Buzzin’ from the BEA
May 30th, 2011 by Liza Wiemer

Reflections after the BEA and Teen Author Carnival: 

Me and A.C. Crispin after she signed her novel, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: The Price of Freedom

Awestruck. It’s the word that keeps buzzing in my head now that I’m back from attending the BEA. The Javits Center was huge, crowded, and at times overwhelming. I loved almost every minute of it. My least favorite part was waiting in the author signing lines, which were so looooog that it was common to stand for a half hour plus. On the bright side, I met and talked with others so time passed quickly.

I met many incredible people –– authors and book bloggers and librarians. Many I have admired from interacting with them online. (You know who you are!) I follow them on Twitter, read their blogs, and pay attention to their posts on Goodreads. A few have been featured on this blog, and trust me, they’re even more impressive in person. I take their opinions seriously. If they recommend a book, I often add it to my “to read” list. What they’ve accomplished amazes me. When I see how they’ve built a following with their blogs at fifteen or nineteen I can’t help but admire that. I met men and women who take their book reviews and blogs seriously, putting thousands of their own dollars into their blogs and traveling long distances to meet authors to interview them in person. I can’t help but admire that too. I met authors whose works are absolutely brilliant and they inspire me to strive and work harder at my own writing. I can’t help but admire them. These are people who are passionate about their work. I admire positive passionate people. I’m a passionate person myself so I’m naturally drawn to them.

There are numerous amazing moments that will stick with me for a long time like attending the Teen Author Carnival http://teenauthorcarnival.blogspot.com/. Three YA put the event together. What else can I say but WOW! I confess to being nervous when I introduced myself to Gayle Forman and gushing and gushing and gushing about IF I FALL and WHERE SHE WENT! I fell instantly in love with her parents who approached me and asked what I liked about Gayle’s books. Trust me, I had no problem telling them. 😀  Leah Clifford lit up the room, Carrie Jones was hysterical, Kody Keplinger a sweetheart, David Levithan humble and amazing. I could go on and on about the rest of the authors – they were all terrific! And the bloggers I met, including a woman from Norway, were so friendly.

At the BEA I met many librarians, including Judy a cousin to Lauren Oliver, another author I deeply admire. I had been talking to Judy for a good half-hour before she revealed the family connection. Trust me, Judy is as brilliant and passionate as Lauren, and seeing Lauren light up when she saw Judy was priceless. I wish I could have captured that moment on camera.



The Children’s Author Breakfast Tuesday morning hosted by Julianne Moore was fantastic. Sarah Dessen’s talk was inspiring. She shared a story about going to hear an author she admired who clearly did not respect her choice to write for young adults. The person said something like, “You write YA novels? Well, I suppose someone has to do it.” Sarah ended by saying how glad she is to write for this age group and how much she loves hearing from her fans.  Brian Selznick presented his illustrations from his new novel WONDERSTRUCK and the room was so quiet because people were mesmerized by the beauty of his work.

Finally, I met so many new people, and I’m looking forward to staying in touch. A special thank you goes to Heidi from http://www.yabibliophile.com/ whom I met in the terminal on our way to New York. Seeing your smiling face throughout the BEA was like “coming home.”  And Ellen owner of Dragonwings bookstore in Waupaca, WI http://dragonwings.com/ whom I sat next to on my way home and discovered we like many of the same authors. Turns out she knows my sister!

It may take a few more days to come down from this high. One thing is for sure, I’ll never forget 2011 BEA and the Teen Author Conference.


2 Responses  
Lynn Wiese Sneyd writes:
June 1st, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Wish I could have been there with you! Next time. Your experience sounds amazing.

Andye writes:
June 3rd, 2011 at 4:24 pm

It was great to finally meet you!!

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