Monday, June 1, 2015

My BEA 2015

This year I attended first Book Expo of America. And IT. WAS. AWESOME. I began my day meeting my editor, of Leap Books, Judith Graves, in the cafeteria. Informal and splendid, I've learned that I must have one of the coolest editors out there.  She’s multi-talented, wise and plays guitar! Both of us, musicians and writers, we connected like a 3/4-time signature, storytellers through and through. Even Thoreau was a musician. The essay, On Duty and Civil Disobedience, figures prominently in The Unmoving Sky, my YA suspense with Leap Books. (Spring 2016)

Three "generations" of Leap Books. Judith Graves, founder, Laurie Edwards, and Shine author, K.L. Hallam.
Back to BEA. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect.  The unknown is what often causes us anxiety. But once I got there, everything opened up and I found my place. I meet with, Gail Nall, talented MG & YA author and Kidliterati contributor. She showed me the ropes: how to stand in line, and WAIT. Yeah, that’s pretty much the rhythm of BEA, a lot of waiting, standing and searching for a place to charge your phone. I used the handy-dandy BEA app, which worked fine enough for me. I noticed many print outs in the hands of other attendees, (the pros). But I got by.

Me with YA & MG author, Gail Nall.
I stopped in at a couple of the Blogger/Social Media talks, one of which was supposed to show authors and publishers how to utilize social media for their book sales, but that talk turned into a sales job for Bookgrabbr. And one, meek voice in the crowd stepped up to call them out on it. They immediately apologized and threw us a bone. I enjoyed listening to best-selling authors, Juliana Baggott, Elin Hilderbrand, Kimberla Lawson Roby, talk about their writing process. I always love hearing how authors use their time and writing techniques. I spent Thursday at BEA, and in the morning the exhaustion and excitement hit me like a hangover. And while BEA was in town, along with several writers from my amazing and supportive group, Kidliterati, we gathered that Friday night. It was the icing on the cake!  But we sure did miss the others.  

Benjamin Brooks, Brian Sargent, Chris Brandon Whitaker, Ella Schwartz, Melanie Conklin, Gail Nall, and (me) K. L. Hallam #mgbetareaders. Only 8 representing our 24 members of Kidliterati.

Until Next year BEA!