Shana Silver: YA writer

Tag Archives: events

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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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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BEA (Book Expo America) is quickly approaching and if you’re a first time attendee, it can be overwhelming. This will be my fifth year attending the conference and over the past few years, I’ve developed a list of tips for surviving and enjoying BEA.

My tips are a little different than others that focus on NYC itself. I work in Manhattan so I’m here every day, which means I’m not a tourist and can’t really speak to things like hotels or places to sight see beyond the obvious or shipping books home (I’ll be lugging mine home every night in a suitcase dragged onto a NJ transit train). NYC IS lovely of course and while you’re here you should make the most of it. But since I’m here every day, my concern is only Book Expo.

 

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.)

 

2. Don’t get to the Javits on time.

What I mean is, 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. Getting there on time means you’ll be stuck on a ridiculously long line.

 

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!

 

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 and will not have a hotel room to drop books of to.

 

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 11 or after 2pm. Avoid the lunch time at all costs. 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). Also, leave a water bottle in your suitcase so you don’t have to purchase one at the convention center.

 

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 bloggers.

 

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.

 

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 last year 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.

 

9. Carry business cards

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

 

10. Network, damn it!

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.

 

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!)

 

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.

 

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!

 

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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If you are part of the YA community, you already know that Rock the Drop took place last Thursday April 18th. What you don’t know is that I participated!

I had grand plans before I left for work to drop one of the books in Penn Station and the other book in the Canal street Downtown A,C,E subway station (where I get out for work). Both these plans were thwarted, however, by the increased police presence in NYC due to the Boston Marathon Bombings. All the potential locations I had planned on leaving the book in Penn Station had a uniformed police officer looming nearby.

Clearly, I am not a terrorist–I don’t even like to see blood on The Vampire Diaries. Not to mention the fact that though I don’t know the general fashion of terrorists, I’m guessing they don’t usually wear sparkly blue Toms shoes, an aqua jacket, or carry a pink floral purse. Still, I didn’t want to look suspicious by leaving behind a book, which a passerby may think was an unattended package. “If you see something, say something,” announcements warned. I didn’t want to cause fear in any of the other people walking through the station who may have misinterpreted my actions. I would only be dropping a book that I hoped someone else would pick up and read and love just as much as I did. But you never know what might set off someone’s alarms.

So I left Penn Station with the books still in hand and headed to the subway, reinforcing my plan to drop at least one book there. My revised plan now called to drop the other book in the park across the street from my office. Well, this plan was thwarted as well by the swarms of police officers roaming the subway cars and the station itself. I forgot that there’s a police station INSIDE the Canal Street station. Doh.

Strike 2.

The park was suddenly becoming not just my last resort, but my ONLY resort. If I struck out there, I’d have no choice but to place the books on the free book shelf in my office–where most books sit for years without ever being picked up. (Remember I work for a publisher–there are a LOT of free books sitting in my office.)

When I went to the park, I discovered I wasn’t alone in my predicament! There, sitting on an otherwise empty bench, was a copy of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford. Someone else had already dropped a book in this location! I had a fellow YA-loving comrade in my very vicinity!

I decided to spread out the wealth and keep the other book company. I headed to the opposite end of the little park where I placed both of my books, side by side, so someone who loves YA would find not one but TWO awesome books.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and Legend by Marie Lu

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and Legend by Marie Lu

I will ignore the fact that when I went out for lunch a few hours later, both books were still there. :-(  I didn’t check after the work day. I couldn’t bare to see them still there then!

 

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1. I’m going to NEW YORK COMIC CON tomorrow and I CANNOT WAIT! It’s nerd heaven! I’m planning on going to a Buffy and Angel comic panel, meeting Spike (aka James Marsters, but really just Spike), attending a YA heroine panel and many other things.

Also, I am wearing a custom made Doctor Who shirt! Pics to follow.

If you see me there (among the other 100,000 attendees, say hello!)

2. As far as a writing update, I’m revising two books that are really close to being done. I just received some awesome notes on one of them from my agent and I cannot wait to implement her changes this weekend! I’m hoping to get both revised by end of October so I can participate in Nanowrimo.

3. I’ve been outlining my nano book for several months now, just here and there whenever plot points come to me. Now the book is pretty much all plotted out. I’m so excited about this book! I’ve been wanting to write this premise since I first conceived it when I was in high school. It was mostly just a premise and it took me a long time to find the right characters for the story. But I have them now and I HEART them. The book is sci-fi, so it’s a bit of a departure from my contemporaries, but hopefully in a good way, and this will definitely be the most challenging thing I’ve written. I love a good challenge!

4. I’m also excited because I found out my office is most likely sending me to the UK the last week in November! I mostly have to do work stuff while I’m there, but I also plan on kidnapping David Tennant. I’m taking requests for other cute British boys I should stow away in my suitcase home. I also hope to take home an accent and get rid of this American one I’ve been carrying around my whole life.

5. I can’t think of a number 5 so I will just say have a good weekend!

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1. Ahhhhh next week is SCBWI LA!!!! I’m so excited! I’m rooming with Jessica Love and Heather Trese, who are awesome and I can’t wait to hang out with them. There will be a Bookanista meet up, Kidlit Drinks on Sunday night at Pink Taco, John Green and Laurie Halse Anderson…it’s going to be amazing!

I want to meet everyone there so if you recognize me, please say hello! Here’s a tip, I’m only five feet tall. So…look down. Hopefully I make up in personality what I lack in height!

2. After the conference, my husband is flying out on Monday to meet me in LA. We’re going to spend the week doing these cool things:

  • Visiting Dreamworks studio and eating lunch in their cafeteria. (My cousin’s husband works there.)
  • Seeing a taping of TWO BROKE GIRLS.
  • Possibly seeing a taping of THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO. (I have tix, just trying to figure out if they conflict with our plans.)
  • Hopefully witnessing the taping of a comedy podcast.
  • Going to Disneyland
  • Spending a day at the beach
  • Eating at lots of awesome restaurants (though it might be sad that what I’m REALLY excited for is IN AND OUT BURGER).
  • Hanging with my cousin, who I don’t see often since she moved from NJ to LA
  • Plus lots of touristy and shopping goodness

I’m in desperate need of a vacation after a crazy and stressful month at work so this is coming at the perfect time!

3. I know I’ve been sort of MIA on here aside from Bookanista Reviews. I’ve been traveling a lot. To Boston to hang with the in-laws (and attend a wedding). To Philly and Fort Lauderdale, FL for work. And I’ve been using what little time I have for my revisions. I have multiple novels to revise, which leaves very little time for blogging.  So bad news, you get less of me. Good news, my novels are going super well!

4. Last night I went to a Weezer/Flaming Lips concert. It was awesome! But also really strange. In a good way though. The bands both headlined, but instead of playing back to back, they played side to side. Meaning, the stage was set up with both bands’ equipment. The lead singers came out at the same time–inside giant human-sized bubbles–and performed a song together with every member of the bands playing. Then they traded set-lists with each band playing approximately 3 songs before taking a break. Really, it was more like Weezer played 3 songs and the Flaming Lips played one very very long atmospheric song. This went on for several different rounds.

I’m a HUGE Weezer fan but I only really know one song by the Flaming Lips. However, their part of the concert really blew me away. They had a lot of theatrics which was very entertaining and fun to watch. The lead singer sang an entire song while on the shoulders of a marching guy in a bear costume. He had smoking megaphones he snag out of. At one point he used his mic to swat at balloons filled with confetti that rained down on him on impact. About 30 girls dressed in sailor costumes a la Sailor Moon danced on stage for every one of their songs. And they had crazy cool graphics in the background.

Weezer were awesome as ever. I’m THRILLED they played THE GOOD LIFE because it’s my fave song and they didn’t play it at the last concert. They also played SUSANNE, another song I’ve loved ever since Mallrats, so I was excited about that. They played mostly old stuff and skipped a lot of their newer singles, which was cool with me. I like their old stuff! (I like their new stuff too.) Rivers sang an entire song from the center of the audience and then stayed there to watch one of the Flaming Lips sets.
Great concert! And I don’t even mind that I’m a zombie today thanks to lack of sleep.

5. My only regret about the concert is that it was the same night that BUSH played in NYC. I had to choose, and I love both bands! My husband likes Weezer more, so we went there. But I have a long time love affair with Bush, dating back to 1995 when…I created my own fanzine to them and had thousands of subscribers. And no I’m not ashamed!

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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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As you may or may not know, the SCBWI NY conference took place this weekend. I wasn’t able to attend the conference this year, but I couldn’t wait for KidLit drinks on Friday night. I’ve been seriously looking forward to this since BEA, which was the last KidLit drinks I attended.

Of course, Friday happened to be the only day I had to work last week, which meant I had to wake up early instead of sleeping in to help me stay up later. #notanightowl I put on my snow boots for the trek from Port Authority to 11th and 47th (where I was working) but put an extra pair of super cute heels in my bag to change into later. It became very clear during my walk to work that I would not be changing later. Only about 60% of sidewalks were shoveled. I’m sure they were better in midtown but not where I was. Not only that, each cross walk contained a hidden giant slushy puddle that I was able to stomp right through with my snow boots. Heels? Not so much.

So I regretfully abandoned the cute shoes and showed up in all my 5’0″ glory instead of fooling people into thinking I’m a tall 5’3″.

I met my friend Michelle and we headed over to the bar where we immediately ran into Anne Hayward Leal. Her friend mistook me for being about 20-years-old which was the first time I ever got happy about this. I’ve been wanting to look older ever since I could pass for like 9-years-old in high school and 16-years-old at 25. But now that I’m turning 30 in 2 months, looking 20 seems awesome!

I turned Michelle on to my new favorite drink, Blueberry Vodka and soda, which was promptly replaced by an even newer favorite drink Saturday night at a party when I tried Pineapple Vodka and soda.

My fabulous agent Sarah LaPolla arrived shortly after with her other client K.M. Walton. It was so great meeting another one of Sarah’s minions! We gushed about her, she gushed about her books, it was an all around gush fest. Sarah commiserated with me about being 5’1″ or less and we talked about all our mutual favorite TV shows from Veronica Mars to Vampire Diaries.

I also got to meet Jessica Spotswood. We’ve been talking on twitter and on blogs for a while so it was great to meet her in person! She’s adorable.

And I got to see Sonia Gensler again where we talked about how we missed My So-Called Life and Veronica Mars. (TV is apparently a theme in all my discussions. Possibly because I watch so much of it.)

Also, last week another male joined The Bookanistas and we were all very excited to have more testosterone among the group. When Matt Blackstone introduced himself, he mentioned he lived in NYC so I invited him to come to KidLit drinks so we could have a Bookanista meet-up, even if it was only with two members. I was very excited that he came and it turns out we have a ton in common. We’re the same age, we both got married in June of last year, we both grew up in the armpit of America, he’s a teacher and I got certified to be a teacher last year (but apparently it’s a bit difficult to find a job as a graphics teacher which is why it’s not–yet–my job). So it was great hanging out with him!

I chatted with lots of other awesome YA writers and I apologize if I’ve forgotten anyone on this blog.

Unfortunately, in all my excitement and gabbing–and I did enough gabbing to result in a lost voice–I forgot to take any pictures. I’m kicking myself over this!

So here’s what we need to do. Everyone who was at KidLit drinks last night needs to come to the BEA one and we will make up for those lost photos!

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Saturday night I headed into NYC to have dinner with two writers in my online writing group and our husbands. We must have our boys pretty whipped to convince them to come. (See also: when my husband came with me to Stephenie Meyer’s concert and Breaking Dawn‘s midnight release.) Luckily, the restaurant had the football games on to help babysit the boys so the women could chat about important stuff.

Jessica Love traveled to the east coast for a few days to visit her friend in Connecticut and then be a tourist for the weekend in NYC. I’d met Jessica before in LA when I went there for my cousin’s wedding and poor Jessica had to meet my entire extended family. Melissa Remshard lives in south Jersey and made the two and a half hour trek into the city to meet with us! That’s dedication! I’d never met her in person before but we’ve been chatting so long through our writer’s group I felt like I already knew her! My tiny twenty minute bus ride didn’t quite compare to their travels.

I LOVE dinner with writers. It’s like a book club, critique group, and industry gossip session all rolled into one. Our writing group sends various ARCs and books on tour so we got to discuss them in person, which is awesome because I don’t have a real life book club. We talked writing strategy, discussed some problems we’re having with our own novels and helped figure out solutions for them, we talked about the industry in general: what trends are up and coming, what’s on the outs. We commiserated with our mutual jealousy over everyone snagging fab ARCs at ALA.

Our husbands discussed football. Boys are so cliche.

I wish every day could be a writer dinner! What did you do this weekend?

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