Monday, May 30, 2011

New York, in Stolen Pictures

So I have been quiet this week because I was in New York City for BEA and events with Meg Cabot & Libba Bray. If you're not familiar with BEA, its proper name is Book Expo America and it is a giant (25,000 people giant) book conference for booksellers and librarians and publishers to talk about the books that are coming out that year. It's massive, full of publisher giveaways, and is designed to make authors rock and groan in a fetal position. Which is to say that it's a great thing.

Now, I was at BEA two years ago when SHIVER was about to come out, and I remembered the insanity, so I didn't bring my camera this time. So that means that the only photo in this entire post that is mine and not stolen from someone at Scholastic is this one, taken with my phone:

That would be just some of the bags that booksellers brought to the show. To fill with books.

I was feeling a bit queasy about BEA this year, because Scholastic let me know that they would be giving away advanced review copies (ARCs) of both FOREVER and of THE SCORPIO RACES. Which meant that after months of my manuscripts being carefully secluded from public eye, they were both being unleashed at the exact same moment. The sudden unveiling of my work brings out all kinds of neurotic characteristics I don't normally have. Like self-googling. And haunting Goodreads. And stopping in my tracks whenever I hear someone say "forever" or "scorpio."

I tried to make myself less neurotic with the knowledge that only a very few people would have copies of the books.

Head of publicity (@TVS_557 on Twitter) helpfully sent me a photo of the Scholastic booth on the first day of the show:

Okay, maybe more than a very few.

My publicist sent me a photo a few minutes later:

It was like there had been . . . wildebeests. Or piranhas. Or bloggers.

Pause for self-googling on cell phone. Has anyone read the end of FOREVER yet? Does anyone know what THE SCORPIO RACES is about yet? DAMN, there is bad reception at the Javits Center. Moving on . . .

Later, I had a signing session at BEA and signed THE SCORPIO RACES for an hour straight. Oh yes, my neurotic meter, she's ticking. But that wasn't all! I also had two "This is Teen" events with Meg Cabot and Libba Bray. There were a few people at the one at the Scholastic Store:

We took questions from the audience and talked about our books (I talked about how I came up with one of the dire scenes from FOREVER). Meg and Libba are both a lot of fun (also, Libba is evil, which I appreciate), so I reckon that the next four events with them (San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago in June, and Miami in July) are going to be equally delightful.

The other fantastic thing that happened in NYC was a "This is Teen" blogger meet and greet. The fantastic thing about this? Well, every once and awhile, I remember acutely what life was like last year, two years ago, four years ago, etc.

Like -- the signing at BEA was odd because I remembered very well the first time I'd been to the conference, back when I was a shaky, nervous author hoping that SHIVER might make a name for itself in the YA world.

Going to Savoy for lunch with my Scholastic publicist was weird, because I remembered the first time I'd ever come to NYC and had lunch at Savoy with my now editor, David Levithan. He'd told me "now, we can't promise that Shiver will be a bestseller" and I remember saying, "That is an OPTION!?" 

And the blogger meet and greet was weird too. Some of these bloggers that I was rubbing elbows with were supporters of my books back when it was just LAMENT in 2008. I still remember some of their reviews of LAMENT, my first blog reviews ever, and just how deliriously excited I was to see them. Look at me, I thought, getting reviewed alongside Scott Westerfeld and Libba Bray and all these other YA greats . . .

It has been a crazy three years.
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