June 28, 2014

Maria's BEA2014 Recap!

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I attended BEA! Here's my recap!

Every year I actually consider not attending the Book Expo of America...And every year, it manages to draw me in. And every year, I am thrilled with my experiences. BEA2014 was no different as I met incredible people, publishers I've never heard of, books that make me wish I could read in my sleep and of course, the occasional celebrity here and there.

My time at BEA began on Thursday, May 29. But before that, I want to personally thank SimonTeen for inviting me to their Blogger Preview party. Unfortunately, I missed out to stay home with my sick son, but I hear from my fellow GCBloggers that it was incredible.

Lidia Bastianich
So, back to business. The first thing I had to do was grab an autograph for a very important person -- my Mama :) Lidia Bastianich is her all time favorite chef and when I found out she was signing her new children's book, Nonna Tell me a Story I just had to grab it! I was only the 2nd person in line and thrilled that my mother would be so happy.

Between the ten bags I now lugged with me everywhere, I headed over to my first celebrity spotting -- Neil Patrick Harris -- who is every bit as handsome in real life as he is on tv! I wish I could've snapped a better pic, but he was a feast for the eyes!

Random House Signing Schedule
Neil Patrick Harris

I then wandered around until I found two incredible children's authors: Timothy J. Bradley and Shannon Hale.
Timothy J. Bradley
Shannon Hale

Timothy J. Bradley is an author and illustrator. His first novel, Infestation, is now available.

Meanwhile, on the opposite spectrum is Shannon Hale, author of The Princess in a Black, which my daughter has yet to put down since I've brought it home. The Princess in Black is my kind of story -- a princess who refuses to do exactly as she is "supposed" to, who takes on a secret identity, and who has some major ninja skills. Very cool.

Other Authors!

Angelica Houston!

Karen Abbott

Linda Farstein


I was so lucky to have my Friday start off by meeting some of the coolest ladies at BEA -- Wunderkind PR.

I was there to have a meeting with Cara Mieles -- to talk about their upcoming books, and ended up meeting the entire team! Their passion and enthusiasm were contagious and I left that meeting feeling so renewed and reminded of why I go to BEA in the first place -- to meet people who love books just as much as I do.

Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Next up was a Simon & Schuster Teen Lunch.

Me with Becca Fitzpatrick!

I had such a wonderful time getting to meet the authors at this lunch (Martina Boone, Kresley Cole, Becca Fitzpatrick, Christina Lauren and Scott Westerfield), hearing about their books first-hand was an awesome treat. As a wanna-be author, myself, it's always nice to see how other writers get their inspiration and motivation for their stories. I'm particularly interested in Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield. It's actually two books intertwined into one -- such a refreshing twist!

I ended the day with a lot more books than I thought I would (every year, I vow to be a bit more picky) but so happy with the time I had. I met wonderful people who share my passion and drive to be surrounded by words 24/7 -- librarians who want to keep the live of reading alive; authors who looked thrilled to be signing for the first time at BEA; bloggers who can tell you every title of every book they've ever read; and publishers -- who just want to put out a product that can make an author proud of what they've accomplished. It truly is incredible.

Alas, I learned that next year will be the last for BEA in NYC. I will definitely be in attendance and enjoying every last moment of a book lover's paradise. Until then...I better get reading!

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