Book Expo - First Fantastic Day

From my previous post, I assume you may be wondering how BEA actually went for me after my slight internal conflict of identity in the book community and the horrible forever looming blogger-ly impostor syndrome. Well, let me tell you...

Book Expo was a book wonderland!

I fell down the rabbit hole that yes, looked strangely like a large glass building known as the Javits Center, and I was kicked out once Book Con needed to move in. I may not be queen yet of this wonderland- but I certainly got enough books to make myself a small fortress.

I had a great time.

The morning of I got up at the ripe time of a bit after 3 a.m. There was a bus to catch after all with my group that was able to go through the literary magazine we had worked on throughout the year, Manuscript. That group however, eh, ya know, about two hours away.

Already fearing my time at Book Expo was going to be a bit of a let down if I let my anxiety get in the way, I put that negative energy that was starting to get on my nerves into another form of self torture as I watched other publishing professionals and some of my favorite and lucky book bloggers/vloggers through social media get there the day before. Because they were all going to be ON TIME that Thursday morning. Tickets, breakfasts, seeing everyone line up for the grand opening of the official day- they were there.

Sadly (very sadly to my perpetually early nature), I was going to be late...and a bit sleep deprived. I thought of this inevitability every second that ticked past. I thought about it when I got to the bus station, when my bus left at 7:20, when I stared at the bus driver hitting the break and "oh my god, how many times are we going to stop for more people to get on??"

But, as you can guess. I did make it to BEA. Or more accurately, once I hit port authority, I sped walked there. Speeding to my hotel, I dropped off my bag at about 10:30 and I (if only they could have seen me) made all those 80's suburban moms proud with my power walk.

Kristin Cashore signing upcoming release Jane, Unlimited

I made it. I checked it. Got my fancy badge and walked into the show floor. And I was floored, I stared with open eyes at the books being shoved in my direction, the fancy booths for places I have only ever seen and admired online such as Out of Ink clothing and Obvious State totes and bookish accessories.

It was within the first walk down on of the booth aisles, slightly overwhelmed and with no clue where I was going that I knew. This was it. This was BEA.

These were my people.

Even if you know, they still had no idea who I was. Once I was in, it really didn't matter. I had my list of hopeful needs and signings and so did everyone else.

And so it began.

One of my most anticipated books of the day was the upcoming fantasy-esque novel, Roar by Cora Carmack. Sad thing, for her signing I would have needed a ticket which I didn't get since I was late to the expo. While chatting in line, I only badgered a few people to see if they had a ticket that they weren't actually going to use (it seriously happens!). With no luck, I made it my priority of the day to get the next anticipated on my list.

They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera.
No ticket needed. About forty minutes early, I made sure where I was going in the autographing area, and the line...the line. There was a massive line. I could not believe my eyes. Neither could a lot of the staff there who were suddenly wondering as I were why they didn't ticket for Adam's event that was wrapping its way out of the designated section.

Quickly I got in it, a few people back from the roped off section while exclaiming both delight and horror at simply getting to be in said line to the girl next to me. That girl who turned out to be my first random BEA in-line friend. She was fabulous, she wore a yellow cardigan and was quite pleased when I told her how big a fan I was of Christine from PolandBananasBooks on Youtube.

"I just saw her! I got a photo!"

No. Throughout the past few hours I had been casually looking around. Some of this BookTubers I have been watching for years, specifically Christine. It is a strange experience to know so much about a person you love to watch and admire, but they have not a single inkling of who you are. It's like googling a person or stalking them casually on social media before a first somewhat blind date. A bit odd. Still, "I need a picture with Christine."

Hoping the possibility would arise, a woman interrupted our conversation as we stood still waiting for Adam to show up for start time, which was then only for a half hour. "Hi guys, we are going to start an overflow line," she called out looking around us before slicing her hand front of me. "Right here."

Involuntarily, I started shaking my head. Nope. Nah. No overflow line. Please no.

She saw my worry, "It's ok, we just can't keep blocking so much space. You can even hold the sign."

So into the overflow line I went. I did indeed hold the sign.

Chatting once more, my new friend Lenny and I got to know each other for a good fifteen minutes before...

"Hi everyone, Adam is only here for a half hour slot, so we can't guarantee everyone will get books here in this line at all."

Que the freaking out please no's again. I was going to stand here and wait if I had to. Which I did until previous BEA volunteer let us know there was a book drop in ten minutes of Adam's book. Both Lenny and I ran, hoping into the next already crowed line. I didn't know why she was tapping my tote bagged shoulder until I turned around.

And there they were.

Kat. Emma. Christine...the whole fantastic bookish gang was there sitting in line with us.

I got my picture. I got the book. I also was a complete dork before calming down and asking normal questions like, "How are you?" and "How is your book coming along, Christine?"

I was super proud of getting that last one coherently out.

The rest of the day was filled with other book events and signings I met people at while still hoping for that possibility of Roar to magically appear in my hands. By the end even though, my shoulders ached from carrying around upcoming releases I can't wait to share with you all. A small price to pay- a larger one if I need to eventually take on a chiropractor.

Worth it.

Every page of it, as I read each book and write my story and this blog post that will continue...onto day 2!


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