Looking back at BEA2013

It’s been a week since I came back from New York, but my head and my heart are still wandering around Manhattan and jumping on the 3 to Brooklyn. I have an intense love for that city, so I hate leaving as much as I love visiting. Last week I posted about the two covers I now have and the pre-order information for the anthology containing your first peek into the world of The Dream War Saga, but I couldn’t bring myself to post about BEA. Thinking about it just reminded me that it was over. And that is sad. I told myself that I was waiting on a video of the reading portion of my cover reveal, but that’s a lie. Well, half lie. I am waiting on that, but it’s not like I can’t post without it. So I will. Now.

It wasn’t until 8 am the morning of my cover reveal that my editresses decided I would read. Seriously. They called me just before 8 that morning and said, “We thought it would be a good idea for you to read your first chapter.”

CUE THE BEGINNING OF MY FREAK OUT.

The next five hours were a slow descent into the kind of trembling, twitching nervousness I haven’t felt in years. My friends Asja and Alex literally had to drag me away from the Spencer Hill booth the half an hour before my reveal to try to distract me. Alex tried the biceps of the Ellora’s Cave models and Asja tried books, glitter, and bubbles, but nothing worked. Somehow, I made it back to the booth in time to wait for the actual countdown to begin.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I got to meet some of the other SHP authors like the Rock sisters! They’re so sweet! My wonderful NY-roommates Sarah Guillory and Megan Whitmer were both there to support me as well as so many other awesome, amazing people! Like my glorious editresses Danielle and Patricia. The presence of actual people waiting to see my cover and hear me read was… well, daunting comes to mind!

But I didn’t pass out! Instead, these things happened:

My editresses introduced me and my cover designer Jeremy West

Jeremy and I drew the curtain back to reveal SSN!

We took pictures with the cover model, Kit, and the SHP group behind SSN

And then I started reading the first chapter of Sing Sweet Nightingale. Like, out loud. To PEOPLE! Well, it was really only the first seven pages because the first chapter is kind of intense and also intensely long, but they’re INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT PAGES. Things happen. Things that, apparently, make people cry during author readings.

Yes, you read that right. More than one tear was seen during my reading and it made me want to cry happy tears of my own!

When you write something, it becomes important to you. The characters and the moments in their lives matter. Will that translate to a reader when they pick up the book? Did you pick the right words to get the emotion across? The happiness, the sadness, the pain, the joy, the whatever they’re feeling at the time–did it work? Seeing their reaction first hand made all my shaky nerves worth it. The failure nerves before the reading began and the OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED nerves from after.

I did it, though. I didn’t pass out and my words were intelligible and I didn’t cry while I was reading (which I actually worried I would, considering the section I was reading) and people liked what I read and the cover we showed them and I just… It’s so hard to describe. I’m still in the middle of edits, so the reality of other people seeing and reading and understanding my obsession with The Dream War Saga universe feels so far away and impossible. But it’s not! It’s already happening!

I met so many wonderful bloggers while waiting in line to grab books and even, while I was at a really amazing City of Bones event, met a fantastically sweet book buyer and blogger from Austin and her twin sister who KNEW WHO I WAS! Talk about surreal. They even asked me to autograph my business cards! Which I gladly did. My first ever autograph! I was so lucky to be standing in line next to them so I got to give them hugs and realize that there are people in other parts of the world talking about my book!

The rest of the time I spent in NY, though, was just for the hell of it. I got to spend time with some friends I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like and was able to spend Memorial Day eating yummy food, phenomenal ice cream, and laying in the sun at Prospect Park with Asja. And I can’t wait to go back!

Asja and I at Prospect Park in Brooklyn
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