____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Sunday, April 24, 2011

IMM19 the mailbox doth overflow

*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren* So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Ok, so I haven’t IMMed in a while…which means I have plenty to share…and after realizing that my word count was 2,150…and my IMM hadn’t even gotten to Saturday, Teen Day at the 2011 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, OR the actual books yet…I ended up starting this IMM in an earlier post, and this is the part where I get to all the shiny, pretty books...eventually.  I promise...

Part II:  The Book Fair

I had originally only intended to attend the 2011 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention on Saturday.  This was decided upon hearing that Tera Lynn Childs would be attending the convention, a mere 3.5 hours (without traffic) from MY. HOUSE.

Favorite author, close proximity=no brainer.

I would have attended the entire convention in a heartbeat…if financing wouldn’t have involved selling a kidney to pay for it.  Reading, writing, workshops, authors…a dream come true, and I have no doubt worth every penny.  But there are still laws about selling organs.  And I’ve become somewhat attached to the idea of high bladder retention, to which I have an idea that kidneys play an integral part.

But by perusing the event schedule, I was able to see a compromise.  $5 for the Saturday Book Fair.  I could totally swing that.

Then, I started hearing about Teen Day, the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention first-ever teen-oriented event, complete with not just Tera Lynn Childs, but all my Books, Boys, Buzz...girl favorites:  Tina Ferraro, Marley Gibson, Heather Davis, Dona Sarkar-Mishra, and former Buzz girl Simone Elkeles.  How many times to I have to say WIN?!?!?!!?

I read and reread, and reread all the Teen Day Information.  No age limit.  So, $5 Book Fair, or $25  Book Fair, plus workshops, plus party with the authors???

So that’s when we decided we’d go to Teen Day…and then we ended up getting day-passes for the Friday events, too.

Upon leaving Saturday night, one of our co-conventioners commented that she felt like she’d just robbed a Barnes&Noble.  It was a fairly accurate statement.

The entire convention was such a mix of crazy-overwhelming-exhilaration—so many people in one place, at one time.  Perhaps it was more akin to a superhero convention…where all the superheroes were still in their secret identities, and nothing but a nametag to identify who they were.  Have you ever tried looking at people’s nametags from across the room in a crowded convention center?—Yeah, it was pretty much like that.

And if I’d thought the Friday night Expo was crowded, Saturday’s Book Fair was easily 10 times more so.  Completely disorienting, not knowing where to look, where to start, where to go.  My one real objective was the table of YA authors at the entrance to the room.  And I certainly wasn’t the only one.

Then my sister and I had a second objective thrust upon us:  A scavenger hunt.   A flyer with pictures of close to two dozen books, the mission:
To get as many of the author’s signatures as possible before the end of the Book Fair.

Since I hadn’t gotten past the second row of authors at Friday’s expo (because of my inquisitive and chatty nature) my sister and I decided to finish the scavenger hunt first…then go back to browse.  There were tables marked 1 through 18, and most people seemed inclined to start at the beginning.  In a highly strategic move, we decided to start at the end, hopefully encountering less traffic.

Did I mention our inquisitive and chatty natures???—Well, the Book Fair was quickly coming to a close by the time we had all the signatures—There were two authors that had been unable to come, or had left early, but I’d say we did pretty well.  It was quite a challenge for both of us—In the real world, we’re both magnets for books, the books call to us whenever we enter a store.  But here, in this labyrinth, it wasn’t just the books, with their familiar covers calling to us, but the authors, sitting next to their shiny, precious books.  I think my Nook was the only thing that saved me from going crazy.  I would’ve wanted to buy SO MANY things, except, now even as much as I love the authors, and the autographed books, I want the e-versions—I want to never leave any of my favorite books at home ever again.

So whenever I felt close to buying something, I told myself (and/or the author), that I had or would get the e-version.  And I made sure to grab as many bookmarks, etc., as possible to remember which ones I was interested in. ;)

And while I’ll grant you that most of my superstars were sitting at the YA table, but that didn’t mean there weren’t a few adult authors I was excited about—When my sister and I turned the corner of a table and saw Debbie Macomber, my first reaction was to elbow my sister and say “Oh my god; she’s real!”  Truly a fan moment in a succession of fan moments.

And just as everything was closing, I made it to the YA table—Perfect timing, because I had all the authors to myself!!!!  :D

Rachel Vincent looks SO young!!!  Seriously!!!  And Jeri Smith-Ready!  And Carrie Ryan!!!  Sophie Jordan (I will never get tired of seeing her!)  Michelle Jaffe (with the most incredibly fun outfit!!)!!!  And all my Books, Boys, Buzz… girls—Marley Gibson!  Tina Ferraro!  Simone Elkeles! Dona Sarkar-Mishra!  Heather Davis!  Tera Lynn Childs!!!  I don’t know if there is a word to describe how it felt, seeing all of those authors at one time, at one table, but I’m going to say fantasm.  Fantasmically. Super. Amazing.

And Teen Day was just getting started…The Book Fair was followed by Speed-Reading and Speed-Dating panels.  The Speed-Reading panels consisted of a dozen YA authors reading short excerpts from their books, and then taking questions.  I could tell you how hilarious Sarah Rees Brennan was, not to mention her tale of flirting through sea-sicness—Or Rosemary Clement-Moore’s scantily-clad girl chasing a cow through a field—Or Rachel Caine’s vending machines for vampires—How I got CHILLS hearing Tera Lynn Childs read about Lilly telling Quince the truth about mermaids.—How enchanted I was by Clare B. Dunkle’s revelation of the story before a story—And Heather Davis’s epically poignant boy-meets-girl-in-a-time-vortex moment—Of Kady Cross’s transition from Jekyll to Hyde.  But I wouldn’t be able to leave out the way everyone sat captivated by the voices of Anne Aguirre, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Carrie Ryan, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Kristi Cook, Kimberly Derting, Rachel Vincent, Kelly Armstrong, Jeri Smith-Ready, Melissa de la Cruz, and L.A. Banks.

There was a surprising nervousness at the authors’ table.  Apparently it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been published, how many books you’ve written, or even if that you’re packed in a room with fans and admirers…because all of a sudden, in one moment, it comes down to YOU (the author) reading OUT LOUD, IN. FRONT. OF. PEOPLE.  They cracked jokes, released the tension, and after a second of reading, each was instantly Scheherazade, spinning tales to an enraptured audience.  They were all magnificent, but over too soon, almost before they’d begun.

And Speed-Dating, the chance for authors to sit down and chat with readers.  For five minutes.  Then the authors rotated tables.  Can I say brilliant????  It was another true fantasm moment, getting to talk with Sophie Jordan (again;), Kimberly Derting, Michelle Jaffe, Jackie Morse Kessler, Carrie Ryan, Claire B. Dunkle, and Kami Garcia.  My first reaction upon meeting Kami Garcia was to exclaim, “Oh my god—You’re YOU!” as I pointed at a now autographed Beautiful Creatures bookmark sitting in front of her.  To which her response was, to smile and say, “Well, half of me.”

The only defense I have for my sudden inability to communicate coherently is that I believe all the good dialogue was being sucked out of the air by the presence of so many amazing authors in one room.

…Now, some of you may remember this started out as an IMM post…but I just can’t help myself from telling you how all these beautiful, stunning, amazing books came into my possession…

The Teen Party.  Free swag.  Free books.  And authors beyond your wildest dreams.

Oh, and one other thing…Chaos.

We were given swag bags as we entered the room, and after a quick tallying of books in our possession, the masses set out to get their books signed.  My second scavenger hunt of the day.

I’ve always had a superstition, I can’t think of when it started, or any good reason for it, but I don’t like to look at the author’s picture on the back flap of the jacket, or back of the cover until after I’ve finished a book.  It feels like bad luck.  I don’t what could happen, except perhaps the worst thing, that I might not like the book.  Maybe it’s the idea of having their picture hovering over me as I read, the expectation to love it—Or maybe it was a creepy Stephen King author picture, where his eyes just seemed to follow me, to pierce straight through the book, leering at me in a way that seemed so much spookier than the story.  Like I said, I really don’t have a good reason for it, but I always get a sense of satisfaction, turning that last page, finally looking at the masterful author, and saying a silent thank you for a much enjoyed story.

And the only reason I’m mentioning my little superstition, is because it is that much harder to ask an author for their autograph if you don’t know what they look like.  And if you don’t know what they look like, in a room full of authors that you don’t know what they look like, in a room full of fans.  Like I said…Chaos.

With authors and fans all mingling and milling around the room, my sister and I quickly tapped into strategic maneuvers; She stayed with the books, sorting them for duplicates, while I grabbed a handful of my most familiar books, with the authors I was able to recognize easiest and took off to grab their signatures.  I circled the room, came back, and swapped them out with my sister.  Meanwhile, other fans were circling trying to trade books they already had, and stopped by to trade with my sister.  And at the end of the whirlwind chase, I had (to the best my knowledge) captured an autograph for every book whose author was present.

I would like to thank every author who attended for such a truly magical experience and the following publishers for contributing to the swag and book freebies of fantasmic proportions:

Egmont USA
Harlequin Teen
Little Brown
Simon and Schuster
St. Martin’s Griffin

Oh yeah, and the books?  Well…since you asked:

From the Avon Dusk to Dark Party:

From the Teen Day Party:

The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong, Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Abandon by Meg Cabot, Heist Society by Ally Carter, Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz, The Clearing by Heather Davis, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro, The Awakening, Ghost Huntress, Book 1, by Marley Gibson, Eona by Alison Goodman, Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey, Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter, Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade, Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler, Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr, Evermore by Alyson Noël, Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse

Ridiculously amazing, right!?!?!?!?

And for those of you who are curious...I did end up with a couple of duplicates...so hopefully there will be some giveaways coming soon...but I'm not going tell you which books just yet, so you have to keep an eye out!!! ;D



Anonymous said...

Can I tell you how ridiculously jealous I am of your Nightshade sequel book? Especially since (from what I have heard) the finished copy is going to have a different cover. Boo. And yaaay, awesome books are awesome. I hope you have a lot of fun reading them.

Alison said...

Oh dear...jealous as can be for going to those events. Especially for Wolfsbane.

nymfaux said...

I actually feel a little guilty about Wolfsbane--because I haven't read the first one--But it seems meant to be: At the convention, there was a girl that was looking all over and wasn't able to find anyone to trade for it--so I actually traded my copy to her, since I knew she really wanted it, and even though it looked good, I was ok, because I hadn't read the first one...Two minutes later, someone else traded with my sister and so after all that, we still ended up with a copy! now I'm working on tracking down Nightshade at the library! :)