I spent this past weekend in New York at Book Expo America (BEA). It was my second time at BEA (the first time was in Chicago), but the New York version is like BEA on steroids.
My book isn’t out until next year (first in a five-book young adult fantasy series with Candlewick and Walker Books), so I didn’t go there to sign autographs or speechify or anything official. I wandered around, absorbing the vibe of thousands of books and thousands of people whose lives are about books from every conceivable angle–authors, illustrators, publishers, book light salespersons, editors, agents, book marketers, bookmark salespersons, libraries, booksellers, reviewers, and most importantly, readers.
I got to meet one of my favorite YA authors, Kate DiCamillo (author of The Tale of Despereaux), at a party for Candlewick’s 15th birthday party. At the party, I got to wear a pin and play “author,” which meant I stood around with a drink in my hand as people came up and to get my autograph in these cute little autograph books. It was surreal and very fun. I’m highly introverted, and this gave me an excuse to talk to some really interesting people.
But the coolest part of the trip was being able to chat with more of the folks from Candlewick and Walker. I’m rediculously excited about having them as partners for this book series.
Speaking of ridiculous, I stayed at this budget hotel called The Pod Hotel. Apparently the theme is iPod chic. About the cheesiest thing I’d ever heard about, so I knew I had to stay there. Plus, it seemed likely that an iPod-themed hotel, even at budget rates, would have to have decent internet access.
More thoughtful postings on BEA coming later, once I’ve had a chance to process everything I noticed there.