My trip to NYC was a blur of activity and little sleep. Monday evening I took a redeye flight to NYC, and I managed to capture a whole two hours of ZZZs. My flight was delayed an hour due to Obama’s visit to NYC, which meant my cab to the city got caught in rush hour traffic. Once I got to the hotel, though, I freshened up and hit the ground running, determined to make the most of my single day in NYC.

First up, roaming the floor at BEA. I got my badge and meandered, trying to find the Simon & Schuster booth. Along the way, I tripped through the Harlequin booth. I glanced over and saw Debbie Macomber standing around in an oh-so-casual manner, as if she were a normal person, and not this huge romance author I’d read in my twenties. In my mind, she is an AUTHOR, and it was very surreal when it hit me that my badge also said “Published Author.”

From there, I hit the Simon & Schuster booth. As I stood there blocking traffic, the first person I bumped into was Lesléa Newman. She is the author of over 60 books, including one that has currently been adapted for the stage. Plus, she is on the faculty at Spalding University’s MFA program, and I’ve been lucky enough to take part in her workshop. I stood chatting with her for a while as several fellow Apocalypsies and Class of 2k12 people wandered up. It was so incredible to meet these people in person after sharing so much with them online.

Soon my editor Annette Pollert arrived and we were off to lunch to gab about books. She is so sweet and tells such funny stories. I kind of want to steal her brother. After lunch, we hit a YA panel where we met up with KM Walton. We share an editor and she wrote this heart wrenching novel called CRACKED. I had the best time hanging out with her and her agent Sarah LaPolla. We all grabbed coffee (which I desperately needed at this point).

Then it was off to the Apocalypsie Meet & Greet. I was a late addition and a crasher, but I still had so much fun meeting the readers and bloggers. And the Apocs are such a warm, generous group, and it was fun to put faces and voices to the people I’d only met online. Thanks to those Apocs who arranged everything, especially Lenore Appelhans who allowed me to crash, Gretchen McNeil who MC’d, and Zoraida Cordova who arranged to have all my swag there before I knew I could make it.

After that, Kimberly Sabatini, Shannon Messenger, and I made our way to the Simon Pulse/Aladdin cocktail party. I propped my eyes open with drink umbrellas and enjoyed meeting or reintroducing myself to the team at Pulse. These people have worked so hard on my book, and I am ever grateful. We talked about classy things like lip sweat, color-coded spreadsheets, and books.

From there, a group of us walked to the Jefferson Market Library for the Teen Author Carnival. I was on two panels – “Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?” and “What’s in a name? New Voices.” The audience mainly consisted of bloggers and teens – so many teens! I was thrilled to meet the people who might eventually read my book, plus the panels were entertaining. And to cap off a wonderful day, I signed my first ever ARC at the end of the evening. I tried to play it cool, but I was actually overwhelmed and choked up. Everyone should experience that moment.

Once the TAC wrapped, I had dinner with a few Apocs, and then it was back to my hotel where my roomie Veronica Rossi and I talked for ages, slept too little, and then woke at 4:45 AM to catch a cab to the airport on Wednesday AM.

The trip passed too quickly, but I’m so glad I went!