I have no idea how to recap the last week. If you were keeping up with my Twitter feed you already got the highlights version (the very slimmest of highlights, anyway); and if you attended any of my events, then you already know something about the recent chaos which has been my life (and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming out to see me).
I’m still wiped out, courtesy in part of a fat black cat who didn’t see any good reason why I should sleep in TODAY of all days, when she’s ready to get up and play (read: eat breakfast) at 9:00 a.m. But I’ll take a stab at a recap anyway, because I’d already resolved that this was a day of catching up – and not necessarily a day of professional productivity.
Friday: Got up at 5:15 a.m. in order to catch a cab down to the Clipper at Pier 69 (hur hur hur). All instructions and reports said to be there by 6:30, and we were, in fact, there by 6:30. It took a while to check in, check our bags, and get on board – but from there, the trip was lovely and low-key despite the rollicking weather. We arrived in Victoria around 10:30, and were met by Jordan and Zandra Stratford – who showed us around the city, took us out for coffee, and set us up at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Later that night, we all dressed up and met up again in the Fairmont’s Bengal Lounge. There, we met up with Diana Vick and some of her friends (who alas, I cannot link) and the marvelous Unwoman, who was super-damn-cute and very nice. After drinks and shenanigans, Aric and I went walking around the harbor to see all the lights and boats and stuff, and then we crashed around midnight.
Saturday: The Victoria Steam Expo did verily begin! I took the microphone and chatted, read, answered questions, and generally had a hoot of a time. I talked to a bunch of people, signed a bunch of books, read from Dreadnought, and explored the hotel and the city a bit. Later that evening, Miss Rosie Bitts put on one hell of a show that was a glittery, feathery, mostly naked joy to behold; and then Unwoman played a concert, and it was so lovely I went out and bought some of her material.
Sunday: Aric left fairly early on the clipper, headed back to Seattle without me (but toting a bunch of the clothes and whatnot I didn’t plan to take to NYC). I met fellow author Nick Valentino, who was exceedingly gracious and sweet; I hung around for a while after breakfast, and then took up the (many) suggestions that I scurry down the street to check out the Royal British Columbia Museum, which was a KNOCKOUT of a museum in all ways possible. Best of all, once you have a ticket, you can come and go all day – which I did, after the costume contest and other assorted events at the Fairmont. Then, fairly early, I went back to the room and crashed because I had to get up hella-early on Monday.
Monday: Monday I got up at 3:45 a.m. and was picked up by a car at 4:15 a.m. – and then it was off to the airport, some 20-30 miles away from the hotel. My flight left before dawn, yes. I flew over to Toronto (5 hours) and then had to go through customs for the first time in my life, which was pretty cool except for how my (tightly rolled, secured with a rubber band) petticoats exploded all over a nice customs agent when the rubber band broke as he was examining it. There was much confusion, and then general relief and hilarity. Crinolines of mass destruction! Eventually I made my way to LaGuardia (90 minute flight, which arrived almost an hour late), to a car that was waiting, and then to the hotel – where I had approximately twenty minutes to make myself presentable before I needed to fling myself into a cab in order to catch a business supper with some Tor folks. This accomplished, I squeaked over to the meeting spot just in time – and met up with my editor Liz Gorinsky, my publicist Amber Hopkins (who I’d never met before), Patty Garcia (another Tor publicist), and a cool guy named Jim – whose last name I never caught, but who was a buyer for a very big bookstore, as it turned out. (I didn’t know that until afterward.) By 11:00 p.m. I was back in the hotel and hitting the hay. After all, I had to get up early on Tuesday.
Tuesday: Got up at 7:00 a.m. (mind you, that’s 4:00 a.m. West Coast time), as I had to be downstairs in the hotel lobby by 8:00 a.m. in order for Amber to pick up me and Cory Doctorow, who was also staying in the same hotel – and who had to be at the same panel I did, at 8:45 a.m. over in the convention center. At 8:45 I joined Cory, Scott Westerfeld, and a very cool “fangirl” librarian from the NYPL (no really, that’s what her badge read). Together we talked about steampunk and young adults. It was cool. Scott had slides and everything :) Immediately following the panel’s end, I was whisked away by Amber for a radio interview with some Amazon folks. Amber and I were joined by my other editor (BLOODSHOT, at Bantam) Anne Groell – who I’d never met before but was delighted to see. Anne came with us as we (eventually) tracked down the Amazon woman. She interviewed me. I bolted. Anne and I went back to the Random House offices (TOO COOL) and she ran me through the floors, introducing me to people for an hour or so. Then we dashed off to lunch, because I had promised to be over at the Tor offices around 2:00ish – which Anne very kindly (and efficiently!) made happen via Official New York Subway Experience. I was met at the Tor offices by Liz, who then ran me all over the Flatiron building meeting all the Tor folks (ALSO TOO COOL), including Tom Doherty himself as well as his daughter, and they were awesomely nice and lots of fun to talk to. Liz then took me up on the roof and it was wicked cool (pics are over on Twitter). Then she took me into the city for sightseeing and lunch in fast-forward, because I had to be back at the hotel to get changed and gussied up for the Steam Salon. Caitlin Kittredge likewise gussied up and came with me to this salon, which we reached only a tiny big late – and the salon was WILD. The bar (Madam X) was packed to overflowing, and there I met MOAR PEOPLE including (but not limited to) such highly anticipated folks as my agent Jennifer Jackson, and John Joseph Adams, and Rose Fox. AND the marvelous Kate Milford appeared, making for two authors with Boneshaker in their book titles present, tipsy, and tickled to make one another’s acquaintance. Felix Gilman, George Mann, and Cat Valente read, and then I read last – using my best TEACHER ON A PLAYGROUND VOICE OF PROJECTION which means that I still have a sore throat but it was totally worth it. Here’s a pic of me and Caitlin at the event. Afterward, we bolted. Then hotel. Then a few hours of sleep.
Wednesday: Got up, packed everything, checked out, loaded all into taxi, and went back to the center for my first event, a signing at a huge long row of other writers – our lines separated by rows of crowd-managing fences. We sort of looked like rodeo bulls in our pens, waiting to bust out and wreak havoc. It was kind of cool. What was MORE than kind of cool was the fact that we gave away all the ARCs of DREADNOUGHT in about 40 minutes (I don’t know how many exactly, but several boxes of them). Amber had to cut off the line and turn people away, which made me feel bad, but there was nothing either one of us could do about it. A number of the folks who made it through the line were internet friends or friends-of-friends, including a bunch of reviewers, Anton Strout, and the aforementioned Nick Valentino’s wife. When the time for signing was over, my agent Jennifer caught up to me and Amber as we whisked our way over to another interview, this one with the folks from XM satellite radio. It went smoothly and quickly, and then Jennifer and I went off to lunch. It was a hastier lunch than we would’ve liked, but it included her associate Michael Curry, who I’d wanted to meet forever – so it was fabulous nonetheless. Jennifer had promised to have me back by 2:40 for my final panel/discussion, and she did. This one was moderated by my editor Liz, and included yours truly, Cat Valente, and Felix Gilman, and it too was about steampunk, but hey. It’s not like I have a shortage of things to say about it. Then, finally – and immediately after the panel ended – I dashed across the center to a waiting car, which then took me to JFK to catch my flight home. It took an hour and a half to get through the traffic, but I made the flight and then, by about 11:30 at night, I was back in Seattle.
And yes, believe it or not, this is only the very bare bones highlights version of events. There were plenty of people I planned to catch at BEA but missed, and if you were one of them, I send my apologies. But I hope you understand [:: points up at that long-ass post ::] and can forgive me.