First up, BookExpo America--I woke up on May 31st at 4:30 AM for my 6 o'clock flight, but I wasn't a bit tired--I think I was being super hyper or something. And then the whirlwind of the convention took me up. The place was so huge, and there were so many people. I met amazing authors--namely, the Young Adult authors I had been following for a bit of time: Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, and Kat Zhang!
This is them! I am second from the right (Sarah wasn't pictured.)
I also met Robyn Schneider, whom I long admired, and was super sweet.
But best of all, I met Grant Faulkner,the director of Nanowrimo--and I think I was kind of fangirling (which, by the way, Blogger wanted to correct to fang idling--which doesn't make any more sense). He was amazing. Being the nice and humble person he was, he agreed to take a picture with me, and when I told him how much Nanowrimo had helped me, he seemed to be surprised and happy at the same time.
After my two-day explosion of BEA had ended, my dad and I went down to Baltimore, and then to Philadelphia to meet author Andi Buchanan!
I emailed Andi back when I was 9, and her Daring Book for Girls book had come out. Eventually, we established a great friendship over email, where she is a brilliant mentor and we talk about books and writing and piano--I have been learning it for a long time, and Andi herself was once a concert pianist. And 5 years later, I was so incredibly glad to finally meet her!
And then there was the stack of books that I acquired. I think the picture speaks for itself.
But I cannot express in words how INSPIRING this trip was--to connect with industry professionals, to meet the authors I wanted to meet for a long time, to tell them thank you.
I wasn't sure about this trip, because I wasn't anywhere in the industry yet--after all, I still was an unknown writer. But BEA went above and beyond all my expectations, and I returned with a suitcase of books and a heart literally bursting with the energy and inspiration--just what I need for the next stages of my writing.
Speaking of which, I will have another post up shortly, about the ongoing journey into Revisionland.