Shana Silver: YA writer

Tag Archives: bea

This post was one of my most popular last year, and with BEA upon us again next week, I thought I’d repost it. But with some new additions! The additions will be written in blue.

For a first time attendee, BEA (Book Expo America) can be overwhelming. This will be my sixth year attending the conference and over the past few years, I’ve developed a list of tips for surviving and enjoying BEA. (Please note I’m attending via my day job, so I’ll be wearing my professional Digital Publisher hat as well as my Book Lover hat.)

1. Make a schedule.

Anyone who has gone with me to BEA in the past knows how much I love schedules. I include every possible thing I want to see–whether it’s an autographing session, a conference session, or a galley giveaway. I also include stuff I’m not interested in myself but I know my friends might be. I always carry extra copies because there’s always someone who never thought to bring a schedule. And yes, I schedule lunch too. (More on that in a bit.)

Print separate schedules for each day to limit what you need to carry. I usually leave the follow days’ schedules in my suitcase.

 

2. Don’t get to the Javits on time.

Get there either really early so you’re first in line (like 7:30/8) or get there late so you miss the line entirely. Arriving on time means you’ll be stuck on a ridiculously long line.

If you’re going with friends, designate someone each morning to be the “place holder.” They arrive early and hold spots for others. Please limit this to only 2-3 people though and make sure you let the people behind you on line know you have others joining you. People may see this as frowned upon, but I guarantee everyone on line is doing it.

 

3. Get coffee before you get to the Javits center.

Avoid the on site Starbucks! The line there is longer than any other autographing line in the entire conference!

I usually eat on my walk to the Javits (from Penn Station) or while waiting in line. Yay for multi-tasking!

 

4. Check a suitcase but carry a backpack plus tote bags.

Schedule in periodic drops to the suitcase to lighten your carrying load. I think checking a suitcase for the day is $3 and overnight is $10. I usually leave the suitcase overnight one night so I don’t have to lug it around to parties since I commute into the city from NJ.

Leave a bottle of water in your suitcase so you don’t have to carry it on the floor. Alternatively, bring an empty bottle of water and fill it up as necessary at the water fountains.

 

5. Eat lunch early or late.

The Javits is expensive (for non-NYC standards. If you’re from NYC, then the food there is reasonably priced!). And crowded. I suggest either eating lunch either at 11am or after 2pm. From 11:30-1:30, you won’t get a seat and you’ll spend an hour on line anyway. Alternatively, bring a power bar or a snack. There’s nothing around the Javits to eat at unless you walk several blocks away (or eat at the gross McDonald’s nearby).

 The shortest line always seems to be the BBQ place, so get in the mood now!

 

6. Be selective.

Don’t take every galley you see just because you can. Don’t be greedy. Take only the ones you know you will read, leave the rest for others. The conference is mainly for librarians and booksellers, not readers (except on BookCon maybe).

Don’t forget the panels and conference sessions either. They are often informative and entertaining and well worth skipping a line to see.

 

7. Get to autographing lines early.

And I mean EARLY. I often lined up an hour before certain authors I knew would have long wait times. I have never seen an autographing line without a long wait. If you want a book, plan in advance for it.

While I suggested saving spots on the opening line above, savings spots in autographing lines is a no no. Don’t do it. Everyone who wants the book needs to wait in line the entire time.

8. Dress to your standard of comfort but look professional.

I’ve seen other BEA tips lists suggest wearing sneakers. I’m not going to suggest that. I’ve never worn sneakers to the convention, even two years ago when I attended at 9-months pregnant. Yes, you will  be standing nearly all day. But that doesn’t mean you have to wear sneakers. Wear cute flats or sandals, something you can stand in all day. I always wear a dress. I never wear jeans.

I find Toms to be the best shoes to wear. They are cute but comfortable and look more professional than sneakers. 

 

9. Carry business cards

They don’t have to be super fancy or graphic designy, but you will want something to hand out to all the people you meet. Otherwise how will they find you? After all, you should be networking. Which brings me to…

 Write your twitter name on your badge so people know how to find you easily!

 

10. Network!

You’re among your kind at BEA: other book lovers! Start a conversation with the people next to you on line. You clearly have the same interests. I’ve made great friends at BEA that I’ve kept in touch with.

But don’t pitch agents or publishers. This is not the time or the place.

 

11. Avoid twitter.

Otherwise you’ll drain your phone battery. Plus, you want to be present at the conference, not with your nose to your phone all day. (We’d all prefer you with your nose to a book you picked up!)

You won’t find outlets at the Javits unless you have access to one of the lounges. I generally bring two phones, my personal one and my work blackberry, and I leave the blackberry turned off so when I need to call my husband to pick me up at the train later, I have a phone that actually works still. 

 

12. Get a Taxi on 10th ave or 9th ave, not in front of the Javits

You will be waiting forever if you try to snag a taxi in front of the Javits, but if you just walk a block or two, you’ll have your pick of taxis.

Except during Taxi turn over time, generally around 4-5pm. The day time taxis are done for the day and the night time taxis don’t start yet. It’s harder to find a taxi during this time. Utilize the free buses the Javits provides. Last year I took one to the Marriott Marquis and then walked only three blocks to Port Authority instead of the bazillion blocks it would have been.

 

13. Don’t be afraid of the subway

Seriously, it won’t bite. It’s not that complicated to navigate with since most trains run straight up and down. Trust me, I take the subway every day to work and I’m still in one piece!

 But the subway won’t help you if you need to go across town.

 

14. Enjoy the people as well as the books

My fave part of BEA is hanging out with my writing/book-loving friends who I don’t get to see the rest of the year. I always come back exhilarated about writing and reading thanks to our conversations and the general atmosphere of being in a place where everyone loves and appreciates books. Remember to have fun.

15. End the weekend with a pedicure.

Your feet will hurt. Treat yo’self!

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What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk similar to the Currently… post that has been circulating. This is shorter and a bit more manageable to allow us to connect with our blog followers on a weekly basis. Feel free to join in!

 

WHAT I’M READING

I’m slowly making it through my BEA pile. Right now I’m about 2/3 of the way through THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and I absolutely LOVE it! The best way I can describe it is Titanic set on a spaceship, crash included. The characters are very similar with a socialite in a fancy and uncomfortable stress and a guy from the wrong side of the galaxy. What I really love though is the authors turn this trope on its head by having the female be savvy enough to save their lives when it counts and the boy being a famous war hero and not just a street smart urchin.

It’s a survival story but it’s also a mystery about what exactly is wrong with the abandoned planet they’ve landed on. I have a huge place in my heart for science fiction, especially stories set in space or foreign planets thanks to my dad who very nearly went to school for Astronomy (he spent a year at MIT studying it in grad school before switching to optometry) and growing up hearing all about his fascination with space and science fiction. So anyway, I love it! And I should also note the writing itself is gorgeous.

WHAT I’M WRITING

I’m still writing that same sci-fi book, at about 75k now and I only have four scenes left to write! I so want to finish my first draft this week but my schedule keeps thwarting me (see below). It probably won’t happen until next week. Sigh. I’m aiming to at least write the big it-all-goes-to-hell chapter that comes next. On top of that, yesterday I got an idea for a MG and ended up outlining half the novel during a boring work meeting. Shh, don’t tell my boss. I’m super excited about this one. I’ve been wanting to write a MG for a while now.

 

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

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All the books I’ve been reading at BEA, of course! FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell in particular. This book is about a girl who is more interested in the fake world of a story she loves (think Harry Potter) than the real world. All she wants to do is write fanfiction, putting her own spin on the canon of the tale, so much so that she ignores her own life in favor of the fictional characters. Not only did this book speak to my inner geek because there have been times I cared way too much about fictional characters even if I never wrote fanfiction. But what this book is also about is writing. The art of it. The act of it. How you get swept up in it and how sometimes there are obstacles inside yourself blocking you from putting words to paper.

I am going to share my favorite quote from the book with you (though please note this is from the ARC and the quote may change in the final print version). This quote is one I now have taped up at my desk at work. It’s one that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently as I near the end of my first draft. And it’s one that inspired a blog post I’m in the middle of composing and will hopefully post tomorrow.

Every word felt heavy and hurt, like Cath was chipping them one by one out of her stomach. That was the beauty in stacking up words–they got cheaper, the more you had of them. It would feel good to come back and cut this when she’d worked her way to something better

 

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO

Busy busy busy! Last weekend we drove 5 hours each way to Boston for a wedding. We dropped the baby off at my in-laws and I was super excited for a good night’s sleep in the hotel room. But turns out after having a baby and not really drinking anything for almost two years due to being pregnant and then nursing, I am now a light weight. Yep. Three drinks spread out over the course of the night and the room was spinning. I feel like a freshman in college.

We also had Father’s Day brunch with my in-laws, of course!

This weekend I have a bachelorette party for my old college roommate (talk about feeling like a freshman!). We’re doing a cooking class, which I’m really excited about! And then the next day is the baby’s joint 1st birthday party with my nephew! Quinn doesn’t actually turn one until July 6, but my nephew turned one on May 8, so we’re splitting the difference and doing the party in between their birthdays since it’s the same guest list. And also because my sister lives in Florida and she’s only in town this weekend. I’m really excited to give Quinn a cake to smash (or more accurately, throw on the floor while laughing maniacally).

 

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So BEA. That happened.

Don't mind the "P" in the last name. I attended the convention as my real self, not my pen name alias.

Don’t mind the “P” in the last name. I attended the convention as my real self, not my pen name alias.

And aside from amazing books and writing motivation, the main thing I took away from it is: I’m old.

No seriously, no publishing parties for me each night. I’m lucky I made it to 5pm at the Javits center one of the days. I did not see 9pm. I was already asleep.

 

The worst signing line of all: the one for the bus home to NJ

The worst signing line of all: the one for the bus home to NJ

But I still had an amazing time. I got to hang out with my friend Laura, who is about to move all the way to Arizona. :-( I got to see NYC YA writing buddies Samantha and Michelle. I hung out with Rachel, who I haven’t seen since ALA Boston a few years ago. Talking books and writing with good friends always inspires me to be more productive and work harder on my books so I can realize my dream of one day signing at BEA. And since I’ve come home, I HAVE been productive. I’m nearing the end of my first draft of one book and already thinking ahead to plan a different one.

I spent most of the conference going from signing line to signing line. I love striking up conversations with those in line around me. And my fave part is seeing the same people on each line because we all have the same taste in books. These are all strangers yet we have so much in common already!

I got to meet some of my favorite authors or reconnect with other favorite authors. And I’m already almost done with my second BEA read and so far both books I’ve read (THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales and FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell) have been utterly AMAZING. With both, I was desperate to know what happened at the end but I didn’t want to turn anymore pages because I didn’t want the books to end! That, of course, is the mark of a good book. And I have a whole bunch more to read that will surely follow in the footsteps!

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1.

As you may have guessed from my last post, I’ll be at BEA next week Thursday-Saturday. If you’re looking for a detailed schedule of YA signings and giveaways happening at BEA, I’ve created one and I’d be happy to share it with you. Please email me at shanasilver at gmail dot com. Since I’m a Project Manager in my day job, my schedules are pretty epic. I will also be carrying extra copies of the schedule with me at the Javits, so you can find me there as well. Or if you just want to say hello, that’s cool too! I love to meet new people, especially book-loving people! I look like this:

*Giant Hershey's bar not included at BEA

*Giant Hershey’s bar not included at BEA

 

2.

Since I work in publishing, my office is sending me to BEA, so technically I’ll be there under my real name. Luckily my real name includes “Shana” but my last name will begin with a “P” instead of “Silver.” It’s still me, you can still say hi! And I’ve got business cards that say Shana Silver to prove it. (I also have day job ones under my real name if you happen to be a vendor working in digital publishing.)

 

3.

Unless my achy feet have other plans, I’m hoping to attend some YA parties happening next week. I won’t be at the Teen Author Carnival but you may see me at other events happening Thursday and Friday evenings and maybe even Saturday afternoon.

 

4.

The good thing about BEA being next week, besides you know, all the bookselling and networking benefits, is TV is on hiatus for the summer. I can’t wait to fill my evenings with reading instead of gushing over shirtless vampires! Though I could still gush over shirtless vampires on Netflix…

 

5.

In other book/writing related news, I’ve surpassed 50k on my YA sci-fi WIP! I’m sooooo excited about this book. And I’m even more excited because getting to 50k means lots of kissing (for my characters, not for me). Also I’m almost at Act 3 and Act 3 will be epic!

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First, congrats to fellow Bookanista Gretchen McNeil on the release of POSSESS!!!!!!!

Now, my review of THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in
a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

WHAT I THOUGHT:

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on ever since I met Michelle at BEA in 2010 and heard about her sale! Even though I still had to wait a torturous year to read, I was able to snag a copy a this year’s BEA (well, actually I got it at the Teen Author Carnival). I immediately devoured it.

I had super high expectations for this book. IT LIVED UP TO EVERY ONE OF THEM!

I got sucked in from the first page and couldn’t put the book down. The prose. The mystery. And, oh yeah, NOAH.

I’ll tackle these topics backwards because Noah is the one I want to discuss the most. He’s British. So right there I was hooked. And that doesn’t even take into account his sexiness. He’s cocky yet sweet, and I loved that I kept guessing as to his true intentions and motives. The ones I got surprised me and made him even more exciting. There’s really only one word to describe him: EXTRAORDINARY. I’ll be shocked if every girl that reads this book doesn’t fall madly for him. My favorite thing about him was the way he befriended Mara’s younger brothers. And of course, a guy who takes care of animals is automatically adorable.

As for the mystery, it kept me guessing and frantically turning pages. There were so many twists that made me gasp out loud, but in the end they tied everything together perfectly. This book is a new breed of paranormal and it read like a breath of fresh air. I was as eager to find out what happened in Mara’s past as I was to uncover what was going on in her present. In her past, Mara walked away unscathed while her best friends perished in a building collapse. The flashbacks provided the answers to questions like “why were they in an old building?” and “how did she survive?” and my favorite part was the subtle dynamics between Mara and her friends. It definitely wasn’t what it first seemed at the start of the novel.

In the present, strange things are happening (that sentence is vague, yes, but only because I want you to experience the ride for yourself). Mara makes new friends, ones I wasn’t sure she could trust, but each with a distinct personality. Her brothers were my favorite in the book! (Well, besides Noah, of course). And Mara herself is a great protagonist. She’s a balance mix of vulnerability and strength, ballsy but sometimes needing to be rescued. And she’s smart too. I cared about what happened to her just as she cared about those around her. I’m not an animal person but one of my favorite scenes involves her rescuing a dog.

And of course, the prose is beautiful. The only thing that kept me turning pages was stopping to savor a gorgeous sentence!

But gah! What a cliffhanger! Now I have to wait even longer for book 2!

CHECK OUT WHAT THE REST OF THE BOOKANISTAS ARE READING THIS WEEK:

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What’s better than one Bookanista Review? Two of course! I recently read two of Maureen Johnson’s newest and it only seemed natural to feature them together. I mean, they have a lot in common if you forgot the whole serial killer aspect of one of them. They both have her trademark humor, quirky yet extremely lovable characters, and they are both set in Europe. Also, both protagonists have nicknames than end in “Y” but real first names that end in “A.”

Honestly, I probably don’t even need to review these books for you to know how fabulous they are. Just take a peek at Maureen’s twitter account and you’ll see for yourself how funny and entertaining she is. I promise that same humor is on every page of her book. So if it seems like my review is a little, um, fangirly, that’s only because it is. Because Maureen is one of my favorite writers, she’s a huge influence on my own humorous writing voice, and every time I read one of her books I just want to hug it when I finish.

First I’ll discuss THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE, which is already out and waiting in a bookstore for your reading pleasure. Then I’ll tackle THE NAME OF THE STAR which comes out September 29th but if you preorder from my favorite bookstore BOOKS OF WONDER in NYC, Maureen will sign your copy. So, you should do that.

Ironically, I just received her newsletter in the mail where she announced a launch party at BOOKS OF WONDER. I know where I’ll be September 27th!

THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE

What It’s About:

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny’s backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

What I Thought:

First, yay for a non-headless girl cover!

It’s rare when I like a sequel better than the original book, especially when I LOVED the original book as I did with THIRTEEN LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES. But I loved this book more.

My favorite part of the book was Oliver. I kept turning pages not sure whether I should be wary of him or start to fall for him. He was the perfect balance of villain and ally. I did sway heavily to one side of my thoughts on him, but I won’t say which because figuring him out was one of my favorite parts of this book’s journey. Oliver is such a great character. He blackmails Ginny by holding the last envelope hostage. He has a penchant for memorizing things, like, oh say a large chunk of the Harry Potter series.

I also was extremely impressed how Maureen made Ginny’s crush Keith’s new girlfriend so LIKABLE. I adored her! And just like Ginny, I wanted to hate her but I couldn’t.

This book definitely had some quirky and memorable scenes, such as a scene involving an abundance of cats, and a breaking and entering scene that had me laughing as well as biting my nails. Aunt Peg’s vague clues also led to adventure and hilarity in equal parts. And of course, how could I not love that New Years scene?

Maureen did a great job making me switch allegiances several times in this book. It was the perfect sequel and resolution to Ginny’s story with and ending that still leaves room for more adventures.

THE NAME OF THE STAR

What It’s About:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

What I Thought:

I’ll admit, I was a little leery about this one. I waited in line for hours at BEA picked it up at BEA just to get it even though I didn’t know much about it. I probably would have waited in line for Maureen to hand out blank pieces of paper. It’s Maureen! Once I read the back of the book blurb, I got a little apprehensive. I hate violence. I hate gore. I love humor. Specifically, I love Maureen’s humor. Would this book be like her others? Could I even handle it?

Thankfully, I decided to be brave and give it a chance. And OMG, I AM SO GLAD I DID. I can honestly say that this is my FAVORITE book from BEA so far. That’s not an exaggeration. I devoured this book. Though it does have gore it also has HUMOR! And it turns out, that’s the exact formula my wimpy self needs to deal with the scary stuff. And oh, it was scary. I was on the edge of my seat but too entertained to care about clutching the book with white knuckles. The story fascinated me and the premise intrigued me. I LOVED the paranormal twist. We’ve all read stories where humans can see ghosts but this went to a fresh new level that I just adored. It’s hard not to squee when I talk about this book.

The setting was perfect for this book, not just because of the Ripper connection but because it was a fresh place to take paranormal. And Rory, as our American guide to life in London, provided us with many hilarious and unique observations. Rory is the perfect protagonist, strong yet vulnerable, willing to do whatever it takes to protect others, the kind of protagonist you definitely want to spend future books with. I just wanted to be her friend. Preferably while she’s kicking butt and saving my ass.

But the supporting cast also stands out, each stealing scenes they’re in. There’s Jerome, who is endearing with his blend of mischievous mixed with romantic aloofness. I also think his obsession with Ripper mania worked perfectly as a way to get some of the history in without bogging down the story. It was enough intrigue to send me reading up on Wikipedia pages about Jack the Ripper, something I never would have done otherwise. I also loved the trio of Stephen, Boo, and Callum, specifically upbeat Boo. And there are a few other great characters that I don’t want to spoil. A certain one in the library for example.

Though I love Maureen’s contemporaries, I’m really glad she tackled this new genre.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BOOKANISTA BROADCAST…

…to celebrate WRITE ON CON! For some fun writer insights and pep talks, click along to…Christine FonsecaBeth Revis and Jessi Kirby.

And, we know you MUST have your Thursday Bookanista reviews so here you go!

Veronica Rossi loves Legend
Shana Silver serves up a Maureen Johnson double feature of The Last Little Blue Envelope & The Name of the Star
Scott Tracey is awed by Anna Dressed in Blood
Bethany Wiggins howls over How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend
Carrie Harris is in a frenzy over Stupid Fast
Gretchen McNeil is spellbound by Witch Eyes
Carolina Valdez Miller and Shelli Johannes-Wells are passionate about Possess
Matt Blackstone blogs From Bedside

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1. I decided I want to do a vlog for part 2 of my BEA recap, but I haven’t had a chance to film it yet. Hopefully I will have some time this weekend and it will go up on Monday! However, I am going away this weekend because…

2. It’s my first year anniversary with my husband! HOLY CRAP THAT WENT FAST. Especially considering I waited 7 years for that wedding! We are going to Atlantic City this weekend (aka VegasLite) to celebrate. Neither of us gambles, but we like to people watch and there are exotic pools at the Borgata, and we’ll go out to a nice dinner. Then on Sunday we are going to stop at my parents’ house on the way home since the bakery that made our wedding cake is making a mini-replica for our first anniversary, so we’ll share that with my family. Very excited since I didn’t really get to eat anything at the actual wedding, now I can indulge!

Since this is the Paper Anniversary, I think this clearly means the hubs should buy me books as a gift, yes?

3. In other gift news, I am finally getting my 30th birthday gift from my parents this weekend (only about 2 months too late). An iPad!!! I hear it can sync with Scrivener, which is super exciting to me. I also got a portable keyboard for it to make typing on the go easy peasy. Mostly I’m looking forward to reading some of the Galley Grab and NetGalley books on it.

4. As far as writing updates go, I am revising 2 books and outlining a new one! The outlining is just happening naturally whenever ideas come to me, I’m not necessarily seeking them out. Very excited about all three of these things!

5. I have summer Fridays and it’s almost quitting time, so I can’t think of a number 5 except to say have a great weekend!

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Oh my, where do I begin? First, I apologize if I miss anyone in this post, it was a whirlwind week!

Part 2 of my recap will go up on Friday. Too much awesome to fit in one post!

MONDAY

While most others had traveled to NYC and could get to the Teen Author Carnival by its 4pm start, I still had to go to work. My coworker Jennifer and I met up with Laura from Laura’s Review Bookshelf in my office lobby and the 3 of us headed to the Teen Author Carnival just in time to make the second panel. Laura and I go way back–she’s met not only my husband but she once spent the day with my mother-in-law and me at ALA!

At the Carnival, I got to say hi or meet for the first time several of the Bookanistas such as Gretchen McNeil, Michelle Hodkin, Matt Blackstone, Kirsten Hubbard, and Scott Tracey, which was very exciting. I chose to go to the debut panel and I’m so glad I did! It was really awesome to hear all their publication stories, and Lenore was the cutest moderator! I loved her story about how when she’s stuck she asks her husband to write a paragraph for her in exchange for her doing one of his cartoons.

I also met several other authors–way too many to name so apologies for that!

I stupidly did not take any photos the entire week. FAIL. Why do I always do this? I may have a photographic memory but so far uploading memories in the computer has not been invented (outside of YA novels at least).

Though it’s probably best I didn’t take photos because now there is no photographic evidence of the practical joke the humidity played on my hair.

After the Teen Author Carnival, Gretchen, Laura, and Steve Cordero, who is an Absolute Write poster and I headed to meet a few other Absolute Write posters such as Cindy Pon and Wendy Cebula for dinner. We also met up with Gretchen’s mom, who is just the cutest ever! Great food is even better when accompanied by writing and book chat.

I had the good sense that night to go to bed at a reasonable hour, which is not something I can say for Tuesday.

TUESDAY

I was very eager and excited for BEA this day. SO eager and excited that I woke up at 5:30am raring to go! I am generally a morning person so this wasn’t a surprise. I even got to the Javits at 7:15 instead of the proposed 7:30. I was armed with a large iced coffee and a donut (oops, how did that happen?) and Laura and I were first in line to enter when the doors opened at 9:00am. We met up with Janet Gurtler, and I recognized Harmony from Harmony’s Radiant Reads so Laura introduced us and we took her under our wing. Harmony is the cutest thing! And very awesome because she introduced me to many publicists as did Laura. Janet also brought me a signed copy of her book I’M NOT HER because I’m in the acknowledgements!!!!! That was one of the highlights of the whole experience!

I handed out schedules to my army of book lovers with signing times and a highlighted map of the floor. I had a plan of action that I’d worked several days prepping.

First we headed straight for the Scholastic booth since they had tweeted the day before pictures of Forever ARCs and a big stack of The Scorpio Races ARCs. The entrance we were first in line for was directly in front of Scholastic. After getting those books, we made our way to HarperCollins, Penguin, Little Brown, Bloomsbury, HMH, and a few others. Throughout the day we alternated between making the rounds of booths to waiting on lines for books. I also talked to many authors and publicists and handed out all 50 of the business cards I brought! Good thing I had reserves.

I’ll post pictures of my BEA loot on Friday (mostly because I, once again, forgot to snap a photo even though it’s all nicely lined up on my bookshelf in Release Date order), but aside from THE SCORPIO RACES (pictured above) here are some of my most desired books I received on DAY 1 of BEA that I can remember off the top of my head. That’s the key part of that sentence!

Plus many many more!

After BEA ended I had pretty much 5 minutes to lug my suitcase full of books to my sister’s apartment and drop them off despite wanting to spend an absurd amount of time hugging them. Then I headed off to meet the Bookanistas for dinner! Scott Tracey couldn’t come but Stasia Kehoe joined the same group from the Teen Author Carnival instead. We dined on delicious pasta from Becco and traded many stories!

After I took Matt Blackstone with me and heading to Laura’s hotel to catch a cab with her and Janet for the SoHo Press party way downtown.

I’m so glad I did because my agent Sarah LaPolla was there and I got to hang out with her! She looked so adorable in her dress! We chatted for a while, including some talk about my revisions and future novels. We were all the last ones to leave the party so after it ended, Sarah, Laura, author Michael Nothrop who is always at every NYC YA event I go to and always makes me laugh, and a few other agents and I headed to another bar for another drink. I seriously had the best time!

I didn’t get home until super late, which made waking up at 5:30 6:00am difficult the next morning, but it was so worth it!

BEA days Wednesday and Thursday recap coming on Friday!

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If you like stalking me on the Internet, here’s your chance to do it in person!

I’d love to meet you so if you see me and recognize me, please say hi!

This is where I’ll be next week:

MONDAY MAY 23:

Teen Author Carnival 4-7pm.

I am coming straight from work so I won’t get there until around 5pm. I’m not sure what I’m wearing yet that day yet, but hopefully it will be cute!

TUESDAY MAY 24:

BOOK EXPO AMERICA

I will be on the BEA floor swagging like the best of them (and checking out some digital publishing panels for work). I plan on wearing a salmon colored/coral dress. Also, I am five feet tall so if you are looking straight ahead, you will probably miss me. Look down.

WEDNESDAY MAY 25:

BOOK EXPO AMERICA

Back to the BEA floor this day, though probably with some back and feet pain from carrying all the books the day before!

I will be wearing a black dress with a white floral-type pattern on it and leggings if it’s cold.

There are some blogger events that evening I will be at.

THURSDAY MAY 26:

BOOK EXPO AMERICA

BEA Day 3. Expect to see me with bags under my eyes from lack of sleep the day before.

Not sure what I am wearing that day yet.

KIDLIT DRINKS 6pm

I love kidlit drinks! I will be there provided my legs are still working after all the previous events!

FRIDAY MAY 27

I will be at work. I’m sure that will be an awesomely productive day. I won’t be exhausted at all. Too bad I have about a thousand things to do that day!

OTHER INFO

I have dinner plans pretty much every evening for the week. I’m staying in NYC Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night but not Wednesday night. So Wednesday will probably have to be an early night for me because my last bus to NJ is at 10pm (though there are buses that go until Midnight but they require the Hubs to pick me up at a farther bus stop. He is already on chauffeur awareness duty just in case).

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1. There are big changes ahead for me starting next week. I’ve been freelancing for the past eight years and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I had a lot of full-days off to write, but when I did work, it was 10-14 hour days, every single day, often including weekends. I worked in the TV industry, which ran on a production schedule. Add to that an hour and a half commute into NYC when I only live 10 minutes from it (mostly because I commuted at off hours and would have to wait 20-30 minutes for each subway and bus). And I never knew if I was working until the day before, which made it hard to plan my schedule and stressful in terms of stability. I could be booked for a single day, I could be booked for five months. To sum it up: Since I’d been working a lot in the last year, my writing had been suffering because when I got home at 10pm, I pretty much only had time for dinner before I crashed into bed.

I’ve been thinking about switching careers for a while now for a lot of reasons besides more abundant writing time. I really wanted a steady 9-5 job like the rest of the world. Specifically, I wanted to switch into the publishing industry because I heart it so much. So when my critique partner, Jen Hayley, left her job to move to the UK, she recommended me for the position. (Seriously, this is when critique partners go above and beyond!) I’m happy to say I’m starting next week!

The job is in publishing in the e-publishing division and it lets me combine my graphics and computer programming background with my love of publishing. I think it’s an up and coming field with a lot of new technologies to explore and hopefully I have something to bring to the table. I’m really excited!

It will give me more time to write if I get home by 6:30pm each day instead of 10pm. Plus all my weekends will be free! And now I can go to all the YA events in NYC that start at 6pm! In the past, in order to go to them I either had to leave work like 3 hours early or I had to schedule myself completely off and lose pay (since some places don’t like you leaving at 5) or I had to skip it. There are a lot of other things this new schedule will let me do that I couldn’t before (like go to the gym).

2. And even better, they sent Jen to BEA last year so I am hoping for that as well! (If not, I will just take the days off and go anyway because I can’t miss it! But it would be nice not to use my days off now that I only get so many.)

3. That being said about lack of writing time, I took off all this week to give me a break between freelancing and full-time. And I’ve been kicking major butt on my WIP! I’m soooooooo excited about this book. My agent is excited about it! And I love the way it’s been coming out in revisions. I’m a first draft overwriter, which means I’ve generally been axing 1000+ words per chapter in revisions, which is AWESOME. It’s a lot of work since the first draft needs a ton of rewriting and reordering but the voice is flowing, the plot is just so fun, and I think my main character is quirky and fun and different from anything I’ve written before. She has a passion I don’t exactly share so I’ve been doing a lot of research to make sure her voice is accurate. I’ve been learning a lot! And I can’t wait for readers to meet the love interest. He’s my favorite one yet!

4. It was 62 degrees in NYC yesterday and it’s supposed to be the same today. Please stick, weather! My Mac weather widget claims it will be 35 again on Tuesday but I choose not to believe! So from now on I will stick with my mantra: I believe in vampires but not weather!

5. Below I’m going to post the answers to the quotes I posted on Monday in case you’re interested.

“Why are you like that?”
“Like what?”
“Like how you are.”

MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Speaker: both Angela and Jordan say the same thing to each other, but in different contexts.

“I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but…after that. Every night after that. I’d see it all again…do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways. Every night I save you.”

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Speaker: Spike.

“You are my life now.”

Come on, I had to include at least ONE Twilight quote, right? Speaker: Edward Cullen.

“I am you know.”
“What?”
“Yours.”

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Speaker: Tara.

“I thought our story was epic, you know? You and me. ”

“Epic how?”

“Spanning years, and continents. Lives ruined and blood shed.”

VERONICA MARS. Speaker: Logan Echolls.

“You know you like her. Would it kill you to admit it? Maybe treat her halfway decent? Because, you know, she deserves it. And she’s not going to wait around for you forever.”

MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Speaker: Rayanne Graff to Jordan Catalano, about Angela.

“You’re so beautiful–it hurts me sometimes.”

VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Speaker: Dimitri.

“I just have to say it once. You just need to hear it. I love you. And it’s because I love you that… I can’t be selfish with you… Why you can’t know this. I don’t deserve you…But my brother does. God, I wish you didn’t have to forget this. But you do.”

VAMPIRE DIARIES. Speaker: Damon.

When I turn around, he cups my face in his hands and he kisses me so deeply that I don’t know who is breathing for who, but is mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don’t know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it instantly.

JELLICOE ROAD. Narrative from Taylor’s POV about Jonah.

“Hey, I have to tell you something.”

“I’m sorry, we’re past the confessional portion of this program. We’re on to the make out.”

VERONICA MARS. First speaker: Logan Echolls. Second speaker: Veronica Mars.

“How did you find out I didn’t do it?”

“I didn’t. I just realized I already knew.”

TITANIC. First speaker: Jack. Second speaker: Rose.

“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”

DIRTY DANCING. Speaker: Baby.

“I was hoping it would be you.”

VERONICA MARS. Speaker: Veronica.

So you like me huh? Your mom says you like me.

MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Speaker: Jordan Catalano.

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