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Sunday, May 26, 2013

#BEABlitz Interview: Hannah of Irish Banana Reviews


Welcome to BEA Blitz!  Today I'm interviewing the ever lovely and gracious Hannah of Irish Banana Reviews!  Don't know what BEA Blitz is?  Head over to my BEA Blitz Master Post to find out and see who else is being interviewed!

How did you originally hear about Book Expo America(BEA)?
I had been blogging for about 5 months and had just made the decision to really try to keep with blogging (before I had sporadically reviewed and was on the fence), and during that time I started networking more on twitter when all of the sudden my twitter feed blew up with all these tweets about something called “BEA” and #BEA11 #BookExpo all over the place. I did a little research and was stunned at what I discovered.

By July of 2011 I vowed to go to BEA in June of 2012, and by August I had my room booked and people locked in place to go with me. The rest, as they say, is history.
What are you looking forward to the most? Dreading the most?
I’m most looking forward to meeting people. Last year I got so consumed with BEA itself that it made me so tense and anxious. I had never been to a convention like this, so I was entirely focused on the future and getting to the next thing that I neglected my present and enjoying the moment or reached out to the hundreds of people around me. This year I’ve got a better handle on how things with go down, I know what to expect and I’m not stressing nearly. I’m going to enjoy hanging out with my friends, meeting authors, and chatting with publicists.

I’m most dreading the first morning of BEA. As excited as I am, there’s this ball of fear that knots tight in my stomach at the thought of it because that really sets the tone for the show. If people are energetic and fun (like last year), I think it’ll go well. Yes, craziness is to be expected, but as long as it doesn’t get out of hand (biting people, shoving people, having books stolen, etc.) then I think it will be great. Plus, those first 10 minutes are insane with people rushing around, trying to grab everything in sight and that’s when things can get the most out of hand.

I can handle crazy as long as everyone’s having fun. When people start getting angry and upset is when I get upset.
Which author would you sacrifice a limb to meet at BEA?
A few weeks ago I would have said Simone Elkeles. I am a huge fan of hers and I freaked a bit when I found out she was coming to BEA … But then plans changed and she wasn’t. Should she magically appear, meeting her to get a signed copy of Wild Cards is my #1 must-have. (ed note: Simone is still coming!)

I honestly try not to focus too hard on authors I must meet otherwise I’ll go crazy when I inevitably miss someone or get to a line to find it 150 deep with only 10 minutes left of the signing. Authors I’m going to try my hardest to meet are Jennifer Armentrout (who I’ve met several times and adore), Richelle Mead, Cora Carmack, Sylvia Day, and Gretchen McNeil.
Is this your first time in NYC? What do you plan to do while not at BEA?
Nope! Before attending BEA last year I had been on several day trips (bus trips) to NYC. But the thing about bus trips is we basically just walked everywhere, went to Macy’s and the Empire State Building and then it was time to leave. Last year, I spent almost a week in the city. I took the subway, taxis, buses … I went everywhere and felt comfortable doing it.

This year I’m getting in early Wednesday morning and plan to use that as my tourist day—we’re going to Little Italy, Chinatown, the 9/11 Memorial, and later that evening a blogger dinner I’ve helped put together with a few friends. I also got invited to a few publisher events I’m excited about and have a list of people I want to hang out with I only see at events like this. I’ll be busy most of the week!
What has been the single most practical advice you've seen about attending BEA?
Proper footwear is essential. They seriously aren’t kidding when they saw you’ll be on your feet all day, and while there’s a thin layer of blue carpeting laid out, you’re basically walking on concrete all day which is hell on your body. And not just at BEA—I’m assuming you’ll hit the streets of the city when you’re done and be walking more because NYC is a walking city. Don’t go with your cutest flats because they’re your cutest flats. Do you think I usually pair capris with tennis shoes? No. I usually have a fun pair of sandals, but at BEA I wore sneakers and I had no issues with my feet the whole week.

Save the cute shoes for after BEA. Your feet will thank you.

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Thank you so much Hannah!  Hannah, as well as being one of my co-conspirators for this Blitz, blogs over at The Irish Banana Review and has a wonderful Tips and Tricks series for the BEA goer!  She's also on Goodreads, Twitter and chatting up a storm in the Book Expo America group as one of the mods!