I’m back from Book Expo America. For those of you not familiar with BEA, it’s the U.S. answer to the London and Frankfurt Bookfairs and I do believe it’s even bigger — around 30,000 participants at this year’s event held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.
Big clue to the incredible vibe of this year’s event: the Expo was in New York City — now, can that *ever* be bad? 😉
I went up on trusty ole Amtrak the night before expecting to have a good trip, a productive trip, a pleasant trip…
What I had was a *great* trip.
I launched my venture on Thursday evening with dinner a-deux with my good buddy, uber talented historical romance novelist, Kathryn Caskie. We chose Zagat top pic, Gotham Bar & Grill on 12th in The Village. Determined not to be idle, we mapped out our Expo plans over a lovely bottle of shriraz and top tier (aka yummy) fare of hard shell crabs (me) and filet (Kathy).
Friday was a “work” day. After a short waiting stint sipping designer H20 in the Green Room (and no, I didn’t see anyone terribly famous, more’s the pity), I kicked off with a traditonal autographing for my new historical romance release, Enslaved (Medallion press). Later, I had midday coffee talk with talented historical fiction author, Will Hutchison, and then an in-booth signing at the Harlequin booth during “Sexy Hour” with Cara Summers and bestselling author, Carly Phillips.
But there’s more…
That night, Kathryn Caskie (Kathy to me) and our good buddy, historical romance author, Sophia Nash, met up at New York’s famous Webster Hall for The Rock Bottom Remainders “Still Younger than Keith” charity concert. At the VIP reception to kick off the concert, we clinked glasses with literati heavyweights Mitch Albom, Frank McCourt, Amy Tan, Stephen King, and my personal fav, humor columnist turned children’s author, Dave Barry. If you have two ticks, check out our candid pics on my Snapshots page. And yes, consider the rumor confirmed, Dave Barry really did pronounce the three of us “hot.” I believe the word “babes” was also used,” but well, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble at home. 😉
As you may expect, all this autographing and gladhanding can really wear a woman down. Fortunately, I got to unwind on Saturday evening at the Harlequin party held at a swank Midtown club. Harlequin always does it right and this year’s fete was no exception. Guests were greeted at the door with champagne and chocolates and the night got even better from there. Over canapes and champagne (yes, more), I caught up with authors Jane Porter (“Flirting with Forty”), Candice Poarch, and Rebecca York as well as had the opportunity to say thank you to Harlequin’s talented and hardworking editorial, marketing and sales staff.
Come Sunday, all this nose-to-the-grindstone hard work was really taking its toll. The chocolate consumption alone had me at “sixes and sevens” as Sophia might say in one of her Regency-set historicals. I wound down with a signing of The Haunting in the Romance Writers of America booth at BEA along with Niki Burnham (“Goddess Games”) and Silhouette author, Anna DePalo.
A few days of post-Expo R&R in the West Village set me to rights. Come mid-week, I was homebound on that Amtrak train, maybe not exactly fresh as a daisy but certainly touting a big ole smile.
Okay, so enuf about me. Anybody else go to BEA? As they say, inquiring minds…
3 thoughts on “Back from Book Expo America…”
BEA was a great a time, I totally agree. I wish I could have crashed the Harlequin party but Sophia Nash and I were at the HarperCollins party in Chelsea (meat packing district I was told–which made me wonder if I was overdressed during the cab ride there)at a very hot, trendy restaurant club called Buddakan.The HUGE party was hosted by Jane Friedman, the CEO and President of HarperCollins and there were plenty of famous faces. One that caught my eye was actor Robby Benson(I had a major crush on him when I was eleven.) When I showed my family the pics from the party (and from the other events in NY with you, Hope) my children said “Oh, his was the voice of the Beast in the (Disney) movie Beauty and the Beast.” Suddenly I was feeling very old. LOL. And as a mom who watched that movie about a thousand times as my kids were growing up, I should have remembered that.
Anyway, I am not glad to be home. Means I have become very serious about finishing my book due July 1. Ahhh!
Thanks for sharing a grand time in NY, Hope. I hope you finished your book too.
I had no idea Book Expo would be so big. I knew I was in trouble when I walked into the Jacob Javitz Center 30 minutues before the signing and I saw the enormity of the place. And since, I have zero sense of direction (which I readily admit – unlike many of my friends who shall remain nameless – Richard)the map made it all worse. I finally found the Harper Collins area one minute before I was due. I managed it by asking 47 people in 25 minutes!
That said, I had a much easier time negotiating the city itself, having lived there for almost 2 years mid way through college. If only every city had numbered streets and avenues we’d be all set. Paris and London take years to figure out!
The only places where I feel like I can orient myself is anywhere near the ocean. For example, I never have directional problems in Miami or Los Angeles. Has anyone else experienced this strange phenomenon?
Kathy, I am totally jealous about the Robby Benson sighting. I remember Back in the Day drooling over him in “Tiger Beat” Magazine along with Shaun Cassidy and Lief Erickson. So, yes, a while ago.
It’s funny how city neighborhoods run in cycles with once low-income neighborhoods evolving to become gentrified and posh. The Meat Packing district ius such a place. Anybody remember the “Sex and the City” episode where Samantha gets her new digs there only to run afoul of some feisty transvestite “ladies” of the evening?
Sophia, I feel you on the internal compass situation. Like you, I was fine navigating New York itself but the Javits Center felt pretty overwhelming. Bodies of water don’t me out much with navigating though I’m willing to test it out if someone wants to set me in a beach house as an “experiment.” 😉
Anyhoo, thanks ladies for stopping by…
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