ALA 2011 Wrap-Up
I had such an amazing time at ALA in New Orleans. I got to meet some pretty cool bloggers that I talk to online, interact with publishers and authors, and get some fantastic books! Honestly, I had so much fun that ALA is a bit of a blur. I barely took any pictures because it was really hard to remember to take them when I was running around everywhere! I remember running through the convention center, talking books, grabbing books, and that pretty much sums it up. ALA is so crazy but if you go, you will have the time of your life!
I got in with my parents at about 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon. We rushed off the plane, grabbed some Lucky Dogs, and then we were off to the hotel to get ready for ALA that night. After running through the hotel and the mall next door, we got to the convention center at about 4:30 and proceeded to wait until the doors opened. I got to meet Jen from I Read Banned Books, Stephanie, Cari from Cari Blogs, Michelle from WP Memoirs, Jessica from The Elliot Review, and Kari from A Good Addiction. When the doors opened, it was complete madness. People were running to the nearest booths (we were near Penguin and Harper) and grabbing the ARCs that were laid out for us.
Friday was probably the craziest night. It was soo crowded on the floor but I had an awesome time. I tried to go by most of the booths, but since it was 5:30 when the doors opened, and my family had a 6:30 reservation for dinner, we couldn’t stay long. Let me tell you, if you go to ALA in the future, make sure to stay as long as you can the first night and hit all of your favorite publishers first. Most of the publishers ran out of their hottest books on the first night because of all of the people that were there. Even though we only stayed for about 30 minutes, I still got a huge load of books that I am really looking forward to! After the convention center, we went to dinner and bed.
Oh, and it turns out that some librarians do not hold their alcohol well. We went to bed really early since we knew we would have a busy Saturday, but at 11:30 pm, there was this huge influx of drunk librarians on our floor. They were REALLY loud and obnoxious, and even though I can laugh about it now, that was not a good wake-up call. We were all so tired the next day because of them.
My mom and I got up at 6:15 am on Saturday, ate breakfast, and immediately headed to the convention center. When it opened up at 9:00, there was still a lot of craziness and pushing, but it was way calmer than the day before. Right away, I went to the Little, Brown booth were they had a ginormous amount of Shut Out ARCs out and got one! This is one of the books that I absolutely had to get at ALA so I was soo happy to get it! Then I walked the floor with my mom, stopped by different booths, picked up ARCs, and met some amazing publicists. I also went to the Julie Kagawa signing which was awesome! I LOVE her Iron Fey series so it was great meeting her. I also finally got to meet Rachel from Parajunkee!! She is soo nice, sweet, and beautiful. She is also the one who made my gorgeous blog design so I had such a great time chatting with her.
Saturday was also the day that Penguin had a big galley giveaway of Lola and the Boy Next Door, one of the most highly anticipated books at ALA. This line started well over an hour before it was going to be put out, so luckily my mom and I got in line early enough to get one. Kari also stood in line with us and I had so much fun talking to her! After this line, much of the rest of my time there is a blur. I know I went by more booths, and got some more ARCs, but that is pretty much it. Oh, I did go to the Sourcebooks signing for Darker Still after lunch. That was great! The Sourcebooks people are sooo nice and it was great meeting Leanne.
I was soo exhausted after ALA that I decided not to go to the blogger meet-up at Acme’s (which got changed to Storyville because apparently Acme does not uphold their reservations). It was quite a walk away from our hotel, so instead my parents made reservations at a much closer Tommy’s where we ate dinner with the Mary Lindsey, her hilarious husband Laine, and bloggers Kari, Jessica, and Kari’s friend Kelli. Dinner was great! I got to chat with Mary about Shattered Souls, and talk about books, and more random things. Dinner also tasted amazing! Dessert had to be my favorite (a chocolate pecan pie). After dinner, my parents and I were wiped so we went back to the hotel right after to go to bed.
Sunday was a really great day at the convention center. Things had already started to wind down, and it was so much calmer than the other days. On Sunday, I got to take my time chatting with publicists and ask about upcoming books in their lines. I also got to meet Maureen Johnson!! She is soo funny on twitter so I had a blast meeting her in person! After her signing was the galley giveaway for Crossed, which was HUGE. Thankfully I had my mom and dad with me so they waited in that line while I got my books signed. When the Crossed galley giveaway came, it was a mad rush. Thank goodness for the line! Sadly, Penguin ran out of Crossed galleys halfway through the line. It turns out, quite a few of their Crossed boxes disappeared and they couldn’t find them. I am so glad that I was close enough to the front of the line to get one!
And the best part about Sunday was that my parents and I got to eat lunch with Mary Lindsey and Laine. They are amazing people and we all had such fun chatting. I got to really know Mary Lindsey and if you ever see her in person, definitely take the time to chat her up! Oh and while we were waiting to eat, this guy named Mr. Okra who drives a flashy truck with all kinds of produce drove right by us. Mary and I got to have our picture taken right alongside Mr. Okra and his truck, which was hilarious!! Lunch was soo good and then it was back to the convention center for a little bit more time on the floor. Unfortunately, I made it back a bit late from lunch and Tor had run out of The Faerie Ring, and ARC that I really wanted. I got so many other great books though, so it wasn’t that big of a let-down for me!
Then my parents and I had dinner at Mother’s. Mother’s is one of the best restaurants in New Orleans, so if you ever go, you have to go by there! After Mother’s we went to get beignets. At this point, my hair was pretty much a lost cause. It had rained going to dinner, and when it rains in New Orleans, you are in for 100% humidity. Since I have naturally curly hair, my hair immediately lost its straightened beauty ( ) and poofed up. Even though I had had a wonderful time at ALA, I was so ready to be at home where we only have dry heat.
On another note, while I was standing in line to get The Future of Us signed, I noticed something in the penguin booth. The display area where Shattered Souls had been the past few days was missing Shattered Souls!! I was like “OMG what happened to it???” And when Mary Lindsey and I first met up on Sunday, she was talking about how it had gotten stolen during The Future of Us signing when everything was crazy!! I really hope whoever stole it at least takes the time to write a NICE review. I mean, stealing the only ARC and copy displayed is really low. Mary Lindsey missed a few days of display time for people who haven’t heard about it yet. Really people. Don’t steal. I think that is a lesson we all learned as toddlers from our parents. At least I hope most of us learned that.
And so, that is my long, rambling recap of my ALA adventures. It was so much fun, and I really recommend going in the future if you have never been.