BEA was absolutely incredible. I went in with one plan: get to know my co-bloggers better, meet all the awesome people I talk to on Twitter, and grab three books that I absolutely needed. I definitely accomplished these, but of course it wasn’t without a few hiccups, like I forgot my freaking business cards two BEAs in a row!
I rode the Greyhound bus to NYC from Asheville, an 18 hour ride that nearly killed me. But when I met Kara and Jessie at the hotel the first afternoon, the hellish headache and swollen ankles were totally worth it. I had a blast just hanging out with them and going out for dinner. The food was fucking incredible. So sad that there wasn’t a fridge to store the leftovers! Lyn and Pixie arrived later on that night and it was basically a party from that moment on.
Day One was wonderful, entirely thanks to the ladies I got to spend my time with. Kara, Lyn, and I hit the Harlequin breakfast first, which was a lot of fun. I hadn’t actually read any of the authors there though, so after meeting Jennifer Armentrout (who was hilarious), I ducked out early and met Jessie and Pixie at the front entrance of BEA. From there, we hit all of the major publishers and raked in almost all the books we wanted in a single day. The highlight of Thursday, though, was meeting AS King, who’s book The Dust of 100 Dogs was the one that started this whole blogging journey for me. It was all I could do not to start blubbering on the spot.
That night was the Macmillan party at the Houndstooth Pub which was a blast! I got to hang out more with Jessie and Kara and I met SO MANY bloggers that I love. It was so amazing getting to see Meg, Debby, Steph, Kat, Ashleigh, Gillian, Lili, and Gaby – plus so many more who I got to meet for the first time. Of course, I’m so incredibly thankful for Ksenia who made it all happen and brought all these awesome people together.
Day Two was all about the signings. Jessie, Pixie, and I parked ourselves in the Sarah J Maas line and didn’t move for pretty much the whole morning. We got to meet the awesome Betsy and Melody from Bookcrastinators! (Seriously, meeting so many bloggers had me just about as starstruck as meeting the authors.) Even though she only had a short bit of time to spend with each person in her line, Sarah J Maas was as fabulous as you’d expect – and yes, she looks like JLaw in person, too! I also have a pretty embarrassing story about meeting Holly Black but I’m not ready to make that one public yet!
Friday night was all about relaxing, so Pixie and I hung out around the hotel. We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant, and then later on everyone went out to the bar. I don’t drink, though, so I stayed in and had a nice night in.
Saturday was the Kids Author Carnival! A bunch of us bloggers volunteered to help out at the Jefferson Market Library for this huge middle grade event. I have to tell you, I was a bit nervous/skeptical when I first got there, but it ended up being tons of fun, if tiring. I was honestly so stunned by the amount of amazing authors there, I swear I felt like one of the kids attending. Marie Rutkoski, Bruce Coville (I KNOW), Aaron Starmer, Kody Keplinger, Michael Northrop, and of course Claire Legrand and Heidi Shulz – plus SO MANY MORE. The group of kids I was in charge of wouldn’t really listen to me, and I was beat the hell up by the end of the night, but it ended up being such an awesome experience and I’m thankful I got to be a part of it.
Sunday was the day of goodbyes. I was so indescribably exhausted and ready to go home, but at the same time I was wishing that weekend could never end. I had one of the best times of my life last week at BEA and it was all thanks to Kara, Lyn, Pixie and Jessie. I count myself lucky to know these women, and even luckier to have spent some time in person with them. They made this weekend what it was: the most wonderful time. Spending time with these ladies, and the other awesome bloggers I met along the way – that’s what BEA was about for me. Sure, I love the books, but I love the people more. My only regret is not taking more pictures – especially with Kara and Lyn! Oh well, I’ll work on it next year!