Monday, June 27, 2011

ALA 2011: The Highs, The Lows, and The Embarrassing Moments

It's official:  I'm no longer a conference virgin!!!  Since I started blogging two years ago (yes - 2 years this month!!), I've seen all these great posts about book conferences and always wanted to go to one.  The books, the comraderie, the ambiance, the whole package... it always looked like so much fun!

Well it is....and it isn't.  Here's my own personal highs, lows, and an incident that will leave me forever cringing whenever anyone mentions fairies:

The Highs:
1.  Being surrounded by all things bookish and people who love books and reading.
2.  Hanging out with other bloggers like Rachel, Laura, Autumn, Christine, Sasha, Nerissa, Jess, and a few other bloggers I'm sure I'm leaving out...
3.  Meeting the authors who write the books I love.
4.  The books!  Here's a pretty good round up of what I went home with:

As you can tell from the pics, YA is hot!  So are Dystopian novels.  There are several books I'm super-duper excited about:
Forever and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

Okay, I'm excited about all of them but those are at the top of the list :)

So, what could be the lows, you ask?  Really, there were only a few:
1.  The Lines - ohmygodthelines!!!  If you wanted to meet an author or snag a popular ARC, you had to be prepared to wait for it.  And wait.  And wait some more.
2.  The giveaway information was inconsistent.  For example, a friend wanted The Predicteds by Christine Seifert.  Saturday they told us they were giving them away on Sunday.  We came back on Sunday and they said "Sorry, that giveaway was yesterday".  Wait, what?  But really, for the most part, the publishing people were really nice and wanted to talk about what I wanted to talk about - books!
3.  Disappearing publishers:  I was so excited to see Dreamspinner Press there on Saturday.  I enjoy their publications and they had plenty of books on display.  I asked if they were selling, as they had some print titles I wanted to purchase (most booths wouldn't sell their stock until Monday) and they said they were giving them away on Monday, however, they did not come back Sunday or Monday at all.  I would have paid -I bought other books I wanted- they had some great titles!!!
4.  The not-really-their-fault-but-still-disappointing-incident:  The Lost Copies of Crossed by Ally Condie. This book was the catalyst for my coming back on Sunday (I was supposed to attend on Saturday only)I waited in line for an hour, I was #65 - pretty good, right?  Well, the stock disappeared, no one knows where it went.  I heard it was around 300 copies that went missing.  Penguin was very nice about it though and took everyone's address and promised to mail a copy.  I've already started stalking my mailman.

And, the Embarrassing Moments:
1. First, my most embarrassing moment, aka How I Met Julie Kagawa. I had been waiting in line for Crossed *sobs*, and Rachel and Laura were at the Harlequin booth.  I walked up to where they were standing, and someone asked one of the two ladies behind the booth for a particular ARC.  I asked the other woman for an ARC I was interested in.  As she turned to ask someone to get it for me, Rachel turned to me and said "That's Julie Kagawa."  Me: "What?"   Rachel: "The woman you just asked to get a book, that's Julie Kagawa."  Me: *white as a sheet* Thinking, oh shit, what do I do? ...of course I apologized profusely.  I couldn't even look at her.  I kept turning to Rachel to ask her questions.  Finally, Julie graciously asked me if I would like a signed copy of her book and who to personalize it to...  Me: "To the idiot who didn't know who I was and asked me to fetch her a book?"

Here's the thing - Rachel, Laura and I were standing in line *sigh* to see Nalini Singh *squee!* a few hours later, and I made mention of how embarrassed I was that I asked Julie Kagawa to find me a book.  Guess who was standing right behind me?  Yup, you guessed it - Julie Kagawa.  Where's the hole in the floor when you need it?  Seriously, though, she was very gracious and laughed with me, not at me...really.  I think.

2. I'm sure I've mentioned before how shy I am.  Other bloggers say are social butterflies online...not me.  Don't believe me?  Well, we went to a small gathering of bloggers at a local wine bar.  Probably 20-25 bloggers.  Basically I knew about 3 people (5 if you count my husband and Rachel's husband).  I got a little anxious about socializing with all these strangers.  So I went to the restroom and texted my BFF from the stall.  Then I tweeted about my social phobia.  Yes, from the bathroom.  Go me.  But, eventually, I was pulled out of my shell and did manage to socialize with the book ladies while our menfolk drank beer and talked about being married to book bloggers.  Or sports.  Or something.

So, all in all, ALA 2011 was FAWESOME!!!  Would I do it again?  Absolutely! 


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