Thursday, May 26, 2016

BEA Wrap-Up + Link Up Your Own

Lauren on the Navy Pier

Alright, it's time for my BEA Wrap-up! I was really excited to attend Book Expo America this year in Chicago. My sister was able to go last minute, which meant I was able to attend and she was very kind and drove us to the city. It's only about 5 or so hours to get there, so not too bad. Definitely a lot better than having to deal with flying to NYC. Plus, I hadn't been to Chicago since I was about 14 so it was kind of cool to be there again.

We drove into Chicago on Wednesday night, ate dinner, and prepared ourselves for the first day of BEA (well, the first full day).

Thursday, May 12

My hotel was near a shuttle stop, which was amazing. I highly recommend getting a hotel that has a shuttle stop that brings you straight to the convention center if you attend BEA in the future. NYC has the same set-up. It makes getting to and from SO much easier than finding your own way around the city after a long, long day walking around the convention floor.

Lindsey and I at BEA
The first day of BEA was a lot of fun. I got to meet Lindsey from Bring My Books for a quick photo. I wish I could have talked to her more, but we were headed in opposite directions. Good thing she called out my name though or I would have missed her!

All of my autographed books
I've been to BEA before so I know that putting too much on your list of "need to do or need to get" can become a bit too much. It's good to have back up ideas, though, but I tried to limit what signings I wrote down and I did pretty well with getting those books signed and meeting the authors! At the same time, I was also able to continually check out the floor and end up in other random autographing lines, meaning I was able to meet a lot of great authors that I hadn't planned for and that's part of the fun!

The first signing I had to make on Thursday was for Audrey Coulthurst, who wrote Of Fire and Stars. I had talked to Amanda from Being Perry on Twitter about meeting up, and this was one of the signings we had in common. I texted her and we realized we were only a couple people apart in line. It was great meeting her, but sadly, we didn't get a picture together! I did run into her one or two other times and we talked via text a couple times. It was fun to meet her in person! I also happened to be right in front of author Mia Siegert in that line and I DID get a picture with her!!

Mia and Me!
Isn't her hair awesome? That was the first thing that stuck out to me and then I noticed her badge with her name. I turned around and went "Mia?" and she's like "Yes?" and then I explained who I was on Twitter and she knew who I was, as we've talked and she guest posted on my other blog not too long ago! She's so nice. We talked a bit in line - we were both very excited for Audrey's novel! The lovely Raychelle from Steele Reviews took our photo. I got to talk to Raychelle a bit more in line for Gemina the next day too. It was great talking to her more- I knew OF her blog, but I hadn't talked to her much before.  Plus, she lives in Ohio, which is awesome!

Author Lisa McMann and I
Alright, so I can't remember if Lisa was there on Thursday or Friday, because her signing was one I just happened to run across and the line was short. I've met Lisa before and I used to talk to her online a lot when her first YA novel, Wake, was coming out. Therefore, I was really excited when she saw me and was like "I know you!" I had to get a photo. Going Wild is the first in a new MG series from her!

Adam Silvera and Me
Adam's debut novel, More Happy Than Not, was one of my favorite books last year so I was really excited about his next book, History is All You Left Me!! Adam was too sweet. I guess he was afraid nobody would be in line for him, but it was long, and people were waiting for awhile! I was in line for about 30 minutes before it started and then another 30 minutes perhaps until I got to meet him, but so worth it! I'd talked about LGBT+ books that were going to be at BEA on Twitter and Adam told me to send him a list, so I did. Therefore, it was cool when I met him and he asked if I'd gotten any of those books that I wanted!

My autographed books on top includes More Happy Than Not because I happened to win a Twitter giveaway for a copy, and the person who ran it saw I was going to be at BEA so she met up with me on Friday and gave it to me there. That person was Kylie from Twitter - check her out - and I was really excited to have another person to meet at BEA, because I really wanted to meet more bloggy people this year, and I did! I also met Susan from Wastepaper Prose again. The first time, she said "hello" in passing and then I was able to sit down for a bit later on and talk to her more!

That night I went to dinner with my sister, we swam in the hotel pool, and got ready for the next day!

Friday, May 13

My feet were hurting but not nearly as bad as last year in NYC, so I was really grateful for that! I got to see Amanda for a second again. I was in line for Daniel Kraus and she was waiting for Maggie Stiefvater - the lines were next to each other. I was excited to get Daniel's novel The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch because it's one I've wanted to read for awhile. I asked when the second was coming out and he said "October" and then he joked that "Once you finish this, it'll be October" because it's a bit of a heavy novel! I'm excited!

Later, I got Stalking Jack the Ripper signed by Kerri Maniscalco. I didn't get a picture because there were a lot of people in line and I felt weird. I did a lot better asking for pictures this year though. I don't think I asked anyone last year! Just go for it, if you're shy like me! Unless there is a set rule and they tell you "no pictures" then they don't usually care!

My September book haul - easily the busiest month! 
BEA always has these large magazines with details on that particular day, which are nice to see signings or book drop times you didn't know about before. I tried to look at Friday before we were let onto the floor though so I didn't have to lug the magazine around - it's heavy! Checking this out was great though because I found out about some cool drops. My sister was a huge help in getting to various drops while I went somewhere else, usually a signing, etc. We both love to read so it was cool to get things for both of us! My sister was able to get in line for Replica by Lauren Oliver, for example, while I waited in another line (I think it was Kerri's signing).

At the end of the day, there was a drop for Gemina. My sister and I got in line a bit early, but man, that line was so long. I literally laid on the ground because my feet were so tired and so were my shoulders! Lugging all those totes around gets crazy tiring after awhile. It was worth it though as we got a copy and I can't wait to read it. I loved Illuminae. I hurried over to the Caleb Roehrig signing after that though because I really wanted to get Last Seen Leaving. The line was fairly short at that time, so I was able to get a signed copy! Yay! Success!

BEA Blogger Dinner

After my Friday on the convention floor, I went back to the hotel for a bit to wait until it was time to head to the blogger dinner. I was really excited to attend as I knew this would be a good time to meet up with bloggers I hadn't seen yet. I was looking at Twitter and author Mia Siegert (photo of us above) had asked if anyone at BEA wanted to do dinner. I told her about the blogger dinner and she was worried she wouldn't be allowed to go, but I said it was fine, so I was really excited that she came. She ended up getting there early, so my sister and I took a taxi to meet with her and we were the first ones there. There was a whole area in the back sectioned off for us with a BEA Blogger Dinner banner. It was so cute. My sister, Mia, and I got a table together and chatted as people began to show up. Velvet from VVB 32 Reads was one of the next people to arrive and she joined us. We swapped cards and were both like "I know you!" It was fun to meet her in person, as her blog has been around for awhile now! Check her out!

Nicole and Me
I stayed at my table, eating and chatting, so I was glad that other bloggers were paying attention. I was meant to meet Nicole from Feed Your Fiction Addiction at the dinner and she even tried to tweet me to see if I was there, but I didn't see the message. She found me though and it was great talking to her in person for the first time! It was really exciting to meet these bloggers. I love Nicole's blog and she's always been super sweet to me! Along with Nicole, Laura from 125 Pages came over. She got sidetracked by Mia, which I thought was fantastic! Mia had a really good time and I'm glad she was able to come with so she could chat with bloggers, etc.

Laura and Me
Once Nicole left the table (she was about to leave soon), Laura and I started to chat more! I swear I'm repeating myself, but I just loved meeting these bloggers in person. I loved the blogger dinner so much. It was a relaxing atmosphere, with people coming and going. It worked really well!

Michelle and Me
The final person that I met at the dinner (that I got a picture with) was Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Books. We had chatted on Twitter about the dinner, so I knew she would be there and we had to meet! I got a photo right before I left. She's too sweet and I loved meeting her!

That's about it for my BEA Re-Cap. I didn't include all of the photos that I took of the books, but you can see more of those (as well as a few photos of my sister and I at the Navy Pier) on my Instagram.

My sister and I drove home Saturday afternoon, but we slept in a bit first, packed up, and then went to the Navy Pier for a little bit. Not everything was open, but it was still fun. Very cold though! I got a shirt for a friend's son, whose birthday party I had to miss, and I got a basic t-shirt for myself just to have something! My sister got my mom a magnet for Chicago because she loves magnets when she or any of us go anywhere. All in all, it was a lot of fun. I met some amazing people - bloggers and authors alike - and I'm glad I was able to attend!

I don't know if anyone has this on their blog (sorry if you do!) but I would love to read all of the other BEA Wrap-Up posts, so if you have one, please link up below. It's open until June 10, 2016!


Michelle said...

It was awesome to meet you and I'm SO glad you came to the blogger dinner. I was probably like 20 people from the front of the Gemina line, so it sounds like we probably could have met there too... AND I was in the Adam Silvera line, but I think you were ahead of me because I waited about an hour after he started signing to meet him. He's the COOLEST isn't he??? I'm also mad I didn't do the Lisa McMann signing. I got the book at the drop and figured it freed me up from having to wait in line, but man, I really really like her!! I didn't meet near as many authors as I usually do this year, so next year I'm making it a priority. (Although I am known to be awkward and say embarrassing stuff to authors bc I'm nervous, so it might be for the best). Your BEA looked fab and your sister is super nice... and I had no idea you guys had an author at your table!! Jerkbait sounds super good!!!

Joyous Reads said...

Gah. I was really bummed out to have missed out on all the festivities this year, but I'm very, very determined to go next year! Not just to get all the fantastic books, but to meet people! I'm so glad you had so much fun, Lauren. I hope to meet you in person on your next BEA jaunt. :)

Erika Sorocco said...

WAIT! The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily?! Are you kidding me?! I had no clue that they were writing a sequel to Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - only one of my all-time favorite books eva! Ooh I need that in my life yesterday!


Kindlemom said...

One day I really will make it to one of these! So much fun. Thanks so much for sharing all your adventures with us!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

How fun! You got an awesome book haul, and the blogger dinner sounds awesome :)

Nicole Hewitt said...

I've had so much fun reading everyone's BEA recaps - I'll have to watch this for other people who link up!

By the way, we collect magnets from vacations too (and Christmas ornaments, which is funny when we go somewhere in like July) - I love the reminders of our trips!!

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Laura at 125Pages said...

I was so so happy to meet you at the Blogger Dinner! You are one of the bloggers I really wanted to meet IRL so I'm glad we got a few minutes to chat. And you are amazing for inviting Mia to the dinner, you have way more balls than I do! You got some great reads and connected with some awesome authors, so I hope you enjoyed your trip. :)

Karen Blue said...

I am sad that I missed you at BEA, but it looks like you had a great time!

A Canadian Girl said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun, Lauren, and got to meet some amazing authors. If I went, I'd be making sure to get my hands on a copy of Gemina too. I'm not surprised the line for it was so long.

Lexxie Lin said...

I had a great time at BEA, too! And I'm so sorry I couldn't make it to the blogger dinner :( Oh well.. maybe another time. It looks like you had a fantastic time! And your books look amazing :)
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Naomi Hop said...

Oh wow! Looks like you had a fantastic time! I wish that I live a little closer sometimes so I can go to events like that! And you met Nicole! So jealous. We've been blogging friends for a while now!

Shannon/ It Starts at Midnight said...

Aw I LOVE this! I am so, SO bummed that we didn't get to meet though! I was actually planning on going to the blogger dinner, but then at the last minute my roommates and I decided that we had spent NO time together, just us, and it was raining and we didn't want to put on real clothes. So I am so sad that I missed you! But it sounds like you had a WONDERFUL time! I also was a little (but not much!) better about the picture thing, but I feel like I forgot to take pictures with bloggers! Ah well, maybe next year I will be able to do both haha. So glad that you had such a great time!!

kimbacaffeinate said...

Great post and the Blogger Dinner really helped me meet up with a lot of peeps I didn't see during the week. We need to plan the dinner on the first night so we all recognize each other!