We had no idea what we were getting into.
10:30am - Arrive at Penn Station. Yay!
10:45am - Walk into BEA lobby. Moment of awe. Books! And... book people!
10:46am - Wait for Agent Laura at Hudson News stand in lobby.
10:50am - Donna suggests playing "Find YA authors/editors/agents" game while we wait. Two seconds later, Frankie spots Kody Keplinger. Donna fail.
11:05am - Realize there are many lobbies and even more Hudson News stands. The search for Agent Laura commences!
11:10am - Agent Laura found! Squee!
11:40am - Donna hasn't recognized anyone of note, but she's acquired various BEA swag, such as a tote bag, Swedish Fish, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid bookmarks.
12:10pm - Frankie returns! Immediately spots MG author Violet Haberdasher and HarperCollins editor Molly O'Neill. Donna fail... again.
12:15pm - Frankie has photo op in Penguin car, which will be touring cross-country, spreading book love.
2pm-3pm - Further wandering to explore and relax in nearby indie bookstores. Epic fail. One is closed, one only has travel books. Find world's ugliest Barnes and Noble. Run away. Find much more acceptable Barnes and Noble. Read for two hours. (Donna chooses Spirit Bound; Frankie chooses My Soul to Keep.) Ahhhh, bliss.
5:15pm-6:30pm - Hang out in Books of Wonder (superawesome indie kids' bookstore where magic happens, for real) with Frankie's friend Allary, a BoW employee. (Top secret info: Frankie may or may not have purchased some amazing signed books for her personal blog's 500 followers contest...) Meet Khy from Frenetic Reader. (Blogosphere in real life FTW!)
6:30pm - Hike to Houndstooth Pub for KidLit Drink Night. Who do we see on the way but Pam Gruber (editor extraordinaire at Little, Brown) -- who Donna met at the RUCCL One-on-One Conference in October and who charmed the FNC at a KidLit Drink Night in January. We convince her to swing by the Houndstooth later. (Hi Pam! We heart you!!!)
7:00pm - Arrive, and it's packed! Time to grab a beverage and mingle. First, we chat with Cheryl Klein, the super-friendly/incredible Arthur A. Levine Books senior editor/hostess of KLDN. She and Frankie had met two years ago at a different KLDN, so it's fun to talk again.
Then... oh, the rundown of awesome at these nights! It's this mix of squee-worthy KidLit celebrity (well, celebrity to us!) sightings with the knowledge that, hey, we know some of these people by name and hey, they're just people. But they bring amazing books to life!!! And they're in one room!
Anyway... we say hi to agent Elana Roth, who we hung out with at the 2010 Pocono Retreat. Ditto with agents Joanna Stampfel-Volpe and Suzie Townsend, who we met/had a rambling hourlong conversation with when we got query sharked in February. Ditto again with Alvina Ling (Senior Editor at Little, Brown), who remembered us from the January KLDN. And again with MG author Violet Haberdasher, who Frankie met at the Sourcebooks launch party this spring.
We see Kody Keplinger for the second time that day and decided to introduce ourselves. SHE'S SO AWESOME! She had her first big signing that day at BEA for The DUFF and was totally funny and down-to-earth. She even recognized Frankie from the blogosphere! Kody introduces us briefly to HarperCollins editor Molly O'Neill and agent Colleen Lindsay, who are at the table.
And then, flushed with the great end to the day (plus, it was pretty hot in that bar), we say our goodbyes.
8:15pm - Dinner at Fresh & Co.
9:07pm - Hop on the train home, exhausted! But it was SO worth it.
Day's total walking distance: 7 miles
Current status: Our feet still hurt.