So, I attended BEA today. I am used to navigating the Javits Center for the International Toy Fair, so I know how overwhelming it can be. Aisles and aisles of exhibitors, so many colors poking at you screaming ‘lookee here’, people everywhere, and shwag galore.
Perhaps, rather foolishly, I did not quite realize how many books there would be. I know, I know, what did I think Book Expo meant? It just did not occur to me that, literally, everywhere I might turn, someone would hand me a book. And then, the author, ya know, the same one on the book jacket? would be smiling up at me and offering to sign it. I’m not sure what I thought ‘Autographing Area’ and ‘In Booth Signing’ meant, but bear with me people, I’m a newbie.
So, I’m going to re-cap the day for you 3rd person style because it did feel like an out-of-body experience. I felt like I didn’t necessarily belong there and, yet, I couldn’t imagine any other place I belonged.
1. Melissa stands in awe and looks at all the books.
2. Melissa stands a little bit longer shaking her head in sheer amazement and looks at all the books.
3. Melissa RUNS. TO. GET. THE. BOOKS.
4. Melissa asks Brunonia Barry if she can take a picture of her. Brunonia Barry obliges.
5. Melissa meets a debut author. Debut Author, completely out of the blue, asks Melissa if she’s a writer. Melissa nods stupidly. Debut Author, completely out of the blue, asks Melissa if she is looking for an agent. Melissa nods stupidly. Debut Author points to someone and says, “See that man in the glasses. He’s my agent. Go talk to him.” Melissa is convinced Debut Author is the good witch of the North. (No, really, it was creepy.)
6. Melissa, a new disciple of the good witch, breathes deeply, gives herself a pep talk, and braves talking to Debut Author’s agent. Melissa shamelessly plugs her novel and experiences her first ever in-person pitch. The whole thing was amazing. Melissa walks away emotionally spent. She considers taking a nap.
7. Melissa decides there are too many books that people are simply giving away to take a nap.
8. Melissa tells the people at American Girl she wants to write for them. The people at American Girl look at Melissa veeery strangely.
9. Melissa tools around with the fabulous Trish from Hey Lady, Whatcha Reading? who apparently knows everyone at BEA and convinces her to get even more books than she already planned.
10. Melissa eats an overpriced salad in the cafeteria.
11. Melissa gets an ARC of Lauren Oliver’s new book and mwahahahahaha’s her way to the downtown stage for an author panel.