BEA 2013 Recap (Part II): a tale told (mostly) in instagrams

Book Expo America a.k.a. When 90% humidity, sleep deprivation and hours in line can’t stop you from having the time of your life.

So, remember how I said I knew what to expect from BEA going in? Well, when the time came to actually go in, all of that disappeared from my brain. I wandered in 1000% lost and thank god I just stumbled into the right signing line, otherwise I might still be roaming Javits. But it only took me an hour or so to get accustomed to the layout and pretty soon I was darting all over the place.

This, I would soon discover, would become my life for the next 3 days. I was on my feet 9-5 thanking God that there was a Starbucks on the convention floor. I was powered by adrenaline and caffeine – and the kilos of books on my shoulders meant nothing. It was friggin’ Disneyland.

One of the best things about BEA: the bloggers. I met the lovely Mara (Girls in Capes) that first day, who introduced me to both Susan (Read This, Eat That) and Feliza. It was a lot easier to approach publishers in pairs, so some of the best publisher experiences I had were with them and Tania (Literary Cravings). (Excluding one awesome argument about Sansa Stark over at Source Books – nothing gets the blood boiling better than the Game of Thrones!)

So, yes, you do have to stand in line a lot at BEA – but that is one of the best parts. It gives you an opportunity to talk to fellow book lovers, learn the gossip, find out about books that you might not have otherwise heard of, exchange ARCs and, well, have someone watch your bag while you pop over to grab a coffee and/or publisher. Seriously, people, even if you aren’t British, you’ll quickly love the BEA queuing.

I followed the advice online and checked a bag the first afternoon. On days 2 and 3 I made sure to bring along a wheelie bag as I had to walk a lot after the convention to get back to my hotel and on to the theatre. NYC may be walkable, but it was rather like walking in an oven while carrying your own coffin. 

… I don’t do well in the heat.

Anyhow, I met so many authors while I was there they’ve actually rather blurred in my mind. Though I know the US often sends dozens of authors out on tour together, we have nothing like that in the UK. To see 2 or 3 at once is highly unusual – but at BEA? Well, Harlequin had Elizabeth Scott, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Sun, Katie McGarry and Dawn Metcalf together not once, but twice. That’s kinda amazing

So, for the record, I met: Victoria Schwab (super lovely), Amanda Sun (super, super lovely), Richelle Mead (!!), Ally Carter, Brandon Sanderson, Maria V. Snyder, Jonathan Maberry, Eve Silver, Teri Brown, Holly Black, Anna Jarzab, Leila Sales, Jennifer Castle, Sarah Dessen (!!), Marie Lu, Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan, Elizabeth Scott (sweetest person ever), Amy Tintera, Ellen Datlow, Alice Hoffman, Kendare Blake, Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young, Romily Bernard, Lauren Myracle, Dan Krokos, Elizabeth Norris, Katie McGarry, Dawn Metcalf, Dot Hutchison, Ted Dekker, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, Julie Kagawa, Sean Williams, Deborah Noyes, Michael Pocalyko, Amy Herrick, Faith Erin Hicks, Sarah Jio, and Tyler Whitesides.

*wipes brow*

In case you hadn’t noticed: I had an amazing time. I met so many amazing people and would highly recommend that you all give it a go sometime – whether as a blogger or as a power reader. However, I’m also glad I took the evening off from author events: it gave me much-needed time away from the chaos and the opportunity to bleed money on Broadway (Matthew Broderrik! David Hyde Pearce! I couldn’t possibly keep away.)

Shelf Analysis: Covers that freak me out

A word of warning.  This post is going to be completely and utterly devoted to book covers that freak me out.  Scary, scary covers that make me want to hide under my blanket.

I’ve noticed that a few UF/YA covers have taken a bit of an edge to them.  Sure, there are still lots of pretty guys and kick-ass girls, but there are more and more that seem to have use stills from horror films as their cover images.  Perhaps we’ve just gotten darker and love the goosebumps when get when we see a scary book cover.


0.4 by Mike A. Lancaster
Eep!  There are wires plugged into his veins.  Seriously, icky icky icky.  Reminds me of that scene in the Matrix when Neo wakes up covered in goo.  Also, the cover reminds me a little of tentacles.  Scary stuff.

The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
OMG those eyes!  I really can’t look at this one too long without feeling like the girl is acccusing me personally.  Talk about wanting to run and hide.


The Evil Within by Nancy Holder

Another nightmarish girl on another nightmarish cover.  This practically exudes The Exorisist!
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The Replacement cover is probably the scariest on here. This is so effective at unsettling people because it deals in binary oppositions – the safety and comfort of a baby carriage vs. the danger and cruelty of sharp instruments.  Add to that the spooky fog and dead tree: you’ve got the scariest cover known to man.  Whoever made this thing was a disturbed genius, and the UK publishers must have been out of their mind when they replaced it with the blah-cover they’re using now (albeit, less likely to make people want to cry when they see at Waterstones).


Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
I adore these covers – at least in the sense that they seriously freak me out.  They both have that edge to them that screams horror film to me.

So, which is your favourite (i.e. which ones make you want to hide under the covers!)?  Or better yet, have I missed out any truly spooky ones from my list?