I went to New York last week for BEA, which, for those of you who don’t know, is a huge book expo held every May to showcase books coming out in the fall. I’ve been a couple times before back when I worked as an editor, and it’s always a whirlwind of book signings, banquets, award ceremonies, and lots of oogling upcoming releases. There is much to get excited about and so much swag to snag. From my own stash, I’m most excited to dig into Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution. People bring extra suitcases to schlep back all the ARCs and books they take home. I once saw a woman wielding one of those Costco-sized grocery carts.
This year, being on the author side was so much fun. I loved spending time with my team at Delacorte and loooved hearing all about their brilliant plans for Torment’s release in a few months. I got to meet my British, Australian, and even Croatian publishers and talk about plans to visit both the UK and Australia/New Zealand over the next year. I got to see Susanne Collins accept an award from the American Booksellers Association—and had to hold myself back from tackling her and telling her how much I love her books. I sat down with my agents to talk about plans for the next book after Torment (hard to believe I’ll start writing that in a few weeks!).
I even did a literary “speed-dating” event. Now, I’ve proctored speed-dating events during my days as a waitress and, at least at the restaurant where I worked, speed-dating usually shook out to be a bunch of pretty ladies showing up to meet a bunch of not so pretty dudes and everyone went home looking lonely. Not the case at BEA! Our speed-dating meant that I sat at a table with my lovely editor, Wendy, and every three minutes, a new group of independent booksellers and librarians would come over for a chat. In an hour and a half, I got the chance to talk to about a hundred and fifty people. My head was sort of spinning and my jaw hurt from smiling, but it was an incredible feeling. I reconnected with a few booksellers that I met on tour for Fallen last year, but I also got to chat with so many booksellers from places I have never been—and now hope to be able to visit their stores.
The trip was as rejuvenating as it was exhausting. I’m back home now feeling ready to write and even more excited to hit the road in September for the Torment tour. Details to come on dates and places for that tour, so check back in a few weeks.
And, oh yeah, I won an award! (Hard to photograph, but very exciting.)