"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, June 7, 2010

BEA!!!!! (shh... I KNOW it's late... deal with it)

I know, BEA was like ages and ages ago - also known as two weeks.

But the POINT is that I am writing about it now! Right? Right!

So there were 5 of us that went together. Me and my sis and Cupcake and CC and HPFanGirl.

Okay, so those aren't their real names, but I don't have permission to call them by their real names here, SOOOOOO I had fun coming up with fake ones :D

We decided to meet at 4 so we could catch the 4:22am train. And Naomi and I live 1/2 an hour from the meeting place, so we had to leave the house at 3:30... I do not know how commuters do that every day. I think I would die.

We thought we would sleep the whole way to the city, but we were all too excited, so we talked and probably annoyed EVERYBODY to pieces, because they were all being sleepy and quiet. But no one shushed us like they did last year, so I guess we weren't too bad.

The ride in was fun too. We talked about Lost and Buffy and books and authors and stuff and had a grand old time.

Then we got to ... I think it was Penn station. Pete's sake, you'd think I would actually know that, but anyways.

We were trying to get our bearings and there was a crazy lady standing on the corner talking to her imaginary boyfriend who was apparently a real jerk. So we crossed the street. Ah New York.


We found the Center with no problems and got our passes and got our tickets to see the BIG authors we wanted to see and then checked our suitcases.

We were there SO early so we grabbed some bagels and sat down to peruse the signing offerings and put together a strategy of who we had to see when.

And we kind of got scared that we had used up all our energy before the show even opened!

Not so... when those doors opened and they let us in, we were raring to go.

First up we hit the Candlewick Press booth and they had a TON of ARCs available and they all looked fantastic! AND they had two girls dressed up like the characters from Kate DiCamillo's upcoming children's book Bink and Gollie Then we headed off to the autograph section to get a signed copy of said book. It looks SO adorable!

Then we got in line for Sarah, Duchess of York who was signing copies of her new picture book. But there were a gaggle of camera people waiting to video her and she was WAY late, so CC and I decided we'd rather hop around and get some other signatures instead.

So we bounced over to Karin Slaughter who was signing Broken and then bounced into line for Maureen Sherry's book Walls Within Walls (It looks like a lot of fun - right up my alley). We did a little bit of wandering through the booths, but there were SO many great authors doing signings that we spent most of our time in the autographing area. Also, most of the booths didn't have too much exciting stuff going on as compared to last year. A LOT less ARCs available (or so it seemed).

I will say that whoever decided to cram everything on one level so the autographing area was smashed up against the booths needs to be trampled by a herd of angry librarians, teachers, authors and booksellers. It was terrible. You know you're going to have a ton of people lining up to see authors like Rick Riordan or Kate DiCamillo or Melissa Marr or James Patterson. So WHY on EARTH would you have a space only big enough for MAYBE 50 (but more like 30) people. And THEN have NO official people out there directing the line. It was squishy and people were rude and you couldn't get anywhere. That was my major complaint of the day. Next year they need to separate the autographing area out again. Or have at LEAST 2-3 volunteers to direct traffic PER LINE.

Okay, rant over.

Next it was off to stand in line for James Dashner's newest 13th Reality book - I haven't read the others, but they've always looked really interesting. While we were in line, a guy was making his way down introducing himself to the people in line. He said he was James' publisher and asked how we had heard about the author. I said I had received an ARC of The Maze Runner and was really looking forward to reading it though I hadn't had a chance to get to it yet. The publisher was SUPER nice and was chatting with a couple librarians on either side of us in line. He brought back some ARCs for them of a book called The Hourglass Door. Naomi and I were craning our necks to see what the book was about and so he offered us ARCs too! Yeah for sneaky tactics to get more free books! :P

That was Shadow Mountain Publishing and they were great - we saw the guy 3 or 4 times throughout the day and he was always great, they put out a lot of really good books. It's so nice getting to see some of the really great publishing houses that are out there.

Then I got a copy of Murder in Vein a new Fang-In-Cheek mystery novel by Sue Ann Jaffarian. It looks really fun.

Lunch Time! We unloaded our stacks of books into our suitcases and grabbed a quick bite to eat.

You know, I thought I had more pictures, but I guess I was just so excited about meeting these people that I forgot to take pics most of the time. :D

So right after lunch Jon Scieszka was going to be doing a signing. I love his books. The Time Warp Trio series is hilarious and of course all of his picture books like The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Naomi really likes him too. HE was signing a compilation of short stories called Guys Read: Funny Business but I just wanted to have a chance to meet him and get the autograph. The other girls were, oh it's not that interesting, so it doesn't matter. But Naomi and I said NO, we have to get up there now so we don't MISS HIM! So we ran away from them and got into line.

They were giving away those glasses with the nose and mustache along with the book and there were like 4 of the contributing authors there. So much FUN!

From 1-5 there was author after author that we wanted to see, so we had to be well planned.

Got Jon Scieszka and then .... oh THEN....

Then it was time for ....

LEMONY SNICKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I SWEAR I was hyperventilating just a little. You have no idea. The Series of Unfortunate Events is one of my all time favorite kids' series and I've read them all multiple times and I own the entire set, plus all of the ones that they put out as paperbacks, almost all of them on audio, all of the other books he's come out with since then from the tie ins to the Series (The Beatrice Letters and The Unauthorized Autobiography) to the holiday books (The Latke That Wouldn't Stop Screaming and The Lump of Coal) to his first picture book (The Composer is Dead) to the collection of wisdom (Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid)

AND when my sis and I went to London they had DIFFERENT COVERS!!!! SRSLY! So I bought 1 (I think it was The Unauthorized Autobiography) Because I couldn't HELP myself!

It turned out he and the illustrator were signing posters from the new picture book 13 Words and other people were all, "I have to stand in this ridiculously LONG line just to get a POSTER signed? And I was like, um... they could be giving away POST IT NOTES and I would stand in a line TWICE as long. But that's just me.

His line was taking a little longer than most of the lines did, but that was because he actually took a moment to TALK to each person! OMW! He totally insulted EVERYBODY and it was the FUNNIEST thing ever.

Werd. I am SO gushing here, but I cannot express my excitement over this enough.

So anyways...

So Naomi went first and she has a number of friends that were super jealous that she was going to get to meet him, so she says, "2 of my friends hate me because of you."

Lemony Snicket got this strange look on his face and he said, "Where I come from we don't call those friends. So he turned to HPFanGirl, who was behind her, and asked, "Do you hate her?" And HPFanGirl said, "Maybe a little." So he said, "Then you must be her friend!"

And when he signed Naomi's poster he wrote, "To Naomi, who has questionable friends"


Then it was my turn and I knew I was going to be an idiot, so I just went for it.

I said, "I know this sounds cheezy, but I am your biggest fan."
He said, "Don't put yourself down like that. I've known people much bigger than you."

OMW, I was LAUGHING so hard!

Then he said, "Well, it's very nice of you to say that now that I've turned it into an insult."

Then it was CC's turn and she was wearing a t-shirt that he read aloud. Except the t-shirt said, "Love Your Body" so he read it and then was all, oh excuse me, I was just reading your shirt. Do you wear that just in the hopes that someone will read it aloud?"

Oh my. I could have just sat there all day. We were all cracking up.

Next was Cupcake and she had decided to get the poster signed for her dad. So when Lemony Snicket looked at who he was supposed to make it out to, he said, "And this is for... Jim. Hello, Jim. I don't care what anyone says, you are very masculine."

*sigh* :D

After that I hopped into another line and was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn't STOP smiling. My face was so happy that it just stayed in this giant dorky grin for like half an hour! The lady in front of me was looking over at the Lemony Snicket line and looked at me and says, "I was GOING to see him, but that line was so long and they're not even giving away a book."

I looked at her with my giant grin and said, "It's the chance to get to meet the author. I don't care what they were giving away."

And she looked at me like I was crazy. But people, come on. As great as the ARCs and everything are, are you not there to get to MEET these people that you have come to LOVE through their BOOKS!? If they had signed my program and sent me on my way I would have been happy just for the opportunity (but I LOVE my ARCs don't get me wrong.).

Anyways. Here's a couple bad pics of Lemony Snicket :D

So that other line I was in was for Gail Carson Levine who is ALSO one of my FAVORITE authors! Have you read her stuff? It's SO great! She's written Ella Enchanted and Fairest and Ever and The Two Princesses of Bamarre and she was signing ARCs of her newest picture book Betsy Red Hoodie and (later) Fairies and the Quest for NeverLand. It was all just SO happy :D

Naomi went to Brandon Mull and John Flanagan while the rest of us got in line for Rick Riordan. That line was SO long. HPFanGirl was hyperventilating at this point. She was as excited about getting to see him as I was about Lemony Snicket. I was pretty excited too. He was signing copies of The Red Pyramid the first book in his new series.

He was really nice and HPFanGirl was OVER the MOON. Here's another kinda crummy pic :P

I got another picture that was better, but HPFanGirl is IN it so...

After that we ran over to see where the line was forming for Melissa Marr. She was there last year as well and she is SO nice!

Right in front of her, in the same line, Diana Peterfreund was signing and Naomi had found the logline for the book interesting so she decided to get in line for that and then come back around and join us. It was for the book Ascendant and the logline was this: The killer-unicorn phenomenon continues in this sequel to Rampant.

Intriguing, no?

Well, apparently it was more of a phenomenon than the BEA folks thought, because they put her in for 1/2 an hour and right before Melissa Marr. But the line exploded and they ended up creating a booth for her to sign in so they could get Melissa Marr in and she was signing until her ARCs were gone. But Naomi had to leave the line because of it, so she and I made it back there later and both got signed copies :)

Anyways, Melissa Marr was signing copies of Radiant Shadows the 4th book in her Wicked Lovely series. She is great and the series is great. I've been following her on Twitter and told her so and we chatted for a moment about that. SO much FUN!

While I had been waiting in line for Melissa Marr with CC, I saw we were right next to Jonathan Maberry who was signing ARCs of his new YA book Rot & Ruin. It's about ZOMBIES and so I immediately thought of MIA and HAD to get a copy. OMW it is A. Maz. Ing. I love this book a LOT.

Then we went to Bree Despain signing copies of The Dark Divine which looks really interesting.

While we were standing in line for Rick Riordan, a couple of young girls (like middle school age) were going around handing out fliers. They were signing copies of poetry books and inviting people to come down and check it out. Now I thought it was pretty cool that such young kids had a BOOK published, so Naomi and I made sure we found our way down to them. There were two books they were signing... Winter Coat and Blindspots both poetry books put together by students of their own poetry.

Now here's the exciting part for you guys... They signed an EXTRA COPY of EACH BOOK for me so I could review it for all of you Lovely Blogger Friends and then do a GIVEAWAY! Aren't you EXCITED?!

SO - come back on Friday for the review and giveaway. It's gonna be FANTASTIC!

So then it was late and we were tired and our shoulders felt like they were going to fall off so we gathered everything together and made our way back to the train station. Unfortunately there was some international soccer game that night and all of the trains back to Secaucus were mad full and people were rude and hogging extra seats! What is up with you commuters? The ride is only like 15 minutes! People sit closer together on 8 hour flights!

Anyways, we eventually made it back and it was after 9 by the time we got back to our cars. A LONG day, but SUCH a GOOD one.

And that's my story!

Sorry it took SO long to get it up, but I hope it was worth it.

And don't forget to come back on Friday for the giveaway!


Rutila said...

Hi, I'm an autographing volunteer (though I take care of another aspect of it, not line control) and apologize for the lack of direction. I too was amazed at how squished the area was, and I think because the BEA was shortened to two days the organizers thought we could do with fewer volunteers. Obviously, this isn't the case, and I'll mention your blog to the chief.

I'm so glad to hear that Daniel Handler made your day. I met him at Word recently, and he's the bee's knees!

Christy said...

I'm so jealous that you got to go to BEA. It's on my bucket list. :) I found your blog after perusing BEA related tweets on twitter. :) I have a book review blog at www.dearestdreams.com.
I love your widgets on your sidebar that cycle through what you've read. Do you mind sharing where you got them?

Tahereh said...

this sounds so AWESOME!

it is DECIDED that i have no choice but to attend BEA next year. i have NO OTHER OPTION.


so happy you had a fabulous time!!

Falen said...

awww...BEA sounds so awesome.
maybe one day...

Dangerous With a Pen said...


I am currently reading the Unfortunate Events series with my 7 yr old who has happily inherited the read everything you can get your hands on gene. She LOVES them. Sooo many books on the shelves just waiting for her to get a leeeetle bigger!

I actually don't know much about BEA, I don't know, I must live in a hole or something. Maybe I can go next year since NY is just one little state away. :D It sounds mad crazy awesome!

Oh and... yeah! There is a Philly Comic Con! It's this coming weekend! I can't wait, it's my first one and my sister is big into trooping (she dresses up as a Star Wars Tie Fighter) for all kinds of charity events with her group but they do Comic Con every year and it's the first time I'll be seeing her in action so rock on to my bad sis!

Mia said...

SO i've read this several times now and I really don't know how to justice to my jealous/excitement/love for you all.

I mean LEMONY SNICKET? WHOA. I would've have been so gushy and silly fan girl with him, really. He's so witty <3 <3

Also also, the whole event TOTES sounds amazing, really really. I completely agree with it being about meeting the wonderful people behind the books, that's what I'm most envious of!

I think next year, if I can totally save up the money (which i can, i MUST) you won't be able to get rid of me. FOR REALZ. I would fly across the atlantic for this, seriously. I mean, and also for the funsies and to see everyone <3 <3 <3

Um, so yea. I lost my train of thought. Keep up the awesome though!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

wow that sounds like so much fun!!!!

I hate waiting in lines, but LEMONY SNICKET???? I didn't even know he was real!!??

he sounds hilarious :)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I'm late again *headdesk* But I DO love all your comments! I really, really DO!

@Rutila: Thanks for stopping by! I hope I wasn't too whiny about it. Just wanted to mention it. And Daniel Handler is the BEST. I smile just thinking about it :D

@Christy: Wow! Another new face! I popped over to your blog to check it out ... BEA is such a blast - I sent you an e-mail about the sidebar things - hopefully you got it all right :)

@Tahereh: You MUST go next year! You MUST and we should drag as many other blogger buddies as possible and get a chance to say HI! in person. That would be AMAZING!

@Falen: Yes, one day. Put it on your list! :D

@Lindsey: I will definitely have to keep the Philly Comic Con in mind - maybe next year....

@Mia: haha! I can't believe you read my post "several times" *smiles broadly* Save Money! Come Visit! I would TOTALLY find you a place to stay if you wanted :D

@MBW: Wellllllll..... technically it's Daniel Handler who uses the pseudonym Lemony Snicket..... but it's STILL him! and he WAS hilarious! :D Thanks for stopping by!

AchingHope said...

*happy sigh* It was amazing.

I should probably have a more intelligent thought to say, but thinking about it just makes me turn into a goo of happiness.