I’ve been looking forward to the Cleveland Author Event since I bought my tickets months ago. Cleveland is pretty far from DC – at least by car – but since my parents live in southwestern Pennsylvania, it seemed like the perfect time for a road trip with my mom. She’s a lifelong reader, but has never been to a signing or met an author, and while she doesn’t really read the same books as I do, I thought she might have a good time. (Spoiler alert: she did. She even read a few Tessa Bailey books in preparation for the event and she plans to read books from some of the authors she met at the event sometime soon, too.)
I’ve spent some time in Ohio, mostly when I was in high school and my best friend’s family and I would go to Cedar Point for a few days in the summer. I’d never been to Cleveland. Neither had mom. Since we were planning to get to town sometime in the afternoon on Friday, we started to look at things to do while we were there but weren’t all that interested in what the city had to offer. We talked about going to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, just because, but then we came up with a better idea. One we were both FAR more excited about… stopping off in Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame! It was a little out of our way but so freaking worth it.
If you’re a football fan, you absolutely have to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We spent a couple hours there and could’ve easily spent more time… if they weren’t closing for the day. There were so many great (and interactive) displays. A Steelers fan like myself will find lots of videos, photos and memorabilia, too. Not to mention a few inductee busts and Super Bowl rings to look at.
Naturally we had to leave some time to visit the gift shop before we left. I’m glad we did, too, because Mom found an Alex and Ani display and bought me the Steelers bracelet I’ve been wanting so badly!
After a great time in Canton, we headed up to Cleveland. About an hour later we checked into the hotel and recharged for an hour or so before heading back out to find someplace to buy some snacks… and a place to get a bite to eat. And, when in the midwest and in need of a quick bite to eat, Steak ‘n’ Shake is a given.
Saturday was fantastic. All the way around. I have to give major props to the blogs who organized the Cleveland Author Event. Love Between the Sheets and Books, Chocolate and Lip Gloss did a fantastic job. It was a big event, with tons of authors, but everything was well-organized and ran really smoothly. The lines weren’t out of control. Everyone was super nice. I was really impressed. I had a nice selection of books to get signed for myself and for a friend and, unlike the last time I tried to use my handy-dandy cart, I had no problems this time!
I confess I went all the way to Cleveland to see/meet six authors. It’s true. I was excited to see Tessa Bailey again and I couldn’t wait to meet Christina Lee, Tessa Teevan and Lexi Ryan. I was also looking forward to meeting Mia Sheridan and Amy Harmon, though I’ve not had as many interactions with them as I have with the other ladies. Everyone was so sweet. And, as an added bonus, my friend Betsy was there for part of the event – and the Saturday night fun – and it was awesome to hang out with her some more.
I managed to get all my books signed in about an hour! Unreal! I decided to go around and get a couple tote bags signed since there was still lots of time in the event. This gave me a chance to talk with some new-to-me authors and collect a bunch of swag to remind me of the authors I met and the books I’m interested in adding to my TBR! (P.S. Look for a tote bag giveaway sometime soon!)
It’s probably no surprise I picked up a few extra books on-site either, is it?
Saturday night was totally the highlight of the entire weekend. Tessa Bailey, amazing as she is, decided to host a small get together for some of her readers in her hotel suite. There was wine, pizza, cookies and FUN. I can’t even begin to get into the things we discussed that night (in front of my mother, none the less! *blush*) but my god, was it fun. (Even if my mother learned things about me she really never needed to know.) I loved meeting the other readers, bloggers and authors who were there and chatting about books and life. (And porn, Tumblr, hot models and all the research authors do to write their books.) It felt like a sleepover. It was such a wonderful night. One of my top three book nights ever.
I’m so glad I decided to go to the Cleveland Author Event this year. It was well worth every hour I spent in the car on Friday. It was beyond wonderful to finally meet Christina, Tessa T. and Lexi. Plus, I’m glad the event was a little lower key so I really had a chance to talk to them more than I might’ve at some of the other events I’ve been to. It was great to see Tessa B. again and I’m so grateful for her hospitality. I loved meeting other members of Bailey’s Babes. It was great to hang out with Betsy again and I’m excited my mom got to see a little more clearly why I love blogging and the community so much. (Even if I’m still blushing when I stop to think about some of the things that were mentioned around her last weekend.)
It was so, so difficult to come back to the real world after spending a couple great days in book world. Book world is far more fun.
A huge thank you to everyone involved with this event. If all the author events I go to from here on out are just like this, I’ll be the happiest book nerd ever.