Never under-estimate the power of creating opportunities for yourself. If I hadn't been on Twitter, I would not have seen posts about the Festival of Writing in York. If I hadn't have gone to York that year, I wouldn't have met the lovely author Anika Scott, who lives in Germany. And if I had not met Anika, I wouldn't have been flying across to stay with her and attend the Frankfurt Book Fair. So, the moral of this tale is, as ever, eat lots of chocolate and drink wine, because doing both gave me the sugar rush and drunken confidence to start a Twitter account in the first place.
Hooray for chocolate and wine!
But before my tale of Frankfurt starts, a quick wave and hello, as it's been a while since I've blogged (pardon me) and I'm sorry for the while it has been. I never meant to go AWOL for so long, but it is frighteningly quick to get out of the swing of blogging. So let's strike while the smell of fresh books still hangs in the air, the furry costumes of manga cosplayers are being patched up for the next event, and somewhat scarily, I can still see Moomins when I blink.
|The Moomin bus!|
We rocked up on Saturday around midday, having left Essen at an ungodly dark hour clutching steaming cups of coffee, and book-dreamed as the train sped beside the trees and fairy-tale castles of the Rhine.
|Can you spot a castle?|
|On my way!|
A quick consultation of the map and we were away. One of our first stops was the UK and USA hall, collecting rights guides and 2015 catalogues. As well as getting excited about what books are coming up, both are great for studying blurbs – seeing what words pull me in as a reader, which words excite my mind. Also both give an indication of where the market is heading. I tend to write what’s in my heart rather than what I think the market would want, as by the time the book is finished things may have moved on anyway, but it’s interesting to see what sort of trends are out there. And this is all research you can do on home soil, too – visiting bookshops and libraries, chatting to sellers and librarians – but have to say it was super-lovely to be doing it in Frankfurt!
|At the book fair|
|Dear cover on the right, you're gorgeous!|
Moving from covers to illustration – I was so impressed with France. Nearly every picture book and graphic novel ticked my box for otherworldly, strange, beautiful illustrations – and the books stood out in a sea of primary colour.
|Ceux-ci sont belles|
I really loved my time in Frankfurt. It was totally heartening and inspiring to see how many people love words and pictures, and how every country pulls together to celebrate their authors and artists. At the end of Saturday, giddy-excited about all we had seen, we retired to the Finnish hall balcony to toast the fair with a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the square. It was our Frankfurt moment!
|Me and Anika|
|The best way to end the fair - cheers!|