Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guest Blogger: Elin Hilderbrand & Giveaway

Earlier today, I reviewed SUMMERLAND by Elin Hilderbrand. I'm a big fan of Ms. Hilderbrand's so it shouldn't have come as any surprise to me that she has done it again! SUMMERLAND is an engaging and entertaining book that's perfect for the summer.  

I am extremely honored that Ms. Hilderbrand has taken time from her busy touring schedule to write a guest post for Booking Mama. And to make this even more exciting for me, she's written about one of my very favorite subjects in the entire world -- BEA! Here are her thoughts:

BEA stands for BookExpo America, the largest booksellers convention in the country.  Used to be that BEA switched locations -- one year in LA, one year in DC, one year in Big Apple.  Now, however, BEA is held only in New York, at the Javits Center, which is basically its own small nation on the west side of Manhattan.

But for me the initials BEA have a slightly different meaning...

B is for Banner.  Every year the wonderful souls at Hachette create a huge, and I mean ENORMOUS, banner celebrating my latest book.  It's like having my name in lights for the 2-3 hours that it hangs, and I love it.  This year, the banner read: It's not summer without ELIN HILDERBRAND.  I have to say, this tag line delighted me.  Imagine, an entire season riding on my existence, or at the very least, on the existence of my newest novel.

B is also for Bergdorf Goodman.  For those of you who don't know, BG is a very fancy department store located on 58th Street and Fifth Avenue.  I shop there while at BEA.  I shop on the fifth floor, known to those who frequent BG as 5F.  5F at BG has the best clothes on earth.  I comfort myself about the extraordinary price by telling myself that anyone who has to sit in front of such an enormous banner and who is carrying the survival of an entire season on her shoulders had better look damn good.

E is for Eating.  There are great restaurants on Nantucket, yes there are.  But no place delivers a culinary experience like New York.  Being at BEA is a great excuse to eat, eat, eat -- many times on the expense account of my publisher or my agent.  My favorite restaurant in New York is Bar Americain, located on 52nd Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway.  This is a Bobby Flay restaurant.  I like to get the oysters, followed by the fries with chili aioli, followed by the Boston lettuce salad with lardons and poached egg.  This year I discovered Bill's Bar and Burger on Ninth Avenue and 13th Street.  I ate the grilled shrimp burger which came on a grilled bun with coleslaw, pickle, special sauce and fried shallots.  Add cold beer and you basically needed a crowbar to get me out of the Meatpacking district.

A is for Alive.  The best thing about BEA, as I wandered through the Javits, and as I did interviews for things I had never heard of such as Kobo (a new E-reader) and Google Play (I have heard of Google of course, despite living on an island 30 miles out to sea, but Google Play, what could this mean?) was that I was reassured that the book business is still alive and well.  It's thriving in dozens of new incarnations!  People are still reading!  The written word is still relevant!  The Javits, for that week in June is saying something to A for America.  It's saying: READ! READ! READ!  And America is listening.

***** 
Elin Hilderbrand is the New York Times bestselling author of A Summer Affair and Barefoot. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa. She lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. Her newest Nantucket novel will be out in the summer of 2009. To find out more about Elin Hilderbrand and see her tour schedule, visit her at www.elinhilderbrand.net

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Ms. Hilderbrand for writing such a fun guest post about BEA. I've been feeling a bit remiss because I haven't written my BEA wrap-up post yet, so Ms. Hilderbrand has also helped to ease my guilt at bit with her fantastic summary. I don't know about you, but I think Ms. Hilderbrand knows how to live it up while she's visiting New York!

Giveaway alert: I have three copies of SUMMERLAND to giveaway courtesy of the publisher. To enter, just fill out the form below before June 28th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. No p.o. boxes please. Good luck!

13 comments:

Dolly said...

BEA sounds like a great place to be!

Thanks for the giveaway; I enjoyed your review.

Serena said...

I just love what BEA means to her...I cannot imagine having a giant banner dedicated to me.

bermudaonion said...

What a fun guest post! I'm with her on Eating and Alive. We'll have to check out Bergdorf Goodman next year to see about the B! lol

cupcake said...

I love Elin Hildebrand's books. Thank you for this great giveaway!

Wanda said...

So cool! Love the banner and the BEA explanation!
5F sounds like my kind of hangout!

Julie @ The Family CEO said...

I adore Elin and already have her book on preorder so I'll leave your giveaway copies for some other lucky soul. Thanks for this interview. I love peeks into my favorite authors' lives.

Alyce said...

I saw your glowing review earlier and just had to stop by to enter the giveaway. I liked her different take on "BEA" too. :)

Alison Skap said...

Love this guest post!!

I must say, Bobby Flay's Bar Americain is one of our safety-restaurants. If my husband and I find ourselves in the city around dinner time without a reservation and unsure of where to go, this is where we usually land. (I highly recommend the cookbook, if you cook!)

Thanks for the chance to win!

pinkflipflops said...

i'm serious when i ask, has she ever wrote a book not set in nantucket?

Julie P. said...

pinkflopflops -- one was set on Tuckernuck Island off the coast of Nantucket....

But I think you're probably right!

Jilleen said...

Great post and thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

Beth F said...

What a fabulous guest post. We need to hang out with Elin next year when we're in New York.

Booksnyc said...

I love her explanation of what BEA means to her. She is right about Billi's - great burgers!