Galley Girl has been racing up and down Manhattan since Thursday, looking for the most glam Book Expo events for your delectation. As Book Expo draws to a close, here are the highlights of her travels. Happy reading this fall!
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Host: Macmillan Children’s
Locale/Ambiance: Marseille / Hell’s Kitchen French restaurant
Scribe sighting/What we learned: R. L. Stine, author of A Midsummer Night’s Scream (July); his mega-bestselling books include the Goosebumps and Fear Street series / “I’m stealing from Shakespeare now. That’s what it’s come to.” The horror-meister has been writing for kids for 40 years. “I love killing off teenagers,” he says with a grin.
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Host: People magazine
Locale/Ambiance: Press Lounge at Ink 48 Hotel / Like Vanity Fair’s Oscar party, but for the literati
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Dagmara Dominczyk, Polish-born beauty, actress and author of The Lullaby of Polish Girls (June) / Writing is “fantastically freeing—a reprieve from the bullshit of the business”; the novel is “loosely based on me”
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Louise Penny: author of How the Light Gets In (August) / Her ninth novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache; title is taken from a Leonard Cohen song; lives in Montreal and Toronto, and soon in London; recovering alcoholic, 19 years sober; drinking sparkling water; “I’ve been sober longer than I drank…When things go bad, there is no need to anaesthesize”; was a CBC radio host for nearly 20 years, covering current affairs
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Carl Sferrazza Anthony, author of Ida McKinley: The Turn-of-the-Century First Lady through War, Assassination, and Secret Disability / Journalist, historian and screenwriter; leading expert on presidential wives; writing about First Ladies, is “not about clothing and dishes—it’s about influence and unaccountable power”; 13 books
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Host: Random House
Locale/Ambiance: Rose Stone Lounge at the Time Warner Center / Epic views of Central Park
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Nancy Horan, author of Under the Wide and Starry Sky (January) / An American woman, trying to escape an unhappy marriage, goes to Europe with her three children in tow to study art, and falls in love with Robert Louis Stevenson. Author of Loving Frank. The subject of a book, says Horan, must “grab and shake me.” Lives in Washington State; once covered Book Expo herself as a reporter.
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Pierce Brown, author of Red Rising (February) / Being positioned as Hunger Games for adults. Getting a very early push. “A young man fighting against a tyrannical regime, where the few rule over the many,” explains Brown.
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Kelly Corrigan, author of Glitter and Glue (February) / Memoir about her mother. Earlier books include the bestseller The Middle Place. “You can’t just tell happy sappy stories and expect people to believe you.”
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Marisha Pessl, author of Night Film (August) / Literary thriller about a reclusive movie director; had a smash debut with Special Topics in Calamity Physics; researched David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick, as well as attending film school, as preparation for writing. “This is going to be the book of the summer,” says Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello.
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Host: Penguin Young Readers
Locale/Ambiance: The Standard / Sweeping view of sunrise over the Hudson River and southern Manhattan
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnson / Husband and wife writers; “an interesting marriage,” she says. “It can be painful—you want to solve a plot point and he just wants to eat dinner.” She’s from the Philippines; he’s from Cleveland; common language is sci-fi; “We’re still together after all of the horror of collaboration.” Brought six-year old daughter, Mattie, to BEA. “I’m going on a baby book tour,” she told her kindergarten teacher.” “She’s going to be an author,” beams Mom.
Scribe sighting/What we learned: Adam Gidwitz; author of The Grimm Conclusion /Books based on “the real dark bloody Grimm fairy tales.” “When the kids find out that Cinderella’s stepsisters get their toes and heels cut off, they are thrilled!” Was a teacher; second grade in Brooklyn. “Now, I go to schools all the time, and get to scare the bejeezus out of kids 100 days a year.”
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BEA 2013: The Final Tally
Cabs taken around the city: Lost count
Hors d’ouevres consumed: In the thousands
Hands shaken: In the millions
Sleep during three days: What’s sleep?
Earrings missing: One
Appointment with a foot doctor: Tomorrow