Excitement was in the air. Writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and reporters all in one place – brought together by a shared love of books. We spent the weekend at Book Expo America-or BEA as it’s known by insiders-the largest trade show in the book industry. It seemed like everyone important in the book world was there, and you never knew who you would run into. At one point, I was standing at the DC Comics booth and looked over to see a co-Executive Producer for the Everybody Loves Raymond television show, standing next to me.
We started out Friday morning by attending the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast. Jim Dale, the marvelous voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks, was the master of ceremonies, and the speakers were Daniel Handler, the legal, literary and social representative of Lemony Snicket, and Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising and many other books. Jim Dale teased the audience by saying that yes, he does know who dies in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but he’s sworn to secrecy and can’t say anything. Daniel Handler was great, as I had expected, but I was surprised at how funny Pam Muñoz Ryan was. Then Jim Dale treated us to a live performance of an excerpt from Prisoner of Azkeban.
After the breakfast, we started walking the floor. We picked up advance copies of upcoming books, inquired about our favorite series, and went to autographing sessions. The third member of our family, Nick Ruth, had an autographing session of his own, signing advance copies of The Breezes of Inspire, his upcoming sequel to The Dark Dreamweaver. We met a lot of nice people and had lots of fun. Overall it was a great experience! Here’s some highlights of our BEA experience:
- HarperCollins announced that Book the Twelfth of the Unfortunate Events series will be released on October 18th. Unfortunately, they’re keeping the title secret for now. Probably for Lemony Snicket’s protection.
- Daniel Handler was autographing copies of The Grim Grotto on behalf of Lemony Snicket, but he couldn’t get through the mob in the time – some 200 people were turned away autograph-less, even though Handler’s time was extended an extra half-hour.
- Handler should have a publisher like Christopher Paolini’s publisher, Knopf, which cracked the whip to make sure Paolini got through as many fans as he could before his time ran out. We were lucky enough to get an advance copy of Eldest, and we’ll post a review as it gets closer to the publication date.
- Cornelia Funke’s new book, Inkspell, sequel to the bestselling Inkheart, had a line stretching almost as far as the line for Eldest. We got there early to get a copy. We got in line, and next thing we knew, the line stretched around the corner. We have started reading Inkspell, and it promises to be just as good, if not better, than Inkheart!
- We were disappointed that Jonathan Stroud wasn’t at the show. The autographing schedule had indicated that he would be autographing the third book in the Bartimaeus trilogy, but apparently his plans changed and he couldn’t be there. We did find out the title of book 3: Ptolemy’s Gate, and it looks like it will be available in January or February.
- Tamora Pierce was there, signing advance copies of The Will of the Empress. her upcoming book which reunites the four now-grown heroes of the Circle of Magic series. We had previously met her at a science fiction convention, so we stopped by to say hello. She is really funny and nice.
- We also got advance copies of The River of Zadaa (Pendragon, Book 6), The Oaken Throne (The Deptford Histories, Book 2), Shadows on the Stars (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 2), Bruce Coville’s new book, Thor’s Wedding Day, and a host of other lesser known but still interesting looking books. Look for reviews of these books coming up in future months.
Visit our Forthcoming Books page to find out more about these and other titles coming soon!