Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side & Jekel Loves Hyde)
And I got to have lunch at a Country Kitchen which was hysterical for the waitresses (Pilgrims x nurses), creamed corn (porridge x SUGAR) and sweet potato and pecan concoction that was delish. All things I had never seen nor eaten before.
I also got to feed a goat via pulley system, see tomatoes the size of my head and had my first slice of American pizza (albeit Dominos).
Elizabeth Scott (Grace, Living Dead Girl, Something Maybe)
Elizabeth managed to squeeze me after a long day of meetings and I was a little bit petrified. Let's just say that my first time walking anywhere in NYC with only a subway map for assistance wasn't a great way to navigate. I managed to find her and was immediately taught about head sized onion rings and fried cheese - yum. Elizabeth was incredibly sweet and she was able to tell me a little about how Grace was received at BEA and ALA as well as her panels there. It was like being at those conferences...but not :) I also got to meet the vivacious Diana Fox from the Fox Literary Agency who was divine (and eased me into the NYC subway system like a pro).
Gayle is this remarkable ball of energy and kindness - I simple don't know how she accomplishes everything she does so well. I spent a morning walking around Brooklyn with her and it was great to see it through a local's eyes. We stopped at the Brooklyn Esplanade and the view of Manhattan was amazing. She asked if I wanted my picture taken there (which I waved off as I hate having my pic taken) which I later regretted for a reason I can't impart. Let's just say it's awesome, like the view.
That afternoon I was able to make a visit to Penguin USA and meet a whole host of wonderful people who spent some of their valuable time talking to me about the YA blogosphere, Gayle's teaser tour for Where She Went and the books that were coming out (across the industry) that had buzz. Anna Jarzab, a YA author and online marketing guru, handed over a whole host of books for me to read which I was both surprised and completely overwhelmed by. Mostly it was nice to speak to people in the flesh that were so enthusiastic about YA...it had been a real long time for me.
Mitali from Alley of Books
Michelle Zink (Prophecy of the Sisters, Guardian of the Gate)
Stacy Kramer (Karma Bites)
Stacy and I had lunch together but it seemed like a lot longer than that. The sheer volume of topics we discussed was mind blowing. She's a screenwriter and a YA author which seems like more than one person can handle plus she's a mum. Wow. Stacy co-writes her novels and that was really interesting to hear how that works for them, they write separately and then swap as opposed to some writing teams I have heard of that write together. She's currently working on a YA novel that can be summarised as The Hangover but with teens - I know, brilliant!
Steph Su from Steph Su Reads
And I was a little nervous to meet her. Not because she's scary or intimidating, I just didn't know what to expect. We arranged to meet at the Shake Shack where I proceeded to have a Peanut Butter shake (which I didn't know existed) and realise she's exactly my kind of gal. Steph's just as deliberate as her reviews, her brain ticks away because she always considers her thoughts before she speaks. That's rare in people these days and I really responded to it. She doesn't make stupid statements like me - she's all class. She's analytical, sweet and just a wonderfully calming person to be around.
Also we had a little chat about writing which was thought provoking and encouraging. Steph said something that she's probably forgotten that made a huge impact on me. Vague I know but that doesn't make her words any less important.
Amrie from My Take on TV
Going to NBC store with Amrie was hysterical as I was dithering constantly between which tee shirts I should buy. In the end I settled for a Friday Night Lights' DILLON PANTHERS grey tee shirt *(ala Riggins) and a Jeffster shirt (from Chuck). And just like Amrie suggested...they were both too large for me.
*Nothing about how the Panthers suck now as the Lions shirts were U-G-L-Y and the Panthers were awesome seasons 1-3.
Melissa invited me to attend a private Charlotte Sometimes show on the roof of Atlas (where the Project Runway cast live). The show was incredible as Charlotte is amazing live especially as the sun set over Manhattan! The Empire State Building was in the background and the melodies just seemed to hang in the air.
I met Melissa there and she's exactly as she seems - approachable, sweet, funny and wonderfully articulate. I had great conversation about contemporary YA with her that really resonated. I also got to hear about how she started out with Seventeen, moving to New York and how things are going on her upcoming novel, Small Town Sinners. Of course Sarah Dessen came up and gushing occurred.
Every time I would look at her I would think I was in a vlog, it was extremely surreal but altogether incredible. Of course I have no filter so I told her that! She's a sweetheart.
Earlier this year I listed my ten favourite YA titles and Lisa's Song of the Sparrow made the ten. It's a wonderful novel of poetry that perfectly represents medieval life for women in war camps. Based loosely on the story of the Lady of Shallot, it weaves a new tale around King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere. Meeting Lisa (at the Scholastic office no less) was incredible because a) her hair is more incredible in real life and b) she's probably the most lovely person I've ever spoken to. Hearing about her travels was so inspiring as she really encapsulates what it means to be a global citizen.
At the time she was the Readergirlz author in residence and it was great to hear about that from the horse's mouth. Not that Lisa's a horse....
As you can see I didn't take photos with the majority of authors. It's not really something I feel comfortable asking though it would have been nice to have. It was a lovely trip and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to some of these amazing women (yep, there were no males to speak of) in the flesh.
I feel even more fortunate as I am from a part of Australia where authors rarely do author appearances. In the case of NYC this was my first time meeting authors outside of a conference environment (even then I had a handful of minutes or a moment with them) and it was a honour. Each one of these ladies lived up to, and surpassed, their online presence and I find that remarkable.
A sincere thank you to the authors and bloggers who made my trip to NYC so memorable!
INTERESTING NOTE - the title that came up most favourably in most conversations about YA releases this year was Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are (and deservingly so).