I’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to attend some fantastic parties hosted by some amazing publishers during BEA week. It was so amazing to meet everyone and while many of us Canadian/Toronto-area bloggers are familiar with our Canadian publishers, it was great to meet the U.S. counterparts!
Tuesday | SimonTeen Blogger Party
Hosted by Simon & Schuster
To kick off my week of BEA fun, Simon & Schuster held a SimonTeen Blogger Party to feature some of their hot upcoming titles. Located at the Hudson Terrace, the venue and decor were spectacular. I did get carded at the door and, being in my 30’s, certainly didn’t think to carry my ID with me although Ardo did vouch for me. Figured if I was underage and going to lie about my age, I’d aim closer to 21 rather than over a decade more than I needed to be. 😉
Immediately we spotted Jamie of The Broke & the Bookish, and it was so amazing to finally meet her in person. We grabbed some drinks, chatted with a few of the SimonTeen team and spotted the Ottawa bloggers before taking our seats for the program to begin. Hosted by author Suzanne Young, she introduced each of the 5 authors and chatted a bit with each of them. Books & authors featured were OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu, Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield, When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young & coauthor Cat Patrick, and Fire With Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian. It was great hearing each of them speak and I got to discover some great books and amazing authors. Jason Reynolds was such a captivating speaker, I definitely wish his book was coming out sooner than January 2014!
After the speakers, there was a raffle draw and the first prize was for a complete, signed, Cassandra Clare library and…. your’s truly won. I was flabbergasted! I’m so ecstatic to have the full 8-book hardcover set, plus the FIRST one outside of their office to own a copy of the movie-cover for City of Bones (which is GORGEOUS btw. I love it more than the actual cover to be honest.), a movie poster and a Clockwork Angel pin! Everyone mingled and snacked on the delicious food some more until the lights came on signalling for everyone to leave. Simon & Schuster were very generous with their (sturdy/awesome!) gift bags that included a copy of all 5 of the books featured that night, as well as Lauren DeStefano’s new book Perfect Ruin. What an incredibly fantastic start to a week of bookish love! Thank you Simon & Schuster for an amazing evening!
Wednesday | Bookrageous BEA Bash
Hosted by BookRiot, BEA & Kobo
Located in SoHo, the lovely Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe was the venue for the Bookrageous BEA Bash. I was debating whether to go to this one or the Teen Author Carnival which was going on at the same time, but my friend Jennifer & I were already in the area so figured we’d go check this out. The space is a beautiful one and we immediately fell in love with it. There was wine & beer on the side, and in the back there was a cafe and a photo booth area. We grabbed a drink and waited for the program to begin.
Now, I have to preface it that maybe I’m used to the events that I often attend in Toronto, and maybe I’m not used to the vibe of these parties but it seemed like 1) everyone already knew everyone and 2) people were just really comfortable with shutting people up. Case in point, a few people went up to speak at the mic to introduce the evening and constantly “joking-but-not-joking” kept telling people to “shut up” and squeezing the blow horn into the microphone. Ouch. And then the format was introduced, where there were several authors in attendance and the theme was “how to recommend books to people”. The first guy was BRUTAL. I’m sure he’s a great guy but as a public speaker? Painful. It felt like this was sprung up on him or something because it was a long 10-15 minutes of rambling. He talked about an under-rated author that he really enjoys but couldn’t quite describe her or her work in much detail other than it’s good, or that “this one’s the masterpiece… it doesn’t really have a plot….” and sentences trailing off, and fumbling with the books to try and find the passage that you want to read? Like I said, brutal. I was ready to leave after that but my friend said we should give the next author a chance. Thankfully she was a lot more succinct and prepared. Her segment was funny and had three “If you liked …, then you’ll like…” with “guy” movies to matching romance novels.
After that though, I’m sad to say that I was just tired and exhausted so we ended up leaving after that second author. I apologize to the authors who came afterwards but it really just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Best part of this though was the discovery of this amazing bookstore with a great mission: to end AIDS and homelessness. Check out their site for more info on their mission!
Thursday | A Conversation on Writing About War for Young People
Hosted by Scholastic
I was in disbelief when I first got the invitation to this Scholastic reception. THE Suzanne Collins and THE Walter Dean Myers? Amazing. Both with upcoming books that deal with war, this was to be a conversation on how to write about war for young people. Surprise host/moderator? David Levithan! Held in the beautiful auditorium of the Scholastic office, the half hour conversation was candid and insightful. Both drawing from personal experiences and knowledge to infuse into their stories. Suzanne’s new children’s novel is entitled Welcome to the Jungle, and pulls from her childhood when her father went to war. Walter’s novel Invasion is a prequel to his previous books.
Once that had concluded, we were welcomed up on their 11th floor rooftop indoor/outdoor space that provided a gorgeous view of the city. Walter & Suzanne signed their books and we got a great (and educational!) gift bag with some discussion/reading guides and other books that have to deal with war. An absolutely surreal and spectacular evening. Thank you Scholastic!
Friday | BEA Reception for Fall 2013 Titles
Hosted by Random House of Canada & Tundra Books
My last evening in NYC began at the Landmarc restaurant in the Time Warner Centre. Not only was I excited to see Canadian representation at BEA, but that they were hosting a reception as well! There was no set format for the evening except an awesome server who I called the wine ninja since she seemed to sense any moment that a wine glass needed to be refilled! The food was also delicious and it was great to mingle with the Random House Canada/Tundra team as well as authors like Charles MacPherson, Steve Smith (aka Red Green) and Robbie & Sebastian Robertson.
Thanks RHC/Tundra for a lovely evening in NYC!