Friday, June 6, 2014

BEA Year 2 Roundup Part: 1

Last week was INCREDIBLE! It was uncertain leading up to the biggest Book Expo event of the year that I've been excitedly anticipating since the day it ended last year if I'd be able to attend but by a miracle I made it there. I'll never take for granted the fortune of being able to go, but it wasn't easy though! I went to NYC with basically a few pennies in my pocket! To further reduce costs I stayed at my step-family's relatives house in Staten Island, NJ so my morning and nightly commute to NYC was nearly 2 hours just one way and back it totaled to about 4 hours travel time every day. I had to take a take the subway, then a ferry, then transfer to another train, and after all that walk 9 blocks. I did this all with a stoic attitude because I had to. Aside from my insane transportation I had an absolutely amazing time! The people I met made it worth all the troubles I encountered. I made new friends, connected with other bloggers (some of which I actually have been following for awhile!!), networked with publishers, learned a little more about blogging, and walked away with stacks of hot ARCS! This year I even attended a few fancy publisher parties that I still can't believe I was invited to. It was all unbelievable and now that it's over it feels like a dream..till next year.


The fun actually began a day before the BEA Blogger's conference where I met up with a fellow Harper Voyager super reader Emily, the lovely Caro from HarperCollins, and talented author Emmi Itäranta who just released Memory of Water! We had coffee at Cafe Bel Ami in NYC and chatted about Emmi's breakout novel which she just recently translated herself from Finnish to English. Once we wrapped up the book talk we started delving into other topics such as favorite comics, television shows, and fandoms we're a part of. Neil Gaimanwhom I adorewas a mutual favorite for us all. IT WAS FANTASTIC! We all had so much to contribute and talk about that the hours flew by. But my night did not end there! Afterwards, I attended an exclusive reception at the Finnish consulate hosted by the AMBASSADOR of Finland, Jukka Pietikäinen! Right??! Insane! It was a small gathering of people, a few press members, a bunch of the HarperCollins team, and Emmi, her husband, and her literature contacts. It was formal, they served the best hors d'œuvres I have ever tasted! A great amount of time was spent eating...yeah, bad. But so good! All the food was European and yummy. The gathering was for Emmi to celebrate her writing achievements and promote her translated work. Guys, I'm 20% into Memory of Water and it is really good. It blends science fiction and dystopia together and creates something wonderfully unique. It's different, and the concept is all about water. You just have to read it!! Most of the night I spent circulating the room, meeting all sorts of interesting people, and introducing myself to those I've been in contact with through email - which was fun and a teensy bit scary. I started getting really nervous when I realized I was 1 of like 3 bloggers there, I felt lost, like, Alice in Wonderland—down the rabbit hole—how the heck did I end up at this party kind of lost. I was sure the invitation was sent to the wrong person but everyone treated me with an equal level of respect and I appreciated that above all else. Truly a special evening with the most generous and gracious people. I ran into Emmi a few more times during BEA and she's so genuine and sweet!

Emmi Itäranta reading the first few chapters of her novel Memory of Water

 The view from the balcony!


This year's conferences were a little bit different. You could pick which conference sessions you wanted to attend which you could do last year but some were aimed for blogger's who had 1-3 years of experience and the others were recommended for those who had blogged longer than that and wanted to expand their knowledge and take their site to the next level. I attended a lot of the more "advanced" conference sessions hoping to learn a lot more but found that it was a little lacking in information. Most of the panels didn't contribute anything I didn't already know which was a bit disappointing but I'm not complaining because it was there I met a lot of cool people! I ran into my friend—who I met last year at BEA—Jeanna from The Bucket List and she introduced me to Jenna from Coffee, Books, & Me who is so incredibly nice!! We met up in author lines and had lunch a few times which was a great way to spend BEA downtime. I look forward to keeping in touch with both bloggers because they are awesome, and we had a fabulous time bonding over books!

 Me, Jeanna from The Bucket List, and Jenna from Coffee, Books, & Me!!

Look out for Part: 2 of my BEA roundup which includes the rest of my adventures at BEA, and pictures I got taken with actors!! You don't want to miss it!

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