Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Three B's of BEA

This is the final installment of my BEA experience for this year.

So what are the three Bs of BEA? Books, books, and books!

After the author breakfast on Wednesday morning, I first went on a mission to find the book cover for Joe Hill's new book, NOS4A2. For those of you who don't know who Joe Hill is, he's the son of Stephen King. Joe Hll is an incredible author in his own right, and after locating the Harper Collins booth, I found the cover of his new book on a digital display there:

A funny thing happened on the way over to find this display, and I'm sure people who have attended BEA before are very familiar with this kind of thing. As I was walking through the Harper Collins booth, I had two books thrust into my hands. I don't think I've ever experienced people wanting to give anything away like that before, so I was taken aback by it. By the end of BEA, however, it became very natural and commonplace. What were the two books you ask? The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman and The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech. I've never heard of either of these books before, but they both look like good ones so I can't wait to dig into them.

Aside from receiving random books, I actively sought out many authors there.

Like John Green, whose book, The Fault in Our Stars, I had already received that morning at the author breakfast.

(Yes, there's my infernal blurry phone camera again.)

My only comment to him was that I had never read anything by him (I figured I'd be honest), and he feigned being taken aback and said that put him under a lot of pressure and that he hoped I enjoy the book.

I got a similar reaction from Maureen Johnson, author of The Name of the Star, when I told her the same thing.

The day before I left, Maureen Johnson was posting info about the Javits Center and made a comment about snakes roaming around the huge conference. So I made mention that I hadn't seen a single snake. She looked all serious for a minute, glanced above her, and said that the thing about the snakes is that they drop down on you from above. Needless to say, I enjoy her sense of humor, which is what got me interested in checking out her books. Can't wait to read The Name of the Star.

Let's see, who else did I see? Oh yes. This guy:

That's me with Mo Willems, author of the fun Pigeon books, among other things. I managed to get a signed poster for his new book, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and a signed copy of The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!, where, as he explained to everyone there, the Duckling gets to steal the show from the Pigeon.

Then there's this guy:

Yes, that's a blurry R. L. Stine, back with another creepy book called Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask. Just take a look at the cover over on the right there. That one will give you nightmares. I'm not sure if he took my comment that my kids and I love books that are a little creepy and "off", because he gave me an equally creepy look back. People tell me he does that kind of thing all the time...

Some other people I saw there:

Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series. He autographed the latest book in the series, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers.

Judy Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones books that my son and I love so much. The latest installment is called Cirque de Ole'. I talked to her about how the books work on different layers for kids and adults, and she quipped that there's a third layer in the Skippyjon Jones books. It's buried under the kitty litter.

The incredibly prolific Joyce Carol Oates. She was autographing her new book, Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You.

Patricia MacLachlan, who has a new book in the Boxcar Children series called The Boxcar Children Beginning. She was so amazing, gracious, and fun when I met her. She not only autographed the hard copy of her latest book, but she also autographed a digital copy of the book which she had sent to me via email after the conference. In addition, she autographed my daughter's copy of Skylark. I loved it when someone in the line mentioned something about an e-autograph not being the same as a real autograph, and her response was to step up, it's 2012, lol.

Finally, that's me with the lovely and amazingly talented Erin Morgenstern, whose book The Night Circus you should put on your reading list immediately if you haven't read it already.

Those are all the pictures I have of everyone I met. If it weren't for my horrible phone camera and the fact that BEA was very overwhelming at times, I'd have more pictures. Next time. And there WILL be a next time. I wouldn't miss this experience for all the world, and I'm only disappointed that I didn't catch on to this much earlier.

Keep checking in at the blog, because I'll have reviews of the books I received at BEA as I finish them. I'll post the reviews on Goodreads (

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