I wish I had taken more pictures, but thanks to my hectic schedule I didn't have a lot of time. So here's a few of my favorites--some of which I've shamelessly stolen from Twitter/FB (so if one of these was taken by you, THANK YOU!), and I'm posting them in order, so you can sort of feel like you're reliving it all with me (and warning, I did a LOT, so this will be a LONG post! Brace yourself).
After an awesome afternoon of real NY pizza (SO GOOD) and a matinee of NEWSIES (EVEN BETTER) I headed to the Hudson Terrace for the S&S Teen Blogger Preview, a private YA-related event featuring me, Lenore Appelhans, Jenny Han, Tonya Hurley, Carmen Rodrigues, and Siobhan Vivian--all of whom were every bit as lovely, funny, and amazing as you'd expect them to be.
I wish we'd taken a group shot of all of us, but instead all I have is photos of me during my interview time:
I've been to dozens and dozens of these kind of events, so it was SO SURREAL to be on the "author" side of the experience, waiting in the green room, being up on stage--oh, and this:
The GORGEOUS display S&S did behind the bar with all of our covers. I still have a hard time believing that one of those is MY COVER for MY BOOK with MY NAME. It's kind of amazing I didn't jump over the bar and hug it.
S&S also gave out goody bags with all of our ARCs, plus the coolest LET THE SKY FALL swag EVER:
It's a battery powered fan WITH A WIND PUN ON THE LABEL!!!! I <3 S&S so much.
The day started cold and rainy, so I spent the morning racing to Macys to find tights to go with my dress so I wouldn't freeze that night. Then it was off to the S&S Building to meet with Liesa Abrams, my editor--and to meet even more of my amazing S&S team:
Then we walked to the New York Grand Central Library where I got to be on a panel with Brandon Mull, Rebecca Stead, and John Stephens, and spent most of the time thinking HOW DID I GET HERE??? To say I've been fangirling those amazing authors for years is a bit of an understatement, and to get to sit with them like an equal was definitely one of those *moments*. Alas, I have no pictures of it, but I have plenty of memories to make up for it.
After that, I got to have a nice, relaxing dinner with Laura Rennert, my incredible agent, and Lara Perkins, her lovely and insightful assistant--which I ALSO don't have pictures of because they came out blurry--but that just means we'll have to re-create the experience again next year. ;)
This was the day I'd been most nervous for. Not only did I have a LOT of things on my itinerary--but it was also the day they would be giving away these:
I'm told there were two of these towers, but I never actually saw them (my marketing manager emailed me this pic the night before). By the time I got to the Javits they were nothing more than strange patterns in the carpet. I'm told they were gone in about 20 minutes. I don't even know how to wrap my head around that.
My morning started with my first ever KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES signing in the autographing area, and I was SO SCARED that no one was going to come to my line. So you can imagine my surprise when I was waiting in the green room and the woman in charge came over to congratulate me on how insanely long my line was. It's AMAZING I didn't start crying right there.
Instead, I followed her in a daze to my table covered in KEEPER ARCs, with a line so long I couldn't see the end of it. Sadly, I couldn't get a picture of the full line, but these sort of give you some slight perspective on the experience:
And my favorite picture from the whole week:
Getting to sign my middle grade novel to an actual middle grade reader--THAT, my friends, is what we call, THE DREAM.
Even more surreal was that THEY HAD TO CAP MY LINE. I have no idea how many books I signed, but I know it was enough to make my wrist tired. And I only messed up one!
After that I rushed back to the S&S booth to sign another box of ARCs, and then it was time to grab a quick coffee with my agent and editor--the first time all three of us met up in person. We took pics, but none of them came out so I won't share. Thankfully we tried again on Thursday, which I'll get to in a minute.
I had a welcome break for an hour--which I spent with Sara McClung, CP Extraordinaire and general lifesaver--and then it was time for the Apocalypsies event--which was WAY bigger than I'd ever imagined. Look at all of these amazing authors:
I wish I had a picture of how packed the room was, but alas, I haven't found one (though I'm SURE some are out there). All I know is that I signed what felt like a billion of these super cool dance cards:
After that, it was off to an S&S Cocktail party where I got to mingle with people like Robin Wasserman, Matt Myklusch, T.R. Burns, Jo Whittemore (who was so sweet, she brought me candy!), and James Dashner and TRY not to reveal myself for the crazy fangirl I am. Then I had a late dinner with my editor and it was FINALLY time to go back to my hotel to get some rest for the next day.
I didn't spend long at the Javits, but I did stop by so I could personally thank Becca Fitzpatrick for blurbing LET THE SKY FALL and saw her HAWT cover:
And then I went to Shake Shack for lunch with my publicist. I had a few hours to myself that afternoon, so I went and explored Central Park a bit, and then changed and met my editor back at the Javits for the (Mostly) Silent Children's Auction, where I got to spend the evening with all kinds of cool industry people.
It was pouring rain when I left, but I didn't even mind because my editor and I walked together, and she was far too adorable with her Batman Umbrella. (And I'll save the story about the creepy old guy who tried to hit on both of us for another day.) :)
The last day of BEA and the day of my most intimidating panel: on the Uptown Stage with industry legends Sharon Creech, Judith Viorst, and Lauren Oliver:
I'd been more than a little worried that these amazing ladies would look at me like, how did YOU end up on this panel???? (and I wouldn't have even blamed them!) But they were so sweet and smart and funny and made me feel right at home with them!
Afterward there was an informal signing of some KEEPER ARCs
And then I FINALLY got the picture I'd been wanting since I sold my books last May. Me, flanked by my agent and editor, the lovely Laura Rennert and Liesa Abrams:
After that I went back to the S&S booth to say goodbye to everyone, and I had another of those surreal moments when one of my all time favorite authors was there with his wife, and they took an ARC of KEEPER and had me sign it to their daughter!!! (Crazy, CRAZY surreal). Then that night I had dinner with some amazing book people--some of whom had already read KEEPER and told me they loved it. So you could definitely say my BEA experience ended on a high.
I made one last trip back to S&S to record a podcast with Matt Myklusch for The Other Side of the Story, which will air closer to KEEPER's release (and should be interesting, given how hoarse my voice was at that point):
I spent the rest of the day soaking up what little of NY I could, then packed up and flew home the next morning, where I've been battling jet-lag ever since.
Phew--you guys still with me? *taps on the computer screen*
I know, it was a LOT. And like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm honestly still trying to process all of that amazingness. Every single moment of last week was equal parts nerve-wracking, exciting, and humbling. But I guess the feeling that lingers the most is gratitude.
I am so incredibly thankful for my awesome team at S&S who made it all possible, for the fabulous authors who treated me like an equal, for time I got to spend with my agent and editor, and for all the people who took the time to come to my events/signings. THANK YOU for making last week a total dream come true.
I have no idea what the rest of this crazy roller coaster ride toward launch is going to be like, but I can definitely say this--if BEA is any indication, it's going to be AWESOME.