Do you remember when you were younger, and you had sleepovers with your friends? Do you remember how much fun you had on those nights? Do you remember how you stuffed your face full of traditional sleepover snacks and stayed up late talking? Do you remember the feeling of the next night – post sleepover? That feeling of desperately wishing to go back in time, to repeat the last night because it was so wonderful being surrounded by your friends and having such a good time?
That’s what today has felt like.
After spending three and a half days surrounded by books, bookish people and authors, real life seems a little dull, and coming back to it, a bit bittersweet.
It’s a bookcon hangover…get it?
Sorry, that was bad, I’m tired and not funny.
I somehow managed to convince my friend to go again this year, after last year’s event, so we headed down to DC Thursday evening so we could go to the casual Author/Reader Meet & Greet. It was fun to hang out for a bit, we caught up with Brigid Kemmerer, and debated whether or not we wanted to wait in the long line to talk to Jen Armentrout and Drew but opted not to.
(I forgot to add Kristen Simmon’s books to the above photo – she’s super lovely and so sweet! I thought something was missing from the picture and if this post didn’t have to be scheduled to upload in 6.5 hours – I’d go retake it. (It’s currently 1:21 AM)).
Though, to be fair, we were starving, had just driven an hour and a half in the pouring rain, and tired after a busy day. Tomorrow would be a busy day, and figured it was a good idea to get unpacked and just relax before the long day that would be Friday.
We each had authors we wanted to see:
Me – Elise Kova, Brigid Kemmerer, Kristen Simmons, Katharine McGee, Krista & Becca Ritchie, Wendy Higgins, Katie McGarry, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sarah J. Maas, A.C. Gaughen, Rachel Harris, and Suzanne Young.
My friend – Elise Kova, Wendy Higgins, Katie McGarry, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sarah J. Maas, A.C. Gaughen, Rachel Harris and Miranda Kenneally.
Compared to others, are stacks of books were relatively small – though I’m not complaining, because I didn’t break my back or bruise my shoulders like last year.
FRIDAY we managed to make it to one of the six panels that were running in the morning – oops. First we stopped by the BN store set up to purchase a few books, and then we went for coffee…which was a mess. Figuring it would be easier (and faster) we ordered it online for pickup and headed around the corner to go get it.
After about twenty minutes, with still no coffee (the store was PACKED so we figured it they were running behind) we found out that we ordered from the Starbucks two blocks further down the street…this was the first quest for coffee, I’ll get to the second later.
Then we grabbed wristbands for some of the ticketed authors we wanted to see, and then we got in line to wait for the doors to open for the Titan signing!
The layout was different this year compared to 2018 – the authors were split into two rooms, two different floors, and with the ticketed wristbands (and the way it was handled) made everything flow so smoothly. With the room split, it kept the temps down and relatively cool in the rooms. The worst thing is when too many people, get too hot and then they get cranky. (That was some of my experience last year.
My friend was able to get all her books signed on Friday during the Titan signing, while I chose to only to get half signed. I didn’t want to break my back and there was still the Saturday signing. I was able to catch up with Brigid and her super sweet assistant Anna (who has a book coming out in June – The Beholder) I wish I had known Anna was going to be there, because I would have brought my arc of her book for her to sign!
Then it was off to do the rounds, and let me tell you, every single author I spoke with was the sweetest! I got my books signed, caught up with a few other authors (while I was waiting for my number to be called to get into Jen’s line) and just kind of wandered around the room.
Her line is usually super long, but we got through it relatively quickly and we chatted. I only really see Jen maybe once or twice a year, but I’ve been a fan for a long time now, and I think we first met back in 2012…maybe 2010? She’s absolutely wonderful. It was also great catching up with Drew, and he asked if he could sign my book, and what he wrote made me laugh.
After saying that we’d catch up later, we headed downstairs to the other room full of authors, where I met Krista & Becca Ritchie and gushed about The Raging Ones and how I couldn’t wait for book 2. Then I talked to Rachel Harris and somehow managed to arrive at her table at the right moment, because I was able to buy her last early published copy of her newest book Eyes on Me (Out March 26th) and I cannot wait to read it!
But I should backtrack for a second – I got to meet SJM! It’s not my first time meeting her, but you know when you meet idols and your brain just kind of stops working and sometimes the words that come out of your mouth are just ‘wtf’ and you regret them.
*points finger at face*
I could have told her literally anything, about how I love her books, that she’s a reason I write, that her baby is adorable, BUT INSTEAD I tell her about the quest for coffee…crickets chirping.
She was super sweet, and I felt like a totally nut.
What I can’t get over is that, it’s not the first time I’ve met her and I’ve never been that star struck around her.
HELL, I could have told her that KOA put me in a three-month book slump! I could have asked her about Crescent City or literally anything else.
Anywho, fast-forward a few hours to the Sparkler Event which is basically speed dating with hundreds of others and a selection of NA and Romance writers. And the questions you ask can be innocent or dirty.
Then I parted ways with my friend for a blogger event hosted by Berkley Romance. I chatted with other bloggers/booktubers/bookstagramers and we were given a few upcoming releases. It was a fun event and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I won’t lie, I struggled through it a bit. I was exhausted and my feet ached, and I really just wanted a shower and to crawl into bed.
(I did exactly that and my friend and I fell asleep to HGTV we were so exhausted lol)
SATURDAY morning came too soon and too early, and after a good breakfast we headed down to stand in line to get into the signing. I only had a handful of books, so it went pretty quickly, and then we just spent some more time wandering around. I bought so many BookBeau’s over the weekend, but they had such pretty designs! We swung by Brigid’s table again and chatted.
But to be completely honest, we spent most of the afternoon in our room, reading and just chilling. We totally could have gone and been tourists (despite living kind of locally) but we were both tired and just having company when reading or just chilling is nice. We’ve been friends for so long, that half the time we don’t even talk, we just sit in silence and read. I finally got her to start Air Awakens (a task I’ve been trying to accomplish for YEARS) so I’m super happy, and she’s enjoying it! I should have totally been writing, but I watched Doctor Who instead and ate pizza.
Then it was time for the decades dance, which was fun. I’m not much of a dancer, but we met up with some people that we had met earlier in the weekend and chatted with them until 11:30 when we all got too tired to stay up. We also grabbed some pictures with Drew and Jen – they are pure gems. And then they asked us what we thought of the event (obviously we loved it) and I was kind of surprised that Drew seemed to actually recognize us. (That’s not a diss at him, we’ve only met him three times, and he just spent a whole weekend meeting and engaging with hundreds of people.)
Since we had to leave the next day, we spent some time packing up, and despite the fact it was midnight, I drank way too much wine (because I wasn’t about to spend $$$ at the dance on alcohol) and ate dinner. Then once again we fell asleep to HGTV and our loud ass neighbors screaming at each other.
SUNDAY was the brunch, and due to a last-minute health issue, Colleen Hoover had to back out – I hope she’s doing okay and feeling better – but Christina Lauren (aka Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs) The two of them and Jen spoke a bit about writing and their works, and breakfast was so good, and I ate entirely way too much.
Overall, I had a fantastic time, and I cannot wait to go back next year! Jen puts on an amazing convention, and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend, thank you. Also, thank you to the authors who came out. You all are so amazing! It’s one of my favorite events to go to, and I cannot wait to see what next year has in store!
One last thing, I got so much swag and so many books, keep an eye out for a potential giveaway – I honestly don’t have room for all of it. The picture to the right are just *some* of the books I got while at Apollycon – the ones I intend to keep.
Another ‘one last thing’ – I didn’t take many photos while at the event. Mainly because I’ve been trying (when I go to big events, or places) to live in the moment, rather than spending it behind my phone. I went to ApollyCon, not only to meet favorite authors but to engage and connect with other readers. Sometimes I feel pressured to document it all in photos, to share my experience via InstaStories, or live Tweets, and while sometimes that is fun, when you’re focused on getting in signing lines and talking to authors, my first instinct isn’t to whip out my phone and snap pictures.
Is it something I may need to get better at, if I’m going to continue blogging? Possibly.
If you stayed to the end of this post, thank you! It kind of got away from me. Maybe next year I’ll see you at ApollyCon!