Friday, July 7, 2017

ALA Annual Recap: Day 2

I was sad I couldn’t sleep in a bit for Sunday, because certain publishers (*cough* Little, Brown and Penguin Random House *cough*) decided to schedule book drops at nine fucking in the morning. Which was the most unintelligent decision of all drops/signings I witnessed last weekend. You do not drop your two biggest titles at the same time, and then not expect a stampede. People fucking RAN. It was crowded and there was pushing and shoving, and dear Lord it probably wasn’t as bad as Macmillan’s thing from BEA 2016, but it was pretty damn fucking close to it. And afterward, I had no idea Penguin was doing an actual drop so I missed out on Wonder Woman, which had been my #1 priority. I was able to grab The Cruel Prince, Invictus, and Gunslinger Girl though. But it was disappointing given how much I love Leigh’s books. However, the coolest thing ever happened next and I will probably continue to fangirl over it for eternity.

Emery Lord’s signing was at 10, so I walked around for a bit, and then I figured I might as well see what Bloomsbury’s booth was like. There were only two people waiting, so I hopped in, hoping once I met Emery I’d be able to get to Alexandra Bracken’s signing at 10:30. (I wasn’t able to, which only made me a little sad because I wanted to meet her again. Missing the book wasn’t a big deal). Anyway, Emery was at an author thing, so she was running late. But Blooms didn’t rush the signing, which I so, so appreciated, especially after it was my turn. After a back and forth of How are you today? Good, how are you? she said I looked familiar. And I was like, we haven’t met before. But she mentioned the internet and I laughed and said yeah, I’m on Twitter a lot. She was like, your name starts with an H, don’t tell me. And then she got it, and I was like omgggg I can’t believe you recognized me. I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT. You know, I’m *really* good at this too, so I didn't find it creepy but flattering. I’m sure she gets so many msgs and mentions a day that I thought I just got lost in the shuffle. But NO. And my heart was sooooaring. She’s one of my forever faves and I’m so glad I got to meet her and tell her how much The Names They Gave Us means to me. And just, gah. *heart-eyes forever*
(huge shout-out to Zoey for taking all the pics for me, esp documenting my experience meeting Emery, since posed pictures weren't an option)

So yeah, I was like on Cloud 9. Sabrina, Zoey, and I had quite a bit of time to chill before this Penguin panel that we wanted to go to, and when we saw how small the line for Mary Weber’s signing was, we hopped in it. I still haven’t read her Storm Siren trilogy, but she was super nice and I cannot wait to read her newest book. Our big thing for Sunday was that panel, which lemme talk about real quick. It was to generate book buzz for Penguin titles, and when Sabrina asked the same publicist who had mentioned it to her later if it was okay if bloggers came, she was like yes! We love bloggers! So, you know, NOT EVERYONE HATES US AND WANTS US GONE FROM ALA. They were handing out ARCs and mimosas and they had these cute little tote bag and ice cream scoop goodies sitting on the chairs. It was interesting, and Zoey and I ended up staying for the whole thing. After that, we found our way back into the exhibit hall and signings we wanted to hit up.

I met Kerri Maniscalco again, and scored Hunting Prince Dracula. I really liked her first book, didn’t love it unfortunately, but I’m really excited about this one. And since Brandy Colbert had a short signing line across the aisle, I was able to jump in there and get a copy of Little & Lion, which is one of my highly anticipated fall titles! Somewhere before the afternoon hit too, we all got stuck in this mess of a crowd for Melissa Albert’s signing for The Hazel Wood. I’d just like to mention that I am not naive enough to believe that all bloggers behave professionally and politely at these conferences. It was apparent at both of the ALAs I’ve attended, and at this signing. The Mac publicists tried to shove so many people in one small space, and then there were others who were blocking the booth, even though publicists kept telling them not to and the author was sitting on a chair in the corner and signing copies on her damn lap. It was a DISASTER. And honestly ALA really could’ve used an autographing area like BEA has. So yes, I’m aware of the bad behavior. But as I’ve stressed, you’re not looking at badges very often, so you never know which group someone belongs to or if they belong at all.

I’m sure some of them were bloggers. I wouldn’t be surprised, given behavior I’ve witnessed from my own group at ALA, compared with BEA. But that’s another post for another day. ;) After all of this, my last big item of the day was Anna-Marie McLemore’s signing at 2. AND IT WAS SO AMAZING TO MEET HER. She seemed really surprised I’d read the book already, but I’m glad I got to tell her how much I love Wild Beauty. And just meet her in general, as she’s become one of my favorite authors. Then I hopped into Penguin’s booth afterward and got Whichwood + a yummy chocolate-covered strawberry. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get it, so wanted to do another little shout-out to the sweet Nicole from Feed Your Fiction Addiction for getting me a copy of it anyway (which she got to keep herself instead). :) Once over, we all hung around for the Foolish Hearts drop at 3 p.m. And theeeen it was time to say goodbye to Zoey, which SUCKED. I’m so glad she was able to drive down for the conference and that we got to spend so much time together. No one can make me cry over the marauders and Sirius like she does. :p

After we left ALA, Sabrina and Shannon and I parked and walked to the Disney store because OBVIOUSLY. I picked up a few things for the fam and a shirt for myself, and then I went to Lush for the first time with Shannon, which was all she could talk about, even weeks leading up to the conference. Hahaha. Then we picked up Portillo’s for the ride home (which disappointed me greatly this time, but OH WELL). We both spent the night at Sabrina’s, and I wasn’t even mad that I woke up while Shannon was getting ready to leave, because I could actually say goodbye to her, which always fucking suuuuucks. EVERY SINGLE TIME. It doesn’t get any easier, even after all these conferences together. Then I slept in because my mom didn’t care what time she met up with us to get me. So I got to chat with Sabrina for a bit more, who is honestly one of my favorite human beings of ever, and I’m so happy we live less than 2 hours away from each other. But I was also definitely excited to get home and rewind for a bit. It was a LONG weekend, and an even longer past week of work, so I finally got my much-deserved introvert time. Can't wait to get to all these awesome books I picked up from the conference.. ;)