The New Year’s Countdown: 2012 Events

It’s always nice to go to events (book related or not), don’t you agree? This year I went to a bunch of them which was great since normally I’m a hermit and prefer at-home activities (i.e. reading a book). So I decided to get over this when I began this blog and ended up attended cool events where I met awesome people and had a lot of fun!

UPDATE: Totally forgot about the IFOA (International Festival of Authors) interview and reading with Rebecca Lee, Ben Lerner and Jess Walter. I went with Lynn and it was a lot of fun.

The last week of August, I went to FanExpo Canada which is essentially the Toronto equivalent to San Diego Comic Con at the Toronto Convention Center downtown. It was four days (Thursday to Sunday) of panels, previews and costumed fans (Cosplayers). I spoke to Dan Didio, the co-publisher of DC Entertainment, and Kelly Armstrong, author of Women of the Otherworld series (I was tongue tied when I met her). I went to panels: The Walking Dead, Flashpoint, Revolution, Continuum, Arrow, Stan Lee, DC All Access and more. I saw the pre-screening of the first episode of Arrow and Revolution. I got to see a free screening of Lawless thanks to Alliance films. It was really good. I bought a shirt to wear every day (two Wonder Woman and two Batman). I took pictures, waited in lines, ate food, waited in more lines, bickered with my siblings and dropped on my bed every night exhausted but excited for the next day. It was insane but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

There’s only one huge event that happens in Toronto during the first two weeks of September: Toronto International Film Festival. This year marked my first time and despite some bumps – next getting my initial movie choices, standing in the rain for 3 hours to pick up my tickets, terrible seats at one of the films – it was still a relatively great experience. The films themselves were amazing. I saw three: The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, Byzantium and an independent from Turkey, Watchtower. It was a lot of fun and I learned a few things that I can use next year to make it a more pleasant experience but it’s one that I wouldn’t change (except the 3 hours in the rain…I’d change that).

Another September event was the Bookstravaganza hosted by Random House Canada and Chatelaine Magazine. It’s one of the best events I attended this year and hope that it happens again next year. It was an event for book lovers to get a sneak peek at the books that were coming out in the coming months. There were sweets (A CHOCOLATE ADDICTS DREAM!), free books (huzzah!), a swag bag (Truffles! Yum.), guest authors (Shauna Singh and Annabel Lyon), signed free books from guest authors (The Selector of Souls and The Sweat Girl), a raffle and it was held at the Ritz-Carlton which was STUNNING (my mother put the car through the valet experience and enjoyed it a lot). It was so much FUN.

I went to my first book event in October: authors of Burn for Burn, Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. It’s also the event where I met Lynn for the first time! We heard the authors’ funny and sad stories of high school and their process in writing this book as a collaborative project. I got to take a picture with them and Lynn got her book signed. It was a fun way to meet a fellow blogging and see the writers behind the books we read. I started to realize that this wouldn’t be the last time I’d go to an event like this.

November 3rd was the Ontario Blogger Meet Up. THIS WAS THE GREATEST EVENT OF THE YEAR! I’ve done a recap of it somewhere on my blog but it was so much fun. I think we were there for 3 hrs? They flew by so quickly and I met so many bloggers but MISSED JUST AS MANY. Sigh. I got to hang out with cool authors and the amazing people behind the Publishing companies that give us the books we love to blog about. I took home a mountain of books (through prizes, swag and book exchanges). All of it was such a joy AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR!

The next event was the following weekend: The Libba Bray signing. Or as some of us liked to call: Blogger Meet Up Part 2! So many of the bloggers from the meet up were at this event and we had so much fun before the event discussing books, shows and NaNoWriMo. Then the event started and Libba was hilarious. Again, there’s a recap somewhere on my blog. I got my book signed and got to know (and meet) some of the bloggers much better.

Finally, the most recent event that I’ve attended was the launch of Adrienne Kress’ book: The Friday Society. I know I have a recap of that somewhere since it was only about a week ago. I met authors Maureen McGowan and Lesley Livingston again as well as fellow bloggers. That was a lot of fun as well and it was my first book launch now that I think about it (hurrah!).

I’ve gone to a lot of things ever since I started this blog and I’m a little less of a hermit than I was least year so that’s something.J My goal is to get out there more often in the New Year and meet new people.

And try not to get tongue tied…

A. A. Omer

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