Tonight (early this morning - *yawns*) I present to you the saga of Kody's First BEA.
*cue epic musical build up*
So on Wednesday, my first day, I attended the Children's Book Breakfast with Brilliance audio. I got to meet my audio editor, some book sellers, and some yummy muffins! I also got to hear Cory Doctorow, Mitali Perkins, and Richard Peck speak. They were all amazing, but the emotional moments in Cory Doctorow's speach really touched me.
After hanging out with Brilliance for a bit, I ran off with the AMAZING Sara Kendall, the new assistant at Nancy Coffey Literary. She became my assistant/co-conspirator for the next 2 days as we plotted how to snag ARCs - and I think we rocked it!
During our sweep for ARCs and free books, we came across the Little Brown booth, where something very interesting caught my eye.
That's me and Sara in front of - yes - a DUFF poster. Now, what you can't see from that picture is that DUFF is positioned right between BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS and the newest James Patterson book. No joke. WOWZA!!!! Good company, right?
Funny/slightly embarassing story surrounding this picture: so when we saw it, we were on the other side of the line going around the booth to get the new Cornelia Funke book, so we were attempting to snap pictures over the crowd's head. So I'm totally trying to pose for the picture, when someone taps me on the shoulder. Who should it be? Someone from Little Brown saying, "You know, if you want a picture, you could just come inside the booth."
So this picture is taken from inside the LIttle Brown booth. It felt so cool to be on the other side! I got to meet so many people, including Megan Tingley - holy moly, I know you know who she is! (I was starstruck - I can't lie.)
So after that, Joanna, my agent, met back up with me and we prepared to go see Cindy Eagan, the head of Poppy, my imprint, go speak at the YA Editor's Buzz Panel where she was to be presenting THE DUFF.
That is Cindy Eagan presenting THE DUFF. During her beautiful and insanely flattering speech (during which she actually compared me to JD Salinger *squee!*) my editor, the adorable Kate Sullivan, kept elbowing me with the excitement of, "OMG, that's you!"
I seriously couldn't stop smiling at my amazing team.
It was a great moment for all of us - me, Kate, and Joanna. (And rumor has it, it made literary agent Janet Reid, The Shark, cry - don't tell her I told you.)
After that, I got to meet a few people - including Ally Condie, author of the much anticipated MATCHED, which was also featured on the panel. Ally is adorable and sweet, and she signed my ARC of MATCHED! Can't wait to read that one!
Then I was ushered off to the autograph room, where I was doing my first real signing. I took my seat and watched as Michelle Hodkin (up and coming YA rockstar - remember her name ya'll!) and agent Suzie Townsend formed a "pre-line" for my signing. Then some Little Brown people began to bring out this HUGE stack of ARCs. LIke, there were so many there it was scary!
And then? And then I started signing.
While I was signing, some authorly celebs came up for copies - and I freaked a little. Among them were Sophie Jordan (FIRELIGHT, upcoming), Stephanie Kuehnert (BALLADS OF SUBURBIA), Chelsea Campbell (RISE OF RENEGADE X), and Bree Despain (THE DARK DIVINE) among others! (I got signed copies of all their books, too!)
But as I kept signing - and let me tell you, when you type more than you write, signign a lot of books will HURT your wrist - the line kept getting longer. I was in SHOCK! Like, I couldn't believe all of those people were there for my book!
But, as promised, agent Kathleen Ortiz showed up in her pink be-dazzled fangirl attire.
Isn't she cute? OMG, I love her!!!!!!
(Shit, this means i have to sing Rainbow Brite, doesn't it? Oh, why do I make bets with agents?)
Anyway, after my signing, I got to meet Cecily von Ziegesar, the author of GOSSIP GIRL. She's so sweet! And wow, yet again, I was star struck!
AFter all of that, we left BEA and headed to KidLit Drinks, where I got to meet some other awesome people. There, I ran into Diana Fox (agent), Colleen Lindsay (agent), Molly O'Neill (editor), Alvina Ling (editor), and, of course, the adorable Veronica Roth - my agent sister and soon-to-be UBER FAMOUS YA author of Divergent (Harper 2011). I also met Frankie - better known as @frankiediane and fellow blogger Donna. Adorable girls! They cracked me up!
Then I went home.
And fell asleep.
And then the next day? Well, I did it again of course!
I met Sara at 8:30, where we then met up with Suzie Townsend, Michelle Hodkin, and Diana Fox, who gave us the rundown of how to do BEA.
"People are going to shove you," Suzie - better known now as General Townsend - said. "You just have to get used to it and keep up. We're gonna veer to the right where all the major publishers are. We're going to do a sweep. Grab everythign you can and move on. If you get left behind, I'm sorry. We aren't coming back for you until it's over."
(NOTE: Because General Suzie Townsend insists taht she did not say "run, run, run" - though I"m almost sure I heard it - I altered this quote - which is not exact though close, so let's pray I don't get sued for slander/libel here. Regardless, she did run! We all did - and the people behind us got mad at us for it - I heard them.)
When I laughed at her, I got the "I'm dead serious," response.
She's hardcore, people.
But her plan worked! By 9:30 I had bags full of books! In fact, our whole unit - run under the command of General Townsend - did. After that, Sara and I wandered a bit, looking for books and book signings. We got to see Simone Elkeles, Alyson Noel,Elizabeth Scott, and Laurie Halse Anderson. We also did some of our traveling with the marketing genius of Shelli Johannes and my fellow YA Rebel Jen Hayley.
In the afternoon, I returned to the Little Brown booth to get ready for the Author's Stage - where me and the other four authors with "buzzed books' got to speak about our books. I was SO NERVOUS because I had no idea what I would say or do or if I'd make a fool of myself - which isn't an unlikely thought.
This is my lovely editor reading an excerpt from THE DUFF (because I ame the WORST outloud reader) at the panel. She may be the first to drop the f-bomb at a BEA stage - which she did while reading the excerpt! Haha. Here you can see the other authors: Sophie Jordan (FIRELIGHT), Ally Condie (MATCHED), Erin Bowe (PLAIN KATE), and Rebecca Maizel (INFINITE DAYS). As well as our moderator, Jack Martin.
I was told I did good at the panel, so I"ll take everyone's word for it and assume I didn't embarass myself TOO much.
I was lucky enough to meet Sophie and Ally after the panel, and both are just so fantastic and gorgeous and their books sound SO FREAKING GOOD!
After the panel, I met up again with Veronica, my agent, Joanna, and Sara. We ate ice cream, rested our feet for a bit, and then went and got the suitcases - yes, I said SUITCASES - full of books. (Somewhere along the way here - we also met Melissa Marr - EEEEEK!!!)
We went back to Joanna's office and sorted out the books. I have lots - too many to name here - and I can tell you that so many look amazing! I can't wait to read them all.
Now I"m back in my dorm, exhausted, and prepping for a rest day tomorrow. It's a good thing, but I'm also a bit sad. BEA may have been one of the best experiences of my life. Too bad it had to fly so quickly!
Here's hoping for many more!
And that next year, I'll get to see YOU there too!