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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thursday, BEA Day 1

So I got attacked in the leg by a brass unicorn the night before night. I was actually turning on a wall lamp and it fell off the shelf and hit me. I woke up with a headache and a bruise. It was the kind of headache that could escalate into a migraine. The kind of headache you need Migraine Excedrin for. Two tablets. Although I am disturbed to have found out that the max dosage is two tablets in 24 hours. Oops! Well, it hasn’t hurt me yet, so why start caring now. I popped two, but took extras just in case.

So that is how the day started. I overslept. Well, with a massive headache, you could understand. I was mostly set to go, but had to add finishing touches. I had planned to be out the door by 6:30 factoring in traffic time, but I didn’t leave until 7:30. After stopping at Dunkin Donuts for an ice tea and muffin (my morning ritual throughout the con) I headed in.

I did indeed hit a massive amount of traffic in Secaucus…again. You think I would learn. But I still couldn’t get up early. The ferry ride was uneventful. I decided to forgo the parking lot attempts at the terminal and went straight for the garage. I figured it would be smarter to buy 10 trip tickets because I could use them for Comic Con in October, so when I asked how long they were good for, I was told two months. Round trip please. There was no breeze snatching my ticket out of my hand and flinging it into the river. No mishaps at all for the ride over…for once.

I checked my luggage. BTW, there is now just one baggage check in the front right corner by the registration desks. They made the space bigger, but that just means it was a nightmare to try to find and actually get to your suitcase. Neither here nor there. There was no line to go up the escalator as the floor had already opened and I was late.

After having the spent the previous evening adding to my giveaway spreadsheet and printing out the floor map with sticky colored arrows saying you want to go here, I forgot to actually write the name of the booth so I had a plan. More importantly, I had forgotten to check what booths had the big books so I could look out for them first. I went in by registration which was a rookie move and I should have learned after last year, but it was the first escalator I saw, so it was a million miles away from Random House, Simon and Schuster, Hatchette, Disney, Little Brown. So, I got Penguin, MacMillan, Scholastic and HarperCollins first. I also found Source Books and Bloomsbury before I got to the other side of the floor.

Now keep in mind I had spreadsheets, I had a time table that was blocked off in 30 minute, but sometimes 15 minute increments so I could see where there was overlapping and so I could see easier when A finished what could I reasonably get to get to next. I had a spreadsheet of the giveaways including author, title, publisher and booth, but no times. I had to pick up the sheets for those at the booths. I had holes punched in the spreadsheets. I had the spreadsheets inserted in a protective sleeve. Everything was broken down by day. It was all in a three ring binder with extra pages for things I picked up at the show. I even brought my iPad because I could pull up the app on my iPad and see my event schedule if need be. I did not realize I was getting sent push notifications with sometimes important information until I was home the first night. Also, I will just say here and now that I probably didn’t look at that binder until around 1pm. So, I really didn’t know where the heck I was going.

I had a 10:00 signing at Sourcebooks, but along the way, I explored a bit and found Houghton Mifflin. I knew they were going to be giving away copies of Dearest by Alethea Kontis, so I just asked when they would be putting them out and the nice lady went into the wall and pulled out a copy for me. Awesome!!!

After Sourcebooks, I headed straight for Harlequin. I did not want to miss the YA giveaway. There were five books being signed. It was a pretty long line, but I expected it. My boss had a question about a document that had to be approved, so I actually had to call her while I was on line. Julie Kagawa also came out and was chatting to some people in line and posing for photo ops. When she walked by me, I waved and smiled and she waved back, so that was my squee moment.

The rest of the wait was uneventful. I wanted four of the 5 books, but I only wanted two photos. Julie was first, so I took her picture. Correction. I tried to take her picture. When I pulled up my camera, it was stuck on video mode. Ever since I upgraded to the new operating system something like this will happen where I don’t know how to make it work and this was not the time to have it not work. It was also at this moment that I realized my headache was not going away. Finally after standing there saying it no worky, the person behind me showed me that I just had to swipe the screen to change from video to phone. Oh for the love of all that is holy. Picture taken, I moved along, probably much to Julie’s relief. Next up was Adi Alsaid signing let’s get lost who I ended up blubbering to about how much my head was hurting aaand moving on. Another relieved victim, I mean author, to see me go. Next up was JLA. And nothing was going to be easy. She was signing copies of Stone Cold Touch and had run out perhaps a couple of people in front of me. But here is a consolation prize of these signed postcards! (Actually the post cards are nice and I got the book at Blogger Con, so it wasn’t that big a deal.) Last up was Alexandra Adornetto signing Ghost House. I was out of the line and given a tote bag.

As it turns out, I wasn’t at the autographing tables much. I was picking up the galleys and there were a lot of giveaways that were also books being signed. It is awesome to meet the author, but there isn’t really time to chat and form any kind of lasting friendship, so I figured if I got the galley, I would dispense with the autographing and free up some time for some other things on my list. Harlequin was the big one for Thursday.

I did want to get in line for Billy Idol, but the celebrity lines are always packed and I got off the Harlequin line too close to the start of his signing, so I skipped it. Instead, I headed over the Melissa Marr which would prove to be my second thwarting of the day. I was standing in line a while when a volunteer came by counting heads. She stopped the line two people in front of me. She said we might still be able to get a book, but there was no guarantee. I figured if I was like 10 back I’d leave, but not two because you just never know. Eventually we get moved up and the “start of the line” board was handed to someone behind me so I figure I’m in, but as we are crossing over the aisle to head for the chute, a more important volunteer, and apparently one better at counting told the lot of us, or the majority anyway, that they were out of books. So that was a bust. I wanted a copy and so did my friend Terri.

By this time I really need to take more Excedrin as the headache is not going away, but I realized since I missed Melissa Marr I could catch the signing at Spencer Hill. They were giving away a book called I Wish by Elizabeth Langston about a girl who found a genie and had to make a wish a day for a month.

Jane Lynch was also signing at that time, but I didn’t even look for her. I had passed the Neil Patrick Harris line earlier that was a beast and also the BJ Novak line which I couldn’t touch with a hundred foot pole. I have come to the realization that we love our celebrity signings and will stand in line for a long time in order to get it. My head hurt too much for that.

I got aspirin, had my sandwich, dumped books and headed back in. The next thing I had scheduled was Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini. Another popular line. I was really excited for this book as well. The author was really nice, but she asked that question that I hope never to be asked again. “Have you read any of my books?” I’d like to ask “Have you seen the size of my TBR piles?” I have read Goddess and loved it. I have the second and third books but haven’t gotten to them, so when she asked the question, I just blanked. I said yes, that I had read the Greek books and loved them and was really looking forward to this one. I mean, come on!! Could I not have given her a title of one of her books so I didn’t sound like a total pratt?

When I got my book, I noticed no one was in the Rebecca Serle line for Famous in Love which was the next table over so I jumped in that line. I asked her to personalize it for me, but as her arm was in a sling, her right arm, she was just stamping the books with a nice big R. She was very apologetic when there was no need to be and I liked her immediately. Unfortunately, perhaps due to the headache, the lack of sleep or maybe just the overall sensory overload, I forgot to ask her what she did to her arm or to wish her health, but I thought it as I moved to the next table over.

Melissa de la Cruz was signing copies of the Ring and the Crown. She was also very nice, but also asked if I had read her books. Here I could not lie. I told her no, but I have been wanting to and I thought this would be a good book to jump on with. I actually ended up buying books one and two of her Witches of East End series when I got book three at BEA, but have yet to read them.

To round out the day, I went back to MacMillan for a Craft Beer tasting where they were also promoting the book The Craft Beer Revolution. It was Brooklyn Brewery which is one of my favorite three labels. Perhaps not the wisest choice to end the day considering I had now downed four Migraine Excedrin and still had a headache, but I just couldn’t pass it up. There were lots of cocktail parties going on, but after the one sample, I knew I just had to get home.

My suitcase was considerably heavier coming back than going in. I couldn’t even put the suitcase in my car without emptying half of it out into totes. But no real issues. I hit traffic as I expected. Got home, had some pizza, took a long hot bath to soak and cranked up both the air conditioner and the fan. Sometimes that is the only way for me to get rid of the sinus headache. And as I didn’t have any more organizing to do other than figure out my first move for the morrow, I was able to fall asleep by midnight, but only after crossing off the titles I already picked up and crossing them out on the autographing time table as well.

In an amusing, little aside, I checked my iPad when I went to bed and saw that I had gotten push notifications. I never pulled it out all day and that is when I saw the announcement that James Patterson was being handed out at 10am at Little Brown. So, I missed it and now I have to tell my boss. I asked the next day and they said they were all out. I kept checking throughout the weekend just to make sure though. Sometimes you never know.


  1. Sorry to hear about your rough first day. A nasty headache on top of the stress of navigating a giant con doesn't sound fun, but look at all of the lovely, lovely books you managed to bring home! I'm glad no author has asked if I've read their books, because I get tongue-tied in front of my faves and wind up sounding like an idiot. *L*

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventures! Hoping you weren't attacked by dragons, the headache went away, and that your ferry didn't sink. Such a dramatic BEA already, and we're only up to day one!

    1. I seem to invite drama. It makes things interesting. There were certainly some interesting things that happened to me. Stay tunes for the rest of the con and don't forget to respond to my email.

    2. Replied to your email, and now I'm on the edge of my seat to hear about the rest of your adventure! :)