It’s been over a month since Book Expo America – also known as BEA14, and you know what that means, right? It means the real life bff Miss Print and I spent countless hours planning our BEA experience. Since this was not our first rodeo, Miss Print and I decided that we were going to take a step back and take BEA14 as it comes. And you know what, not only did we get to experience everything we wanted to (and more) but it also proved to be a much mellower event than the past several years.
Thursday started out with a bang – I was refreshed, energized, and over the moon excited about day one of BEA14. Since I was meeting Miss Print at her house I was up and out of my house fairly early. After enjoying a lovely breakfast of bagels Miss Print and I hopped in a cab and headed to the Javits Center.
As per usual with us, we were there with plenty of time to spare. We checked our bags, paid a fast visit to the ladies room, and hit the press office to pick up our badges, checked out schedules, and found our place on the massive live. And that’s all with time to spare!
Before we knew it, it was 9 a.m. and the doors were open. We made our first sweep around the exhibit floor, picking up drop schedules and highly anticipated books. (Miss Print was over the moon happy to discover that the lovely people at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt had ARCS of Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers).
After a brief sweep of the floor we made our way to the autographing area where we found ourselves splitting up. I found myself waiting on Caragh O’Brien’s line waiting patiently to, not only get my hands on Vault of Dreamers, but also meet Caragh while Miss Print waiting diligently for over and hour on Garth Nix’s line (I felt really bad about not being able to keep her company but luckily fellow blogger and BEA buddy Cecelia and her lovely sister Ginny were with her, so she was in good hands!)
After getting my hands on Vault of Dreamers and meeting the super sweet Caragh O’Brien I made my way over to Miss Print to check it, to say hi to Cecelia and her sister, and obviously to get yelled at by one of the volunteers to line cutting — which for the record I was not! I was seriously just checking in with them.
And this is the point of the morning Miss Print and I kinda lost track of each other. While she was waiting for Garth Nix (and then Caragh O’Brien) I hit up an in-booth signing of Zodiac by Romina Russell and then headed over MacMillan in the hopes of being one of the lucky 100 to receive a ticket to get a signed copy of Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Knowing how (deservedly) popular Rainbow is, I knew my shots were slim. But being the super fan that I am (Rainbow and I even have the same cardigans, for reals) I had to try. And not only did I try, but I also scored a ticket by waiting on the “non-line”.
Long story short about that: someone complained that the Rainbow line was blocking a booth so they told everyone waiting that if they were on a line they wouldn’t get a ticket. So the non-line was a group of BEA attendees clustering awkwardly. I got the ticket, and I got to meet the super awesome Rainbow Rowell!
Funny side story: while waiting on the non-line a woman stopped and asked me what the crowd was gathering for. I explained to her that we were all (impatiently) waiting for tickets to the Rainbow Rowell signing that would take place a while later. Her response was, and I kid you not. “What’s a Rainbow Rowell?”
After the non-line and the epic-ness that is Rainbow Rowell, Miss Print and I (finally) reconnected and found ourselves back on another line in the autographing area where we met author Steve Brezenoff, author of Guy in Real Life. Steve was awesome and he had the Iron Maiden shirt to prove it. So there’s no doubt in my mind that Guy in Real Life is going to rock!
Lunch time was upon us, a time that I was looking forward to. Why? Because lunch means getting to eat (which I love) and it also means getting to sit for a bit (which, when I’m standing for hours on end I also love). But before lunch, Miss Print and I had to make one quick stop at Scholastic. At noon they would be dropping the highly anticipated Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater. Even though the line was overwhelmingly long, it moved quickly and we were one of the lucky ones who actually scored a copy of it.
And finally it was lunch time. We made it through half of the day alive.
After lunch we found ourselves meeting one of my most favorite authors Tara Altebrando, where I was lucky to not only get a signed copy of her first middle grade, The Battle of Darcy Lane, but I also got to snap a pic with her. Tara is truly awesome you guys – she’s a super talented author, and super sweet! (Check her out, if you haven’t already).
Monday afternoon proved to be mild in comparison to our morning that started with a bang. We wondered the floor a while where we met many publishers and we picked up Little Elliot totes (which Miss Print was totally and completely obsessed with – and rightfully so!).
Before we knew it we found ourselves back in the autographing area for the last few sessions we were looking forward to. Aaron Becker’s (author of Journey and Quest) line was crazy short. Both Miss Print and I had (wrongly) assumed that his line would have been untouchable, but since it wasn’t we jumped on the line before it got any longer and were very fortunate to meet this author and get a signed copy of his beautiful book.
And thanks to Twitter, Miss Print had discovered that author Sarah Beth Durst would be signing in booth for her first adult novel the Lost. Again, this was one of those signings that could go either way – it could be either majorly modded or manageably short. Turns out, since we got there so super early we were the third and fourth people on her line.
After meeting Sarah, I was super excited because I knew what time it was. It was time to get on-line for Rebecca Serle where she would be signing ARCs of her upcoming YA Famous in Love. I only met Rebecca Serle once before this, and she was fantastically awesome. Due to an arm injury Rebecca wasn’t able to technically “sign” the ARC, but she did stamp it. And look at that scarf, it’s beautiful!
Our first day was almost over. But a BEA day wouldn’t be the same without meeting Philip C. and Erin Stead– the husband and wife team who together create some awesome picture books like A Sick Day for Amos McGee. This time around they signed Amos McGee and Philip also signed his upcoming picture book Sebastian and the Balloon.
Our first day was over. It was long, fun, and ultimately exhausting. But totally worth it. Day One (Thursday) brought the chance to meet some great authors, the chance to pick up some great reads that could be our next favorite books, and the chance to meet fellow readers and bloggers.
It was a great day all in all. And after it was said and done, I was ready for Friday, the twelve-hour day that lay ahead of Miss Print and I.
Stay tuned for Part II of my BEA Recap.