Last weekend, I headed down to Seattle for ALA's midwinter conference. Wow, was this ever a big deal for me. I figure this will be the only time I go to something like this for the next few years, so I wanted to soak up as much as I could (which is a little hard when your feet hurt from walking and your shoulders are sore from carrying bags).
And, like the idiot I am, I don't have any pictures of the exhibit hall or any of the bloggers I met or the authors I met or of Seattle in general. *head-desk* But it is me, you should've expected my lack of pictures right from the start.
We (Caitlin at whatchYAreading, her two friends Courtney and Heather, and me) drove down in the morning through a long border wait but the easiest crossing ever (*hands over passports* Guard: Where are you going? Courtney: Seattle. *hands back passports* Guard: Okay, go.). Then came checking in at the hostel (which was right in front of Pike Place Market) and heading up to the convention center.
Then came waiting for the doors to open to the exhibit hall with all the other people waiting around.
I don't think I expected the rush of people into the exhibit hall when everyone started streaming in. So many people. I never heard of any shoving or knocking over of displays, but some people seemed so enthusiastic that first night. I imagine it was all the adrenaline and excitement. Two of the books I was very excited to pick up were Dualed by Elsie Chapman (yay for local authors) and Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger.
We stayed in the exhibit hall for about an hour before heading back to the hostel to find something to eat.
That evening, Caitlin and I headed to the blogger meet-up which was so much fun. We saw Nafiza and some of her fellow UBC library students (they're so nice). It was nice to meet bloggers I recognized from Twitter like Anna and Jamie, and Katie earlier in the evening in the exhibit hall. And the authors there were so nice, Kristin Halbrook and Kirsten Hubbard and Lenore Appelhans and Amy Tintera (I did make good on my Twitter mention to say hi to Amy that night). I also met Kristen Kittscher, her middle grade debut The Wig in the Window comes out this fall. Then I listened in on Jill Corcoran talking with bloggers and authors about new adult and mature content. :)
Saturday was rather overwhelming and busy, but it was the first full day.
More busy, more books, more walking. More tired. The mattress at the hostel sure was firm.
There were some author signings on Saturday that I checked out. It was so nice to meet Janet Gurtler, Canadian author of fun, sweet contemporary YA like Who I Kissed and the upcoming How I Lost You. After her signing I saw Denise Jaden and Mindi Scott, two other contemp YA authors, and again I met Jill Corcoran because she's Janet's agent. I had no idea. I saw Emma Trevayne and got an ARC of Coda signed, it sounds really interesting.
Now, my stalking of Amy Tintera. First, I said to her on Twitter that I'd stalk her at the blogger meet-up and say hi, and I did. Then I saw her on Saturday. Then I was heading back to the hostel with a heavy bag of ARCs and I saw her again. I made sure to tell her I wasn't stalking her anymore. Sometimes, once you meet someone and you're at a big thing, you keep seeing them everywhere.
Then someone wonderful at the Harper booth named Sarah give me an ARC of Reboot when I asked about it. Other big acquisitions of Saturday were Rush by Eve Silver, Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan, and Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey.
Again, it was busy, but the crowd seemed to be diminishing as the weekend went on.
My (now unintentional) stalking of Amy Tintera continued that morning when we were waiting outside the hall and I saw her walk up. I might've gushed about how I was reading Reboot and really enjoying it (there will be a second book, it's a duology). And Amy was very sweet to sign my ARC for me. :)
It seemed to be a HarperTeen morning. So many YA ARCs went out on tables and on the floor and on shelves at their booth.
I hung out with Mariam and Katie and Anna and Jamie for some of the morning, we'd take turns sitting and watching everyone's bags while others went off to wander through the booths. It's how we found out what was being put out and what you could get if you asked. Asking always felt weird to me. I always feel awkward when asking for things, it feels like I'm bothering them. But everyone at all the booths I asked at was extremely nice.
I think I was only there in the morning (there were some 5/6am mornings because of not being able to sleep and things got a little hazy). I was rather excited to pick up Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider, Arclight by Josin L. McQuein, In the After by Demitria Lunetta, and Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler.
For dinner I headed back up to the convention center for cheesecake. Yes, there was a Cheesecake Factory right across the street. :)
We only went to the last day for half an hour, we needed to head back. We only went because Caitlin heard copies of This is What Happy Looks Like were going to be put out, and it was. :) And I totally gushed over Hannah Moskowitz' Gone, Gone, Gone at the S&S booth after I saw it was named a Stonewall Honor book. I really like Hannah's books, but GGG is my favourite Hannah book so it has a special little place in my book nerd soul. Now I'll need to buy a copy when it gets its new sticker. :)
Then came the sleepy drive north and across the border (where the Canadian border guard asked us more questions than the US guy but the crossing was still painless, maybe because Courtney spoke with such authority).
And now I'm home (or I have been for 2 days), and this has been written up. It was exciting to go to ALA Midwinter. I imagine I would do it again, or attend something similar, but it would have to be close by. One day, BEA, but not soon.
The big list of books I brought back is here on Goodreads. Please suggest books you'd like to see reviews of in comments below. I'm not sure if all will be listed in the weekend's TWBW post, I might just post a picture of the ones I'm most excited about.
And come back tomorrow when the first of many giveaway posts goes up. :)