The Blabbermouth report on my BEA2012 Day #2

Oh. My. Dog. I’m tired. Bone tired.  Here’s a recap of BEA from me for today:

  • Eff blowing out the hair this morning. We’re all book nerds, nobody’s going to care about my hair.
  • Yesterday’s comfortable shoes weren’t so comfortable. Suede converses today. Yo.
  • Sat at the Pannell Award table with my Women’s National Book Association cronies and one of the recipients of the award from The Book Beat in Oak Park, Michigan. They are some cool, book hippies. xoxo
  • I was served delicious fruit with my weak coffee again. Yay fruit.
  • Chris Colfer: how cute are you?! Chris shared drawings with us that he made when he was 10 years old, about his book that Little, Brown just published, The Land of Stories. Chris was humble, quick witted and just delightful as an emcee, and he had a very impressive pompadour-ish ‘do.
  • John Green: yes, I know we’re both married, but pleeze?! I just love this guy. He kept saying something like, “I know I’m good at the internet, but…” and the bottom line of his talk was that the world of books is safe because we do what we do great, and we don’t need to worry about enhancing e-books or making apps we can just keep making books, because “Story trumps everything.” I repeat: I will marry you, John.
  • Lois Lowry: besides happily jumping up to participate in your standing ovation, you are just absolutely inspiring, Lois. Lois told us that the true reason for originally writing her novel, The Giver, after having written 17 novels that were very different from it, was just because she was wondering about something. Her advice to writers was counter to what most people offer. She said, “Write what you don’t know; what makes you uneasy; what keeps you up at night; what you wonder about.” Her newest book, Son, is the fourth and last book in the quartet.
  • I thought to myself, how can anyone speak after Lois Lowry?! But Kadir Nelson did a fine job, let me tell you. Kadir has illustrated Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech, and his paintings are just gorgeous. You can tell when someone has a good heart by the art they make. Kadir is one of those people.
  • Click here to watch live streaming of BEA events:

After the breakfast I met up with the film and television agent who works with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency and we walked around the floor of Javits. That was totally cool. She knew people, I knew people, we introduced each other around, and in cahoots we had more bravery to just go up to people we didn’t know and “network” (i.e. be friendly and interesting enough that they wanted to do the business card shuffle with us).

Then I went to the Middle Grade Editors Book Buzz and that was totally awesome! Although the alphas were snapping and biting at the ARC feeding frenzy after the panel, I did manage to get a couple of the books. And again, I introduced myself to one of the editors afterwards (one I totally want to pitch to!), and she offered me her ARC. Publishing people really are nice folk, I tell ya. I’m going to have to figure out how to read this in my (nonexistent) spare time because it looks great! I shuffled cards with another two editors, who both seemed pretty cool. And they were guys! You don’t know how rare that is. Sometimes it feels like all of publishing is women.

I missed the Neil Young/Patti Davis interview. I really wanted to go, but it just wasn’t what I was there for. Perhaps I’ll regret it. Oh well.

I was with fellow agency-mate Marie Lamba, who also happens to be a YA author, and prior to today she was a BEA virgin!  I felt somehow honored to be part of popping that particular publishing cherry with her. She kept saying things like, “I’m with this troublemaker over here, Linda Epstein.” Now why do you suppose she would say that? *I guilelessly ask as I look innocently around.* Marie and I went back out on the convention floor and were charming and interesting and friendly and we got/gave more business cards.

And then my friend texted me. Not just any friend. A really good friend, who I have known for 25+ years, who’s an art director and an artist and just one of the best people on the planet, in my humble opinion. (Love ya, Robin!) So we got together and then waited for 10 years to get a salad, and we all ate lunch, and then. I. Faded.

I had to go home. I was just DONE. I left an hour before I had intended, lugging three tote bags of books. Uphill to Penn Station. Now I’m writing this inelegant recap for all of you wonderful blog followers. Dad, if I’ve made spelling and/or grammar mistakes, tough noogies. I just don’t care.

So what did you all do today? Did any of you get to see Chris Colfer? Hunh? Hunh?


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17 responses to “The Blabbermouth report on my BEA2012 Day #2

  1. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been struggling with BEA envy all week. 🙂

  2. Thanks for blogging the BEA experience–sounds fun and exhausting all at once. It’s interesting to hear how the literary world shmoozes and networks. I’m more experienced in the fixing-all-the-last-minute-software-bugs-so-that-the-world-won’t-end side of trade shows.

  3. Sarah

    Bumped to the bottom again…hmmm. Trying not to develop a complex here. ; )

  4. avajae

    Sadly, I’m not able to attend BEA, but I’ve been watching the live stream and recordings online and I have to agree that the Colfer/Green/Lowry/Nelson Author Breakfast was just fantastic. I’ll probably listen to it again just to catch anything I missed the first time around.

    Thanks for sharing your BEA experience! Sounds like you’re having a great (if not exhausting) time.

  5. I’m actually taken by Lois Lowry’s advice … “Write what you don’t know.” Such an interesting idea, to write from a place of curiousity. A little scary and totally riveting. Great update on what sounds like an amazing day!

  6. Sounds like quite the day–thanks for sharing the tour for the armchair expo-ers out here! (I spent the day teaching my last classes of the quarter and starting a workshop on how to be a department head.) Rest up!

  7. I so wish I’d been there!!!

  8. Enjoying the vicarious living.

  9. Thanks, Linda, for being gentle. It hardly hurt at all!
    Marie the BEAV

  10. I’m exhausted just reading your recap.

    While you were shuffling business cards and drooling over John Green, I was putting off working on my short story and/or mowing the lawn by writing a blog post about why I like cemeteries. Then, just when I was about to go outside and finally get to the lawn, it started to rain, so I had to work on the short story.

  11. I, too, appreciate your recap, Linda! It sounds like you’re having a fabulous, albeit tiring, time!

  12. Wow, busy day — and enjoyed reading this! I also loved watching John Green’s vlog you linked to. He must’ve been an entertaining speaker. Thanks for posting this (and hope you got some rest!).

  13. I did a lot of laundry. Unfortunately for you, it wasn’t yours. But I really do appreciate your recap and all the BEA shmoozing and learning you did. It’s good for all of us.

    Happy John Green dreams tonight!

    • Sarah

      I soooo want to be there, except for the ten year wait for a salad. Lois Lowry, John Green, shmoozing with the literati…sounds like a dream come true! Maybe I’ll add BEA to my bucket list.