Tag Archives: BEA 2012

BEA2012: Finished. Fini. The End. Over and Out. Adios. Bye bye.

I’m not doing BEA Thursdays again. Although today I got to hear Zadie Smith speak. Ok, that made it totally worth it. But this is what the third day of BEA turns into:

  • I’ve gone from “comfortable shoes,” to Converses to… flip flops. That’s right. I wore flip flops today. Shh. Don’t judge. I also wore great earrings and a cool necklace, hoping people would be dazzled by sparkly things above my neck and not look at my non-pedicured toes in flip flops.
  • I gawked at one of my literary heroes (yes, Zadie Smith, that would be you), drank my weak coffee, and put the complimentary cream cheese from the Author Breakfast on a gluten free roll I brought from home. I just couldn’t bear to ask for another fruit platter.
  • Michael Chabon was also pretty darn inspiring. Ok, Michael, I’m going to read all of your books this summer, including the new one, Telegraph Avenue. Really.
  • And then the surprise: J.R. Moehringer, who really was a fabulous speaker. When he wasn’t talking about his debut novel, Sutton, which sounds kind of interesting, he spent quite a bit of time talking about a Youtube video, which he said was what it felt like to write a novel. I’m not sure if this link will work, but if it doesn’t just search for “Skydiving Grandma”:  
  • There are no words to adequately describe how Kirstie Alley did as an emcee. Suffice to say… oh forget it. I just won’t go there. *shudders*
  • Oh wait! Jimmy Fallon also was there, but he was onstage and offstage so quickly I almost forgot!
  • I trudged from the Author breakfast to the Uptown Stage, and took a seat during the panel which had already started, about African Americans in Publishing. Fascinating. I wish I’d get more manuscripts by African Americans or about African Americans, but I’m not interested in “urban fiction” really, and that’s all I seem to get. I want stuff like Zadie Smith and Jesmyn Ward!
  • Next up was a panel that was supposed to be about writing strong female characters in MG fiction but it…um… wasn’t. It wasn’t about anything really, although it was nice to hear the nice authors talking about writing up there. Just I kind of wanted to hear about strong female characters. Ok, I was clearly done with BEA.
  • I left. I went out to lunch with some Women’s National Book Association friends. And then I hopped in my car, yes my car which cost me $1 million to park in NYC on a weekday, and I drove home. I did not walk uphill to Penn Station. I sat in traffic, instead, listening to the Grateful Dead on my satellite radio.

Do your feet hurt? Did you opt out of public transportation this week? Can you live with yourself?

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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: http://cdn.livestream.com/events/bea/channelthin.html

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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The Blabbermouth report on my BEA2012 Day #1

So this is about getting to BEA:

  • Woke up at ungodly hour to make 6am train in to Manhattan. Yes, 6am train.
  • Forgot to pack water and snacks.
  • Might have gotten on train to get to the city or might have been mysteriously transported to Penn Station; no recollection of which.
  • Walked uphill at a 60 degree angle for 3 Manhattan blocks to get to Javitz Center.
  • Saw about 30 NYPD in full riot gear in a blocking formation on 31st street, next to Javits; must have been protecting VERY hot galleys
  • Got badge and found my WNBA-NYC friend Roz on the front of the Author Breakfast line. Cut her.
  • Made myself comfy at the more expensive table seating and slurped the weak coffee they served. Asked for something gluten free to eat instead of the bagels and muffins offered and was served a beautiful fruit plate. Thanks BEA! You’re ok!

Here’s what I remember about the Author Breakfast itself:

This is not the actual plate of fruit…

  • Junot Diaz has an endearing verbal tic… he keeps checking in with the audience with a muttered “yeah?” at the end of his sentences. He also said something sublime while talking about his new book, This is How You Lose Her: “There is no greater human vocation than love.” I love that.
  • Barbara Kingsolver, whom I love so much that yes, I want to marry her, was a delightful speaker who was talking about the craft of writing and said something like, “You can look into a human brain by many methods but you can’t look out of it. That’s our job.” Or maybe it was “That’s where we come in.” Or something like that. She talked about climate change, Angry Birds and host Stephen Colbert’s penis.
  • Norwegian author Joe Nesbo said that the best part of reading his own books translated into English was that there are long words in it that he didn’t know existed and he looks at them and says, “I wrote that!”
  • Of course, Stephen Colbert, who was the emcee and also talked about his penis, was hysterically funny!

After the breakfast I wandered around the convention floor like the deer in the headlights that I knew I’d be, before going to the panel on Science Fiction and Mainstream – Crossing Over, and then the one on The Ongoing Evolution of YA fiction. At the first panel I noticed there were more skinny jeans, piercings, tattoos, and steampunky boots and hats. Nice. At the second, the panel was awesome with the stand-out panelist (for me) being Melissa Marr.

I refused to fight for ARCs of anything today and I refused to stand in line for them. My day ended on an awesome/sweet/serendipitous note when I asked for a second copy of Trevor, a novella, by James Lecesne for my client Bill Konigsberg, who I knew would like it. Turns out James is a Bill fan, so he signed the book “Bill Konigsberg, You’re my hero!” Reading the book on the train ride home, I saw that James even mentioned Bill as one of the authors who writes elegantly and often about LGBT teens. Cool, right?!

I walked uphill back to Penn Station, lugging two totes of books. I had 4 minutes to catch my train. I seemed to have purchased a mixed drink on the train platform. I felt so Madmen. BEA 2012 Day One done.

Click here to watch live streaming of BEA stuff: http://cdn.livestream.com/events/bea/channelthin.html

Got questions? Ask me!

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