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So, i have been putting off recapping the NYC trip. Partly becuase I am in denial that it's over, and partly because I am not sure there is any way to do it justice.
A year and two months ago, I was just another writer waiting for her break. I had dozens of rejections, a slew of trunked novels, and an agent who refused to take no for an answer. I really didn't think it would happen with Prada and Prejudice. Much as I believed in the story, it seemed fated to be forgotten like all the other novels I have sitting around.
But that changed in June of 2008. And the year that followed has been crazy and surreal and everything i have ever wanted.
And somehow, going to New York, solidified that and made it real. I met my agent after three years of partnership, and she is adorable and sweet and stylish and fun. We rode the subway up to my editor's office, andI remember standing in the lobby at Penguin looking at a display case full of books and realizing that, somehow, mine fit in among them.
Once my editor greeted us, she took us on a tour around the offices. I got to meet Ben, the head of the imprint. Jessica, the editor whose legs appear on my cover. I learned that the shoes on my cover were black in real life. I meet Ann, the assistant editor who I occasionally beg to in order to get ARCs. And then we sat in my editor's office with a view of The Statue Of LIberty, surrounded by books and covers.
Surreal. I was sitting in an office in downtown New York with MY agent and MY editor. MY book was sitting propped up on her window sill.
It was real, though, not something I dreamt up. We went to lunch and had long conversation about my 2010 YA, and I learned that they are already hard at work on the cover.
Afterward, I went back to the hotel-- I somehow managed to take the subway by myself--and met up with Rhonda Stapleton and Julie Linker, my roommates for the weekend. Rhonda and Julie couldn't be more opposite-- Rhonda is so incredibly outgoing and funny, and there's just no way you can take yourself too seriously around her. Julie is sweet and southern, and I tried to get her drunk but it so didn't work. ;-).. Although I crashed out early that night due to my red-eye the night before, I managed to stay up until Midnight or 2 AM on the other nights. It really was like summer camp, except the gossip was about books.
Friday I met up with my other editor, Stacy, at Harlequin. The Harlequin offices are awesome, with book covers all over the walls. I also met Mary, the editor there who also offered on Prada and Prejudice, back in 2008. I got to see a whole bunch of the Harlequin Teen covers that wil be coming out next year (SO awesome-- they are doing a great job and are SO excited about their launch of Harlequin Teen). I had indian food with Stacy which was yummy.
Then I walked over to Ground Zero, which was far more intense and moving than I'd expected. After that I headed to Wall Street and saw the New York Stock Exchange. Somewhere along the way, I spotted a Borders store and dropped in. THey totally had 4 copies of PRada and Prejudice, so i signed them. It was totally insane to realize that I was in NYC signing my book, at a random store that just happened to have it on hand.
Friday was the YA authors drinks night, and I was sooo proud of myself for mingling and talking with everyone. I met Shani Petroff and Mari Mancusi and Heather Duffy-Stone and Jessica Burkhart. It is really amazing to meet people you've talked to online for years, and realize that your books are the reason you're there.
Saturday's signing was both terrifying and thrilling. Becuase I arranged for all 9 of us to sign together, I felt like it was on me to make it a success, and I worried no one would show up. My worries were unfounded, as we had a great turnout. And--even better-- I was able to talk about my book and NOT stutter or get nervous. I felt on top of the world!
Here are some pictures, coutesy of Rhonda:
I was really amazed at how many of you from LJ, twitter, blue boards, etc, that came by to say hello. It meant SO MUCH to me that people who got to know me online wanted to support me, and I can't thank you enough.
After the signing, a group of us went to dinner, which in of itself was totally awesome. I finally got to meet Rachel Simon, who is every bit as adorable and charming in person as she is online. She wrote me the COOLEST song based on Prada & Prejudice, and I've already re-read it several times. :-) Robyn Shneider/ Violet Habberdasher , Parisa, Sarah Cross, and Jason, this random guy no one knew, came with us to dinner. (HAHAHA, JK Jason!)
There were so many moments I stopped and thought about what brought me to NYC. So many moments I said, "OMG I AM IN NYC. OMG I AM SIGNING MY BOOKS IN NYC. OMG I AM AT A BROADWAY SHOW IN NYC."
Suffice to say, it was an unforgettable experience. And now i"m looking forward to TEXT IN THE CITY 2010.