue Boards). We had so much fun, and were maybe just a little too giddy at the fact that we were meeting each other in person:

(left to right) Me, Shana Silver, Bettina Restrepo, Jenny Moss, Jean Regean, Megan Crewe, Ashley Formento, Aprilynne Pike, Laurie Compton)

Then Carrie, her cousin, and I went to a massive bar on a barge on the Hudson. We climbed up to the top where we had a wonderful view of the city.

Next Carrie's cousin got a text from the two gents from the previous night inviting us to tag along to a midnight showing of "Up" which I have been dying to see. And so we saw it. And so we wept like babies (from sadness and laughter). This is a very good movie. See it.

Sunday, Carrie and I met up with Faran once more for a delectable lunch, and then we parted ways, she to go back to Boston, and me to check out the Guggenheim for the first time. I have to say, it was smaller than I expected. And very crowded.

I walked back to the hotel through Central Park which was just glorious, the weather was beyond perfect. My favourite bit was the ramble where despite the fact that the park was packed, there were very few souls to see.

The evening prompted another walk, where I wandered over to Times Square which was terrifying in how packed it was. I went up Fifth Avenue, and got to watch some fireworks going off in the distance. Then I stopped by Tiffany's to check out their window display and it was totally made for me: a combination of doorknobs and keys! (for those of you who know Alex and Timothy you'll know just how perfect that is) And so I took a picture:

Monday was my last day and I was doing a presentation for the Jewish Book Network as well as joining them for a luncheon. It went very well. I think it helped that I demonstrated to them all the proper way to die melodramatically. Yes, you read that right. And I got to meet a lot of lovely people.

And then I was off home. The flight was not only right on time, it got in early. I went from the airport to the pub to meet up with some friends. And then finally home where my glorious pillow was waiting for me.

And then I slept.

And it was good.

Some pictures!

Outside the Javits Center which was where the BEA was being held . . .

Signing books with enthusiasm!

Inside the lobby area of the Javits. You'll note in the above picture posters for the latest Dan Brown book. I understand that they felt they needed to hang 30 ft posters because they are concerned no one will have heard of this book otherwise. Kind of have to feel sorry for this Dan Brown guy . . .

The Hachette Book Group section (they distribute Weinstein Books - whose booth you can see in the distance).

Just loved looking at the seeming infinite numbers in the sky . . .

Carrie and I stopped into St. Patrick's Cathedral, we'd never been inside before!

Proof we made it to Battery Park (doesn't Carrie look proud of herself!).

Me just hanging around at Battery Park. Gorgeous day right?

Radio City Music Hall - right across the street from my hotel. Purdy ain't it?


bettina said...

Super great wrap up of BEA! You're an actress? (Of course! Gorgeous, big brown eyes... yes perfect for any big screen).

So glad we met!


(now I remember Carrie!)

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great time at BEA and in NYC!
(from "stormie" on AW)

laurie said...

It was so great meeting you and I appreciate the recap since I missed out on Javits. Good thing the Half King rocked. I love that group shot of us so much I'm snagging it for my little 'ole blog.
Can't wait for the next BEA!
xo YAchicka

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting the photo! I had such a great time at dinner. I'm so sad we can't do it again this weekend!

Adrienne said...

bettina - thank you and you are far too flattering (but I do appreciate it, especially as I felt like something the cat dragged in after my extremely long day of walking clear across the island)! It was awesome to meet you too, I just love your spirit and smile!

anneskal - hey stormie! Thanks hon, as always for the support, you're just lovely!

laurie - total ditto, so amazing to meet you too, and glad you enjoyed my BEA wrap up! Please do steal the photo, it's a bit dark, but I still prefer it to the way flashes tend to wash out colours and people's faces . . .

shana - no problem! And so did I! What's funny is I was thinking the exact same thing, I totally wish we could make the meet up a regular thing, le sigh.

Derek Molata said...

Looks like you had an awesome time. I'm thinking about going next year--but right now it is only whimsical fantasy.

Alison Ashley Formento said...

Thanks for posting all the great photos and recap. Great scenic shots, but my favorite is of the doorknobs and keys. Seems perfect. I enjoyed meeting you, too, at The Half King. Good luck with your YA writing project and next time you're in the city, we have to have another gathering.
Alison (Ashley)