So, Thursday was our last day at BEA, and since Jen was heading to a breakfast at 8 am, we all chose to get up and head to the expo center early. And…so did the rest of BEA. Despite getting there earlier than Wednesday, we were further back in line to get in. But alas, it wouldn’t matter.
We split up and did a few rounds of the expo hall, and Kim and I were ONCE AGAIN lucky enough to score a bag of Little Brown goodies. This time, it was their fall line of middle grade novels, including Jenny Han’s MG debut (she’s the writer of The Summer I Turned Pretty and Shug, so this should be a very different style).
But then we decided it was time to line up for what was one of my favorite moments at BEA: meeting Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear. Due to some luck and some planning, we managed to get in line and be only about 7 or 8 people back from the front. And he is as cool and fun as you’d imagine he is.
I was a little disappointed he wasn’t signing books, but the reality was meeting him was what mattered. Of course I was dressed to the nines, as you can see beside, and I took the time to properly accessorize (ahem, with my Texas tote bag).
Here’s where you can get mad at Kim and me. We had seen people wandering the exhibit hall with Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, a prequel to her Mortal Instruments trilogy. We’d heard it was a ticketed book give away, so we thought we were out of luck. But while I sat in line for Clinton Kelly, Kim wandered over to the S&S booth, wherein the publicist handed her the last two copies — one for her and one for me. No line cutting, no tickets, no cut-throat action. Talk about luck and a fun surprise!
We checked our watches and decided to head over to the autographing area to score a copy of Adam Rex’s Fat Vampire. This was another slow line, and as we were leaving (in a hurry for the next signing), I saw Alea. It was too bad we were in a hurry because it was a bummer I didn’t get to talk to her more — she’s one of my all-time favorite bloggers and people to Tweet with. Alas, we were en route to Daniel Erenhaft’s autographing session for Friend is Not a Verb — an actual hard copy.
Using my suave skills again, I asked nicely if I could get a second copy for work. And not only did I get one, but Mr. Erenhaft hilariously signed the book something to the effect “To ‘A Second Copy for Work’ – Daniel Erenhaft.” Very funny. That line went super fast, and then we were off to a big signing: Laurie Halse Anderson’s Forge.
We were no where near the front of the line, but we were in no hurry. The theme of our Thursday was to be relaxed and just hit up things we were REALLY interested in. We waited patiently, and when it was our turn, I told LHA I like to tweet with her . . . and when she asked my Twitter name, she knew who I was. Talk about THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD. Oh, and she posted a video of her signing on her blog, and you can check out Kim and I’s awesome place in line from approximately 1:55 – 2:03. We were quite excited about something, it looks like.
We grabbed lunch post-LHA — chicken strips and fries at a reasonable price of something like $9 — and immediately made our way to Brilliance Audio’s booth for none other than Rick Riordan, who was signing the audio version of his latest, The Red Pyramid. And when you get there over an hour early, you get to be second and third in line. Totally rad, I tell you.
By then, our BEA experience was coming to a close. Kim and I split up. She went to Lee Child’s signing, and I did one last round on the floor where I picked up Michelle Zink’s sequel to Prophecy of the Sisters, titled Guardian of the Gate, as well as a sound track to the books. Very cool!
I won’t bore you with the travel exploits, but needless to say, Thursday was probably my favorite of the two days. It was much more relaxed and the floors of the exhibit hall seemed less crazed. It was nice to be able to pick up publisher catalogs without being mobbed, and it was very nice to meet some well-known authors.
Although I’ve read about a lot of people feeling there was drama and disappointment at BEA, I never once felt that way. In fact, I went in with a goal of picking up fun, exciting titles, but I didn’t have a set plan in motion. To me, getting worked up wasn’t worth the stress, and having the opportunity to just take it all in was what made it such a fun experience. Clearly, luck was on our side, too.
I shipped back over $100 worth of items, which are due to arrive this week. And for that, I send my huge thank you again to those wonderful New York City librarians who told us about the shipping room. My oh my, if I had to carry all of that back, I’d be a sad girl still in New York maybe building a mode of transportation/teleportation out of books (uhm, no way I’d be driving in that place!).
Stay tuned for Kim and I’s “tips and tricks” post later in the week for those of you planning your 2011 trips. You bet we’ll be there again — and this time, we’ll be seasoned pros. Also, I’ll probably still be reading the books I picked up this year then.
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian turned editor for Book Riot. She's the author of IT HAPPENS: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader and the forthcoming Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, Spring 2017).