Happy Midweek, everyone! Hope your work week (or week in general) is going fantabulous. For the people at Javits in New York, BEA is already almost halfway over...same for all of us participating in Armchair BEA. Which is crazy, because it feels like it just started a minute ago! But so far, there's been a lot of blog hopping and interfacing with some very neat people.
Which brings me to today's ABEA topic: networking in real life! For a book blogger, the majority of the exposure we'll have with others is via electronic means; after all, that's the method by which the book blogging actually takes place. But on certain occasions, such as at events like BEA or RT Con or Authors After Dark and the like, bloggers are given the chance to cavort and get to know one another in the flesh... a wonderful treat that (for me, at least) is a high point about being a part of the book blogging community.
Of course, there are more ways to extend book blog networking than by attending conferences; most cities have book stores that hold author signings every so often. And what's to stop any of us from participating in book clubs or holding local meet and greets?
|Author Seanan McGuire (photo from SeananMcGuire.com)|
The event was held in honor of the impending release of McQuire's (at the time) latest book release, Discount Armageddon. The event was ostensibly for a book talk and signing… but what actually ended up occurring was so much more. Friends, family, and admirers of the author (numbering about 50, I'd say) all gathered in the cafe half of Borderlands for an evening of book discussions, music, food, and lots of
By that point, I'd not yet read the book being celebrated, so I must say that I missed out on some of the context behind the general discussions and jokes. There were jocular crowd cries of "Hail!" after most every new announcement or proclamation (which totally became clear a few chapters into reading the book). ^_^ Since Discount Armageddon is all about cryptozoology, there was much talk about mythical creatures and the mythologies from which they come. Fascinating stuff.
|Cupcake by Seanan! |
Green Velvet w/ cream cheese frosting.
Seanan, a self-professed cupcake aficionado, forever endeared herself to my heart (as if she hadn't already by that point) by bringing a veritable feast of mini cupcakes for everyone at the signing to eat (check out the rainbow / pot o' gold cupcake she made…I hadn't the heart to eat it, for it was beautiful! But her baked goods were simply delish). During the food portion, attendees got to acquaint themselves with each other and chat. But as if that all weren't enough, Seanan brought a boatload of swag from her own personal coffers to offer up in raffle drawings that took place every half hour or so.
Most special was perhaps the least book related: it turns out that McGuire is an amazingly talented singer and songwriter. She performed some filk jams for us, including some from her own albums. All told, people left the event (several hours later) with new bookish buddies and a great respect for the amazing woman that is Seanan McGuire. It's now my favorite book signing (narrowly beating out an event I'd attended at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, featuring the fabulous Tim Gunn). It reminds me that there is so. much. fun. to be had when bookish-minded people get together for fun.
So that's my tale of one particularly memorable real life bookish experience. How about you; are you a big fan of book signings and author appearances? If so, how populated do you prefer the event be, on a scale from intimate gathering to DragonCon panel? ^_^
(Don't forget to check out ABEA Central; there's another Twitter party and more book talks going on throughout the day!)