Tag Archives: New York

Pre BEA New York

Barbara Vey -- June 4th, 2012

I arrived in NY yesterday because the BEA (Book Expo America) Book Bloggers Conference starts at 8 a.m.  I want to be there early so I don’t miss a thing.  It will be my first time attending this event that’s only been around a few years.  I’m looking forward to meeting the many different bloggers with different approaches to reaching their readers.

 

Central Park

Central Park

 

 

I was really looking forward to Sunday, my day of enjoying New York without any meetings, interviews, parties or planned events.  As usual, things didn’t go as planned.

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I forgot my power cord for my computer, my lens fell out of my glasses and I got sick in the cab ride from the airport (motion sickness I’ve had since I’m a kid).  When I finally ventured out of my hotel room, I needed to find an Apple store to buy a much needed cord.  The hotel gave me wrong directions and I ended up at Central Park (the long way).  It was very hot and the streets crowded.  When I finally got correct directions, I could see the Apple Store across the street beckoning me.  The only problem was the parade going on.  Apparently it was Celebrate Israel Day.  The security was daunting and there were only certain spots you could cross the street.  It was a long line, but finally I had arrived.  I ran in, got my cord and got out.  A kindhearted man explained how to take the subway back to my hotel, but I was totally confused and by now I figured if I walked a straight line, I’d eventually get there.  Three hours after leaving the hotel, I was back in my room, soaking my aching feet.

 

Dennis Ely of Disney

Dennis Ely of Disney

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But it wasn’t all bad.  On the flight in, my seatmate was Dennis Ely, with Disney Publishing who was also going to BEA.  Dennis lives in Wisconsin, but has relatives in New Jersey.  The flight really went fast as we talked books, publishing, movies, authors and theme parks.  Everyone knows what a Disneyholic I am, so this was the best of my two favorite things…books and Disney.  I was excited to hear about all the new things coming out and I can’t wait to check out their exhibit at BEA.

 

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Staying in the hotel room has it’s perks too.  I’m almost finished reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips Call Me Irresistible and next up is Lord of Fire & Ice by Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe.  Looking forward to other exciting books and swag I’ll score this week at BEA.

So, how did your weekend go?

 

Bottom Line:  This, my friends, is a vacation day to me.

 

Monday Giveaways

 

From Seekerville:  The Seekers, 13 authors who blog about writing and the journey to publication at www.seekerville.blogspot.com, are giving away a Kindle TOUCH loaded with their books.  Visit Armchair BEA, to learn how you can win!

 

From Samhain Publishing: In June, Samhain Publishing is pleased to offer a contemporary romance and a paranormal romance as our giveaway titles on Kindle at Amazon.com, Nook at BarnesandNoble.com, Sony at ebookstore.Sony.com and iTunes on their iBookstore.

The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day discounted before it returns to regular price.

Begin Date          End Date              Book Title            Author

6/1/2012             6/14/2012          Betting Hearts      Dee Tenorio

6/15/2012           6/28/2012          Rachel’s Totem   Marie Harte

Romance Writers of American Descend on the Big Apple

Barbara Vey -- June 29th, 2011

It’s official, the Romance Writers of America Conference has begun.  Registration is fully underway and everyone is walking around with their black bags and name badges (thank goodness because I’m horrible at remembering everyone’s name.
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Sharon Sala, my videographer Andrew (yes, that's my son) and Candace Havens

Sharon Sala, my videographer Andrew (yes, that's my son) and Candace Havens

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I got to start off my conference by having breakfast with Candace Havens.  You’d think it would be enough that she’s a wonderful author, but this dynamo from Texas has been a TV and movie critic for over 20 years.  Her reviews are in over 600 newspapers and she does a segment on radio.  Sharon Sala also joined us and she has the honor this year of receiving RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
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The first day is dedicated to librarians and booksellers.  It’s a day long program with workshops and the

NY Librarians and author Jeannie Lin (in center back)

NY Librarians and author Jeannie Lin (in center back)

much anticipated visit to the goody room.  There they can grab free books and other giveaways.  For the luncheon I sat at a table with librarians from Queens, Brooklyn and Orangeburg.  We had a great discussion on student’s summer reading lists provided by the education boards.  I see a future blog there.

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Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn

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The luncheon speaker was Julia Quinn who was introduced as having appeared on The Weakest Link and winning $79,000.  I didn’t know this and I watched the show.  This is so cool.  In her speech, Julia talked about the impossible dream, being an organized person.  She also mentioned a letter she received in the early part of her career from a reader who told her she could be a better writer by using nouns, verbs and adjectives.
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Crowd at Literacy Signing

Crowd at Literacy Signing

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The highlight of the day was the Literacy Signing.  The huge conference room was lined with tables that held hundreds of authors.  People started lining up at 3 p.m. for the 5:30 signing and I heard the line went out the door of the hotel and well down the street. The books were donated and all proceeds donated to literacy.  It’s a very inspiring sight and everyone comes out a winner.

Jade Lee connecting with a reader

Jade Lee connecting with a reader

Bertice Small signing for a fan

Bertice Small signing for a fan

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The evening ended with a dinner party given by Nancy Berland at the Algonquin Hotel.  We were in the Round Table Room that is the site of the legendary 10-year Algonquin Round Table lunch.  Among the famous people who lunched there were Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and other luminaries of the literary world.  It kind of gave me goosebumps to think of the conversations that went on here.  Our discussion were more about things that can stop you cold while reading a book like poor research, language not appropriate to the time period and unbelievable coincidences.
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As a side note: You all know that any conference for me isn’t complete without some adventure and while I was out in Time Square we notice that there was no traffic on the street.  People were standing around and I was sure they were filming some kind of movie or something.  Later I found out that there was a man who had climbed a lamp post ready to jump.  A hostage negotiator was called in to talk him down.  Kind of scary.
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Bottom Line: Only 2 blisters on my feet so far, but nothing wrong with my voice.

Gearing Up For RWA

Barbara Vey -- June 28th, 2011
View from my window overlooking Times Square

View from my window overlooking Times Square

Good morning from the Big Apple!  I’m here in New York for the Romance Writers of America Conference.  Although the conference officially starts today, nearly everyone arrived yesterday.  The sold-out conference is  being held at the Marriott Marquis at Times Square.  You know what they say, location, location, location.

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Although my plane arrived early, because of the traffic, I had to blow-off lunch with Sourcebooks (please, let’s reschedule).  But I did get to visit the Romantic Times Book Reviews office in Brooklyn.  We got together to talk social media, Facebook and Twitter.  Definitely a sign of the times.  Publisher Carol Stacy remarked that the social networking sites work a lot like RT did in the 1980s where RT shared their messaging

RT Staff

RT Staff

through their magazine with little tidbits of information interspersed with the book reviews.

Dinner was at Carmine’s which serves family-style Italian food with 9 authors.  The food was great and so was the company, but we were off to Lady Jane’s Salon right away, so I didn’t even think to take a picture.

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Arrived at Lady Jane’s Salon very early because I knew there would be a huge crowd with so many writers in town for RWA and I was right.  The small venue filled up quickly with anxious readers ready to experience their first romantic readings and the authors chosen did not disappoint.  Dianna Love, Carrie Lofty, Leanna Renee Hieber, Karen Rose, Sarah MacLean and Eloisa James offered up bits of their books while infusing their

Leanna Renee Hieber, Carrie Lofty, Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, Karen Rose, Dianna Love

Leanna Renee Hieber, Carrie Lofty, Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, Karen Rose, Dianna Love

talks with insights.  Eloisa James took her reading in a different direction by playing the professor (her job in real life) and explaining why and how she went the route she did in her book.  The ambiance of the place is amazing with the long, narrow room filled with settees, loungers and ottomans and drenched in red lighting.  Kind of reminds me of a French boudoir (not that I’ve ever been in one).  This is a must stop for anyone in town at the first Monday of every month.
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Bottom Line: I get my name badge today and that will make it the official beginning to the conference.

Survival Tips for RWA

Barbara Vey -- June 24th, 2011

Monday I leave for the Romance Writers of America Conference in New York.  While I have attended several RWAs, for many it will be their first event.  Along with the stress of travel, they will be faced with meeting agents, editors, publishers and some of their favorite authors.  Twitter to the rescue.  A hashtag (#RWAsurvivaltip) has been started on Twitter to offer sage advice to those attending RWA.  I have complied some of the tips offered and used their Twitter names.  Pay attention because they may come in handy.

TeresaMedeiros Never talk about author/editor/publisher in bathroom. Odds of them being in next stall: 100%.
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SueGrimshaw introduce yourself to everyone w/card & purpose, its your chance to not be forgotten *imow*
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KimberlyKincaid: Put business cards in your nametag holder– no rummaging necessary
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maiseyyates I have never met an author who didn’t want to hear from a fan. If you’re a fan…say hi!!
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ChristinaDodd Assume no one remembers yr name & introduce yourself. Pls. Bcz I *don’t* remember yr name.
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katiebabs Want to make sure your arm doesn’t go numb by all the books up for grabs? Don’t take every book you come across
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JessicaScott09 No matter how tempted you may be, do not lug a copy of your manuscript for agent/editor request.
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LisaHendrix No drunk tweeting. I will repeat, NO DRUNK TWEETING! We all can read your stream, even if we’re not following you.
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shellistevens Carry those foldable flats (shoes) in your purse for when your feet start rebelling in the heels
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KimberlyKincaid: Put business cards in your nametag holder– no rummaging necessary
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BethYarnall Sit at a table of strangers & introduce yourself to the person next to you. You never know who you might meet.
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rosefox Ask for directions. New Yorkers are friendly–especially if you’re not blocking a crowded sidewalk while reading a map.
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TrinityFaegen Play nice with others, whether they’re NYT or Betty Beginner. It’s about karma & connection, not who you know.
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michellewilling Buy a flat-rate Priority box. You can fill it up with as many books as you can stuff. 

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TeresaMedeiros Don’t worry if U come out of bathroom w/ skirt tucked in panties. 2000 women 2 help. Or take video & post on YouTube.
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JessicaScott09 Know who various agents represent. Know other authors news. Be able to talk about something other than your own book.
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LouisaEdwards The bar WILL be understaffed. Closest liquor store is at 47th and 8th!
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The only thing I can add is to vent to your friends in private.  There are ears everywhere and you don’t know who is listening and may know the person you’re talking about.  Ways to avoid this is to only say nice things about people.  If that gets overheard and gets back to the person, it will make their day.
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Do you have any survival tips to offer?
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Bottom Line: Relax, have fun and the rest will fall into place.

Craftfest Kicks Things Off

Barbara Vey -- July 8th, 2010
Some of the Action Figures in Syndee's office

Some of the Action Figures in Syndee's office

Wednesday was another full day here in New York.  As a special treat I got to visit the DC Comics office.  Comic Con pal Syndee Barwick works there and her office is so amazing.  It’s filled with female action figures from the DC Comics.  There’s amazing artwork everywhere and in the reception area they have a light flashing the Bat signal.  Like a dork, I tried to take a picture of it with the flash, but that, naturally, made the silhouette disappear.  You know how most waiting rooms have 3 year old magazines to read?  Well, this one has a turnaround rack that is filled with comic books.  It’s no great problem to wait in this area.

Since Syndee works across from the Dave Letterman Theatre, we went to Angelo’s Pizza for lunch.  I didn’t see Dave, but the Chicken Parmesan Hero was worth the climb up all those stairs.

Once I got back to the Hyatt, it was time to register for Thrillerfest.  The first two days are called Craftfest and are geared to aspiring authors.  So I’m fortunate to have Nancy Nagle here to cover it from that point of view (see below).

Allison Leotta and Dianna Love

Allison Leotta and Dianna Love

As for me, the day ended with a cocktail party where I caught up with the amazing dynamic duo of Kathleen O’Neal Gear and Michael Gear.  More Twitter virgins for me to corrupt.  I also met debut author Allison Leotta, a prosecuting attorney with the State Department from DC (her hubby is a prosecuting attorney for Maryland).  Her legal thriller comes out in October and Allison told me that it had to be read by the State Attorney and several officials at the Department of Justice before it got the ok to be published.  No pressure there.  She’s also the mother of a 3 year old and an 11 month old.  If her book is half as wonderful as she is, I’m sold.

Heather Graham and Chynna

Heather Graham and Chynna

Finally, I stopped in the bar (ok, I’m nosy and had to see who was there) and was delighted to catch up with M.J. Rose and Douglas Clegg, two amazing authors who give one of the most popular workshops at Thrillerfest.  Heather Graham came in with her beautiful daughter, Chynna.  Turns out that Chynna will be working at one of the booths at Comic Con in San Diego in a couple of months in Artist’s Alley and dressing up as different characters.  Can’t wait to see that!

Now, please read on for Nancy’s report on Craftfest.

Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle

Cub Reporter, Nancy Naigle, reporting for duty at CraftFest in New York City. You might remember me from back in April when I reported on the WRW Retreat. An aspiring author, I live in the small town of Drewryville, VA on a goat farm – about as far as you can get from the tall buildings and asphalt jungle of New York. But what an exciting place to be for CraftFest, and what better way to kick it off than to run into Barbara Vey before the very first session? Her bright smile was a great way to start this very special day.


Three tracks ran concurrently giving aspiring authors 18 fabulous sessions to choose from. Everything from pitching an Agent to Voice and every craft skill in between helped us power up the tools in our tool belts and prepare for that journey to a bookshelf.


It was hard to pick which session to attend, but here’s the lowdown on a few of my favorite moments. I hope these tidbits, dazzle, motivate and even spark a little something in the fan or writer in you.


Doug Lyle, MD delivered the goods like he always does – amazing details, facts and plenty of laughs. He took us through a characterization exercise that helped us see the character arc and challenge us to remember that the growth of characters comes from the pressure we put on them. It’s why he coaches folks to write that first draft fast – then go back after you really know your characters and start shining up the prose considering the way that character would react in that situation.


The absolutely charming Andy Gross, who co-authored five novels with James Patterson, shared thoughts about supporting characters. Good supporting characters can lift up your hero when he’s down – be comedic relief – and even provide texture and humanity to a scene. Sometimes the fringe player will steal the show as they provide richness in the life around the hero. And no matter how short lived their role, every character matters.


The last session of the day for me was my favorite. Steven James, author of The Knight and The Rook among others shared the Six Secrets to Novel Writing That No One Ever Told You About. Sorry friends, no secret handshakes here! Not only did he impart wisdom, but he played dirty little tricks like throwing the handouts out into the air over our heads – very unexpected – and FUN! I have to say that among the tips and tricks he tossed in enough teasers that I’ll be downloading a copy of THE ROOK to my kindle tonight.


I could go on, but I won’t because it’s late and after that long day of sessions and the Cocktail Party hosted by Grand Central Publishing I’m excited to hit the sack so I can get up and do it again tomorrow. In the morning we’ll be greeted and treated to a whole new slew of sessions and after lunch – I’ll be heading to AgentFest where a bunch of us will be lining up in speed-date fashion to do 3 minute pitches to our choice of over 40 top agents. It’s a three hour event that is sure to be a hoot as we try to pick the right line to get the most pitches for our AgentFest buck and make great first impressions as we grip and grin with the folks that could help us make that next step on our journey toward publication.


Hugs and High 5s~


Nancy

Thanks Nancy and we’ll be looking for your next report tomorrow.


Bottom Line: Yes, it’s hotter than heck here, but I’m ok with it and I don’t want to hear any complaints when the temps hit below zero in a couple of months.

Lady Jane’s Salon

Barbara Vey -- July 6th, 2010
Readers Cindy Holby, Dianna Love and Hope Tarr

Readers Cindy Holby, Dianna Love and Hope Tarr

Made it to New York yesterday and the city is sizzling.  I thought it was just because I arrived, but Mother Nature had a hand it in with scorching temperatures that will be hanging around all week.  It doesn’t really matter to me because I like it hot!

Speaking of which, I attended Lady Jane’s Salon last night at Madame X in Manhattan.  This is a must stop if you’re in New York on the first Monday of every month.  Lady Jane’s Salon is Manhattan’s first reading series devoted to romance fiction, founded by romance authors Maya Rodale, Hope Tarr, Leanna Renee Hieber and blogger Ron Hogan.  Admission is $5.00 or one gently used romance novel and all proceeds to benefit organizations that support women in need.

Amina Syedullah, Samneang Sin and Judith Seremie

Amina Syedullah, Samneang Sin and Judith Seremie

The readers for July were Hope Tarr (The Tutor), Dianna Love (Silent Truth) and Cindy Holby (Breath of Heaven).  Each author brought their own touch to their readings that had the audience entranced.

Part of the charm of Lady Jane’s is the socialization that goes on before, during and after the readings.  A nice mix of authors, readers and industry professionals made for very entertaining conversations.  For me, it’s like visiting old friends and meeting new ones.  There’s wine, New York news, lots of books talk and with a Soap Opera Digest journalist there, the inside scoop on the Daytime Emmy Awards.

Kate Garrabrant and her mom, Paige

Kate Garrabrant and her mom, Paige

Hope Tarr also shared that WORDs of Love bookstore is holding A Night of Romance on Thursday, July 22nd. Hope joins moderator, Sarah MacLean and Lauren Willig, Sarah Wendell and editors from RT BOOK Reviews and Avon Books in a spirited discussion of the romance genre. Event includes a book signing.  And on August 19th she will also be reading from Every Breath You Take at the Happy Ending Lounge for the “In the Flesh” Reading Series.  Unfortunately, this place will be closing at the end of the year, so get there soon before it’s too late.

Katrina Snow, Elizabeth Kerri Mahor, Louise Fury and Sarah MacLean

Katrina Snow, Elizabeth Kerri Mahor, Louise Fury and Sarah MacLean

Exciting news for me is that I’ve been asked to be the MC at the October event.  I’m so stoked that I’m already thinking about buying a new outfit and know it’s time to step up my workouts.  I’ll be in town for Comic Con, so I’ve got another reason to come a few days earlier.  As soon as I find out who the readers will be, I’ll let you know.

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Bottom Line: This should give you all incentive to get that book written so you too can be a reader at Lady Jane’s Salon.

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My upcoming events:

Thrillerfest – July 7-10

San Diego Comic Con – July 22-25

Romance Writers of America – July 28-31

DragonCon – September 3-6

Eagle Library Author Event – September 25

Emerald City Writers Convention – October 1-3

New York Comic Con - October 8-10

Readers ‘n ‘ritas – November 12-14

Contact:  barbaravey@gmail.com

Join me on Twitter and Facebook

Travel Day to Thrillerfest

Barbara Vey -- July 5th, 2010

Today is a travel day for me.  I have a 7:55 a.m. flight to New York to attend Thrillerfest.  I love travel days.  It’s exhilarating for me to be in a busy airport.  I could spend all day watching all the people to see how they pass the time while waiting for their flight to leave.

Of course, I always have a book along, although I do mosey on in all the bookstores just to see what’s available.  Sometimes I pull out my computer and do some offline stuff like write up some ideas I have or make notes on what I see or hear.  A lot of times I just sit near the check in desk so I can listen to all the questions and complaints that people have.

I have seen people check in a day late and then get angry because they can’t get on the flight or get there just minutes before the flight is supposed to leave and find out their seats have been given away.  It shouldn’t be a surprise since they start boarding about a half an hour before the flight leaves and keep announcing what will happen if they don’t show up, but they act surprised anyhow.  And more than once alcohol has been involved.

But I digress.  I’m always amazed at the people who actually can get real work done while waiting at the airport and even on the plane.  I’m so easily distracted that if I smell a pretzel heating up, I have to go check it out.

I know authors who can totally absorb themselves in their stories that nothing gets in their way while they are working.  Kudos to them.  I just want to know how they do it.  How do you tune everything out when there is complete chaos around you?  And this isn’t just at airports.  It at home when everyone is there and wants something from you and even sitting in a coffee house or library.  What’s the secret to insulating yourself from others?

Bottom Line: Maybe I just suffer from undiagnosed ADD…oh look, free samples at Starbucks…

My upcoming events:

Lady Jane’s Salon – July 5th

Thrillerfest – July 7-10

San Diego Comic Con – July 22-25

Romance Writers of America – July 28-31

DragonCon – September 3-6

Eagle Library Author Event – September 25

Emerald City Writers Convention – October 1-3

New York Comic Con - October 8-10

Readers ‘n ‘ritas – November 12-14

Contact:  barbaravey@gmail.com

Join me on Twitter and Facebook