BEA Recap!

Yes, yes, I’m a little late with this whole BEA recapping business, but I’ve been sort of distracted with the world (and news I can share with you soon!). But I’m here now, and that’s what counts, right? Ok, so let’s just get down to business

Tuesday

I came to BEA late, waking up at what can charitably called the ass-crack of dawn to catch the 6am train out of Boston to NYC. It was actually my first time on Amtrak, and I gotta say, I’m a fan. Huge seats, wifi, outlets at your seats, and the beautiful scenery of the RI/CT coast.

When I finally arrived in NYC, I checked into my Airbnb apartment (a teeny tiny 1BR on Jones St in the heart of the West Village… yes, killer location), then high-tailed it up on the A train to Javits. I checked in and picked up this:

Yep, that says “Published Author.” No time for sentimental tears though, because I had to hit the floor! I ran up, did one lap, and then promptly looked for a corner to hide in. Javits is scary, guys. It’s huge and crowded and there’s far fewer instructions than I would have liked. Luckily, after only about half an hour, I ran into Lenore, who saved my life. She showed me the ways of waiting in line for signings and how to pass out swag for your book (seriously, Lenore is a one-woman PR campaign).

After snagging a copy of Lauren Oliver’s Spindlers, it was time to make my way to the Apocalypsies event. Now, I was kind of under the impression that this would really just be an opportunity for all of us Apocs to hang around, chat, meet each other in real life, maybe sign a few things for the people who got lost in the basement and wandered in.

Boy was I wrong.

We had a couple hundred people wander through, and I signed my name so many times I sort of forgot how to spell it. I met some incredible readers and bloggers, and overall just came away feeling full of daisies and roses and rainbow. Seriously, it was AWESOME.

As soon as that event was over, I snagged a fun meeting/wine tasting with agent extraordinaire Stephen Barbara, then jumped the train back to the Village for the Teen Author Carnival. Holy incredible event! I got to answer some awesome questions from readers and fans, and sit in awe of the other authors around me. I kept waiting for someone to come up to the panels, tap me on the shoulder, and say, “Um, Lauren? Yeah, your supposed to be sitting over there,” and then point to the audience. I couldn’t believe I was on a panel with so many awesome YA authors, or that I was sitting RIGHT NEXT TO SIOBHAN VIVIAN. Seriously? Crazypants.

Wednesday

I had big plans to go to Javits Wednesday morning, but that all went to hell when I slept in (did you SEE how busy my Tuesday was? and how early it started?). Instead I took my time getting up, getting ready, then sitting in Washington Square Park watching the dogs and soaking up the sun. Then it was off to RANDOM HOUSE to meet my amazing editor Wendy and have lunch. Walking in the building, with all the books displayed in the lobby, was seriously a dream come true. But once again, no time for sentimental tears! It was up to the world of RH Kids and Delacorte, where I got to meet Heather, who created my incredible Meant to Be cover. I gushed all over her and told how great it is and how much ya’ll love it. I owe her a lot, seriously. I got to meet Beverly Horowitz, the publisher, who was an awesome lady. And then it was off to tasty Italian lunch near the office with Wendy, where we chatted about books and authors and writing and publishing and her upcoming trip to Tennessee (I gave her my Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Dollywood tips). I am so so so so lucky to work with her.

Thursday

Thursday was the last day of BEA, and also the day where I decided I was actually going to try to get some books and play the BEA game. Guys? I kind of suck at the BEA game. Luckily, I stumbled across some incredible YA bloggers who helped me along the way. My first stop was the signing line for Alex Bracken‘s The Darkest Minds, where I was an idiot and didn’t actually introduce myself. I did, however, get a book, and let me tell you, Darkest Minds is GOOOOOOOD. I read it in two days. You should definitely pre-order it. While waiting in line, I stumbled across Tara of Fiction Folio, and we chatted for a while. We said adios after getting our books, but then reconvened in the line for Jackson Pearce‘s Fathomless (Jackson was super sweet and wrote a nice message in my book). THEN I ran into the very sassy and famous Anna of AnnaReads. That girl knows the DRILL, and thanks to her, I found myself standing at the very front of the crowd when John Green unveiled the new cover for An Abundance of Katherines, which meant I got one of the signed copies! After that, I snagged a few of the Breathless Reads books from Penguin (and got to chat with fellow Boston Apocalypsie AC Gaughen). Then it was time to say adios to Javits for good.

Thursday was one of my favorite days, because it meant finally meeting up with Corrie! Um, how have we not known each other forever? She’s awesome. All you need to know about Corrie is that she takes you to the Spotted Pig (as my husband said, “that place is trendy as shit!”), and when the waiter tells her something is good, she orders it. That makes her pretty rad, in my book. We feasted on some incredible food, drank some tasty wine, and then wandered the Highline. And when that was done? We wandered some more! And then we parked in Washington Square Park, and I knew Corrie and were gonna be BFFs after some folk singers set up shop. Corrie took one look at them and said, “I think we need to go.” Buskers are awkward. Cue more wandering! Our day also gave rise to a project we’re calling First Draft Summer (you can read all about it over on Corrie’s blog).

Corrie and I finally had to say goodbye, because it was time for dinner with Kathryn! Kathryn and I went to high school together and worked on the newspaper together and share lots of crazy memories of growing up in the south. She finished her MFA in Writing for Young Adults at the New School last year, so I was excited to pick her brain all about that.¬†She runs a YA Lit Mag called Verbal Pyrotechnics that you should check out (or submit to, if you’re the writerly type!). She’s also got an incredible sounding YA MS making the rounds to agents right now, so we chatted about that, too. Oh, and the fact that eventually, we’re going to have to pool our crazy high school memories to write a book together.

Friday

Friday morning was all about shopping, since I didn’t quite pack enough clothes for my whole BEA experience (thank you, Anthropologie, for hooking me up!). Then it was off to Brooklyn for the Paper Lantern Lit BBQ, hosted by Jess Rothenberg and Stephen Barbara. A fun time eating food, drinking wine, and chatting with awesome authors and bloggers. I was especially glad to hang out with Ellie Rollins, whose adorable middle grade Zip comes out soon.

Saturday

And now here we are, at our last day in New York. I got up early for breakfast at the Cornelia Street Cafe, just around the corner from my place. Then it was off to Books of Wonder, where I got to sit on the Lauren Oliver and Friends panel. That was pretty incredible, and again, met a lot of awesome readers and bloggers (and my Random House publicist, appropriately named Lauren!). Oh, and we gave out some Meant to Be ARCs, which I then signed for the lucky winners.

My plan then was to hang out in Penn Station for a couple hours waiting for my train, but luckily, the incredible Mitali and Britta saved me from that fate! They dragged me along with them and Lenore for a tasty lunch at the Bean. We gabbed about publishing and books, and I’m pretty sure I can tell you that Mitali is on her way to being like, the Don Corleone of the publishing world. That girl is awesome. AND she helped me drag my giant suitcase + heavy tote of BEA books to Penn Station. Seriously? THE. BEST.

 

And there you have it! 1,400+ words on one of the awesomest book experiences an author could ask for. I’m so glad I went, and thanks to everyone who tolerated me being freaked out and clueless at every turn!

Come back tomorrow to hear some crazy Lauren Life news!

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