Tag Archives: NYC

Insurgent Release Day: Veronica Roth in NYC!

24 May

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One of my favorite YA authors, Veronica Roth *finally* made it to NYC earlier this month to promote the release of her new book Insurgent. Book 2 in the Divergent trilogy. If you’ve been living under a rock, and somehow haven’t ready Divergent yet— go buy it asap! It is one of the best, most absorbing dystopian novels I’ve ever read. It *gasp* may even be better than The Hunger Games!

It’s hard to really review Insurgent without spoiling major plot elements from both it, and its predecessor. But suffice to say, it was even better than book 1. Veronica Roth really understands the motivations and psychology behind ALL of her characters, something I find some authors to really struggle with. Every single person in her books if a fully fleshed-out, realistic character. And she also gave the reasonings and rationale behind the basis for every faction.

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Quite a few people turned out for the release day signing, at Barnes and Noble Tribeca. Veronica read from one of the earlier scenes in Insurgent, then did a short Q&A with the audience before beginning the signing.

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Getting excited about an audience question

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About to sign

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Veronica meeting her fans!

If you get a chance to catch Veronica on her tour–take it! I hear she may be at BEA 2012 too. Her interaction with the audience was candid, informative, and brutally honest about all things Tris, Divergent, and even a little about her personal struggles as an author, and human being.

I gave Insurgent 5/5 STARS. And Veronica 5 stars as well. 😉

Amy Plum’s “Until I Die” Book Release Party

8 May

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On May 8, NYC’s Books of Wonder hosted a launch party for Amy Plum’s second book in the Revenants series, “Until I Die”. She was joined by local authors Jocelyn Davies, and Kristi Cook, along with plenty of macarons, and European candies to complement the evening’s Paris theme.

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The lighting in BOW leaves a bit to be desired, but they are there, I promise! 😉

Amy read a selection from her new book, and spoke a bit about the world of the Revenants. Followed by more book discussions from Jocelyn and Kristi. All 3 are lovely women, and amazing authors that I highly recommend catching in person if they come to your town.

In fact, I missed Amy in 2011 after a transportation snafu, but was excited to finally meet her during her second book tour trip to NYC. Amy was actually one of the very first authors I ever interacted with on twitter, back when I first started this blog!

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Macarons! They were delicious.

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Amy and I. Finally, we meet!

I haven’t had a chance to read Until I Die yet, but I’m hearing it’s even better than Die For Me. I can’t wait to check it out!

All Photos and Content ®2012 Rachel Scroggins

Maureen Johnson’s Name of the Star Publication Party

4 Oct

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Last week, Books of Wonder in NYC hosted what has to be one of the most interesting and entertaining book signings I’ve been to yet for Maureen Johnson’s new YA novel “The Name of the Star”.

A huge crowd of fans waited for Maureen’s arrival, while two “Jack the Ripper” impersonators roamed around and scared audience members.

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There were plenty of awesome buttons for “survivors” of the event to wear.

After a short wait, Maureen finally emerged to a cheering crowd, and entertained us with tales of Ripper research in London, her writing process, and how she’s always shocked when people actually READ the stories that come out of her head. Like magic!

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After the somewhat crazy and incredibly lively Q&A, Maureen began to sign. The line was quite long, so fellow book blogger Bethany and I decided to indulge in some cupcakes and wine (which, at least for me, was a Books of Wonder first). There is just something *naughty* about drinking wine in a children’s book store.

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We all know what wine looks like. These cupcakes were much prettier.

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Not pretty: the table “decorations”.

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More pretty.

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Maureen signing.

By the time it was my turn to meet Maureen, I was slightly tipsy, and remembered why I don’t usually have wine (and sugar!) before dinner. Or at public events. Pretty sure I mumbled something about how her “rambling, Mean Girls word vomit style stream of consciousness speeches make me feel better about my own propensity to talk too much made me feel as if I’d met a kindred spirit” scared her.

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And then someone took a very blurry photo of us together.

Luckily, I learned a long time ago, there is always someone weirder or more intense than you in the audience. Case in point: this dude, who had Maureen sign his forehead.
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Awesome. But weird.

After much more book talk, and a very in depth discussion about Game of Thrones with some new bookish friends, Bethany and I realized the store was about to close, so it was time to go home. We took the conversation outside, and ended up looking like creepy stalkers who were waiting for Maureen, probably scaring her once again. But I feel like if any author would understand this, it would be her.

The Name of the Star is out now, in bookstores everywhere.

®2011 Bookshelf Lust

Kimberly Derting, Lisa Schroeder, Adele Griffin, and Laurie Faria Stolarz at Books of Wonder

5 Jul

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At Books of Wonder, 6/30/11.

Last week, before the holiday madness began, I was able to stop by Books of Wonder to meet a quartet of amazing teen authors.

I had a photo shoot beforehand, which ended up running over time wise making me quite late. And left me without anything to get signed! Sadly, my books were left at home. But I did get some amazing photos, and had a chance to chat with each author about their books, and visit with some fellow blogger friends!

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I told Laurie her “Nightmares” series was one of the very first books/series I bought with my employee discount when I first moved to NYC and worked at Barnes and Noble! She gave me some signed book-plates to put into my forgotten books.

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Laurie chatting with a fan.

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Laurie and Frankie

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Lisa

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I was very upset that my copy of Tighter (which I loved!) was sitting on my bed at home, and not in my hands to be signed by Adele.

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Adele

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Kimberly. We had an awesome conversation about The Pledge, and how much we both love Target!

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The Body Finder goodies.

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Some of the prettiest bookmarks I’ve ever seen!

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Me, Rachael, and Frankie. (Photo via Frankie’s Facebook)

Even though I missed 3/4 of the event, I still had a blast! All of the authors were amazing, as usual. And it was great catching up with some bloggers I hadn’t seen since BEA. It’s pretty awesome how many great authors have made it to Books of Wonder this summer. Hoping there are still many more to come!

All Photos and Content ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.

Jazz Age Lawn Party

28 Jun

I’ve been out of NYC more than in so far this summer. Luckily this weekend, I was able to attend one of my favorite summer city events, the Jazz Age Lawn Party. Called a “Great Gatsby party” by some, it definitely managed to capture the feel of the classic Fitzgerald novel. It is hands down my #1 pick for amazing street style in New York. It happens again in August–if you’re in town, it’s a must go!

Here are a few sneak peeks of the party:

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See more photos & the event recap on my photography blog.

Photos ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.

Stephanie Perkins NYC Meet & Greet

12 Jun

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Saturday, on what would have been just a boring and disgusting rainy day in NYC, I went to one of the best author/blogger events I have ever been to!

I started my weekend pretty bummed out about missing one of my other favorite author’s only nearby US appearance, due to transportation issues. It’s not always easy to get outside of the city when you’re car-less, and trains can get costly and complicated. Thankfully, there was still some hope left for my Saturday!

I’d read on twitter the day before that “Anna and the French Kiss” author Stephanie Perkins was coming to NYC, and would be having a meet and greet with fans uptown. So roomie Jenn and I made the rainy trek up to Bryant Park to meet up with Stephanie, and some fellow blogger friends of mine.

The park was out, so after wandering around a bit, we found a local Cafe with a large basement seating area to hang out in. A few fans drifted in and out, but total there were around 15 of us. It made for quite an intimate gathering, and we were able to ask Steph about her books, characters, future projects, and her writing process.

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3/4 of our group.

Stephanie is absolutely adorable in person. If you like her quirky, fun characters, after meeting her in real life, you will fall in love with her even more. She’s very big on hugs, and has a contagious, goofy laugh. Chatting with her feels like catching up with an old friend.

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We learned that she is in NYC doing research for “Isla and the Happily Ever After”, her 2012 release. Nothing has been officially announced about her next project after Isla, but she did say that she has an idea already planned, and whatever she writes will most likely be a stand alone novel.

That revelation earned quite a few satisfied comments from those of us in attendance. EVERYONE agreed that sometimes, there are just too many series in the YA world, and that stand alone novels are highly missed.

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We also got to hear about how meticulously researched the world-building in her books are. She was still working as a librarian while writing “Anna”. So Stephanie said she checked out every single fiction, non-fiction, comic, and children’s book she could find about France. She also watched every French film she could get her hands on, and analyzed things as detailed as what went on in the background scenes behind the actors to find out how the French lived their lives.

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Rachael’s coveted copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. We all wanted to steal it from her! (Lola takes place in San Francisco, where Stephanie went to college.)

One of my favorite moments of the day: a fellow attendee compared Steph’s work to Jane Austen. You should have seen her face! She was shocked, but I have to say that I think the comparison is spot on. I can’t think of any other contemporary YA writers who capture the same feel of Jane’s work, yet also modernize a story in their own way. One of the reasons I love Stephanie’s writing so much is because it feels so REAL. I can imagine saying and doing the same exact things her characters do were I in their situations.

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Me clutching one of my most anticipated 2011 reads! It was really hard not to pet this book.

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After our big group discussion, Stephanie took time to sign our books, and chat with everyone individually. A few of us posed for photos with her as well.

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Steph and some new friends!

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Signing books.

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Talking with roomie Jenn. They have a TON of mutual friends, from the Harry Potter fandom and Wizard Wrock worlds.

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Steph and Damaris.

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With Mitali.

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Steph & Jenn again.

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Me and Steph. She’s so cute! And I look like a total nutter here. Thanks,rainy weather!

We had a brief chat about her bff Kiersten White’s “Supernaturally“, (which I’m reading now) and whispered about how awesome her favorite character in that book is.

Soon, it was time for Steph to go meet up with a friend. So we all said our goodbyes, and thanked her for an awesome time! Seriously, I don’t know many authors who would set up a spontaneous meet and greet with their fans during a whirlwind, last-minute book research trip. 😉
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Before she left, I photographed Steph’s crazy cool outfit for one of the fashion websites I shoot for. I’ll definitely be posting a link/photos once this week’s street style goes live on their site.

Thanks again to Stephanie for totally making my weekend, and making time for all of your fans. You were beyond awesome, and I hope some day soon you can make it up to NYC again! I had so much fun meeting you, and making some new blogger and publishing friends. ❤

And to everyone else: If Stephanie comes to your town this year, GO!

All Photos ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.
See the full album here.

Spontaneous NYC Book Signing: Stephanie Perkins

10 Jun

If you’ve been reading this blog since it’s inception, you know how much I fan-girl Stephanie Perkins. Anna and the French Kiss was one of the very first reviews I wrote. It was also my #1 favorite book of 2010! I begged and pleaded with all of my friends to read it. And once they did, of course they loved it!

So, I was beyond excited this afternoon to see Stephanie mention on twitter that she would be in NYC this weekend. I immediately tweeted at her saying she should have a spontaneous signing. Apparently, quite a few other fans had the same idea as well. Lucky for us, IT WORKED!

Stephanie will be at Bryant Park in NYC tomorrow for an impromptu book signing and meet and greet:
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See more info on Steph’s blog. Don’t forget to check twitter for updates if it’s raining (which seems likely)! I will be there, with my roommate, and hopefully a few fellow book blogger friends. If you see me, say hi!

BEA Recap: Day Two

2 Jun

I started my second day of BEA by breaking the cardinal rule of attending book expo: don’t be late. My roommate Jenn (a media publicist) and I both seemed to have trouble getting out of the apt. that morning, and also vastly underestimated the length of time it would take to get us from the subway to Javits Center on the far west side of Manhattan.

And: it was HOT. And very humid.

By the time we did walk in to Javits around 9:20am, I already felt dead. But I sucked it up, and after waiting in a very tiny line for our passes, dashed over to the first signing on my list– Jeri Smith Ready. Sadly, there were only 40 or so books available, so I definitely missed getting a signed copy of Shift. Having met Jeri the night before, I didn’t feel too badly, so my next stop was Scott Tracey’s signing for Witch Eyes. I was really excited to pick up a copy after hearing so much discussion of his book on twitter.

Along with roomie Jenn, I ended up hanging out with Lindsi of Books, Sweets and Other Treats in the signing lines. Apparently a crazy older woman actually BIT Lindsi in the arm when she reached past her for a book that AM—an event that would later reach BEA Urban Legend status. (Edit: You can read her account of the incident here.)

Lindsi was shaken by the experience, but appeared rabies-free, so we decided to hang out while we waited for signings to begin. Together, we made an awesome team, and were able to get each other books we would have otherwise missed out on. At one point, running around Javits, we met this bookish Piggie:
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Shortly after we met Melissa de la Cruz (signing Bloody Valentine and Witches of East End), who remembered my blog from the very early “Most Wanted Books of 2011” post I had written about Witches. I’ve met her twice now, and each time Melissa is completely and utterly awesome. She also has the honor of being one of my longest read YA authors (second only to LJ Smith)–I’ve been a fan of hers since the second Au Pairs book!

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Melissa De la Cruz.

After Melissa’s signing, we double teamed the lines of Alma Katsu (The Taker), Claudia Gray (Fateful), Trinity Faegen (The Mephisto Covenant, one of my most highly anticipated YA reads of BEA), and Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Trial by Fire). After, Jenn went back to continue her half day of work, and Lindsi headed to some other signings. I stopped by the Harlequin booth to meet Rachel Vincent. The lines were a bit hectic, but I managed to snag a copy of “If I Die”, and have Rachel sign it. Along with one other similarly named blogger friend in front of me, we all had a nice discussion about the proper way to spell Rachel:

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At some other point that afternoon, I met Trinity Faegen, Jana Oliver, and Jeri Smith Ready again:
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R-L:Trinity, Jana, and Jeri.

I attempted to grab lunch in my downtime, but due to a major Javits FAIL, I wasn’t able to eat. Turns out the entire convention center had lost the use of their credit/debit card network, leaving many attendees unable to purchase food. I was actually chastised by a cashier for not bringing cash, which as a New Yorker, I can say is completely ridiculous. So I continued on, scarfing the only food I had brought with me: a banana, and some peanut butter crackers. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be eating lunch at all that day.

After my lunch disaster, tired, and hungry, I got in line early the Tahereh Mafi signing line for Shatter Me. Which was a good decision, because that line ended up being huge. Tahereh was super nice (and more shy than she seems on twitter), so when I ended up randomly running into her at the Harper Collins booth later that day, she signed a second copy of her book for me to give Jenn, and inscribed it with a “Happy Birthday” message for her!

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Tahereh Mafi.

Post-Shatter Me, a small group of bloggers and I got in line at the Penguin booth for Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines signing later that afternoon. We seemed to be blocking the show floor and the current signing line, so a Penguin employee handed out numbered cards, and told us to come back about an hour and a half later for what was sure to be the biggest YA signing of the day.

As expected, things did not go as smoothly as planned.

People were confused by the number system. People got in line where they didn’t belong. And bloggers were told the number system was “canceled” and the line was a free for all.  Luckily, a smart publicist did a last-minute line organization, so we all managed to get back in line close to our original numbers, and meet Richelle. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to meet her a second time. Since Richelle is 5 or 6 months pregnant, I was surprised she even came to BEA! She was amazing, as always, and we had a brief chat about how busy she was going to be around the end of August. (She has I believe 2 books, a graphic novel, and the baby due all within a week!)

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Richelle Mead.

After scoring both Bloodlines and Shatter Me, I was pretty confident in my author meeting and book procuring abilities. I only had one other “must have” book left to get Wednesday morning.

I got in line to meet Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring, but sadly the books ran out 3 people in front of me –after a BEA volunteer had counted out the number of people in line and told me I’d be the last person to receive one. I was sad, but got over it. I did manage to get Leigh Fallon’s Carrier of the Mark, another book high on my want list, so that pretty much made up for missing out on Faerie Ring. One last stop at Jeff Hirsch’s line for The Eleventh Plague (a highly anticipated post-apocalyptic YA novel), and we were done with day one!

Kind of.

Lindsi, and her hotel roommates Casey, Farrah, and Britney needed to go to the post office, so we hopped on the cross-town bus with our massive suitcases (much to the chagrin of the other passengers), and headed to the giant 34th street USPS location. It ended up being much much cheaper than shipping at Javits, but took forever. I sat outside on the steps and got some sun while I waited, and ended up meeting a woman who works as book reviewer & writer for a Canadian newspaper—who has been going to BEA for 20 years! It was insane hearing the stories she had to tell about past conventions.

After all of day 1’s books were securely shipped off, our group headed to Chelsea to one of my favorite cafe’s, Grey Dog. It felt absolutely amazing to sit down, and finally eat some food. Not only is Grey Dog super yummy, but it’s pretty laid back, which was just what we needed after a long day running around like crazy people doing bookish things.

Finally, I made it home. Where I did not go to bed early (mistake!), and instead pet my new books, and read more of an old one. Other than a few books I missed out on, I had a very successful first day on the show floor. And felt like I was slowly learning what not to do on day 2. Check back tomorrow for that story!

I will leave you with this crazy photo. The end of day 2 book pile, featuring books from Monday and Tuesday:
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BEA Recap: Day One

2 Jun

BEA feels like one hundred years ago after the madness of the last week! After returning to the US Monday, and editing all of my Jamaica trip *and* BEA photos, I’m finally ready to share my experience.

My unofficial first day of BEA was on Monday May 22. I started my morning at the Simon and Schuster Blogger Lunch. I was really excited to hear all about S&S upcoming Fall 2011 releases from the awesome ladies on the marketing publicity teams, and finally meet some of my blogger friends I chat with regularly on Twitter. I also got to see some old friends, the ladies of Good Choice Reading.

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Jamie and Anna.

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Maria, Damaris, and Wanda from GCR.

Author Elizabeth Miles told us all about her new book Fury, which sounds totally awesome, and was already on my goodreads TBR list. Then we saw a short slide show featuring all of the upcoming Fall YA releases. Let me just say, there are some AMAZING books on that list. People in the audience were especially were gasping over The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and The Pledge.

During the presentation, a mini contest was held giving out some of the current and upcoming books. I won a copy of Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Damaris was even luckier, and won the entire re-designed Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld:

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Love the new covers!

After lunch, Ellen Hopkins arrived, and read us snippets of her new novel Perfect. Like all of Ellen’s books, it was a bit graphic compared to most YA. But still sounds completely engrossing, and totally original. After more book chatter, the lovely Simon team had a surprise for us: we were going to the Top of The Rock! I’ve lived in NYC for 5 years, and still haven’t made it up there.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really cooperate and it was incredibly foggy. But it actually made it even cooler, because it felt like we were on a movie set or something. I joked that with all the fog, it would make for a great cover shoot for a YA book about angels. Too bad you can’t plan in advance for weather like that!

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Jenna and her sister Lillie in front of the creepy fog background!

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The ladies of Simon and Schuster.

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April, who is the proud owner of one of the first book blogs I started reading regularly.

After Top of the Rock, Jenna, Lillie and I made a mad dash to SoHo for the Teen Author Carnival. We arrived just as the library started to get packed. I was the evening’s official photographer, so I got settled in, and started documenting the event. Sadly, I broke my best lens on the way to Sunday’s Books Of Wonder signing with Megan McCafferty and Elizabeth Scott (my bag just barely bumped the floor, and the lens now refuses to focus), but I still managed to get some great shots of the huge group of authors in attendance.

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A handful of the authors who participated, before the panels began.

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The schedule.

Some of the books for sale at the event:
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Carrie Jones and Hannah Moskowitz.

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Yara and Damaris with the always wonderful Andrea Cremer.

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The crowd. Or rather, half of it!

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Authors chatting before the panels.

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Mitali and Devyn, introducing all of the authors.

Panel # 1 was called: “Kick Ass Females in YA: And Why It’s A Big Deal To Have Them”.
Featuring:
1. Malinda Lo
2. Andrea Cremer
3. Michelle Zink
4. Courtney Allison Moulton
5. Carole Estby Dagg
6. Elizabeth Scott
7. Michelle Hodkin
8. Kirsten Hubbard

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Carole Estby Dagg

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Courtney Allison Moulton and Andrea Cremer.

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Michelle Hodkin and Kirsten Hubbard.

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Moderator Lisa DesRochers

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Michelle Zink speaking.

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Malinda Lo.

In an additional space, the “Otherworldy Adventures: With a Bit of the Real World Thrown In” was about to begin. I bounced back and forth between each of the panels, but before #2 started, I ran into these two characters:
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Scott Tracey and Leah Clifford. Authors, and roommates. I felt like I already knew them, after participating in a few of Leah’s hilarious late night live shows on BlogTV.

Panel # 2 was introduced, giggling commenced, and I quickly realized this was the goofy author panel:
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The entire panel: Nova Ren Suma, Carrie Jones, Michael Northrop, Leah Clifford, Scott Tracey, E. Archer, and moderator Chelsea Swiggett.

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Karsten Knight was co-moderator.

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The packed in audience!

Back in panel #1, Elizabeth Scott really did not want to be the first author to answer a question:
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I ran into Ellen Hopkins, Mitali’s Mom, Devyn, and Korianne in the hallway.

After a few trips back and forth between each panel, it was time for the second hour of programming to begin:
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Before the authors began speaking, I chatted with Lindsi. Who did not want her photo taken candidly.

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Mitali and Devyn introduce the authors.

Panel #3 was called “Teenage Angst: Getting It Right – The Emotions, The Voice, The Drama” and featured:
1. David Levithan
2. Susane Colasanti
3. Melissa Walker
4. Kody Keplinger
5. Hannah Moskowitz
6. Gayle Forman
7. Torrey Maldonado
8. Caridad Ferrer

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Kody Keplinger, Torrey Maldonado, Caridad Ferrer, and moderator Ellen Hopkins.

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David Levithan and Hannah Moskowitz.

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Susane Colasanti and Gayle Forman.

Back in the tiny room again, the “Debut Author Showcase: The Journey to Publication” panel was introduced:
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The panel was moderated by 2012 debut author and book blogger Lenore Applehans, and featured the following authors:
1. Carole Estby Dagg
2. Amy Fellner Dominy
3. Kirsten Hubbard
4. Bettina Restrepo
5. Michelle Hodkin
6. Nick James
7. Scott Tracey

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Each author began by talking about, or reading from their debut novels.

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Nick James, Amy Fellner Dominy, Kirsten Hubbard, Michelle Hodkin, Bettina Restrepo, and Scott Tracey.

Bouncing between panels, I managed to photograph and chat with a few additional authors:

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Andrea Cremer.

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Gretchen McNeil. We had a great chat about “authors behaving badly”.

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Goodie bags, just waiting to be torn into!

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Scenes from the librarian’s desk.

Back in panel #3:
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David Levithan being thoughtful.

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Torrey Maldonado talked about challenging the stereotype that reading books is “girly”.

Panel #4 again:
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Once all of the panels were completed, the authors divided amongst the two rooms, and held a massive book signing:
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I love Elizabeth Scott, she came so prepared!

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Courtney and David were all smiles!

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Gayle and Kody.

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By the time I made it to the second, smaller and more crowded signing space, I was so weighed down with books and camera gear that I didn’t take any photos! But I did manage to grab Jeri Smith Ready (who was in the audience) to pose for a photo, and force her to listen to me gush uncontrollably about how I devoured Shift and Shade in less than 24 hours:

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Before long, the event was over, and it was time for the massive group photo:
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Trying to get in position.

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Almost there!

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Ready!

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Authors + event co-organizer Mitali

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Mitali and Ellen.

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Me and Andrea, who is beyond nice, and one of my absolute faves.

Overall, Day One was completely and utterly exhausting, but also even more amazing than I could have hoped for. I met some very sweet and kind fellow bloggers, authors, and publishing folk. I practically waddled home with all of my new books (including a highly coveted copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer!), and couldn’t feel my feet by the time I arrived. But it was totally worth it! Come back soon for reports from days #2 and #3 of BEA.

Special thanks to Simon and Schuster, and Mitali, Devyn, and Korianne!
See the full event photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.

Class of 2K11 BEA Week Events

19 May

The event listings just keep on coming! I mentioned the 2K11 book signing at Books of Wonder in the post belowthis one. Well now I present to you a whole week’s worth of 2K11 events happening during BEA. Some of the books on this list are on my “most anticipated” books of BEA list! Be sure to hit up at least one of these, and meet some amazing up and coming YA authors.

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More info, including post-BEA appearances.