Armchair BEA Day Two

Hey y’all!

It’s Grace and because I can’t attend BookExpo America this year, I’m doing Armchair BEA! If you didn't see my post yesterday kicking off the week with an introduction and talking about literature, you can check it out here.

For those of y’all who haven’t seen it in previous years, Armchair BEA is the virtual version of the conference we know and love. While those in NYC can mingle around and meet new bloggers in person, the rest of us still make the effort to come together online and chat about the upcoming releases, trends, and love for books that makes BookExpo so special.

Today’s topics for Day Two of Armchair BEA focus on Author Interaction and other mediums beyond the printed page.

The Authors

First off, I never would have started interacting with authors if not for the publishing industry. Before getting into blogging, the most I'd do was maybe email an author whom I felt I really connected to in their book, with the most awkward and shy phrasing. Through blogging, I started to become closer with authors and actually get over my shyness around them. I consider a few authors really close friends, actually and it's so interesting to see how that dynamic changes throughout the years of blogging.

I went from seeing authors as these untouchable deities almost, these people whom I could never actually be peers with because I would always be in slight awe. The simple (or not-so-simple) act of writing 75,000 words immediately propelled them to a status that I couldn't compete with nor interact with because I would just sit there, unsure of how to vocalize my admiration.

Then I started to meet them, and interact with them, and eventually get over the idea that authors weren't tangible people. There are so many authors whose names pop up all the time, who get treated more like names than like actual human beings, and it's so nice getting to see them in new lights. There are still the interactions in which I am tongue-tied, stumbling over my own feet and words and trying not to let my devotion to their words taint my conversation with them. It's hard when you want to quote back to them or say I know exactly what so-and-so was saying on page 96 when she's talking to so-and-so. You really got me there. 

I have a few favorite interactions throughout the years in my little experience with authors. At BEA, for example, I forced myself to introduce myself to authors because I knew I'd regret if I didn't talk to a few of my favorites. There are so many authors I was surprised to have really lovely interactions with once I got over my shyness!

  • Aimee Carter - the bubbly author of The Goddess Test was stuck in line next to me and my mom for a few hours at BEA 2012. The Dark Days line was huge. My mom's a major questions person (ahem, interrogator) and we ended up talking to her for such a long time. She was such a sweetheart! As the line crawled along, we chatted about publishing, writing, personal things, just whatever came to mind. At BEA, lines will turn all your neighbors into friends. She also taught me how to pronounce Lauren DeStefano's last name, which was great because I butcher pronunciation!
  • Siobhan Vivian - Siobhan will always be one of my favorite people to run into! Seeing her at BEA was such a highlight because she's such a genuine, hilarious person even from my (few) interactions with her. She genuinely makes an effort towards everybody. She's just absolutely awesome and I adore her so much. I'm relatively certain that I'll be attending BEA next year and she's one of the people I'd be most excited to see.
  • Veronica Roth - I ran into Veronica Roth after Children's Book and Author Breakfast at BEA a few years ago. Despite my bumbling awkwardness, she graciously put up with the gangly fourteen year old trying to hold a conversation with her and we had a really good conversation! Later at the Dark Days signing, she remembered me and was so kind towards me and I really appreciated it.
  • John Green - I met John Green and I was shaking. Absolutely trembling, and I tried to talk to him and I had about five seconds to make an impression. I doubt he even remembered me but it was so nice of him to simply pay attention and talk to me despite being paraded past hundreds of people at every signing. We had a short conversation about the quote on the back of my business cards by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it was great.
  • Michelle Hodkin - Later in 2012, Michelle Hodkin came to my local indie for a signing. I was asked to introduce her (which never actually happened because it ended up being extremely casual) but she was such a fascinating person. She used to be a lawyer and heard testimony in foreign countries, part of which led to her interest in psychology and the formulation of Mara Dyer. Anyways, hearing from her and having a one-on-one conversation was an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. That night was so perfect.

Bottom line: authors are excellent.

More Than Words

I don't particularly vary in my medium choices too often. The most adventurous I get with my books is purchasing an eBook when I finished my schoolwork in class and need something to read on my phone. I tend to read eBooks faster than print books also, so it can be interesting to see how that affects my reading pace. I usually get school books for English on my phone because they make highlighting and searching easier for classes.Occasionally, I'm in an audiobook mood. When those moods strike, they're voracious.Audiobooks are perfect for when I want to drive around, or on road trips. When I'm doing busy work for my classes, I occasionally pop in an audiobook and then joke that I've perfected the art of reading while doing homework. Once, I even listened to an audiobook while snow-skiing.There are some series, especially those with different tones or narration, that are lent so much character and texture simply because of hearing them on audio. Certain books, I have serious doubts about me liking them if I had read them on print. Sometimes it adds a little more flair to the daydream of a book inside your head. At the end of a long day? Audiobooks are prime. Your eyes are tired, you want to lie in bed and just listen to something that'll take you away. Being swept into an audiobook is the perfect solution. They're helpful and soothing.Even more important for me than getting the right medium is making sure that the rest of the series (if applicable) is consistent with the format. I listened to the first Confessions of Georgia Nicolson book on audio and haven't read the rest because I haven't been able to find the sequel. I'm picky about having my hardcovers match my hardcovers, my audios match my audios, keeping them perfectly tidy so that each series is absorbed in the same way.So it does go beyond the words - to the formatting and to the medium. What mediums do y'all prefer other than print?


otherGrace8 Comments