This past week was a fun filled one for me since Book Expo America (BEA) was in NYC. BEA is a great place for anyone who loves to read and are involved in the publishing industry whether you're a book blogger, both aspiring or a published author or work in publishing. Since I'm a book blogger and an author, it would make sense that I would go to BEA.
This week on my blog, I'll have a day by day report about my experience at BEA and all the people I met. Overall, I had an amazing time, introduced myself to my fellow bloggers I've been dying to meet, including both debut and established authors, plus the publicists for the various publishers at BEA who went out of their way to make so many feel welcomed. Most of my reporting will be shown through the pictures I took with some commentary. Also, there were a few things I wasn't happy with, including some rude and snide remarks directed to me and immature behavior I saw and heard of at BEA. But in all, this year's BEA week exceeded my expectations and one I'll never forget.
My BEA badge. As you can see, I had to write in my better known on-line name. At one point when I introduced myself as Kate to someone, they said that I wasn't Kate to them, but Katiebabs. :)
BEA didn't officially start until Tuesday. But Monday was the beginning for many people who were invited to some breakfasts and lunches hosted by the publishers. HarperCollins and Simon and Schuster come to mind, especially for YA bloggers. One person I spent my Monday with is one of my favorite blogging people in all of bloglandia and a close friend, even though there are far too many miles between us. 2 years ago I went to Cambridge, England to meet Ana, and this time I got to see Ana from the Book Smugglers again. She has been to NYC before, but never to a great restaurant I recommend you all go to called Serendipity 3.
Serendipity 3 has been around since 1954 and is well known for one of the tastiest creations ever created- The Frozen Hot Chocolate.
You don't even want to know how many calories and fat is in this thing.
Some movie trivia you may not be aware of: Parts of the 2001 movie Serendipity starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale were filled at Serendipity 3 where the two share a Frozen Hot Chocolate together.
Afterward, Ana and I roamed the streets of NYC until we made out way to Mulberry Street Library where the 3rd Annual Teen Author Carnival took place.
Mulberry Street Library
The library was packed with so many people who attended the Teen Author Carnival. It saddens me that libraries are constantly having their funding cut. Imagine if the Mulberry Street Library was closed because of lack of funding. Events like the carnival where authors chat about their books and enable people to buy them wouldn't be possible.
Books sold at the Carnival, thanks to Barnes and Noble
There was standing room only at one point and the air conditioning wasn't on, or it didn't feel like it. Your poor KB had to stand and deal with a packed room that grew very uncomfortable because of the humidity.
The first panel was Kick Ass Females in YA: And Why It's A Big Deal To Have Them
Moderator: Lisa Desrochers
1. Malinda Lo
2. Andrea Cremer
3. Michelle Zink
4. Courtney Allison Moulton
5. Carole Estby Dagg
6. Elizabeth Scott
7. Michelle Hodkin
8. Kirsten Hubbard
There was a great deal of discussion about YA heroines being kick-ass to the point that was all the authors talked about. Yes, YA has kick-ass heroines, but I was hoping for a broader discussion about the YA genre and the books each of these authors have written. It was still a very informative discussion and other authors mentioned were Cassandra Clare, Stefanie Meyer,, Suzanne Collins and Laurell K. Hamilton (complete surprise to hear LKH during a YA panel).
The second panel I went to was Debut Author Showcase: The Journey to Publication
Moderator: Lenore Applehans
1. Carole Estby Dagg
2. Amy Fellner Dominy
3. Kirsten Hubbard
4. Bettina Restrepo
5. Michelle Hodkin
6. Nick James
7. Scott Tracey
I was so happy to have finally meet Lenore, who I know very well from her blog, Presenting Lenore. Lenore is set to have her debut YA book, Level Two (Simon and Schuster) out next year. Lenore knows how to rock a scarf even in an overheated room. She was an incredible moderator for this panel.
Each of the debut authors read a short excerpt from their novels and discussed how long it took them to get published. Carole Estby Dagg took over 15 years to get published, while it took Michelle Hodkin a little over a year.
I got such chills when Michelle read from read from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. This is the first book Michelle has ever written and it went to auction. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Simon and Schuster, September 27th) has a nice Gothic feel to it and I can see it being the one YA to watch for the fall. The synopsis doesn't give away, but yet, I'm more than intrigued to read.
Synopsis: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
Another author on the panel who peaked my interest is Scott Tracey, the author of a paranormal featuring a gay protagonist in Witch Eyes (Full, September 8th). Scott mentioned how a few editors wanted him to change his main protagonist to a female or get rid of the homosexuality of his main character with Branden. He refused and stuck to his guns with the story he envisioned and wrote. I wanted to stand up and applaud him for that.
Synopsis: Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.
After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.
To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.
All the other authors on the panel were great. I met Bettina Restrepo before her panel as we waited to use the ladies room. She's very nice and excited for her release. I was excited for her.
After the panel ended, I chatted with a few familiar faces I've interacted with on-line such as Linda, who runs the Optimistic Pessimist blog (we had a wonderful discussion about our love for JR Ward and Team Qhuay) and Grace, who runs Livre De Amor. My pal, Stacey (@nystacey) also stopped by and Thea from Book Smugglers.
A bunch of us started talking about Feed by Mira Grant and speak of the devil, Mira was there! Sneaky woman just popped up. She joined us until she had to go to dinner. Mira may or may not have talked what's in store for Toby Daye, for those who enjoy her writing as Seanan McGuire. Tybalt and Toby may have been mentioned at one point. *KB zips lips*
And that ended my Monday and my experience at the YA Teen Carnival. My next post will be about Day 1 at BEA and how an agent rolled her eyes at me and said I should stop writing romance when I told her I'm a romance author.
Stay tuned for more...