I’m just on the way home from my first Book Expo at the Javitz Center in Manhattan. It was a long day but surprisingly fun. I’ve spent a good deal of time whining the last few weeks about the time and expense of going to BEA. It was a free slot but I had to buy all the copies of The Soul Collector I’d be giving away, hopefully to librarians, distributors and bookstore owners. I also had to buy a train ticket. Because I was determined to do this in a day trip, I took a very early train (6:21am) to arrive in plenty of time for my 11am signing slot. The train station is 55 miles from my house so I was up at 4am, and shaking which is was happens when I get that tired.
But the day got better. I took a Business Class Acela on the way in which is so nice. Roomy seats, quiet people, most of whom were sleeping, like me. When I awoke, I was happy to see I had a Wi-Fi connection. I edited some stories and listened to The Martian Chronicles on my audio books on iTunes (courtesy of my boyfriend who is always providing me with cool stuff).
I arrived in NYC at 9:45 and smiled when I saw the sun. It was in the 60s but sunny. I took short brisk walk (15 minutes) and arrived at the mammoth Javitz Center. I walked in and was instantly overwhelmed, and that’s even before I got to the signing floor. I got my registration badge and found the Horror Writers association booth.
My 75 copies of The Soul Collector had arrived from the printer and were waiting for me. It was 10:40 by the time I sat down and got settled, and already people were crowding around asking for books. It was dizzying and fun. I unloaded all the copies to happy takers within my one hour alloted time. If you’re a writer, you know how much a kick you get out of signing just one book and seeing someone get all excited. So a dose of that times 75 was amazing. Sure, I gave them away and didn’t sell the them, but the people wanted to book and smiled. And that’s really what it’s all about. It really motivated me to start setting up book signings again and put the finishing touches on my next two books: my short story collection and my Women’s thriller.
I got to see some old friends, Gary Frank and Charles Day, Trish Wooldridge, and got to meet Vince Liaguno in person. Plus I met a new person Joshua (don’t remember his last name despite spending time with him in the booth). The place was absolutely packed which says something to all those naysayers who keep blabbing “No one reads anymore.” I beg to differ.
When my books were gone, I wandered the floor and got a few free books. I could have gotten more but didn’t want my bag to get too heavy. I ended up with Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki, which they weren’t giving out but I asked nice and they said okay. I got an ARC of The Stress Pandemic by Paul Huljich because I know stress like nobody’s business and can always use tips. I also got a fun little romance called, Does This Church Make me Look Fat? by Rhoda Janzen.
There were so many rows of publishers and booksellers and authors it was intimidating. How could I possibly make it to the level they’re were at, with a booth at this expo, selling books and schmoozing? Then I laughed because I WAS at the expo sharing a booth and signing books just like everyone else. Note, at this point I was hungry, having had only an Atkins Bar and an Atkins shake since 4am.
I walked the “quick sunny brisk walk” back to Penn Station (saw this funny sign) and this time it was a long painful walk. I’m not used to heels and certainly not used to dragging myself along all day in them. It’s a reminder that my frequent Con days are far behind me. I’d forgotten all about Con Foot (squishing shoes that are used to loafers and sneakers into pretty heels to look nice and wincing with every step).
I finally saw Penn Station in the distance. Yes! Right outside I ordered a Chicken Shish-kabob. No sauce or rice. Just meat on a stick and a Diet Coke. $6. I brought it in and looked around the station. Not a single bench. I was just making myself a spot on the floor when I saw and then remembered that if you have an Amtrak ticket you can sit in the comfy section with seats and Wi-Fi and power outlets.
So here I am, finishing this blog, with only 45 minutes until my train takes off. All in all, a nice day. Looking forward to a relaxing ride home. I’ll be on the regular old Amtrak local this time, with a million stops and seats that probably aren’t as comfy or new as the sleek ride this morning, but at least I’m not driving. I’ve got lots to read and listen to.
There is piano music playing the background, half a kabob in my lunch bag and some cheesesticks for later.
For all my whining, it was a really fun and productive day.
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