Book Expo America — Friday

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What a great weekend. Book Expo America is the big publisher’s convention — last year it was in New York, this year it was in LA at the convention center.

Friday morning I went to the breakfast for children’s publishers, which began at 8:00, which is FAR too early to have to be anywhere, IMHO. The good news — the speakers were Eoin Colfer (ARTEMIS FOWL), Sherman Alexie (THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN), Judy Blume (author of… well, she’s Judy Blume!) and Neil Gaiman (author of… well, he’s Neil Gaiman!).

I met up with my friend Melissa Marr (WICKED LOVELY, INK EXCHANGE) and we got to chat a bit as we found our way to the HarperCollins tables. I was thrilled to see that we’d received free copies of Neil Gaiman’s new novel, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. Haven’t read it yet but I’m dying to dive in. The speakers were hilarious. Eoin Colfer could easily be a stand-up comic. After running down Judy Blume’s lengthy list of accomplishments, she told him that she’d only done so much because she’d been around a lot longer than he had. He said he was older than he looked because “I moisturize”. Frankly, it was kind of inspiring to hear from such wonderful authors.

After breakfast, I went to the signing area to collect a signed copy of INK EXCHANGE from Melissa Marr. She had quite a line. It’s hard to believe that my friend is quickly becoming a “famous author”.

After that, I walked through the booths and checked out the convention — it’s huge, taking up two gigantic halls. The great thing about BEA is that there are free books everywhere. The whole place is filled with people staggering around, lugging oversized totes crammed with reading material. It’s not for the weak.

Then, as I was going to meet some friends for lunch, I saw Brandon Mull and two other people walking toward me. He’s the guy who writes FABLEHAVEN — I recognized him from his photo. Now, I never do this, because I’m usually too shy, but I actually stopped him and introduced myself and told him that we shared an artist — Brandon Dorman illustrates my books as well as his. To my shock, he said he’d been looking for me! He had heard I was around and wanted to meet me. Then he introduced the two guys with him, and they’re terrific authors as well — James Dashner (THE 13TH REALITY) and Obert Skye (the LEVEN THUMPS series).


We really hit it off. In fact, my friend Rebecca walked by and wanted to take a picture of us. Here it is:

That’s Brandon on the left, then James, then Obert, then me — the short bald guy.

So… we all agreed to hook up later and chat and I went off to my lunch with the folks from Tempe, Arizona. I’d gone there earlier on a book tour and got to know this great, crazy group of teachers and librarians and BEA gave us a chance to hook up and see each other again. We had a lot of fun and Rebecca showed me a letter from one of her students who said that she just wanted to ask me one question, which was “would I be her friend”?

Well… of course! So I wrote her back a little note saying that I would love to be her friend and Rebecca snapped a picture — it’s the only other picture I have from BEA:

That’s Faith to my left, btw. Super nice, like all of them — except when they’re playing cards. :)

After lunch, I met back up with Brandon Mull and Obert Skye (James had to be elsewhere) and we talked books and movies and the writing life for… geez, I don’t know, an hour or two. They were interested in some of the movies and TV shows I’d done and Obert was asking me a bunch about ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. As we were talking about it, a “movie moment” happened — one of those moments in life that’s too coincidental to be real, the kind of thing that only happens in the movies. I was telling them about the show when Henry Winkler walked by, who I know because he’s been a guest on ARRESTED a few times. So I said hi to Henry and introduced him to Brandon and Obert. Now, not only is Henry Winkler the Fonz, but he’s also officially the nicest man in Hollywood. And I don’t say that to exaggerate — he actually IS the nicest man in Hollywood.


Obert had to run off to go do a signing for his new book, PILLAGE (which I picked up and got signed — can’t wait to read it.) And then I headed home for the day to rest up for Day 2. I was planning to write about that here, but this has turned into a novel, so I think I’ll do it later under a separate post.

Until then, take care…

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  • tltrent

    That looks like such great fun! Glad you’re having such an awesome time!

    June 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm Reply
    • deanlorey

      It really was fun. You’re planning on going to Conestoga, right? I’m hoping to get a chance to finally meet you…

      June 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm Reply
      • tltrent

        Oh yes–I’m totally at Conestoga! I don’t think Melissa would allow me not to be. 😉 So looking forward to finally meeting you, too! When is Book 2 out?

        June 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm Reply
        • deanlorey

          Book 2 comes out in the US on Sept. 3rd. In the UK, it’s going to be January. But the ARCs are done and that’s what I was signing at BEA — which I’ll blog about in the next post. :)

          June 2, 2008 at 9:26 pm Reply
  • coppervale

    I’ve heard that about Henry Winkler…. what a cool happening!

    June 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm Reply
    • deanlorey

      Yeah, he’s really nice and he’s also one of those people that’s actually interested in hearing what YOU have to say, which is sort of rare… :)
      Sorry you didn’t get out to BEA this year, but I’m sure we’ll hook up somewhere down the road. Any LA dates coming up?

      June 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm Reply
  • davidbeall

    Does it get any better? Thanks for sharing.

    June 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm Reply
    • deanlorey

      Yeah, life is good. :) And thanks for reading…

      June 2, 2008 at 11:20 pm Reply
  • kidsbookpusher

    BEA was such an amazing experience and seeing familiar faces made it just that much more fun! It was wonderful seeing you again, wish we had had more time or wine, or basically more time for wine:) The pics are great, and there is a little third grade girl who is running around her house tonight because you wrote about her on the internet 😛 You are just so fabulous!
    I got to meet Henry as well, and he was just the sweetest man, who actually took time out to talk to me as well. The little girl in me wanted to shout out “I MET FONZIE!”, but of course, I kept her well hidden inside. :)

    June 3, 2008 at 3:58 am Reply
    • deanlorey

      Re: BEA
      It was great seeing you again and I’m so glad your student was pleased! Hopefully, I’ll see you again when I come to AZ this fall for the release of book 2…

      June 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm Reply
      • kidsbookpusher

        Re: BEA
        Remember, we’re shooting for a whole week of Oh Hell and wine, oh and school visits too! 😛 We’ll be sure to get Faith to work that all out.

        June 3, 2008 at 2:55 pm Reply
  • brennas_life

    That note is so cute! That must be the most rewarding part of being a children’s author – knowing that these little kids look up to you and are inspired by you. 😀

    June 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm Reply
  • duckyduncan66

    Referral from Faith!
    Hi Dean,
    My name is Beth Duncan and I’m a middle school teacher in Vista , Ca. I got your name from a friend of mine, Faith Hochhalter, who saw you at BEA and in Tempe. I developed a really cool program for my students called Recommended Read. My students read and write reviews for Barnes and Noble. Their reviews are posted in the store for customers to use as a reference. It’s been very successful, and it has my kids reading like crazy!
    I would love it if you would consider sending us some of your books for my kids to read. We would send you copies of their reviews once they were complete. I looked through your blog and am really excited about the opportunity to work with you.
    I got a chance to meet Melissa Marr when she was in Oceanside. She sent me the ARC of Ink Exchange and I sent her a box of goodies. As a teacher, it’s really exciting to connect with authors, because it shows my kids that anything is possible if you try.
    If you need any more information, please email me. Thank you so much!
    Beth Duncan

    June 27, 2008 at 1:03 am Reply
    • deanlorey

      Re: Referral from Faith!
      Hi, Beth. I’d love to talk to you more about this. Sounds like a cool program. If you would, just shoot me an e-mail at and we’ll figure something out. And say hi to Faith for me. :)

      June 27, 2008 at 2:14 pm Reply
  • duckyduncan66

    I sent you an email!
    Thanks Dean- I sent off an email this morning. Looking forward to connecting! Have a great day.

    June 27, 2008 at 4:36 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    a fan of Obert and Brandon and James
    Wow, that is so cool, going to convention and meeting all those writers. I have just finished a book myself and I hope to publish from Shadow Mountain alongside them!

    August 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm Reply

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