This is it. London Book Fair arrival day. Whoop! Let me see those hands!
- Wave goodbye to children – check
- Catch crowded train to London. Sit in carriage where Amy chats to her friend Jane about her horrible boyfriend, Daniel, who quite frankly in my opinion needs a kick somewhere soft - check
- Fight and elbow your way into a taxi and survive only with minimal bruising - check
- Arrive at Olympia and stand wide-eyed at the vast array of exhibits that makes you feel so excited that you have to rush to the nearest facility and self medicate with a latte - check
This place is HUGE. Don’t know about a calm stroll around the halls, think I actually need to get my post re-directed and move in. Can’t remember the last tine I was in a place where the atmosphere buzzed with ‘book talk’ - it’s electric.
So many stands crammed with publishers, agents, authors, all buying, selling or like me, simply sniffing the books (a habit I will never be cured of)
There seems to be a pedestrian rule here at Olympia, those on the left are striding purposefully while tapping into phones and periodically glancing to smile at familiar faces and on the right are the amblers, those popping a head into stands, stealing book bags and running fingers over any stunning book jackets that catch their eye. I am somewhere in between the two.
The publisher stands are full of little round tables where the meeting schedule is punishing. I watch as buyers and agents smile every half hour as a new person, pitch and idea is presented. Body language and facial expression is fascinating, you can see within seconds whether the pitch is of interest. It’s like book speed dating and I could quite happily people watch all day.
Last night had the joy of meeting in a good old-fashioned London pub with my UK publishers Head of Zeus and many of my foreign publishers. It was quite a magical moment to sit at one table where my Dutch, Norwegian and German publishers were discussing my books, characters and covers… It was one of those moments where I looked at my husband and smiled, I felt like a real, proper, grown up author. I won’t forget it.
Bit nervous as I am speaking on a panel today at Author HQ – pop along if you can at 16.45 – in fact not a bit nervous, I’m utterly terrified.