I’ve been looking forward to ApollyCon since the event was first announced and I’m just a little sad that it’s now over. Of course, I have tons of memories and a whole bunch of new signed books, so I won’t be forgetting about it anytime soon.
I planned my trip to ApollyCon for months. I bought my tickets the minute they were available. (I literally scheduled it on my calendar so no one would try to plan a meeting with me at that time.) I reserved a hotel room as soon as the room block was opened. I bought an Amtrak ticket as backup just in case Mother Nature didn’t play nice and I couldn’t drive to Philadelphia. And, most importantly, I started buying ALL. THE. BOOKS. Here’s what I took with me. (Minus the cat, of course. He was just being an attention whore.)
I was prepared. I was excited to see my blogger and author friends again. I couldn’t wait to meet new bloggers and authors (and readers, of course.) Let the #booknerdweekend begin!
There was so much to love about this trip, but my favorite part by far, was FINALLY meeting two of the bloggers who have become amazing friends over the past year – Betsy of Book Drunk Blog and Kaitlan of Between Order and Randomness. I feel like I’ve known these ladies forever so it was incredible to get a chance to spend the weekend with them. And boy, we did we have a blast.
Despite our original intent to go out in Philly on Friday night, the call of the hotel bar (and FREE HAPPY HOUR) was too much. We had an awesome time chatting about books, hot models and life over drinks. All without ever leaving the hotel. Next time, Philly.
(Photo taken by Krista of Krista’s Dust Jacket!)
We also ended up spending a few hours playing Cards Against Humanity in the hotel lobby. With drinks, natch. Lots of them. This was my first time playing and honestly I couldn’t have picked a better group to pop my CAH cherry. It was hilarious. I laughed until I cried.
(Photo taken by Lindsay!)
After all the boozy fun on Friday night, I was surprisingly ready to take on the signings on Saturday. After an
awesome free hot breakfast, we hit the line for the book store on-site, but there were delays opening it so I ended up jumping out of line and going to shower so I could feel human. Which was fine, because really, I didn’t need to buy any more books. (See photo above.) Then it was time to get in line for the V.I.R. signing! I was so excited! We all were!
(Photo from Kaitlan of Between Order and Randomness.)
OMG the signing was insane. But awesome. We divided and conquered. I got to see (almost) all of the authors I wanted to see and got all of my books signed except Jen Armentrout’s. She was such a trooper. She and Drew Leighty, the cover model for The Return, were so kind and gracious they ended up staying to sign books until 7 p.m. (After a couple seriously late nights signing books for those who couldn’t attend.) That’s the kind of lady she is. I’m sad I didn’t get to have my books signed by her, but I was volunteering as an author assistant for the public signing so I couldn’t spend that much time in line. Of course, I’m lucky enough to see her at smaller events around this area fairly frequently, so there’s always next time!
I thought the V.I.R. signing was nuts, but I hadn’t seen nothing yet. The public signing… wow. Let me just say I was really glad to be behind a table helping out Laura Kaye. I don’t think I could have fought those lines and remained sane. But it looked like (most) everyone was having a great time. And with the awesome lineup of authors that were there, it’s no wonder.
I didn’t feel the need to take a bunch of photos with the authors this time. But honestly, I’m a little sad now that I didn’t. Authors I met for the first time: Sophie Jordan, Sarah J. Maas, Katee Robert, Katie McGarry, Jay Crownover, Chelsea Cameron, Susan Dennard, Kristi Cook, Tiffany King, Jamie Shaw, Laura Kaye and Kristen Proby. Author friends I saw again: JLA, Cora Carmack, Tessa Bailey, Megan Erickson and Jen McLaughlin. IT WAS AMAZING.
Just look at all the books I got signed…
I need a new bookshelf. Or two. (Especially after buying another 8 books onsite. Ha. I can’t be trusted at author signings.)
I even won books in the ARC giveaways. I was so freaking excited.
One thing about staying up way past my bedtime on Friday night and then doing signing things all day Saturday? I was way too tired to even think about the after party on Saturday night. We went long enough to grab (delicious) cupcakes (made by Jen of Jenuine Cupcakes) and our V.I.R. goodie bags. Then we went back to relax at the hotel bar.
I definitely took it easy Saturday night. Partially because I was exhausted and also because a winter storm was heading towards DC and I wanted to leave early to get back before it hit and everyone went spontaneously stupid. I left Philly about 4:30 am and made it back to DC just in time. I was literally taking the last bag of books into my apartment when the sleeting started. I couldn’t have planned it better. I was tired but happy and spent Sunday napping on the couch.
All in all, ApollyCon was a blast. There were hiccups you would expect with any event of that size, but the staff did a great job adjusting on the fly and rolling with it. After years of organizing conferences and events, I know how difficult it can be. I applaud them for all they did.
I had a great time with all my bookish friends. It was wonderful to see everyone again, and to make new friends. My #booknerdweekend was pretty much everything I wanted it to be.
Honestly, I’m gonna need a little bit of a break before I go to another event of that size, but at the same time, I’m already looking forward to the next one. The other events I’m positive I’m doing this year are a signing in Cleveland in April, BEA (and volunteering at a signing in NYC) in May and another singing in Pittsburgh in September. But, who knows what else I might find in the meantime. I love these things!