It's not a normal blog day for me. I generally post on Fridays and this is actually Saturday. But, I won't be posting about each aspect of ThrillerFest like I did last year because I'm in the middle of moving. I just won't have the time over the next few weeks to write about all that I learned and everyone that I met. So, here's an info dump and a bunch of pictures.
I helped set up the bookstore again this year. Our bookseller was Strand Bookstores and their entire staff who helped out at the event were fantastic. I really hope they are our bookseller next year, too. They had so much fun stuff other than books for sale, like totes, magnets, notebooks, and even socks.
My only complaint with the bookstore was one I heard from many others, as well. There was no organization to it. No order was made of the books. I had enough books there that I should have sold out, but I kept having people tell me they couldn't find my books and I brought home four unsold copies. Next year, I will push harder for alphabetizing the authors. Two of us volunteered to stay late to put them in order, but we were dismissed. They wanted the chaos so that people would really look at each book. But, that meant people spent so much time looking for a book they wanted to get signed that they'd miss the signing or get frustrated and give up. Their staff members were so nice that if you actually asked them about a book or author, one of them would help you search for it. It's just that...so many people didn't ask and those books wound up not selling. Sad face...
CraftFest was awesome. I went to as many as I could, but it's easy to get information overload at these conferences. I drink way more coffee in New York than I do at home. Which is already saying something. All that knowledge and processing and sitting kept making me drowsy. A few different times while I was there, I had to go walk around the city or Grand Central to get my blood flowing and wake myself up.
I sat at the registration table for a couple of hours during PitchFest. That got pretty wild for a bit. Agents and editors who were there to hear pitches were rushing in late, trying to check in, and we'd have to send them down the hall to a different check-in desk. Other people were coming who were trying to rush to give their pitches. Then the flow of people came down from the ballroom where practice PitchFest had been and filled the stairs, the halls, and our ears.
I took a break from volunteering to grab a bite to eat, then went back into the office to stuff participant bags. Every year, the swag bag has the same things--a notepad, a pen, the lanyard for your name badge, the ThrillerFest program, the schedule for the week, a hat, and a few random books. They used to give out hand sanitizer, but there wasn't any this year. The people in the office were fun and I really love assembly line type stuff. I'm good at falling into a rhythm of doing the same thing over and over. I'm definitely going to volunteer to stuff swag bags again next year.
After PitchFest, it was the official start of ThrillerFest and the opening cocktail party. I slept through most of it. I made it downstairs with only 20 minutes left in the party. The food was cold/gone and the drinks were running low. I got my drink, chatted with someone while I slammed it, and got back in line to snag what wound up being the last "purple wedding cocktail" because then they were out.
ThrillerFest was fantastic. The panels are different every year; even if there are panels with the same names, they're populated with different authors. There are almost always a few chuckles, but sometimes downright hilarity ensues. One of the panels I attended had a legit stand-up comedian as panel master. It was funny as hell!
My panel was fun. I was way too tired for it, though. I kept forgetting the questions and giving half answers. I also looked miserable, apparently. Next year, if they let me on a panel again, I'm drinking way more coffee. By the time Saturday rolls around, I'm mentally and physically exhausted and only posed photos turn out well.
Now, today is not only the day after I usually post my blogs, it is also my fourth wedding anniversary. My hubby is at work. I have to leave for work in an hour, then we're meeting for dinner after we both get off. So, here's a photo dump... All the pics I took while I was out of town. I wish there was more. No time to rant about my hour hour flight delay or the loads and loads of amazing people I met. Sad face again...