Friday, June 9, 2017

BEA 2017 -- Day 3 (Thursday)

BEA was just get starting on Thursday, but unfortunately, I had to head home to prepare for my daughter's graduation. That sounds terrible -- I don't mean "unfortunately." I was extremely excited to celebrate her accomplishments and see all of our friends and relatives, but I did feel like I was letting Kathy down this year. She's an amazing friend, though, and never made me feel guilty. That was all on me!

We woke bright and early, packed up our bags, and headed out to catch a quick breakfast at Pret a Manger. We caught the shuttle to Javits within minutes and arrived at the convention center forty five minutes before the trade show opened -- argh! We checked our baggage in and headed straight for the line. Yes -- line! At 8:15 in the morning, there was already a line to get on the trade show floor. We made ourselves comfortable (not really -- we stood on line) and talked. Kathy and I have no problems killing time talking... and the old man behind us certainly tried to jump in too!

It actually worked out really well that we were waiting because a bride came right up to us! We missed the photo op, but we did end up getting a book I had on my wish-list THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING and a matching tote. This book is already making some lists including Entertainment Weekly's Summer Must-Read, A Publishers Weekly BEST SUMMER BOOKS, a New York Post Best Books of Summer, and Redbook's 10 Books You Have To Read This Summer. And isn't the cover adorable?
At 9:00 on the dot, the show floor opened and Kathy and I got our first real experience of BEA 2017. It had been two years since we attended BEA, but it seemed a little different to me this year. The aisles seemed wider, less books were out, and attendance seemed down -- possibly because BEA made it so hard for bloggers and some others to get in this year? I could be wrong, but the energy of past years just didn't seem to be there.

When the show opens, there are always quite a few books to be had! Kathy and I both filled small totes fairly quickly, and we required a trip down to shipping to set up our boxes. However, I think we both noticed that some major publishers (and minor ones for that matter) weren't giving away books like they used to do. Believe me, I'm not complaining when I say that some publishers had less (or no) books available this year. I came home with plenty of terrific fall titles that I can't wait to share with you. I intend to do a future post on all the wonderful books, but I'm leaving for the beach tomorrow and won't have time to prepare it until I get back!

For those of you who have never attended BEA, it's a bit overwhelming. There is the trade show floor where all of the publishers and vendors have booths of varying sizes. In addition, there is a stage where events with authors and publishers are taking place all day; and there are also floors downstairs with panels. One area that I try to stay away from because of the incredible crowds is the autographing stations. I used to wait in line for an autograph for up to an hour, but I have since decided that I much prefer just walking around and visiting the various publishers. Kathy and I did head back to that area, though, and I was thrilled to see that the line for John Feinstein wasn't too bad. My son loves his books, especially his mysteries, and he was there signing ARCS for BACKFIELD BOYS. I gushed about how grateful I was for his books because my son is a relatively reluctant reader. He was extremely gracious and told me that's exactly why he writes! Needless to say, my son was thrilled when I gave him the book!
This is going to sound like I'm bragging a little bit, but Kathy and I had terrific lunch plans. We were invited with a few bloggers to have lunch with author B.A. Paris of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS fame at Marseille. This was a delightful little French restaurant and the food and ambiance were terrific. I had a delicious salad and the risotto, but the real treat was the dessert -- profiteroles. When they brought out my plate, I thought it was for the entire end of our table. And yes, I did eat the entire thing!
There are few things in life I enjoy like meeting authors -- they are rock stars to me; and B.A. Paris (that's actually a pen name) didn't disappoint. She was positively delightful -- so smart and funny, and I was amazed to learn that she has five daughters. I can barely handle one. I guess I took one for the team when I asked the following question, "You seem so normal. How can you write such disturbing books?" I am pretty sure that everyone at the table had the same question. 
I think Kathy and I were the only ones who had finished her new novel THE BREAKDOWN. It's a suspenseful novel with more than a few twists, and I really enjoyed it. The book comes out in July, but I'll be reviewing it as part of my Mystery Mondays feature in the near future. I liked asking Ms. Paris (again, not her real name) about how she plotted this novel. She didn't really plan out her last one, but this one had a more complicated ending. In addition, I was tickled to learn that she didn't even tell her best friends that she not only was a published author, but she was a best-selling one! 
For those of you who loved BEHIND CLOSED DOORS like I did, you will be excited to know that there are talks for a movie... and they seem to be real talks, not just sort of/kind of talks. We had fun throwing around potential leads for the movie. As someone who doesn't watch many movies, I wasn't much help!

Lunch went a little longer than we thought, and Kathy needed to get back to Javits to collect her suitcase and catch a cab. She and I rushed back to the convention center and got into the cab line. It wasn't moving and I could tell Kathy was getting nervous. I was ready to click on the Uber app when a guy offered to take her to the airport. I was a little hesitant but the man behind us in line wanted to go to the airport too. It was a quick goodbye with a few tears. 

I headed back into Javits but my heart wasn't really into it. I had a few hours to kill, though, before I needed to head to Penn Station to catch my train. (I would have liked to leave earlier, but my husband had his golf league that night and couldn't pick me up until later!) I was wandering around the show floor when I ran into my friend Candace of Beth Fish Reads fame. We caught up with each other as we walked the aisles, and no surprise here -- we even got a few more books! 

My train wasn't until 6:30 but my feet were aching and the trade show was winding down around 4:30. I shipped my one box of books for over $60 and carried the rest in a tote with me on the train. I only ship one box each year because of the cost! I walked with my suitcase and a big tote to Penn Station (about a mile), and sat in the lounge waiting for my train reading MAGPIE MURDERS. This definitely wasn't a sacrifice. This book is amazing -- it's a must read that I'll be reviewing shortly!
It always seems like when you're tired, things go wrong; and that was the case. As I lined up to see what track my train would be on, I saw later trains arriving. My first thought was "uh oh," and ironically Kathy's plane was also delayed! My train ended up only being a half hour late, but that meant it would be getting into Harrisburg between 10:30 and 11:00. Ugh! I desperately wanted to sleep because I knew I'd need my energy for the next few days, but that didn't happen. I did get quite a bit of MAGPIE MURDERS read though!

I was thrilled to arrive home and my husband was waiting for me on the tracks in a suit holding a sign with my name. He's so sweet... and silly, although I think there was a point being made about him being my driver! I was exhausted from all the BEA and graduation party excitement, but I knew I had to get through the next two days. On Friday, I needed to clean my entire house and get ready for a party with 45+ people! And on Saturday, I would be heading with our family to watch my baby girl graduate from high school!

All in all, it was a terrific week (albeit a little shorter than normal) and I definitely look forward to next year's BEA... and seeing my good friend Kathy!


bermudaonion said...

Thursday was a whirlwind but it was so much fun! B. A. Paris was so charming - I feel like we could be friends with her! My ride to the airport brought me a little closer to God but I made it there.

Dorothy N said...

Thank you once again for such a fun and informative post. My reading list keeps on getting longer and longer! Loved hearing about the lunch with BA Paris. She is a new author to me but I will be checking her books out, thanks to you! All the best to your daughter on her graduation from high school. It's quite the milestone!