I am OBSESSED with Broadway Musicals. So when I learned that our publisher BLINK was sending Lorie and me to New York City for The BookExpo America, I immediately started scheming for a way for us to see Pippin during our brief trip. Alas, our schedule was so jam-packed that a show wasn’t in the cards. But, as you’ll see throughout my anecdotic revue of BEA, we didn’t need a Broadway show to have a magical time.
NYC is ex-citing, mystic and exotic … and wet.
Join us on an exciting journey that starts Tuesday evening near Times Square. Just being in the Big Apple made me want to burst out in song, ala Annie. The cold, drizzling rain didn’t put a damper on our spirits as we met up with friends, including our Honestly YA blog sisters, Jennifer and Kristi. Over Greek, we talked arts and literature—I got deets on the casting progress of the Into the Woods movie, which is going to be epic! *Agreed? Agreed!* And I managed to get through the night without embarrassing myself.
Masterfully handled humor: Carey drops a GIANT blueberry down her shirt!
Wednesday morning Lorie and I grabbed breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Wait … a place where they serve you food and sing? Awesome!!! The wait staff, all aspiring actors, was so enthusiastic about our little book inspired by Brigadoon they announced it over the mike.
Of course that’s about the right time for a giant blueberry to roll off my spoon and drop down my shirt! Several things happened next … mortification, near-hysterical laughter (that was Lorie), and finally acceptance. I would’ve excused myself and headed to the bathroom, but a singing waiter was hovering, crooning and drawing attention to us. Not wanting to reach down my shirt in public, I turned to Lorie saying, “Remind me, later, that it’s in there.” Luckily, blueberry-zilla rolled out the bottom of my shirt and plopped onto the floor before corrective action could be taken. *Whew*
Going along our way Broadway: DOON does a Flat Stanley.
After a hearty breakfast of perilous fruit and show tunes, we took our DOON galley around Times Square and the theater district snapping pictures like true tourists. DOON even posed with some random New Yorkers. Then it was time to meet up with our agent for Thai. (New York has so many yummy ethnic restaurants!)
Plots of disaster: Lorie and I almost die in a cab!
Okay, that might be a shade melodramatic but it seemed like certain death at the time. Mid-afternoon, Lorie and I caught a cab to our first signing: The School Library Journal Day of Dialog at Columbia University. The drive was only 4 miles, right up Central Park but the traffic, just like in the movies, was horrendous. So our driver would go from a dead stop to 50 miles an hour—but I SWEAR, it felt like 80—and back to a dead stop. Over and over. My life began to flash before my eyes and I started composing our obituaries: They wrote well and died poorly… Before I could text anyone my final words, the ride was over. And then the real terror kicked in—our first signing!
Performing parts and warming hearts: Our first DOON signing.
Being a launch title of a new imprint is a little bit scary. What would these YA savvy librarians think of our book? Would it live up to its gorgeous cover and the hype? I needn’t have worried because our rock-star editor Jacque had already won over the attendees! They raved about her raving about DOON and many people were eager to read it.
We also got to meet Zondervan’s *wonderful* VP of Marketing, Chriscynethia, and see our stunning DOON posters. Squee!
Taking kings and things by storm: Being Lead Players *Dee-dle-e-dee*
After a much calmer cab ride back to the hotel, we headed to a local lounge to nosh and socialize. It was wonderfully special and bit surreal to hang in NYC with publishing professionals, and press—some of the coolest people. I was relieved none of the appetizers involved blueberries!
Thursday morning it was finally time to head to The BookExpo America. The Javits Center is HUGE! Filled with publishers giving away tales of fables and foibles, including our book.
Finding our corner of the sky: We run out of galleys.
After a busy, brief signing at the SLJ Library Lounge, we headed for the beautiful HarperCollins banners for the main galley event. Our line formed quickly and lasted until we ran out of books. It was wonderful to meet bloggers and put faces with names. Even more astounding, some of the attendees had DOON on their TBG (to Be Grabbed) list. One brother and sister duo said DOON was a top book to pick up at BEA. Another person had DOON on their handwritten short list, right above Lemony Snicket! And perhaps the most memorable attendee was the girl who got our very last book. She was trying to find the signing, saw someone reading DOON, and got our location. When she told us this, she mentioned the helpful reader was already on chapter 3.
I can’t express how incredible it is to know that some of the savviest YA readers in the blogosphere are now part of the journey. They’ll be reading our words and falling in love with our characters! They’ll be choosing teams and talking about the DOON series. Lorie and I are so thankful to BLINK for giving us the opportunity to come to BEA to participate in the first galley giveaway. We can’t wait to hear from readers as DOON continues to go along its way!