Atmosphere: I talked about this when I went to my first writing conference last July (Midwest Writer's Workshop in Muncie, Indiana), but I think it is worth bringing up again. The atmosphere of being around tons of people who love books and authors and writing as much as you do is unbeatable. With a lot of other hobbies, it seems as though reading isn't usually as popular. If you are a sports fan or movie buff, you can usually find someone in a crowd that can talk about those subjects rather well. However, I find it hard to weed out people around me who have heard of all the authors I adore or individuals who read more than one book a year. So going to a convention where you are SURROUNDED by those kinds of people? Kind of cool. Okay, no, really cool. I can say the name Maggie Stiefvater in a crowd and probably induce some kind of frenzy. That is AWESOME.
New and Old Friends: Along with the atmosphere of book people, you eventually start to make friends when you are a regular at conferences. Either that, or you notice a lot of your Twitter friends SQUEEING about going to BEA as well, and you realize how many people you "know" are going to be there. Even though I haven't met most of them in real life, Twitter kind of provides a sort of virtual community, and I'm really excited to see new faces and make more memories.
Supporting Fellow Authors: I think one of the best parts about going to a big conference like this is the ability to support so many fellow authors and their writing. I know if it was me sitting in a booth signing my book, I would be nervous and anxious about the whole ordeal. What if no one shows up? What if no one cares about me being there? This is why I think it is so important to show your love so authors continue to push through writer's block and other life hardships to put out more books. I know if it was me in the booth, every single smiling face that greeted me and said they were excited to read my latest novel would put me over the edge in Ecstatic-ville.
Some of the debut authors I will be supporting include Kelsey Macke, Kate Brauning, and Dahlia Alder. Who are YOU supporting this year?
Exploring a New City: Yes, it is an unfortunate fact that I have never visited NYC before. In my twenty-eight years on this earth, my travels have never brought me to the Big Apple. I am so ready to change that. While I would never consider myself a city girl or one who would want to live somewhere like NYC, big cities still fascinate me to visit. I love learning about the culture and every day life of others. I think my general curiosity about how other people live is what fuels a lot of my need to write. I want to understand and explore things outside of my own norm. In this aspect, things I'm excited to see outside of the BEA conference include:
A Broadway Show
I'm going to see ONCE Wednesday night and I am beyond giddy about this. I saw the movie and listened to the soundtrack years ago, and now I get to see it live in New York City. CANNOT WAIT!
I feel like this will be a somber experience, but one I definitely don't want to miss.
Grand Central Station
I am a sucker for historical buildings, and the Grand Central Station looks gorgeous. I can't wait to see it in person!
Ellen's Stardust Diner
I absolutely love old diners -- the atmosphere, the food, and the people that work there. That is why I am head over heels in love with this place just from the pictures and descriptions! Sounds like a diner experience on NYC steroids - can't wait!