Happy Monday Bookworms!
As you know, I attended Book Expo America (or BEA for those who do not like to type out full words) last week. That’s part of the reason for my blog silence (that and laziness), but if you follow me on any social media you likely got an eyeful. I decided to break up my experience into multiple posts because I have a lot to say and I don’t want you to fall asleep reading and miss any exclamations of joy. HAVE YOU HAD COFFEE?
This was at the Penguin Random House booth. I got way too excited about it. I’m not sorry.
I mentioned this in several posts leading up to the event, but I was hella nervous about BEA. My plans morphed a several times and during the metamorphosis some of the people I was internet closest with (Andi who would have been my roomie, and also Rory) ended up not being able to attend. So I was going to go to an event with people I knew in internet passing, but more on an acquaintance level than a “let’s get matching tattoos” level. Not that I want to get a matching tattoo with anyone. Or a tattoo at all, probably. But you get my drift.
Just kidding. They’re temporary.
So I did what I do best. I wrote an extremely awkward “please be my friend” post in a Facebook group for book bloggers who would be attending the convention and made plans to meet up with some people. Every single person I met was gracious and kind, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some shout outs to my main posse. That’s right, I said posse!
Julie, bless her heart, is the most organized person on planet earth who also happens to know all the things about commuting into Chicago from the suburbs (which is where I ended up staying with my parents. Extra thanks to Dad for train station drop offs and pickups.) She shepherded me and my fellow commuter Marisa around Union Station and is about as obsessed with Alice in Wonderland as I am with penguins. There’s a bond there, people. (I will tell you more about her mad organizational skills later probably, because WHOA.)
What should you know about Marisa? First, her name is pronounced like Theresa, but with an M. Second, she is incredibly sweet and warm and good humored. She loves short stories and laughs at my terrible jokes. She is also smart enough to heed Julie’s advice to bring and check a rolling suitcase for her books (which I am not.)
We all hung out beyond commuting, of course, but things get nuts when you hit that floor (particularly if you have a flipping spreadsheet schedule, cough cough Julie.) Thus, Stacey became my main partner in crime on the expo floor. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. She’s a librarian, and if you want to know just how creepy I am, I’ve always wanted a librarian as a friend. I got VERY excited when I found out one of my co-workers was dating a librarian and expressed my desire to become her best friend. As a result, she has avoided all office occasions in the history of ever. Probably because of me. But Stacey wasn’t weirded out by me! We talked about books and meandered and suggested reading to each other. I wrote down none of her suggestions because I didn’t bring a pen (I KNOW!) and I am the worst. She wrote down mine because she is smart and thoughtful. I have her digits now, though, so I can text her and be like “who was that writer you said I should read that is utterly heartwarming?” She will probably be like “Katie, that is like asking me for the book with the blue cover, you should know better!” And I will be like, “You are my favorite.”
Me and Julie and Kim!
I feel like I should be getting played off the stage at the Oscars with a giant list of thank yous, but I’ve got more people to mention. I met Kim and Florinda first thing on day one (oh and they are the best best best!!!) and they helped to put my nerves right at ease. The Facebook group organized a Blogger Happy Hour the first night and it was SUCH fun. I met all kinds of bloggers like Kerry, Shannon, Julianne, April, Catherine, Janani, Rachel, Jenna, Kristen, Heather, Annie, Dawn, Beth and probably other people I am not remembering because my mind is a sieve. I facetimed Andi while at this event because OF COURSE I DID. So basically she was there too. I later met Shaina (who is as sweet as pie) and Michelle (who is a stealth ninja and hard to track down).
And then there was my blogger fan girl moment. I met Alice from Reading Rambo! I’ve long admired her blog and was sure that she’d be much too busy and important to chat with me. But she wasn’t! She complimented my accessories and there was charming banter (on her part, my banter was awkward and I probably avoided eye contact because I’m shifty when nervous.) It confirmed all my suspicions that book people are the best people. I’m going to close the love fest now because this is post is ridiculous. I promise to tell you more about my actual conference experience later. I had to get the gushing out of my system first. Whew.
If you click on any of the names mentioned, you’ll get to check out some amazing blogs. You totally should because these folks are legitimately awesome, online and off.