My BEA (& beyond) Top 5

So, Callaway and I went to New York recently, partly for book stuff and partly for fun. I did BEA, and I know everyone right now is posting about books or advice for if you go next year. If you’re interested, I can help you out there a bit too, but for now, I want to share my top 5 favorite moments of my trip:

Number 1: Being recognized by complete strangers. Behold the power of YouTube! I was shocked that people could identify me by my big hair as I paraded through the aisles of BEA. In Blacksburg, the only people who recognize me already know me… and that’s kind of cool, but not as cool as this. It’s always awesome for me to meet people who loved The Siren or dig my videos or follow me on twitter. If you ever see me out and about, please say hi! I might do to you what I did to this poor blogger and force you to take a picture with me.

Number 2: Meeting book bloggers. I got to participate in the Book Blogger Convention’s author speed dating panel, and I met so many enthusiastic bloggers. Not only were they excited about books in general, but they were giving incredible feedback on what works best for them, the kind of things they like to see/do on a blog tour, and even offered up promotional ideas. I think YA writers in particular have a really amazing pool of bloggers to team up with. Talk to them!

Number 3: Books! Glorious books! I stopped by the HarperCollins area at BEA and also got to head into the offices for a while. Between their ridiculous generosity and the general  giving-away-books thing at Book Expo, I ended up with so many books that some of them had to be shipped to me. I think I have most of the HarperTeen Fall lineup so look for some reviews in the near future.    

Number 4: Meeting authors. Surprise, surprise! The writing community in rural Virginia is kind of small. As in it’s pretty much just me. So getting to talk to Melissa Marr or sit at a table with Lisa McMann or have Elizabeth Scott just openly embrace me? It rocks so effing hard! I was also please to find that these people (the ones who had already made a name for themselves) were amazingly humble and friendly. It was just encouraging to breathe the same air.

And number 5 (and by far my fave): Meeting my agent and editor. Many of you know that I was fortunate enough to get to choose my agent as I had two interested in The Selection. One of the big reasons I chose Elana was because I could just tell she was different from me and would bring a totally fresh perspective to my story. I was so right. She’s a sneaky kind of funny and the type of person who just always has her eyes open. Meeting her in real life was so much fun, and I love who she is, and think she’s cool even if she does laugh every time I try to touch her.

With Erica I had no idea what I was getting as you don’t get to choose your editor. But I sensed through her edits that she was laid back and funny and just generally enthusiastic. Right again! She made me laugh and I felt so at ease as Callaway and I sat in her office holding her up from actual work. Even though it seemed we picked the worst possible week to visit, she was super friendly and it made me happy.

So there you have it! There were tons of other amazing things (some of which I’m just pressing the pause button on for now), but these were some absolute booky highlights. Were any of you at BEA? How was your experience?