You may remember my post about BEA (Book Expo America) from 2014. Well, I got to go again and it was an even more amazing experience. I'm going to break down my visit into a time table so you can see how busy it was and how much I was able to do in that short of a time span! (In New York, time goes by at warp speed.)
Wednesday, May 27th
4:45 pm: I arrived at a wine tasting party in honor of Laura Dave's latest novel, Eight Hundred Grapes. It was an intimate gathering and Laura was so friendly and welcoming. This is where I first got to meet Kaley from Books Etc. in person. I also got to meet Jackie Friedland, who has guest reviewed for CLC a few times. I was not expecting to meet Melody from Read Baby Read, so that was a nice surprise too. Liz and Lisa were there, as well. I met a few other authors, publishers, and publicists. Right before I left, I got to meet Robert and Morgan from BookSparks. It was fun chatting with them too. There were little snacks and desserts to nosh on at this event, but I was saving room for dinner too. I even got to take home a mug!
|With Laura Dave|
|With Liz and Lisa|
6:10 pm: Hopped into a cab with Liz, Lisa, and Kaley to go to the Ladie's First event hosted by Jennifer Weiner at Le Parker Meridian. Right when I arrived, I met Kristy Woodson Harvey, who is as delightful in person as she is online. I also got to meet Elisabeth Egan, Elin Hilderbrand and Jen Lancaster. They were all really nice! I reunited with Samantha Stroh Bailey, Meredith Schorr, and Brenda Janowitz, as well. Before I left, I got to chat with Jennifer Weiner for a few minutes. It's been three years since I last saw her and she still remembered me. It was a really cool party and I felt honored to be there. As we were getting off the elevator when we first arrived, I saw Jodi Picoult leaving with an entourage. I didn't get a chance to talk with her though.
|With Kristy Woodson Harvey|
|With Brenda Janowitz|
|With Jen Lancaster|
|With Elin Hilderbrand|
|With Jen Weiner|
7:40 pm: Hopped into another cab with Kaley, Samantha, and Meredith to head to dinner, where we were meeting a few authors and bloggers. The ride was taking forever, so at one point we finally got out and walked the rest of the way in the rain. I was helping Samantha with her umbrella since it kept going up in the wind and we didn't want her hair to get all frizzy. When we arrived, the first person I saw was none other than Amy Bromberg! I finally got to meet my blog partner in person after FOUR long years! It was wonderful too. She's so enthusiastic and I had a lot of fun chatting with her face to face. When we talk by phone or e-mail, we tend to misunderstand each other, but this time our communication had no awkwardness. It felt like we had never not met in person, if that makes any sense! While I was initially worried I'd feel like a giant next to her, it ended up that we were pretty close in height. Anyway, it was an intimate group of eight women (including myself), sitting around and making each other laugh. Julie Valerie, Francine LaSala, and Lynn Marie Hulsman rounded out the group. We had so much fun chatting and even celebrated Samantha and Kaley's birthdays.
|We meet at last!|
|With Samantha Stroh Bailey|
|With Meredith Schorr|
|With Julie Valerie|
|With Kaley from Books Etc.|
After dinner, I went home, still high on the energy of the wonderful evening. However, I had to rest up for BEA...
Thursday, May 28th
10:50 am: Lined up to meet Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie. While he was really nice, he also spent a lot of time talking to everyone who came by to meet him. So the line moved slowly. When it was my turn, I told him how my husband doesn't like to read much but enjoyed "Tuesdays." He said a lot of women have told him that. :) And apparently, people will read his books while waiting in line to meet him and finish them before they even get to the front of the line. His latest novel is The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. Afterward, I got in line to get Vanessa Diffenbaugh's new novel, We Never Asked for Wings (this one was for Amy). Then I walked around for a bit and found Liza Wiemer (more about her later) in line for a children's book, so I lined up to get it too. Afterward, I met up with Samantha and Julie for a quick snack. On the way over to meet them, I ran into a Facebook friend who is also named Melissa. We recognized each other right away!
12:30 pm: Met up with Pam Jenoff, as well as Tamara of Traveling with T and Kristin of Always with a Book. We grabbed some snacks and had a picnic since there were no available tables and chairs. We just chatted about our favorite TV shows, shared book recommendations, etc. It was fun and relaxing.
|Pam, Tamara, Kristin, and me at our picnic...next year we'll bring blankets!|
2:00 pm: I met up with Ann-Marie Nieves of Get Red PR. We've been working together whenever she has a chick lit novel to promote, so it was a treat to finally meet her in person. She's really sweet and we had fun talking for a while. We were sharing pictures of our kids and talking about what it's like to blog vs. actually work as a book publicist. I got a lot of insight from her.
|Me and Ann-Marie...whose hair is curlier? :)|
|With Kamy Wicoff and her wonderful book!|
|With Samantha and Kaley|
I didn't realize that to get the two books I wanted, I also had to first get the other books being offered at that time. I wasn't as familiar with the other authors at the booth, but they seemed nice. Then I stopped by Hachette's booth to get Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg and swung by the Penguin booth to get Auggie and Me (which my son is currently devouring) by R.J. Palacio (whom I met last year).
I tried connecting with some other people I know were going to be at BEA, but they had left for the day. Before I left, I swung by the Spencer Hill Press booth to say hi to Liza Wiemer (pronounced "Leeza Weemer," which I didn't realize until earlier this year) from WhoRuBlog. She was busy, but we got to chat for a few minutes. She was going to give me one of her copies of her upcoming YA novel, Hello?, but someone apparently snatched it out of her bag. I just hope that person gives her a good review! I can wait for a copy, but I definitely want to read it! The staff at Spencer Hill is really nice and I enjoyed talking to a few of the people standing around the booth at the time.
|With Liza Wiemer|
Are you exhausted yet? Well, I definitely was! And I left with three bags full of books! (Yet I somehow still envied some other people's stashes...go figure!)
Next year in Chicago! (Maybe some of you will get to meet my mom...)
|What came home with me from BEA and the parties (see close ups below)|