You guys may have noticed that I went to BEA last month (re: extreme amounts of spam, sorry/not sorry and it was INCREDIBLE).
As a BEA noob, I prepared as best I could (if you’ve written a BEA prep or recap post in the last two years, chances are I’ve read it) but honestly, it’s sort of impossible to give someone an idea of what they’re in for. I went in with many expectations, some not so accurate, so without further ado here are a few of them and how they matched up with reality.
Expectation 1: I will meet Steph and Kat and it will be glorious.
You guys, Steph and Kat are magical unicorn people made of cake and rainbows. Meeting them was everything I hoped it would be and more. They are just as funny and awesome and brilliant in person as they seem like they are. My new life plan is to kidnap them and set up a Cuddlebuggery HQ from which we will spearhead our campaign for world domination (failing that, we’ll just hang out and read books and goof around and generally have the time of our lives). Seriously, they are the best and meeting them was the shiniest highlight of this trip.
Expectation 2: BEA is intense and possibly a little overwhelming.
In the weeks leading up to BEA I was having those super fun stress nightmares where anything that can go wrong does go wrong (I was rejected for my badge, I showed up the wrong weekend, I got horrifically lost in Javits and never even made it to the floor, aliens invaded, the zombies hoards marched on New York, that kind of thing). While none of these things actually happened, BEA is intense. All the things are happening and all the people are there and there are a billion booths and even though you KNOW the Scholastic booth was over here ten minutes ago, it appears to be missing and seriously are people moving stuff around to confuse you?
I went in with a plan and a schedule and while I am glad I had a vague idea of what was going on each day, one of the first things I realized is that a schedule will only get you so far. My plans changed pretty much first thing in the morning based on who I ran into, things I heard about on the floor, galley drops and how much I really wanted to sit more than I wanted to do X. My advice to first timers would be do your research and know what’s happening when, but be prepared to be flexible.
Expectation 3: I will finally get to meet many of my twitter friends and my brain will shut down from the overload of awesome.
BEA was the best ever for many reasons but the best of the best one was getting to finally meet many of the people I’ve been talking to (and maybe mildly twitter stalking) for about a year now. You guys are brilliant and wonderful and you all have such amazing hair. I maaaaay have petted a few people (*cough* Gaby *cough*) and I apologize if that creeped you out. Please know that I meant it in the most complimentary way possible.
(My ugys! Christina, Gillian and a cameo by Ellis!)
(Photo credit to Ellis)
(Jessie, Bekka, Ashleigh and Lili)
(Debby, Christina, Dahlia)
(April, Jamie, Kat, Christina, Steph)
(Gaby of the kitten-soft hair)
There were so many other incredible people I met and get pictures with (Kara and Lynn, Alexa, Lenore, Danielle and Ashley just to name a few. If I left you out, I am sorry and feel free to yell at me in the comments/on twitter). It was so much fun meeting and talking to every one of you.
Expectation 4: BOOKS EVERYWHERE AND BOOK EVENTS AND BOOK PEOPLE AND ALL THE BOOK THINGS.
People have said many variations of BEA being heaven/paradise/Disneyworld for book people and dear Kanye is it true. Between publisher events, chatting with book reps, wandering the floor and making friends with people in line you are completely surrounded by all things books. It’s every kind of book experience you could want.
On Wednesday I attended the NOVL Brunch hosted by Little Brown where a group of us were plied with mimosas and seduced by a selection of their upcoming fall titles. In my other life I’m a graphic designer and I was particularly excited about a peak behind the scenes of their cover design process.
Macmillan threw a fantastic happy hour Thursday evening and where we all hung out and got sloshed while we came down from the massive adrenaline rush that is day 1 of BEA.
My favorite event was hands down Saturday’s Scholastic brunch. You guys, I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater. While I hate making decisions and narrowing things down and stuff like that, I do have a fairly unchanging list of my top five favorite authors and Maggie is one of them. I adore her books more than I can say (seriously, I can’t coherently word about them, I tried to review The Dream Thieves for months before I gave up). Naturally, the first thing I did was completely embarrass myself by sprinting into the room, getting right up in her face and shouting YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PERSON EVER before (sort of) calming down and remembering how to be a person with a mild hint of social skills.
(If we had thought bubbles:
Me: I would move in with you if you’d let me.
Maggie: I’m going to smile nice for this picture and then keep a minimum of two people between us for the rest of the event.)
(Seriously, I love her)
After spazzing out at Maggie, I talked to David Levithan (very smart, cried like a baby at TFiOS), Cassandra Clare (really nice and also this is amusingly ironic for reasons) and Holly Black (super cool, hilarious and has the most fantastic hair).
Expectation 5: My feet will hurt.
Everyone tells you that your feet will hurt but what they gloss over how much your whole body will hurt. Even if you bring a suitcase you won’t necessarily be able to run back to it constantly. Between drops and signings and interesting booths and people I wanted to talk to there’s stuff happening always and I ended up hauling around a lot of shit. And that’s just during the day at BEA. Afterwards there are events and more people to see and, oh yeah, I’M IN NEW YORK CITY.
My feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, my back hurt, I was sleep-deprived, maybe a little hungover and guess what? I didn’t care in the slightest (except for those few minutes every morning where my alarm went off and I automatically tried to sit up and discovered it hurt to live). A combination of unadulterated joy, adrenaline and caffeine kept me going and all the fun made the horrific crash that came Monday morning when I had to drag my ass into work (mental note, take the Monday off next time) completely worth it.
Expectation 6: I will make an ass of myself, probably in front of someone I was hoping to impress.
See above re: Maggie. Other moments of note include babbling like an uncontrollable babbling thing at a bemused Rainbow Rowell, dramatically reciting terrible erotica with Gillian for Miranda Kenneally (what? she asked what we were laughing about), basically peeing my pants when Jason Segal told me I had beautiful eyes (I also made this super attractive guh-guh-guh noise and possibly drooled a little) and paparazzi-stalking Cary Elwes . Oh and my stop by the Ellora’s Cave booth because reasons.
Expectation 7: It will be amazing.
I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun in my life, I really don’t.
My one regret is that I wasn’t able to talk to as many people as I wanted to (which blows my mind because I talked to more people than I generally do ever). I didn’t get a chance to meet all the pubs I wanted to, though I did finally meet Ksenia from Macmillan and I spent a while nerding out with Ellen from Orbit who is a fantastic human being and I’m so glad I finally got to talk to her face to face. Next year I’m going to try and do less and hang out more, both on the floor and after hours. Book people are the best people and I want to spend every bit of time I can with you.
Fun and people and general awesomeness aside, I am so excited about the books I picked up! I have some incredibly high hopes for some of the books in the picture below (one of which has already met every one of my expectations).
A massive thank you to Christina for snagging me copies of Belzhar and I’ll Give You The Sun and Lenore for giving me a copy of Heir of Fire (Lenore is a goddess, you guys).
UPDATE: AND ON FRIDAY I ATE THE MOST DELICIOUS CHICKEN SANDWICH IN THE WORLD WITH CHRISTINA. (These caps may seem sarcastic but they are not. That chicken sandwich haunts me.)
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
“if you’ve written a BEA prep or recap post in the last two years, chances are I’ve read it)” <- I do not doubt this one bit. You probably read every one on the internet, because you do not mess around.
THEY ARE MAGICAL UNICORN PEOPLE. It's really not fair for human beings to be as attractive and amazing as they are. Just what. Also, you're inviting me to be part of CB when the HQ starts. If you don't invite me, I'm coming anyway, but I'll be in a worse mood. So.
I was SO convinced that I had booked my flights for the wrong week and that I would be a sad panda. Well, the BookCon hordes marched on Javits, which is kinda the same thing? Bahaha, the booths do move like the staircases in Hogwarts. I'm pretty sure that's accurate.
BAHAHA, THE PHOTO WITH ELLIS PHOTOSHOPPED IN. BRILLIANT.
Thank you for the photo of me talking. *sighs*
It's hilarious how much I can envision the whole Maggie-meeting scenario. And you said it loudly because you're Meg and that's what you do.
This year didn't hurt NEARLY as much as last year. That was full on body pain of death and the tears of kittens.
"My one regret is that I wasn’t able to talk to as many people as I wanted to (which blows my mind because I talked to more people than I generally do ever)." <- This exactly. Ellen is so great. I'm a little bit in love and I feel like that may have been too obvious.
Lenore is indeed a goddess.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Cover Snark (108): The One Where I Harper On and On
YOU ARE SO INVITED TO CUDDLEBUGGERY HQ. It’s going to be the wackiest commune to ever commune.
You’re right, surviving BookCon kind of was like surviving the zombipocalypse. Except with less biting. Well, I hope. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out people were trying to eat each other’s faces.
You know me so well.
EEEEEEEE! I still can’t quite believe I got to hang out with you in actual person (as opposed to figurative person or something) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. We should do this again next year. And by should, I mean have to.
Emma @ Hopeful Happiness
I read this entire post, but I keep coming back to Jason Segal told you that you have beautiful eyes! I’m pretty sure I know the guh-guh-guh sound that you made. Just looking at his adorableness in that picture causes me to have a similar reaction. Overall, BEA looks like such a blast!
Emma @ Hopeful Happiness recently posted…Summer 2014 TBR List
To say I lost my shit would be a bit of an understatement.
BEA IS SO MUCH FUN! I highly recommend going if you get the chance.
Awesome post! I loved all the pictures. It was so great meeting you at the Scholastic breakfast!
Ashley recently posted…How to Create Your Own Social Media Icons
It was awesome to meet you!
Hahahah, I adore that you included my flawless attempt at photoshop. SEE I WAS TOTALLY AT BEA.
Ooh, all the pretty people in all the pretty pictures. And then BAM HULLO ERMAHGERD BOOKS. My goal would be to surpass the length of Christina’s comment but I think she’s going to win this round.
(Um, petting people’s hair is normal? Sniffing it is where I draw the line, but petting? Super normal.)
MAGGIEEEEE. So jealous of that. I guess there is a universe in which you could possibly hypothetically in theory interpret her facial expression as slightly uncomfortable but clearly that is an alternate reality. CLEARLY. Also, you running into a room and shouting love declarations into her face is child’s play. You’ve been living in the bushes in front of my house for weeks and you don’t see me complaining. Jeez, get on my level, Maggie. NO MAGGIE SORRY MAGGIE I DIDN’T MEAN IT MAGGIE YOU’RE PERFECT I WANT TO MARRY YOUR TWITTER.
EEP. Holly Black’s hair is fabulous. Hahaha reading erotica to unsuspecting authors. Honestly, someone should give Dee a medal for linking that in the first place. THE JOY WE WOULD HAVE MISSED OUT ON OTHERWISE. Heyooo Ellora’s Cave you seem like very friendly people.
Loooved your wrap-up and I hope to one day join you on your adventures.
Ellis recently posted…Belated Birthday Giveaway
I treasure this picture. I was quite upset when I thought my phone ate it.
Book people are so gorgeous! And Christina is an epic commentor, you speak truth.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I SHARED FACE SPACE WITH MAGGIE. It’s true, the levels of creepy I left untapped should probably remain unspoken of. Honestly, I’m fairly proud of my restraint.
That link provided me with hours of entertainment. Hell, days. I’ve been shouting lines from it at my friends, family, coworkers, random pedestrians on the street.
The Ellora’s Cave people were very friendly. Possibly a tad too friendly, I had to quickly extract myself from that situation immediately after the picture was taken. Also, there was a lot of cologne happening and it kind of made me queasy but also worth it for the entertainment value.
YOU HAVE A STANDING INVITATION TO JOIN ME ON ANY ADVENTURE. I can’t wait until the magical moment we can frolic in person. Living in your bushes isn’t enough. I NEED MORE.
*internet hugs* 😀 It was so awesome to meet with you and geek out! And so many yeses to the whole body hurting thing! I didn’t even notice that I was straining myself on Thursday and was all “Oh this isn’t so bad, these books are surprisingly light” >.> Apparently the caffeine and adrenaline had just turned off my pain receptors in my brain 😉
Anya recently posted…Fierce Reads Recap and giveaway
*internet hugs back* I loved geeking out with you!
Omg I hurt so much. It definitely crept up on me too. Lalalala this is fine I’m doing goo–OW OW IT HURTS. MOVING HURTS. BREATHING HURTS. WHAT IS THIS?
Sounds and looks like you had a lot fun and I am SUPER jealous of that book haul. Quick question. Is BEA worth it if you are not a blogger but just an avid reader?
Absolutely. BEA is book person paradise. Everything is about books, everyone is talking about books, authors and publishers and wandering awhile in the wild. It’s amazing. Highly, highly recommend.
Lina @ bibliophilic geek
This is all nice and good, but WHERE IN GOD’S NAME DID YOU GET THIS SHERLOCK SHIRT?!
Kidding, but do tell.
This sounds like a lot of fun! I wish I could go to BEA one day (NY in general would be awesome, too) and meet all those amazing bookworms.
I’m sure Maggie was charmed by your presence! 😀 I only got around to reading The Dream Thieves just now, which is ridiculous, but I love it so much!
Also: I’m slightly envious of your ARCs. Landline, Heir of Fire, Anatomy of a Misfit, The Walled City … I wouldn’t even know what to pick up first. Thank goodness I “only” have The Iron Trial, so I’m spared the agony of choice.
Lina @ bibliophilic geek recently posted…A Book Lover’s Wardrobe — “I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
ISN’T THAT SHIRT THE BEST? Sadly it was one of those 24 hour tshirt things on TeeFury and I haven’t seen this exact one for sale anywhere else (although if you go on redbubble there are some fantastic shirts with the same phrase)
The Dream Thieves is my faaaaaaav! Meeting Maggie was surreal, I’m still not 100% I didn’t hallucinate it. Thankfully I have photographic evidence.
Hahahah, yeeeah, there are some good ones! I’m trying to be good and go in release date order. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Oh my gosh, BEA sounds so awesome! If I ever go to New York during that time, I’m heading straight for that. Historical monuments be screwed!
BEA IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN SIGHT-SEEING. (Granted, I say that as someone who has sight-seen in NYC before but I stand by my statement)
MEG. I LOVED MEETING YOU!!! Every year I unofficially have a “new favorite person I haven’t met before” and that was DEFINITELY YOU. I kept saying OMG MEG IS SO AWESOME. I LOVE MEG. And I was like OKAY JAMIE STOP BEING CREEEPY. But seriously, we need to hang outtttt. Can you make Cuddlebuggery HQ near me? KTHANKS.
I loved the way you set your recap up with your expectations! Glad you had such a good time. BEA IS GLORIOUS hurting feet and so much socializing aside.
Jamie recently posted…Save The Date: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
JAMIE! I LOVED MEETING YOU TOO! (shush, I’m blushing)
Ngl, pretty much every time I was talking to you my brain kept screaming OMG JAAAAAMIE! You are just as wonderful in person as you are online.
(Also, it has been more or less established that I am un-creep out-able so NEVER WORRY ABOUT THAT) (Hair petter, remember?)
PLEASE COME TO CUDDLEBUGGERY HQ. YOU HAVE AN OPEN INVITATION. RUN AWAY WITH UUUUUUUUUSSS!
Wow. Wow. Wow. I’m so jealous. I don’t have much to add so I’m gonna take this comment to shallow town…you guys are all so pretty!
Natalie Crown recently posted…Ruin and Rising – 3/5
*blushes* Thank you! You should absolutely come next year if you can. It’d be so awesome to meet you in person!
Rebecca @ The Library Canary
Glad you had such an amazing time! It was my first year at BEA as well and I had so so so much fun! My favorite part, hands down, was meeting and talking to all the glorious bookish people. It is so awesome to be able to finally meet all those Twitter friends in real life!
Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted…Review: Idols by Margaret Stohl
YESSS! BEA IS THE BEST! BOOK PEOPLE ARE THE BEST! I’m so glad it lived up for you!
Wow, this sounds like such a fun time. I love the picture of you, Kat and Steph! I’m really envious of y’all getting to hang out together — so exciting!
Thanks for this great post. 🙂
It was so much fun! Kat and Steph are every over the top positive adjective that I know.
This is one of the funniest BEA recaps I’ve ever read. Glad you had so much fun. And I make a fool of myself every year. Sometimes with wardrobe malfunctions.
fakesteph recently posted…Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision
Hahahaha, thank you!
April Books & Wine
Meg you are too legit to quit. For real, the legit-est.
It was awesome meeting you! AND OMFG I AM IN SOME OF THESE PICTURES, I’ll admit I clicked the first one because I was like am I in the background and I was and I remembered that was the night I drank way too much at Epic Reads.
Totally reasonable reaction to Jason Segal.
Also, I took Monday off, I REGRET NOTHING.
April Books & Wine recently posted…Crash Into You by Katie McGarry | Book Review
APRIL! I’M SO GLAD I MET YOU!
You looked like such a rockstar walking into the HQN brunch with your sunglasses all ‘mmm, that’s right, I AM the coolest’
Honestly, how else are you going to react to Jason Segal?
YOU ARE SO MUCH SMARTER THAN ME.
We should do this again net year, yes? Yes. It’s decided.
I am getting all teary when I read this because BEA just blew my mind and I never, ever, EVER expected it to become such a life changing event. It is one of my best memories, and I get to make it off my bucket list.
“My feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, my back hurt, I was sleep-deprived”
LOL forver because YES YES TO ALL OF THE ABOVE. I seriously think we slept a total of 8 hours the entire time. And it was wonderful.
I DIDN’T GET MY PICTURE WITH YOU OMG NOOOOOOOOO!!! Come next year, please???
Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #91
LYYYYYYNNNNNNN! HOW DID I NOT GET A PICTURE WITH YOU AND KARA?! I actually do have a picture from dinner but you can’t see anything because that restaurant refused to turn the lights on. (I’d go back in a heartbeat, that curry was DELICIOUS)
BEA is definitely a life high point. I CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK PAIN BE DAMNED.
Your recap of BEA is HILARIOUS! And I’m so jealous you got to meet Maggie!
As a BEA noob, it was also a great first time experience. =)
Yessss! I’m so glad you had a fabulous time! (Meeting Maggie blew my mind, I still haven’t recovered)
Review: Sinner by Maggie Steifvater | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
[…] so, I make no secret of my Official Maggie Stiefvater Fangirl status. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s one of my top five authors of all time and there was more or less no way I wasn’t going to love the shit out of […]
Debby (Snuggly Oranges)
I’m a failboat in that I’m only getting around to commenting on this now, but I LOVE THIS HAHAHA. All the BEA nostalgia right now. I love also how, now that I’ve met you, when I read your posts – it’s your voice in my head. HA.
Your Maggie story is awesome, though I think the Cassie Clare story will stand out as more hilarious in my mind. xD
I’m actually surprised, but my feet didn’t hurt at all during/after BEA. Which is really weird, since I was also walking all around NYC the previous days. I think it’s probably that adrenaline rush. I was so sad when other people didn’t have as much energy as me. I was like, “GUYS GUYS BUT BUT I WANT GO DRINKS NOW PLZ?” and they were like, “I’m exhausted, Debby. I’m going to sleep.” Sadface. But I didn’t really crash when I got home either? My body works in very mysterious ways.
The Ellora’s Cave picture. Best picture of BEA. Honored I was a witness. *tips hat*
Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Recap: New York + Book Expo America 2014, Part 2
Perpetual Page Turner End of the Year Survey | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
[…] BEA. No contest. I met Maggie Stiefvater, guys. Like, […]