Sunday, June 7, 2015
My Adventures at BOOKCON 2015
So recently, last weekend, I traveled to NYC to attend Bookcon. Bookcon is a convention following the week of BEA (Book Expo of America) where authors promote new books as well as host panels about certain topics for readers. I had an amazing time there and would now like to take the opportunity to share them all with you.
On Saturday morning, we dropped off my two younger brothers off at my grandmother’s house and traveled to New York. There my father left to go explore on his own leaving my mother and I to travel around an entire city block around the convention center searching for the end of the line outside eagerly waiting to get in. Free bags and lanyards were everywhere when we went inside, so we grabbed a few for family and friends and immediately got wristbands for a certain special events panel I will talk about later.
From there we went up to the third floor, where most of the booths were located, and waited an hour for a Patrick Ness signing (which was totally incredible by the way). He had a Coke bottle with the name Manchee on it and everyone just gave it the dirtiest look ever. Still, I got my friend and I signed copies of Knife Of Never Letting Go and A Monster Calls!
Next we went to go see the wonderful Rainbow Rowell in conversation about her new novel, Carry On where she discussed her new book along with other topics such as Tumblr and her writing and outlining process in general. Rainbow Rowell is such a relatable and down-to-earth person; everything she said sounded genuine. This was one of my favorite panels as it was very funny and everyone in the audience just had a very good time. After this,we went to Marie Lu and Richelle Mead's panel. This panel was more about fantasy world building and they compared how they creatively structured their writings and thought processes. Overall, this was a very great experience and definitely opened my mind up to more ideas. I also learned that somehow Marie has no outline to any of her stories at all and Richelle Mead loves to kill off characters at the end of all her books (but who didn’t know that already).
Finally, our evening ended with the crowed Paper Towns panel in the Special Events Hall. We were lucky enough to get our wristbands early, but we still had to wait for a little over an hour to get inside. Apparently, the wristbands were worth my weight in gold. The panel consisted of the wonderful John Green, the director, screenwriter, and 2 actors. They allowed us under intense security to preview multiple exclusive never-before-seen trailers and talked to the audience about the book to movie adaptation and process. It was incredible seeing John Green in person and is certainly a night I will never forget as half the time I was hunched over in my seat laughing.
The next day we woke up at 5 a.m. and got to BookCon at 6:45 a.m. as we had a long walk. Approximately 150 people had the same idea and got there before us! Eventually they started letting people in for the Word bookstore around 8 am and that is when the chaos happened. About ⅓ of the people that day were of the ages 11-14 years old and they were there solely to meet the Youtubers that day. Teensagers were running and screaming in line to get their book and ticket before the bookstore ran out of supplies. That said, crowds of screaming girls repeatedly just all the sudden ripped through the doors pushing to get in line for a book. Thankfully, when I got there, I got to buy all four of the YouTuber’s books, along with Sarah J. Maas’s new book, A Court Of Thorns And Roses (which was AMAZING but that’s a review for another blog post). Then we waited about 2 hours to get ACOTAR signed (and she recognized me!) and then went to go see her panel, Fierce Is My Middle Name, about strong female leads. It was breathtaking and hilarious as well as empowering and uplifting. It now inspires me to write about heroines who aren’t perfect and have flaws that don’t just go away at the end of the book, but helps to shape them into a better person. Real people do not have cookie cutter waistlines nor good judgement and real people do get depressed, and that was the idea the panel insinuated.
Afterwards I chickened out meeting Shane Dawson (afterall, its Shane Dawso!) so we explored the booths for another hour or so before a thousand girls and I lines up to meet the most inspiration author I have ever had the privilege to read: Connor Franta. I will not show the picture of the two of us as I was so overwhelmed by the heavenly glow surrounding him I didn’t exactly pose for the picture but no matter. After the photo was taken, I had a mini-meltdown phone call with my best friend as well… you just have to read his book to understand.
And that concludes my amazing BOOKCON extravaganza! Onto Chicago and Y’all Fest next year!