Wow, what an overwhelming, fun, amazing, and exciting weekend!!! There is nothing like meeting friends you have only chatted with online. Or getting together with other women who totally get why you can’t go out because you’d rather read your book, or meeting and actually hanging out with your idols who wrote your favorite book. Well it all happens at book signings, and Book Bash in Orlando is the biggest one!
My first book signing was my own, Wicked Book Weekend, Feb 2013. 14 Amazing authors (including Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Tara Sivec, RK Lilley, Jasinda Wilder, Katie Ashley, Raine Miller and more) ate lunch at Houlahans with about 125 people, and we spent the weekend, including a bus ride (with Jell-o) to an adult toy store.
So imagine my surprise when the next event I went to was last year’s Book Bash–over 1,000 book lovers! It was crazy, and so much fun to meet up with all of my Wicked Book friends again! Since they didn’t have an after party planned until the event was almost upon us, I hosted an after party with 32 incredible authors who we got to dance with and hang out with all night!
Then this year’s Wicked Book Weekend in Ft. Lauderdale was 50 authors and 300 people and we all got to meet each other, really spend time together, and make amazing new friends. I had the best volunteers, and I couldn’t wait to see them all again at Book Bash!
Which brings us to Book Bash 2014.
I pull up to the hotel, and run in and immediately start screaming and hugging people. My original Wicked girls were in the lobby! Yay! Then, here is the thing about book events….you see all of these faces that look vaguely familiar. Are they authors? Are they fans of my blog? Were they at one of my events? Are we Facebook friends? I am the absolute WORST with names and faces, so between that, and the fact that nobody looks like their Facebook photos, I kind of wanted to crawl in a little hole, especially when I got a few hugs from people I couldn’t place!
**Note: Tara Sivec couldn’t be there, but she was with me in spirit, along with Megan!
Then Scheva, (my roomie) and I went to dinner with the Bookslapped girls, a pickle girl, a squirter, a rocker, the love of my life (Joanne), a few awesome women, plus RK Lilley and Mr. Beautiful, and Katie Ashley and her model Assad. OMG!!! Dinner with authors! ME!!!! Though they have been guests at all 3 of my events, I am still totally a fangirl when I am near them!
Back to the hotel for the pre-registration, we kind of missed most of it. But I got there in time for this!
Then we get to the lobby and there is a line to meet THE Kristen Ashley. Gracious as always, her food sat there and got cold while she took photos and chatted with her fans.
OMG, she has my phone number!!!! DYING HERE!!!!
SATURDAY, The big day!
People started lining up at 8am. Not me, I was happily asleep! I came down before noon and hung out in the lobby with some lovely fellow readers until they started letting everyone in. HOLY SHIT. IT WAS A MOB!!!!!! The volunteers were working their asses off, and despite 1500+ readers (I’m sure we had some PMSing) everyone was just happy to be there! There was lots of waiting online, but that was OK because we were with others who loved the same thing we did!
Top row l-r: Jenn Foor, K. Bromberg, Kathryn Perez, Trudy Stiles, Natasha Boyd, Kristen Ashley.
Middle: Maggi Myers, Renée Carlino, Debra Anastasia, Dawn Roberson, Kylie Scott, Joanna Wylde
Bottom: Emma Chase (An hour line!), Sylvia Day, Kallypso Masters, Alice Clayton (HUGE line), Kim Karr, Laura Kaye
Out of 81 authors I only went to these plus Harper Sloan (forgot to take a photo–it was my first stop), Tina Reber (oops, forgot again) and Jamie Mcguire (no time for photos) and Jasinda Wilder (I snuck behind her table for a kiss).
There were so many I wanted to meet, but there was just no way to do it in 4 hours! Just Alice and Emma alone were 2 hours.
After a bloggers meet and greet (um, interesting?), and quick trip to Friday’s for dinner, where thank goodness, I took a few swigs from Dawn Robertson’s bottle of Fireball, I was ready for round 2: The After Party.
All I remember was there was a LOT of boob squeezing! I think I felt more boobs Saturday night than I’ve felt in my life. Mine included!
Sunday at around noon, I met with Kristen Ashley to chat about Wicked Book Weekend 2015. (Nervous wreck!!!) then we went out to lunch with a great group of authors and readers. Penny Reid (I have a girl crush on her), JL Berg (OMG I love her books), Dawn Robertson and her my little pony obsession, Rochelle Paige (love her) and Carey Heywood (who thought I hated her!!! 🙁 )
Then, at lunch I got a text from Kristen Ashley’s lovely sister. YES to Wicked Book Weekend!!!
I TOTALLY CRIED.
Then we went to Margaritaville for dinner.
Then dancing with RK Lilley and her husband (did I tell you how much I love them?), JL Berg and Carey Heywood who can dance their asses off, as well as Joanne and Shannon (Wicked whores) and some awesome readers.
By the time I got back to the room, it was 3:45am and my roommates had to get up at 4 for their flight, so I stayed up with them till 5. Then slept till the maid knocked at 8:30. DON’T THEY KNOW BETTER??????
My friend Shannon and I had a lovely lunch with 4 authors! Kathryn Perez, Sarah Dosher, JL Berg and Carey Heywood. Seriously. Lunch with 4 amazing authors. STILL DYING.
35 Things I learned at Book Bash 2014
- Book lovers are a bit crazy, but totally awesome.
- You will never find a broken book necklace
- Watch out if you bring sex toys in your carry on. (I didn’t fly, but my roomie did.)
- Pretending you don’t hear a fire alarm is a good thing.
- Sitting 10 feet away from a lightning strike is pretty cool.
- It’s not possible to see 80 authors in 4 hours.
- Coffee cups are very discreet.
- Pizza is always better at 2:30 in the morning when bought by Mr. Beautiful.
- RK Lilley is my hero. Always happy, awake, dancing, down to earth and awesome with her hubby, I love them.
- Kristen Ashley: pure class. I knew this already but she reinforced it. She and her sister have great genes.
- I enjoy rubbing against Harper Sloan. A. LOT.
- I will always see Dawn Robertson in a state of undress.
- My other button is a clitoris.
- Bellhops can also be creepy stalkers (we have a Tara Sivec stalker…he knew she was at a wedding!)
- There was room for 25 smuffins in Scheva’s pants. And they stayed there all weekend. Seriously Scheva is so giving, she ran around all day for all the people who couldn’t go.
- The volunteers at Book Bash were amazing.
- The organizers of Book Bash may be crazy. This event is just huge and there is no way they make money from it. But they work their asses off for a great event.
- It’s amazing being in a room with 1500 overwhelmed women and everyone is nice. We all love the same thing!
- If you want to get a lot signed, work with friends and split up. If you want to meet a lot of authors, lower your expectations a little.
- Tara Sivec and Megan Wickland like to be in my bra, amongst other places.
- Penny Reid. Seriously. I think I want to lick her.
- JL Berg, Carey Heywood and RK Lilley can dance all night.
- You can surf on a moving sidewalk.
- Blow-up dolls may not be appropriate when there is a youth ministry in the hotel.
- Lori Stern. Queen of volunteers (I knew this already).
- Women lose all self control around male models.
- Still being awake when people are just waking up to go to the airport is interesting…until the maid knocks at 8:30am.
- Boobs come in all shapes and sizes. I know now because I squeezed a ton!
- Authors are people too, but I still can’t get over actually hanging out with them.
- Take more pictures, and never depend on others to send the ones they took!
- I will trust Megan with my blog any time.
- I love Joanne Christenson more every day.
- I miss Mr. Ana when I’m away.
- There is nothing better than seeing all of my book buddies in the flesh!
- Wicked Book Weekend 2015 will be epic!
So yes, I’ve name dropped! I am seriously so fangirling that I actually got to sit and eat meals and dance and grab boobs with these people, that the signing part was just gravy.
Honestly though, the best part of the whole weekend? Seeing the friends you have made, making new friends and having fun with people who you can totally relate to. We all have one thing in common: WE LOVE TO READ!!!!
Can’t wait for Wicked Book Weekend!
I didn’t end up getting too much swag, and the tablet cases I brought look pretty empty with so few signatures, so I am going to save those and get more. So I am going to combine swag from Wicked Book Weekend and Book Bash for 2 nice big swag packs. US only. You will get a tote, tablet stand, TBR list, and lots of little goodies from authors, signed and unsigned.