Fuse #8

Saturday, June 09, 2007

BEA Party Hearty Recap

I don't suppose I talked much about the cool BEA publisher parties that went on during BEA, did I? I thought about it, but until recently I wasn't sure what to say. I mean, here's the Random House Party summed up to to a tee:

1. Went to the Top of the Rock
2. Saw Judy Blume
3. Said nothing to Judy Blume because I am shy and, let's admit it, what on earth do you say to Judy Blume? Do you say, "You're Judy Blume!," and gape. Cause that's what I'd do. I would.

Actually, it was much more than that. The party was held last Saturday night on a balcony at the Top of the Rock. Rockefeller Center, to be clear. I'd always wondered why people would go up to the tippy top of Rockefeller Center when The Empire State Building is so much taller. Arriving from an elevator that played movie clips on its ceiling (it even dims the lights) all was clear. When you're on the Empire State Building you can see everything with the exception of Central Park. Why? The bloody Rockefeller Center is blocking your view, of course. But once we arrived we had a stellar view of the city. Bellinis were served alongside a variety of tasty appetizers and treats. Jazz musicians pumped out tasteful tunes and the booze was free with the flowing. Seated around the space, both outside and inside, were a bunch of different authors. Judy Blume. Markus Zuzak. Libba Bray. Jerry Spinelli. Etc. And which ones did I speak to? None! I am shy! I don't know these people! Huzzah!

After the mingling, we (Monica and The Resident Husband Who Is Mine) decided to ditch this swank party and hobble on over to the Simon & Schuster Spiderwick shebang. Party hopping. Can't be beat. So to an old factory by the trainyards we did roll and there we found the action well underway.

I should note that I didn't take any pictures of any of these outings because, silly me, I'd removed my camera from my bag earlier that day to upload pix of BEA. Ha. Fortunately, there are editors at Simon & Schuster who are more than happy to share their own pixelated prowess. Observe:

It took us a while to get a handle on the theme. At first we just figured that the place was doing some kind of odd advertising for... saltines. Hm. Odd. I imagined that Pepsi would pay better. But as we looked around we started to get it. Everything was oversized whereas we, the guests, were fairy sized. Oh ah!

Now the image above is a bit brighter than the actual par-tay. Imagine a lot more smoke, and a lot more people in a dimly lit room. Danny Elfman music pipes in from a lobby where props from the movie (a whole Arthur Spiderwick study, in fact) allow you to poke and pry about.

This pic is a little closer to what it felt like.

Yes. That poor man behind the counter is cutting a gigantic hamburger with an electric knife. It's a magnificently huge creation. People were also encouraged to pose in front of a nearby green screen to have themselves fairyfied. I declined the honor.

Now here's where I was a bit disappointed:

I'd been under the impression that we, the guests, would get to see scenes from the upcoming Spiderwick movie. No go. Instead there was a perfectly nice video with Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi on the next book in the Spiderwick series. Or rather, the new Spiderwick that is a separate series altogether. No film clips, true, but the fact that the gift bags all had copies of the next Spiderwick story inside. What else lifted my spirits?


Oh, sweet gigantic cupcake the size of an elephant's skull, where have you been all my life? Don't let the eerie lights and smoke fool you. I fell in love at first glance. Alas, our romance was not to be. Other people partook of its sweet sweet chocolate mousse filling too. It wasn't a one woman cupcake. That baby got around.

And sadly Tony DiTerlizzi, I learned once I arrived, could not attend. His wife done went and had a baby and Tony decided to do the good daddy thing. This was sad for me. I once played a game of Literary Trivial Pursuit and found a card that listed his name as "Tony DiTerlizzido". Thinking it funny, I sent it to him. I was going to ask him what he'd thought of it. Had he attended that would have upped my count of Authors Spoken To to 2. #1 was Sarah Beth Durst who was cute as a bug's ear and whose book Into the Wild has still not hit bookstore shelves. I'm anticipating subtle buzz. Sarah was seated at a table with author Delia Sherman. Who, now that I think of it, I may or may not have had contact with in the past. Hm. Maybe I could have talked to her after all.

Another author I could have spoken to and didn't was none other than the delightful Holly Black, shown here:

You can't see it here, but she had this streak of white in her hair which made her easy spotting. The downside? I couldn't figure out what to say to her. Unless I've been in contact with an author in some fashion, I freeze up around them. I become the Abominable Betsy (some would argue that I already am). So no, I never said a word to Ms. Black. She seemed charming though. And it really was a lovely party. If you went out onto the balcony you had a great view of the trainyard below and the river not much farther past that. Plus, did I mention that they had a gigantic cupcake? *sigh*

By the by, don't let my recap of BEA be the only one you read. Publisher's Weekly recently posted Children's Books at BEA: A Photo Guide. It shows the Random House authors at the Top of the Rock, just as I mentioned. No Spiderwick party, though. Guess I scooped 'em there. Please also look at a recent Shelftalker piece that offers a smart assessment of the layout and problems with the BEA show itself. I ran into Alison on the floor, so I can assure you that everything she says is absolutely true.

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At 12:09 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, I wish I could have been there. Always wanted to try a giant cupcake! Or be fairyified. Uh, don't take that last one the wrong way...

At 5:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there!
You gotta start chatting with the authors! I bet they are nervous and are dying to speak with you-- being a library celeb with a big big blog.

At 9:11 PM , Blogger Franki said...

Sounds like fun--can you give us any more info on the new Spiderwick stuff???

At 12:35 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Hmm. I'll see if I can rustle up a link somewhere.

At 7:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what I said when I met Judy Blume: "You're Judy Blume."

At 1:25 PM , Blogger Jeannine Garsee said...

I was at the BEA (and at the Landmark although I got there kinda late) and got some GREAT pics of the authors on my blog. Feel free to use them whenever. Wish we would have gotten a chance to meet!


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