neverwhere: (GNeil is my true love)
[personal profile] neverwhere

O HAI :)

The Book Expo is a big marketing blitz for publishers to advertise and promote their upcoming titles, in a different venue every year, and since this year it was at the LA Convention Centre I decided to go have a peek for myself what all the buzz was about. Plus, y'know. Neil would be there. *grins* It's supposed to be an 'industry only' event, so I convinced my local comic shop to let me say I worked for them (and really, I should, I'm there more than some of the staff) and voila, instant access. I arrived at 630am (I am an idiot and woke up at 430am to catch the metro in, but PSH like I'm gonna drive in Downtown LA) to get a good place in the queue for the Author Breakfast at 8am. And I did! When they let us in around 745, I grabbed the best seat in the house that wasn't reserved for the bigshots at Harper Collins. Whooot!

The Author Breakfast panel: Eoin Colfer, Sherman Alexie, Judy Blume, Neil Gaiman. Hosted by Jonathan Schieszka.

The breakfast started late, but it was SO WORTH IT. I had no idea Eoin Colfer would be so hysterically funny -- I read the first Artemis Fowl book and wasn't terribly impressed, but I will go back and read the entire series now, simply because he was so incredibly entertaining. He has a dry, meloncholy Irish wit that made the entire panel giggle and laugh uproarously. It was so cute watching them all have a good time. :)

I know it's difficult to tell with this blurry photo, but Eoin is telling a particularly naughty joke here and the panel is giggling like mad. I think it might have been around the time he said how star-struck he was to be on a panel with 'Judy-Fucking-Blume'. *grins*

Sherman Alexie was also very amusing, I really must read some of his short stories sometime. Judy Blume had a lovely speech about the length of her career, and some of the luminaries she's worked with over the years, and it was obvious everyone there was in awe of her. So sweet.

Before Neil spoke, we had a 3 minute preview of Henry Selick's Coraline film, shot especially for the breakfast, which was great. I still feel uncomfortable with an American cast, but Terri Hatcher wasn't nearly as off-putting as I thought she might be, and Dakota Fanning is growing on me as Coraline. (Dawn French will always be the Other Mother to me though. ;-) Then Neil went to the microphone and talked about Making Stuff Up, as he is wont to do, about writing Coraline and Ihe Graveyard Book, and the changes in Children's Publishing since he started writing, and basically just had the audience enthralled with his every word. It was a lovely little speech. :)

And then it was over, and we all dashed out of our seats as quick as we could, to get our copies of The Graveyard Book signed in the GIANT exhibition hall. OH, I just remembered my favourite quote of the day -- Eoin Colfer said when people ask him where he gets his ideas, he says 'I rummage around in Neil Gaiman's garbage', because even the ideas he throws out are brilliant. I loved that. Cause of course it's true. *grins*

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur, to be honest. I had TGB signed, and later The Dangerous Alphabet, which was wonderful. I met some interesting authors and chatted with a few about their upcoming novels, and spent far too much time queuing up to meet them. I told Eoin Colfer he was 'really cute', and fantastically amusing, which made him laugh and beam happily at me. I plodded through two enormous exhibit halls full of booksellers, publishers, comic artists, toymakers...all the while picking up free books, some by authors I had heard of and wanted to know more about, some just because they had interesting covers, and a few for friends because I thought they might enjoy them. Most people there were carrying suitcases around with them, but I only had my satchel, so I had to give back about 90% of what was on offer, because I simply couldn't take it with me. And there were new books every day, of a four day convention, I can't even BEGIN to imagine how many books I might have had by sunday. Too damn many, that's for sure.

I met a really friendly woman at the breakfast who was my guide around the Expo, and even though she told me her Livejournal name I can't remember what it was, and I feel terrible that I haven't been able to contact her, and thank her for being so kind to me. She helped me a lot and I wish I could find her again. Maybe she'll remember my LJ name and find me first. I certainly hope so. :)

There are more things I could say, but I think that's enough for now. I hope that was fun and informative for all of you. *grins*

For me, the best part of the day was hearing Neil read the opening paragraph to The Graveyard Book, which is chilling and utterly compelling, and feels like it absolutely does not belong in a children's book. Which makes it all the more fascinating and wonderful. :)

Date: 2008-06-12 08:01 pm (UTC)
newredshoes: radio tower on top of the world (sass > class)
From: [personal profile] newredshoes
(HI GORGEOUS. Nice book!)

Date: 2008-06-12 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

It is a rather fantastic book. I read it in four hours! I think I should read again, a bit slower this time. *grins*


Date: 2008-06-12 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
strange me saying this i bet my mother would of had fun there but she dont like erm "people" if you get me XD hehe she loves to read so yeah

i'll shh now

Date: 2008-06-12 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Don't ever 'shhh' yourself on my account. :)


Date: 2008-06-12 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hehe well yanno also totally random but book related my mummy wrote a book *i promote like like MAD* well ish XD

anyway when i have five i'll find a link inbetween uploading duran duran albums and pics and looking for a letter....

Date: 2008-06-12 08:16 pm (UTC)
diner: (Mika)
From: [personal profile] diner
Judy Blume was there! Neat!

Date: 2008-06-12 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She's 70! I was shocked! :D

It really was so sweet how everyone on the panel was fangirling her. Especially since they're old(er) men. *laughs*

Date: 2008-06-12 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, that sounds fanastic! and pretty pretty photo :D

I really like Eoin Colfer, he seems like an ace person in interviews. I've read some of the Artemis Fowl books and I've just been given the Supernaturalist which I'm yet to start.

(are you still moving to the UK this year?)

Date: 2008-06-12 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eoin is such a love, very self-depricating and wittily amusing. I adored him, I'm so glad I got to meet him and hear more about his life and novels. Oh, I think you're going to like the new Artemis Fowl, it's REALLY fun. Hehehe.

YES, I am still planning on moving in september. I'm working on getting the paperwork needed for my settlement visa now, and after that I just have to pack up and actually get my bum over there. WHOOOT. *grins*


Date: 2008-06-12 09:19 pm (UTC)
ext_35366: (YuleBallLucius)
From: [identity profile]
That is an adorable photograph of you.

Date: 2008-06-12 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Squeak :D

Thank you so much! I swear it's the book that improves my appearance. ;-)


Date: 2008-06-12 11:25 pm (UTC)
ext_35366: (two peas walking)
From: [identity profile]
Well, the book is nice, but you've s far better smile.

Date: 2008-06-12 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok, I already loved Eoin but after reading this I love him even more! I'm so jealous. :) Wish I could have been there. It sounds amazing.

Date: 2008-06-12 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was so surprised by how much I liked him, he really is the funniest man, and so humble too. I want to give him a squiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish :D (He has the BEST cheeky grin. Which he showed off a lot. Hehehe.)

It was amazing, but also utterly exhasuting. I was there for 12 hours and didn't think I'd be able to make the train home, I was that weary from walking around all day and carrying so many books. I don't know how people do it for four days! Even Comic-Con was less tiring, which is really quite a feat. :)

Date: 2008-06-12 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hurrah, you did get round to posting ;)
Sounds like a great time and it reminds me I need to see what's happening for the book festival in Edinburgh. Missed William Gibson last year :/

Date: 2008-06-12 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I told you! I'm just a bit (okay, a LOT) lazy sometimes. ;-)

When's the festival in Edinburgh? I'd love to go! :D

Date: 2008-06-13 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
August! It runs pretty much for all of August though the film festival has moved to June. Recommend the very start of the month as that's when the previews/cheap tickets are available :)

Date: 2008-06-13 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh! Is it part of the Fringe?

I can't make it this year (woe), but I know for a fact I will FINALLY make it to the Fringe Festival next year. I've been wanting to go for 20 years, it's about bloody time I actually do it! :D

Date: 2008-06-13 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We're belleh-jiggling somewhere at the Fringe this year! :D

Date: 2008-06-12 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I went to an American Library Convention once which was a bit like this. People kept handing me books. IT WAS SO AWESOME!

Date: 2008-06-12 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I thought of you the whole time Eoin was talking, and wishing you were there to laugh with me. :)

I wish I could have taken home aaaaaaaall the books, but there was just no way! I really can't imagine how people stagger home after four days of such madness. *G*

I'd definitely want to attend another convention like this, but not this convention, it's just too enormous and crazy. But I do love free books! Free, deliciously unpublished (and occasionally full of amusing typos) boooooooooks. :D

Date: 2008-06-12 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
WOW. That is amazing. Nothing like that ever happens here. And if it were to happen somewhere like Washington, DC, I wouldn't find out about it in time to prepare for a road trip. *has temper tantrum*

I can't wait to read The Graveyard Book! :o)

Date: 2008-06-12 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's actually going to be in DC in 2010, I think. *G* Next year is NYC again, that I know. Maybe you can make it for one of them! *hugs*

Date: 2008-06-12 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Free books! You jammy so and so. :D

Date: 2008-06-12 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*smugs smugly*


Nothing to see here -- just me being pedantic

Date: 2008-06-13 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dangerous Alphabet, illus. by Grim Grisly.

Also? Am terribly jealous -- not just because you have Neilstuffs and I do not, but you've seen Eoin Colfer speak!

I <3 Artemis Fowl, even if his voice in my head never has an Irish brogue.

Speaking of, you're moving to the UK?!?! Are you an ex-pat?

From: [identity profile]
OH DOH you're so right, I know the name of the book (hellooo, it's sitting right behind me *laughs*), I was just in a hurry to finish my entry and wasn't thinking properly. I'll go fix it, thank you! *squish*

Eoin has a very mild, flat Irish brogue, more like a Dublin accent than the stereotypical 'faith and baggorah!' Father Ted one. *grins* He actually introduced himself by apologizing for his 'disappointing' accent, by telling a story about a woman who met him a few years ago saying 'I've seen the movie Far and Away, I know what an Irish accent sounds like. And you, sir, are not Irish'. *giggles*

Sadly, I am not an-ex pat, at least not technically. :) I lived in the UK for nearly five years, and have spent another five back in the States, but AT LAST I am moving back in september, to marry my beloved [ profile] trukkle and settle in Brighton. :) If all goes according to plan, that is. *G*

Date: 2008-06-13 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds like you had a great time!

I definitely recommend checking out Sherman Alexie's stuff. The library I work for is featuring The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as our "One Book" and I got to hear him speak a month or two ago. Third row seats and he was enormously entertaining and interesting.

Date: 2008-06-13 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was both fantastic and utterly, mind-numbingly wearisome. But mostly the good outweighed the bad. ;-)

I can't wait to read Sherman Alexie's stories, he was so funny, and we all were touched by the poignant recollections of his impoverished childhood -- I know I felt an immediate kinship with him when he said books were his 'only friends, his only means of escape' from the cruel realities of his homelife. I enjoyed his speech immensely. :)

Date: 2008-06-13 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As long as the good outweighed the bad. :)

One of the reasons I, personally, really enjoy reading Alexie's work is, not only is he relatable as you say, but he writes about Washington state. I'm a Washington girl, completely, so it's nice to read a book that's set in familiar places. Mostly just so I can go, "I've been there!!"
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