How was your weekend? Kate and I spent it at ALA 2014, which took place in Las Vegas this year. We thought we’d share some photos and memories from our trip with you.
It’s an easy drive for us from Los Angeles, so we rounded up our respective
tote-carriers husbands for a road trip and a whirlwind weekend filled with books, booze, and fun! We got stuck in traffic both ways and had to brave temperatures up to 111 degrees, but it was all totally worth it.
Check out my wall with the fancy showgirl wallpaper! I kind of love her. She makes me feel festive. Somehow we landed a suite at the hotel, and the dramatic view from our sitting room window was pretty awesome at night.
The Little Brown Dance Party, where Kate and I chatted with A.S. King, Paolo Bacigalupi, Blake Nelson, Ryan Graudin, and debut author Kendall Kuper. Laini Taylor and Holly Black were also there, and it was cute to see everybody dancing and laid back and having such a good time. #lbyrdance
It was amazing to have the opportunity to talk with the authors about their upcoming books (we are excited for Salt and Storm and The Walled City in particular), as well as with the incredible editorial and publicity teams. Faye and Deirdre also have me pretty jazzed about a 2015 title entitled Court of Fives, which they said is basically “Little Women meets Game of Thrones.” I mean, come ON. Do you even need to hear any more than that?
Seeing Judy Blume. Not much fazes me, but I couldn’t stop staring at her because this woman changed what books for children and young adults could be. Don’t you remember reading Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret and feeling slightly scandalized and super curious at the same time? No one had written about girls and their sexuality with that degree of honesty before that. And my favorite, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! We had a pair of red slider turtles for a few years, and I named mine Peter after Peter Hatcher.
My absolute favorite thing about these events is talking to the publishing peeps, though. We email with so many industry professionals throughout the year, but it’s so great to be able to spend some time talking with them about books we both love and are looking forward to. We asked a few of our favorite publicists to show us some of the books on their upcoming slate that they’re excited about:
It’s just really wonderful to hear how passionate these ladies are about the books they’re working on, and I now have a much better sense of what books should be on my radar for the upcoming season. And I cannot tell you how happy it made me when Ksenia told me how much she liked our Classics Readalong series! She’s a fan of many of the books we’ve already read, and wants to join our July/August discussions since she loves both All of a Kind Family and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. JOIN US KSENIA, IT WILL BE AWESOME.
If you hadn’t heard, Leigh Bardugo had to go to the emergency room and had to miss her events. :( It was really lovely to see people signing a giant card for her, however, and we all wish her lots of rest and a speedy recovery.
Once again, I saw Maggie Stiefvater autographing and had to run away because I couldn’t bear it. I can count on one hand the number of authors who would make me nervous, but Shiver means so much to me that I am afraid I’ll burst into tears if I ever had to talk to her.
So, that was our Vegas trip. It was super fun, in no small part because Kate and I got to hang out on double dates with our indulgent husbands (man, conferences are tough after 3 am nights on the town) and talk about books all weekend long. The only thing that could have made it better was if Tonya and Kim had been with us.
BUT WAIT. What about the books, you ask? We both left with tote bags filled with precious reading material that we’ll be reviewing and/or giving away throughout the next few months, but we also have a few titles we’d like to share with you now!
For international readers, we are offering up a coveted Throne of Glass tote filled with swag! Bookmarks, postcards, stickers, pens–lots of goodies here, plus a bag that Sarah J. Maas fans would probably kill for.
For U.S. readers, we are offering up an ALA bundle of 5 hotly anticipated ARCs to one lucky winner, including:
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
The Young World by Chris Weitz (director of About a Boy, Twilight, etc.)
The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
May I just say that the Marie Lu line was insanely long, so whoever wins this ARC pile had better appreciate our sacrifice!
All you have to do is:
1. fill out the Rafflecopter form and
2. leave a thoughtful comment below telling us what country you’re in and why you’d like to win the book bag or ARC pile!
Open to all readers aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete rules. Good luck!
Review and giveaway copies and swag were provided by the publishers. Photographs by Wendy Darling…and Mr. Darling!
So have you ever been to a book convention or author signing? They are so much fun, but I gotta tell you–I am wiped out, friends. Triumphant, but exhausted. If you did an ALA recap, please leave a link, we’d love to see it!
Oh, and incidentally–I am SO grateful for all the books I was able to take home, but but but. If anyone is finished with your copy of Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine, I would trade my cat for it. Well, just the disobedient one, so…I’m sure I could think of something better.
Edited to add: I’ve since binge-read the first 3 Throne of Glass books, and man–I loooved Crown of Midnight and The Assassin’s Blade. I NEED HEIR OF FIRE, peeps! Bloomsbury was all out by the time I asked for it, so if anyone has that to trade, I’d be interested in that, too. :) Okay, shameless wheelings and dealings are over. For this post.