Nope, it was just Book Expo America at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. But it was close – after all, what else would heaven be but a place filled with free books, authors to sign them, and publishers, editors, and multitudes of other folks who love books to talk about them? Well, I suspect heaven won’t charge $3.65 for a bottle of water. And the bags full of books and associated goodies wouldn’t weigh so heavily on my shoulders – I know, I shouldn’t complain.
Thanks to a wonderful librarian friend, I was able to register for BEA 2012 and enjoy its delights for one day. Next year, I hope to go back and spend more than one day and be a little more organized. Missing Louise Penny signing her books was sad. Meeting the mother-son duo who are Charles Todd and scoring a signed copy of their latest Bess Crawford mystery was blissful!
However, the best part of the entire day was steeping myself in the energy and encouragement that came from seeing so many people so excited about books. While I wasn’t trying to network, I did meet Bill Ott, Editor and Publisher of Booklist (ALA’s book review journal) and Keir Graff, Booklist Online Editor. One of my long-term ambitions has been to review for this great periodical (how else can I find out what to read?), and meeting them was a great connection and kick in the pants to apply.
The most encouraging and exciting part of my day was catching up with Eric Rohmann and Candy Fleming. Eric and Candy were signing galleys of their picture book at the Random House booth, and I was thrilled that they remembered me – Eric was my mentor author at the Highlights Foundation Children’s Writers Workshop at Chautauqua last year. Touching base with them reminded me why I was so charged up after attending Chautauqua.
So now that I’ve shelved my new books and rested my feet, it’s time to work on my own projects. And get ready for the NJ SCBWI Summer Conference this weekend!
P.S. Two books that looked especially intriguing – sadly, neither available as a giveaway – were Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block (October 2012, Princeton Architectural Press) and Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing (2010, Roost Books).