Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally that starts this summer in Cedar City, UT.

all about bea

edited: Now, with a picture from Penguin Teen! Documenting the drinking of water! And the shortness of me!

But no pictures. If wild and crazy photos of me signing books and standing around smiling at BEA surface on the internet, you will know that someone has sold my camera for ill-gotten gains. There may also be a picture of me sitting up on a stage for a panel discussion and looking concerned. The scandal!

So here is the one sentence summary of BEA: It was just about perfect.

I am not perfect, my books are not perfect, my kids are not perfect (which may be part of why I love them so dearly). I don’t usually expect anything to be perfect, which isn’t to say that I don’t expect it to be great. I just don’t usually think things will go as smoothly as this did.

Which means that people were working very hard behind the scenes. I’m incredibly grateful to my publisher for putting everything together and for all the work they did to make things work so well at the signing, for the panels, etc.

I loved being on the YA Buzz Panel, listening to fellow authors Kody Keplinger, Sophie Jordan, Erin Bow, and Rebecca Maizel talk. I adored sitting in the audience during the YA Editors Buzz Panel listening to my editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel, talk about MATCHED. She was out of this world awesome. I felt like all of the titles sounded so interesting and I felt very lucky that MATCHED was included in their company.

It was also lovely talking with people. My agent. My editor. My publicist, who was unfailingly unflappable. The other authors I got to meet and attend the ABC dinner with (Andrea Cremer and Heather Brewer, who are both kind and fun to be around, have excellent hair, and are the authors of fantastic books). The previously mentioned very wonderful Gayle Forman. I loved the bloggers who came up and introduced themselves, and the people who came through my line for the galley signing. I have had book signings before where I’ve signed two books. To have a line of people was so exciting for me (and yes, I know the books were free, but please don’t rain on this very shiny parade I’m having).

Cocktail hours/dinners always have that moment where: the waiter asks for my drink order and I say that I’ll have water, or Sprite, and inevitably someone who I’m talking with hears my order and remembers I’m from Utah and then it clicks and I get asked the Mormon question. (The answer is: yes.) Gayle pointed out in the comments on my last post that I can order fun drinks, like ginger ale (which I ALWAYS get on airplanes). Genius!

I think next time I might say, “Chocolate milk.” Maybe then they will also bring me a toy with my dinner.

So. BEA was great. And part of why it was great was that, even though I had fun every minute (especially the part where I was sleeping through the night UNINTERRUPTED FOR THREE NIGHTS), it made me so happy to come home and hug the kids. So huggable, those kids. So cute. So funny and winsome. They deserve a toy with their dinners. Good thing I picked up that tiny stress-relief judge’s mallet that one of the booths was giving away. It’s so awesome and squishy. I wish I could take a picture of it for you, but, you know. No camera.

Also, here is a link to the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop, which takes place NEXT WEEK! I’m presenting this year and I’m SO excited. Come this year. Make plans to come next year. It’s always, always good.

And another link to a contest that Sandy Shin is running for a pre-ordered copy of MATCHED. I’m so flattered! Sandy’s blog is great–about her writing journey, her life, etc. Check it out.




+ comments (16)
  • Sandy Shin
    June 7, 2010

    I’m sorry you couldn’t get your camera back, and thus this post has no pictures. 🙁 But it’s awesome regardless. BEA and everybody in it — the publishers, the authors, the readers — seem so amazingly wonderful. I’d dearly love to attend one of these years.

    I am sympathetic about ordering water at restaurant. But for me, water’s just the preferred drink. I can’t sing enough praises for water.

    And thank you for mentioning/linking to my contest! :>



  • RemildaGraystone
    June 7, 2010

    Great recap! It sounds like you had such an awesome time. Hopefully your camera will turn up soon so we can see some of the pictures you mentioned.



  • Reverie
    June 7, 2010

    It was so great to meet you and I am sure MATCHED will be much loved!

    V



  • tami
    June 7, 2010

    Ally, there are just no words to express how pleased I am for you at your success! So fun to read about your adventures (and I DO hope you get that camera back soon!)



  • BeckyWren
    June 8, 2010

    I’m so sorry about your camera. I hope that it miraculously makes it way back to you. What a bummer. ALSO, you are awesome! I think it so fantastic that you have accomplished so much! I can’t wait to read the book!



  • Sara B. Larson
    June 8, 2010

    So sorry about your camera. I would be having a stroke if i lost mine. I am a picture fiend. (As you know 😉 ) I hope you get it back one day.

    BEA sounds amazing, I’m so glad it went so well and that you had such a great time. Yay for sprite! (and gingerale, which is what I always get on the plane, too!)



  • HeatherSmith
    June 8, 2010

    What a great time! I am so glad that you loved it?

    What kinds of questions were you asked? Did have time to walk the streets and see a few things?

    Wish I could come to the Young Readers Conference. Maybe in the future. The chocolate milk and water will be my treat.



  • it was awesome meeting you 🙂 so happy for your success – long overdue!



  • Ali
    June 8, 2010

    Sounds like fun. What a cool experience that must have been, except for losing your camera. Sorry.



  • becca
    June 8, 2010

    the phrase “ill-gotten gains” makes me giggle. as does “nether regions” – maybe you can squeeze that one into your next post…



  • Carolyn V
    June 8, 2010

    Yay Ally! It sounds great. I’m glad it went so well. Can’t wait to see you next week at the conference! =)



  • MichelleMadow
    June 8, 2010

    It must have been so much fun signing Matched! The book was fantastic, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series! <3



  • ally
    June 8, 2010

    Sandy: Of course! You are so sweet to host the contest. I can’t wait to hear your BEA stories someday. 🙂

    Remilda: Thank you! I hope it surfaces too. And thanks for wanting to see the pictures. 😉

    Reverie/V: It was so lovely to meet you, too! Hope our paths cross again soon.

    Becky: Thank you! And how did it happen that we did not see each other when you were in UT again??? Must remedy.

    Sara: Ginger ale truly is the drink of champions.

    Heather: I mostly just introduced the book and myself and talked about how I got the idea. Not a lot of time for sightseeing, but I went in Feb. and have been before so I was okay. And you should definitely come to the conference! I will hold you to that promise.

    Shelli: Awww. Thank you! And it was so great to meet you too!

    Ali: I know. It was my own fault. I knew I would lose something. At least it wasn’t my computer!

    Becca: Why do you always make me laugh out loud?

    Carolyn: I know! I’m so excited to see you too! Whose class are you taking?

    Michelle: That just made my day. I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for your kind words.



  • Heather Moore
    June 9, 2010

    Fun picture! Next year you’ll be fighting the paparazzi off!

    You can always order a “Shirley Temple”–sounds fancy, but it’s just Sprite and Red Grenadine.



  • Lindsey Leavitt
    June 9, 2010

    The very first time I did a cocktail thing I was a little worried about “the moment” too. So I got the most sophisticated non-alcoholic drink I could think of–a Shirley Temple, generous on the cherries.
    Kill them with fanciness.



  • ally
    June 14, 2010

    Heather and Lindsey, apparently the Shirley Temple is the way to go! I bow to your knowledge of fun drinks.




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