Sunday, June 1, 2008

Book Expo America Day 3

Another great day. Besides the fact that I got extremely nauseated and almost threw up several times this evening and fell asleep early and just woke up in the middle of the night with a small demonic dwarf singing inside my brain telling me to update my blog. That sounds worse than it really was.

Instead of time by time, I'll list today's events in terms of highlights. I hope to post pictures once some very nice people email them to me. Sorry, meant to bring the missus's camera. The following items are NOT in order of wicked coolness; they are mostly chronological.

* I spent most of the morning signing inside the Booth and meeting lots of great librarians, teachers, bookstore people, authors, publishers, etc. A lot of people have copies of THE 13TH REALITY that did not have them yesterday.

* Spent time walking the showfloor with Jason Wright, often New York Times Bestselling author of CHRISTMAS JARS, WEDNESDAY LETTERS, and the upcoming RECOVERING CHARLES. He gave me lots of sound advice and told me many valuable things he's learned the last couple of years, including how much his agent (Laurie Liss) has helped him. This really made me thankful that Michael Bourret was suckered into representing me.

* I was thrilled over and over to hear so many editors and marketing people from the major publishers tell me how well they know Michael and how lucky I am to have him as an agent. Kudos to you, Michael!

* Had lunch with Jenn Northington from The King's English bookstore in Salt Lake City. I made her sign a contract in blood to always invite me to meet big time authors when they come to her store. Jenn has become a great friend, and the authors of the world are lucky to have people like her alive.

* Spotted Sherman Alexie passing nearby while eating. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped from the table and ran to him, using my good friend Sara Zarr as an excuse to introduce myself. This guy is tops, dude. He was so incredibly gracious, genuine, and kind, and now he's earned a true fan for life. The world is lucky he switched to writing for younger people instead of stupid boring old adults.

* Hung out around the main autograph tables for awhile. Stood ten feet away from Christopher Paolini (ERAGON, as if you didn't know) for at least five minutes and simply stared at him. I didn't have a ticket for his line, so I could merely stalk. He seems like a really nice guy, too, smiling and making a nice moment for each signee. I almost murdered Chris when I found out he and Brandon "chit-chatted" with Mr. Paolini for 15 minutes in the green room.

* Hung out with Dean Lorey again (NIGHTMARE ACADEMY) and his lovely wife. He's definitely one of my new favorite people and we swore to keep in touch.

* Had the incredible privilege to meet and talk with Melissa Marr (WICKED LOVELY). I know so many people who LOVE that book and its sequel INK EXCHANGE. Stephenie Meyer fans are going to discover her more and more as time goes by.

* Met a lot of awesome people in the booths, which I was more able to wander today. Except I have the worst timing of human history - I kept just barely missing people like Dean Koontz and Stan Lee.

* Really enjoyed meeting the Mirrorstone Books people, who surprised me greatly when at least 3 of them recognized my name and told me how much they loved THE MAZE RUNNER, which they are considering. Can't say much more on that topic, but a big thanks to them for making my day.

* Chit-chatted with Rubin Pfeffer, Senior Vice-President of Simon & Schuster. An incredibly nice guy who very sincerely expressed how impressed he is with Shadow Mountain, my book, and their partnership on the paperbacks. Sorry, I don't know anything yet, so don't ask (hee hee). I also met Bethany Buck, a vice president (over Aladdin and Simon Pulse). S&S sure has nice people!

* And then it happened. Me. Brandon Mull. Chris Schoebinger. Cocktail (and Coca Cola) party at the headquarters of CAA, Creative Artists Agency. Met Matthew Snyder, uber agent who is representing the movie rights for Shadow Mountain and a wonderful guy. And then Neil Gaiman walks in, who was literally only there for about fifteen minutes (he has to appear at ALL the parties, I reckon).

But thanks to Mr. Mull's lightning quick feet, the three of us spent several minutes talking to THE MAN himself. I know you're getting sick of my use of hyperbole, but holy cow what a genuinely nice man. Seriously. He told us the coolest story about how THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is the first time in his 24 year career that a book has exceeded his initial vision, i.e. turned out better than he'd hoped. And he didn't say this arrogantly at all. What I'm trying to say is that somehow he made us feel like we were on the same level, and we just talked shop. It was incredible.

We shook hands, well-wished, and parted. I think Brandon was even more geeked out than I was. Barely.

Then I got sick (no worries, Mr. Gaiman, had nothing to do with you!). It'd been building for a few hours, slowly but surely. Not sure where it came from, but the ride home was miserable and Chris had to pull over, if you know what I mean. I can't imagine the teasing I'll get for years to come.

Came to the hotel and went straight to bed, sick but smiling from the great day.


Anna said...

That's Great that you got to SEE Christopher Paolini!

I think he's going to write some really great books someday....

I know what you're thinking. What about the great books he already has written?

I think those are good. I think he'll write something better someday though. :D
Cool beans there James!

Tamra Norton said...

Sounds like you made yerself some danggood memories there! Now go suck on a peppermint or something. So sorry about the tummy troubles.

A Paperback Writer said...

I said all my Gaiman comments yesterday. Glad you got to meet him. He is amazingly cool, even after hours of having people want to talk to him.

Yea! for the King's English!!! It is THE quintessential bookstore.

I liked Wicked Lovely also, and the plot trips along just as fast as Meyer's plots do, but Marr's female characters are much stronger and determined, so they may not appeal to all the little girls who want to be like Bella.
But I envy you for seeing Marr. That would be great.

Anonymous said...

I definitely want to read Wicked Lovely now.

What a grand experience!! Thanks for blogging about it. I hope my daughter gets to meet YOU someday.

Suzy - Q said...

you make me laugh! I'm right with ya, babe. I think Paolini will maybe write something good someday too.

But honestly, I think I'm just jealous that he got to publish when he was 15, because that's absolutely what I wanted to do at 15.

James, James, So are you saying you Missed seeing Dean Koontz?? And Stan Lee was there??? THE Stan Lee!! Ivan would Freak, Dude!! You Missed seeing them??

But WOW Dude!! What a weekend!!
I'd get sick too. It was probably nerves. Again, WOW!!