Wednesday, June 1, 2011

KB's Adventures at BEA 2011 Part 3

Wednesday at BEA was much of the same as Tuesday. This time as I walked toward the convention center, I enjoyed the sounds of Lady Gaga's Born this Way I downloaded for .99 cents on Amazon. How can you beat that price?

First stop was more author autograph signings...

The first author signing I went to do was for Jennifer Castle. Jennifer was signing The Beginning of After (HarperTeen, September 6th). This is a YA about a young girl who has to deal with the deaths of her parents and her brother in a car accident.

I've heard great things about Beth Kephart, but never read any of her work. This was my opportunity to finally meet her. She was signing You Are My Only (Egmont, October) about a mother whose child is kidnapped and fourteen years later meets the teenager that may be the daughter she lost.

Egmont had a big presences at the author signings and the Egmont from their publicists and marketing staff were incredibly personable and helpful.

Next I went back to Harlequin because they had a few signings. I went for their adult books and would have liked a few of their YA books, but the line for the YA books was very long and they actually ran out of them. As I waited on line, I had a nice chat with RT book columnist, Anne Elizabeth, who I first met at Comic Con this past year. I also chatted with Kady Kross (YA author of The Girl in the Steel Corset), and while she was signing, spoke with her agent, Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. At first Miriam came over since I was talking to Ron Hogan of Beatrice. After Ron left for an interview he was moderating with John Scalai, Carrie Vaughn and VernorVinge. Miriam and I talked for a good half-hour. She's one agent I would recommend you submit to if given the chance.

Delilah Marvelle was signing Prelude to a Scandal (HQN, January). Delilah and I read at Lady Jane's together this past January and it was wonderful to see her again. Prelude to a Scandal is the first book in her Scandal trilogy and features a hero who is a recovering sex addict.

Kristan Higgins was signing My One and Only (HQN, March). My One and Only is about a divorce attorney who runs into her ex-husband at her sister's wedding.

The author of everything smutty romance, Victoria Dahl was signing Good Girls Don't, the first book in her Donovan Brothers Brewery series. (HQN, September). When I asked how smutty this latest by her was, Victoria told me the hero thinks the heroine is a virgin. I can't wait to see how that first sex scene between the H/H goes down.

I can't believe I had the pleasure to meet Jennifer Blake! Jennifer was one of the first romance authors I read when I was a teenager. She was signing By His Majesty's Grace (Mira, July 19th). This one looks to be a nice steamy medieval romance. Again, I met Jennifer Blake. Very surreal.

There was one author I missed meeting. Her name is Rebecca Coleman and her book is The Kingdom of Childhood (Mira, September 20th). My eye caught the flier for this book where The Kingdom of Childhood is being toted as "the most anticipated and controversial novel of the year". Why? The synopsis pretty much states why:

Synopsis: This is the story of Zach and Judy, a boy and a woman, a student and a teacher. As their lives intersect, they are bonded by their similar circumstances-- he, the lonely new kid, and she, the disconected wife-- and begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them until the lines between adult and child are blurred, and a lifetime of secrets unravels before them

Yes, there are books about llamas for all you llama lovers *coughfictionvixencough*

The RWA booth had signings as well, unfortunately they weren't close to the Harlequin booth, so I had to keep walking back and forth to go to each. Louisa Edwards was signing Just One Taste (St. Martin's, August 2010)

One of two books I couldn't wait to get my greedy little hands on is Marie Lu's Legend. (Putnam, November 29th). This is a Dystopian YA with a great deal of buzz behind it.

Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Skinny (Harper, May 1st) by Diana Spechler caught my eye because it's about a woman who finds herself compulsively eating to get over her father's death and takes a job at a weight loss camp. Sounds like a cross between Womens Fiction and Chick-Lit. Plus it has romance in it.

The one book I wouldn't leave without and jump people for if I had to was Deadline, the second book in Mira Grant's Newsfeed series. The people at Orbit were also handing out Feed to those who haven't read it. You had to choose between Feed or Deadline and couldn't take both. I met up with Kwana from Kwana Writes and pulled her on line with me because she had never read Feed. Mira's line was one of the longest in-booth signings I stood on.

Another signing I missed, but was able to get the book was Laini Taylor and Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Little Brown and Company, September). This is a dark book about an angel and devil falling in love.

Along my travels I was so happy to have finally met Angela and Dark Faeries Tales, Janicu from Janicu's Book Blog, Kristen at Fantasy Cafe and Kate, better known as the Young Librarian on Twitter. And it's always a pleasure to chat with Barbara Vey from Publisher's Weekly. She has the sweetest smile and is a great woman to talk to about anything. I really do adore her.

If I missed any bloggers I met on Wednesday, please leave a comment here because I met so many people and a few names may have escaped me.

I heard of some disheartening acts occurring at BEA. Now keep in mind, I didn't see any of this, but it was told to me by multiple people that there was line jumping, a woman was bit on the arm by another woman (seriously, someone was channeling their inner zombie?) trying to get a book and two people in wheelchairs were roughly pushed aside because people were impatient to get books. I don't know why people acted this way, it could have been there were limited copies of books (I stood in line before a signing and was told they only had 20 books to give out to a line 50 people deep). I even heard bags of books set down where taken and there was even a run by book grab out of people's hands. This could all be rumor, but then again I heard the same types of acts went on at BEA last year.

I can tell you of one experience I had that will stick with my for a long time. Again this dealt with another agent. I had met this agent earlier in the week. She has clients who are romance authors. As I was standing with two bloggers, the agent comes along with a yet to be published author. The agent ignored me as she talked to the two bloggers, raving about their blog and how well they've done in the blogging world and should be admired. I agree with her assessment 100%, not that she cared because again, she acted as if I wasn't there. But then the agent said something that made me do a double take. She ends up saying a snide remark about a very popular romance blog to the two bloggers (who really don't review much romance to begin with) and the not yet published author. I think my mouth dropped and I had to hold back in asking the agent to explain what she meant by her criticism about this blog. But then again, she hadn't talked to me the entire time I stood there, so maybe she thought my opinion about her statement didn't matter.

We talk about bad author behavior and how authors should be aware of what they say on-line and even in public. Shouldn't the same rules should apply to agents because they never know who might be listening? I was listening and if I ever submit again to an agent, I will make sure not to submit to this one. Some may think I'm overreacting and perhaps I am. Maybe I was bent out of joint because the agent gave me the "cut direct" as they say in historical romance. I'd love to hear your opinion on this. If you were in my situation, how would you have reacted?

By the end of the day I was dragging. If you think of it, I probably walked a total of 20 miles around the convention center holding a full bag of books. I got a nice workout.

From the 12 books I got this day, the grand total = $153.00.

Day 3 at BEA was more of the same and then off to Book Blogger Con.

Stay tuned for more...



Lynne Connolly said...

I'd name and shame, KB. But I don't game the market, and I won't, so maybe that's just me.
I already have two possible candidates for your mystery agent, so what does that say?

Leslee said...

I love your rundown of these events. Really gives me a sense of what it is like if I ever attempt to go to one. I don't blame you for wanting to avoid that agent in the future. She is not acting professional at all! By the way, when are the winners for the Black and Jay giveaway going to be announced?

KB/KT Grant said...

Lynne: After talking with a few people, I thought it better not to name names. You never know when it could come back to bite you.

Leslee: Thanks! I'm a little behind but hope to announce the winner later today or tomorrow.

Leslee said...

Thanks ever so much! :) (fingers crossed - hoping)

Mandi said... got to meet Victoria Dahl...FUN!

Amber (aka BBB) said...

How odd that so many people were so negative around you. I guess people forget how small the publishing world really is.

Sounds like other than a few rude people, you had a great time, though.

And there's a whole series of picture books w. llamas...just in case FV didn't know. :D

Kristen said...

It was great to get to meet you as well! I'm glad you were able to make it to BEA this year.

Beth Kephart said...

I am grateful to find myself on your blog today. Thank you!

orannia said...

Many thanks KB! I love your rundowns :)