As the ribbons were cut, we were ready to dive in. Our first stop was Penguin in search of a handful of really exciting titles, including Scrumble, the sequel to Ingrid Law’s Savvy. We got that, along with a few other forthcoming titles like The Replacement by Brianna Yavanoff. The people at Penguin, despite being overwhelmed, were happy to answer our questions about when they’d be putting out other titles. Don’t worry; we made it back a couple more times to pick up titles like Ally Condie’s Matched and Catherine Fisher’s Sapphique.
I won’t tell you everything we picked up because there was a heck of a lot on that first day. To describe it as a mad rush would be an understatement. It was unbelievable the hoards of people and just how tight it got in some areas (particularly near Little Brown, where Kimberly and I were lucky enough to score a BAG of forthcoming fall titles, including new titles by Gail Giles and Sarah Ockler. Oh, and Wendy Mass’s The Candymakers which just screams mashup of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Gollywhopper Games to me — a good thing!).
My favorite publisher to visit, though, was Bloomsbury. The publicist there was eager to sell all of their forthcoming titles. She sought out one I was really interested in (whose title escapes me as I recap, of course). Egmont was a close second, as their publicist was also great at selling their forthcoming titles. I’m still unsure how to pronounce their name, too — EDGEmont or EGGmont?
Everyone in our group slowly dispersed, going to the individual signings we were interested in. I reconnected with Kim at the Harlequin Teen signing, where I picked up some forthcoming titles and met their authors. The set up was pretty much unorganized, but, we got in and out of there quickly and hit up lunch (I think that was a pretzel for me). We did a bit more wandering around thereafter, acquiring titles that included The Mockingbirds from Little Brown (which sounds like a fantastic readalike to The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks but on a more serious scale) and Lauren Oliver’s 2011 title Delirium.
When 2:30 came around, it was time to hit up the first author signing of the day: Simone Elkeles. She was signing three times at BEA, but this was the only one where she’d be signing her forthcoming sequel to Leaving Paradise. And boy, was she a sweet author! I’m pretty adverse to picking up 2 copies of books, but because I knew Janssen would LOVE this one, I asked if she’d sign two. And without hesitation, she said yes and immediately asked me to spell Janssen’s name for her. I thanked her a million times and she told me to show up to her other signing (which, I did not, due to a few other events, sadly!).
Since we got through that line super quickly, we met up again with Abby and Jen at the Zombies vs. Unicorns signing with Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. It was a longer and slower line, but it was totally worth it — when I got up there, Justine signed first and asked what team I was on. Being undecided, I said I needed to read the book to make a fair and accurate vote. She LOVED my answer, and I scored both a team unicorn and team zombie button. We’d later discover that Scott Westerfeld had also signed this ARC. Totally fun, and the book sounds like a real hoot.
When we finished the signing, it was time to run back to Little, Brown for the unveiling of a big title: Beautiful Darkness, the sequel to Beautiful Creatures. People here were unbelievable. I will go into more details in our final post of BEA tips and tricks, but needless to say, it was a mob scene. We got our book without a problem and tried to get out quickly because….we were on to a signing of Kody Keplinger’s debut The DUFF.
So here’s where one of the coolest moments of BEA happened. As we’re waiting in the line — which was moving kind of slow — I see someone who looks familiar. I check the badge and it is Melissa Walker. I got her attention to say hi, and she checked my badge and knew who I was too. Uhm, talk about fangirl moment. Almost embarrassingly so. I’d like you to know we talked about arm pit sweat. And how excited we were to read The DUFF. Can you imagine being 18 and being a signing author at BEA?
Since that pretty much made my life complete, Kim and I chose to head out for the day. While Abby and Jen were heading to Kid Lit Drink Night, and our plans to head to Books of Wonder for their author event were dropped, we thought we’d head to the hotel and get a drink at the hotel bar.
Except the bar was outside, and it was 95 degrees out.
Plan b? Burgers & Cupcakes, a delightfully cute restaurant near our hotel. Besides being pretty good and having incredible cupcakes, it was reasonably priced. Then we went to the hotel and admired our books. For hours.