I know! I know! I’m so late with this post. I know most people are now planning their BEA 16 trip and I’m just now posting about my BEA 15. Oh well!
After the fun of BEA 14 last year, Kristin and I immediately started making plans for #BEA15OrBust! Feeling like slightly seasoned pros- we made our plans.
Then BEA changed things.
Instead of having the Blogger conference all day on Wednesday and BEA being Thursday, Friday and Saturday- they changed it to half a day on Wednesday, all day Thursday and Friday- and Book Con (which was included in your BEA badge last year- would be a separate ticket.)
Ok. No biggie. We talked- we knew what we wanted to do (no Book Con for us or Blogger Conference). We decided to arrive on Tuesday, then leave on Saturday.
Back in Mississippi, I awoke at 4:30 am- COMPLETELY convinced that something was amiss and I was going to have problems on my flight (after last year’s debacle- one could hardly blame me for this feeling!)
But, no problems- except arriving at the airport ridiculously early and finding out that even though I TRIPLE confirmed that a shuttle would be around to pick me back up on Saturday- Holiday Inn Express in Flowood, MS says “our shuttle doesn’t run on Saturday”. Jerks.
I breeze through security and breeze through my layover at Atlanta- eager to get to NYC. I arrive between 3 & 4pm, let Kristin know I am on my way to hotel and then arrive at Holiday Inn Express Times Square.
Kristin and I head to Javits Center to pick up badges, then decide to head to Gotham Market for an early supper (I was starving because I’m usually too nervous to eat much on travel days!) and then went walking around Times Square (where I bought some new earrings at Fossil!)
We got up early on Wednesday with the brilliant idea of arriving early-ish at Javits, reading the Publishers Weekly magazine ( an absolute gem of info we discovered last year) and hanging out till the doors opened to let people in at BEA. This was a great plan- Kristin and I were relaxed, got to chit-chat with people, take pictures and mark addition items on our list.
In doing this, we discovered that Candace Cameron had a new book coming out- both of loving DJ Tanner in our younger years and Kristin being a fan of DWTS- it was a no-brainer to stop by the booth and pick up a copy of her new book. (And no, she was not there- although they did have a gorgeous life- size cardboard cut-out of her.)
Kristin and I walked around together- but also split up a bit because there were different things that we wanted to go see.
So, right off the bat- armed with my trusty schedule (seriously, LIFE SAVER) I had Kate White (who I love, love, LOVE) as marked down as being a must see and the 2 times that she would be at signings. I also happened to have Lori Roy marked down as “check it out if the line is not wrapped around the building person” (YES, I make those kind of notes to myself!)
And let the book gods sing- because when I stopped by Mystery Writers of America- where Lori was going to be- KATE was going to be there as well. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone? Don’t mind if I do!
Thanks to the cool folks at Harper Perennial- they snapped this picture of me fangirling the heck outta Kate White (see my hands- they were in full on *jazz hands* mode!)
Wednesday was the day of Harper party- so, Kristin and I scooted on that afternoon and grabbed a taxi to party.
The first part was the publicists giving us bloggers info about the books that they were excited for over the next few months and setting us up with book swag- and then the next part was the actual party.
And good grief, was it fun! I’m standing at the bar talking to Ellen Herrick (you gotta check out her book THE SPARROW SISTERS) when Stephanie Evanovich comes up to us. Knowing Stephanie from a book tour stop she did in Jackson, MS (where we had supper at Julep and she found that made the NYT Best Sellers list that night- SO. Freaking. Cool.)- it was a total SQUEE moment again- especially considering that forces had kept us apart last year (hello airport trouble- looking at you Delta). So, we gabbed on for a bit about things that had been happening in our lives (most notably: my story on the From Hero to Zero: The Airport Hero, the Business Card and The Date That Never Happened.)
Excusing myself to get a glass of water (sue me- I’m a lightweight and had already had a glass of wine!) I turn around and gasp- it’s Kimberly McCreight right behind me. Kimberly was the first author in the short-run book club that I co-hosted called Book Lovers Unite- but I’ll never forget how kind she was (or how DAMN TWISTY RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA IS!) I fangirled and told her how much I adored her and her books- and kind of regret not getting a picture with her- but I was trying to be cool and not just dissolve in a pile of fangirl puddle. If you haven’t read RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA- get to it now- and if you have and want to talk spoilers- well, check this blog post out- Kimberly answered SO many questions for me!
After the party was over, we headed back to our hotel with our big bag of books and began to prepare for a full day of BEA for the next day!
Quick breakfast the hotel and then we headed on to Javits Center!
I was supposed to meet with a publicist that morning- but her bus was delayed- so we were unable to meet- le sigh.
However, I did get to see Mary Kubica (PRETTY BABY) and chat with Mary for a minute. While I was waiting in the line for Mary, I was glancing around for Kristin- but then saw Melody– a blogger from California- that I had never met, but have exchanged hundreds of tweets with. Talked her into staying and we gabbed for a bit and then Kristin came by and we all talked!
After that, I met with one of the publicists at Harper, Heather, and then, then, THEN…..
LUNCH WITH PAM JENOFF.
Lunch on the floor at Javits Center with those ladies? SO. FREAKING. FUN.
Some more walking around- running into Kristy Woodson Harvey- who totally gave me hair envy!!! I also caught up with Cindy from Literary New England and we had a gab fest while walking around Javits.
I had 2 absolute MUST SEE folks on my list for Thursday: Kristan Higgins and Mary Higgins Clark.
And yep, I made both!
After a fun day at Javits, Kristin and I hot-footed it back to the hotel and then on to have a drink with the lovely Kristy Woodson Harvey. We both were excited- me especially- because Kristy and I have been jabbering on in emails and social media for months and months- so I felt like I totes knew her.
While we wanted to sit on the rooftop bar, sadly, there were no seats- so we staked out this corner and some drinks!
After a lovely hour plus spent with Kristy, we bid her adieu and headed in the direction of our hotel. Looking for a place to eat- Kristin sees Rosie O’Grady’s and I see crab cakes on the menu- so we head in for delightful dinner.
Yum. Crab cakes. Yuck to broccoli.
Last day of BEA. Speed dating event that afternoon. Final payment to Fed Ex for shipping my books. Meetings with publicists. GAME FACE ON.
Kristin and I met Helen at My Novel Opinion in the sitting area near Starbucks. She has secured a table and as we were getting closer to her, she started to get up- and we were all “NO” since she had a table (and seating is a premium in that area!) We dropped off luggage and then sat down with Helen and marveled at her accent (she’s working that British accent!)
Kristin had her morning planned- she knew she wanted James Patterson book and to hear the announcement about James Patterson. Helen and I walked for a bit- I had the Lucy Burdette signing that I wanted to attend- then was pretty open to Speed Dating and a meeting with WunderKind PR.
As Helen and I walked around, we saw these cool notebooks. They are called A Novel Journal and you can get them through Amazon. The representative was so nice and let Helen and I have a journal- since we were exclaiming over how cool they were!
At 12, I met my most favorite pub, Katie at St. Martin’s Press. And she brought me one of the first copies of PRETENDING TO DANCE by Diane Chamberlain (that’s not the only reason she’s my fav, though!)
Then, a quick lunch- and off to Speed Dating. The event was great- my table the previous year was more fun- more convo happening- but maybe we were just tired from all the running around this year!
After that, picked up Elin Hilderbrand’s new book, WINTER STROLL, I went and paid Fed Ex to ship my books and then Kristin and I waved good-bye to Javits Center and began contemplating if we would make BEA 16 in Chicago or not. (Odds are probably we will!)
And now for the pictures you really want to see: The books!!!!
Yes. It’s a pile. I have found some great ones, though, and I’m pretty excited about the rest of them!!!
Want to see some more pics? Check out Traveling With T!
Hope you enjoyed hearing about my BEA 15 trip 5 months later 🙂
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T