Another great day at BEA. A bit of a slower afternoon for me. I did a lot of wandering on my own and I sat at two excellent panels. The Young Adult Editor’s Buzz was a lot of fun, certainly very different than the Adult Editor’s Buzz the day before. First of all, the authors were all female. As opposed to a mostly male panel the day before. Today, all of the author’s protagonists were female and all of their novels dealt with female issues. As opposed to only one book that highlighted a woman’s story the day before. Today, there was only one contemporary novel and the rest were fantasy based, paranormal, or dystopian. As opposed to a perfect split between non-fiction and literary fiction the day before. So, some pretty major differences between what’s ‘buzzworthy’ in the adult and young adult markets…
I also sat at the Author’s Reading Club Panel, mainly because Pat Conroy was discussing “My Life in Books” a forthcoming book about his reading life. I read nearly everything that Pat Conroy wrote when I was fifteen years old. Looking back, I think that’s a bit strange and I don’t have much recollection about what drew me to his books at that age. As much as I don’t like to admit this, I do not have a good memory when it comes to books. I read them and the good ones amaze me and the feeling I get from them stays with me forever. However, the plot… the characters…the themes, they often leave me. But in my heart, I know that Pat Conroy is a great influence. And, I know this is a bit backwards, but I am excited to go back and re-read and understand why.
After growing a bit nostalgic about Pat Conroy (and angry with myself for my poor memory), I made my way back to the Autographing Area to get Beth Kephart’s ARC of Dangerous Neighbors. I can not tell you how happy I was to meet her! I’ve been following her blog and reading her books with great interest the past few months. I don’t understand vampires and werewolves. Fairies and dragons leave me a bit confused. But I know that Beth Kephart writes the kind of stories I love and understand. She writes for the kind of girl I was back in high school. Well, maybe that’s not true. She more likely writes for the girl I am still. She is just as kind and thoughtful in person as she is in her writing and I hope we cross paths again.
So yesterday was a whirlwind and today I was a bit of a wanderer. BEA was certainly a treat. Now, I return tomorrow to reality. Back to the cubicle. It will be strange and a little sad not to be in a room full of people who desperately love books.