Thursday, June 14, 2012

Post BEA 2012

Hi Reader. I'm sorry for my lack of blogging since I jetted off to BEA in my usual frantic and frazzled state. It's so funny, once I got off the plane and wandered over to the taxi stand, I was ready to go. Serious. I should write a letter to myself every year. It would go something like this:

Dear Jennifer,
Stop worrying so much. Just get to the airport, buy yourself some chocolate and remember that everything will be fine.
Love,
Your Smarter Self

This was my fourth year working at BEA. I felt much more jaded this year. BEA is so strange. I always find myself wondering why it exists. It's exhilarating but also somewhat ridiculous. Celebrities are everywhere. Chris Colfer (aka Kurt on Glee) glided a few feet away from me while I paid for my coffee. His skin really does look like porcelain in person.

I stood a couple feet from Tim Gunn and watched people stand in line for AGES just to take a photo with him and get a free stapled together preview of his new design book. Not even the actual book. Just a flimsy preview. So, basically they just wanted to meet him. I get it, but it also sucks. I thought BEA was about books.

I did spot a few writer celebrities as well. Most notably, Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, floated past me like a red haired ghost. She was so quick, I didn't have a chance to stop her. Not that she looked particularly eager to make some talk with random book hawkers such as myself. She definitely looked like a gothic heroine who has only just escaped the clutches of an evil baron and stumbled her way into the Javits Center, which I loved. Very appropriate.

I saw Cat Valente, Naomi Novik (The Temeraire Series), N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms),, Kristin Cashore (Graceling etc), and Lev Grossman (The Magicians: A NOVEL) at the New York Public Library reading I attended on Wednesday night. My impressions regarding each of them (except Cat, who I've met several times and therefore know better than the rest):

Naomi: Genuine, down-to-earth, seems like she'd be fun to have a beer with and there's a good chance she'd jam with the band at some point during the night (I don't have any evidence to support this, she just seemed the type to be all, "Oh sure, I dabble in guitar...")
N.K.: Soft spoken, Erudite, cerebral
Kristin: Incredibly normal, thoughtful, maybe a little shy
Lev: Surprisingly charming. For some reason I thought he'd be cockier but he was the host and he really stepped back and let his fellow authors shine. I'm now more likely to read his work than I was before.

I also bumped into Ellen Kushner on my way out of the bathroom at one point and discovered that she and Holly Black were doing a somewhat impromptu signing and giveaway of the new Borderlands paperback. Lucky me!! I marched straight to the booth and was first in line. That's the book I was happiest to get.

Well, that and my friend hooked me up with a 75 page preview of Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Whaaaaat!?!?!?!

I know. I KNOW. More on this later. Don't forget, I still have a signed hardcover of Daughter that I'm going to give away closer to the release of the second book this fall. SQUEE.

That's all I'll write for now. I did too much with my right hand last night and my wrist/ thumb problems are going crazy. I'm feeling a little bit more like myself now. BEA and New York always leave me feeling like I just got beat up. Like I'm bruised on the inside. More on this later as well.

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