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. :)
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March 2010


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