In lieu of actually trying to summarize the actual book fair (which I'm happy to attempt if any book geeks out there want specifics) I figured I'd do a cheater photo tour of my Bologna/ Florence trip. I will do a cut for obnoxious levels of photography. Here are a few things I learned while overseas.
1. In Italy, they have giant light boxes at the Random House booth, and one of them is of my crit partner Tessa Gratton's debut! This is my first photograph of the trip.
And this was the second.
2. In Italy, they also have lightboxes for me. Like this pretty one for Linger.
3. And also this giant ten foot long one. I think I may get one installed in my bedroom. Mood lighting. Those are my fantastic foreign rights people, Lisa, Rachel, and Janelle.
4. Thirty-two foreign publishers is a lot, especially when it doesn't include Canada, UK, and Australia, which are all covered by Scholastic. And when you put most of those publishers under one roof for a dinner party just for you, it suddenly gets a heckuva lot more real. There were so many people absolutely crazy and passionate about Shiver -- it was literally like a dream.
Also, they fed us multiple courses until 11 p.m., and then we rolled back to our hotels to have more food six hours later.
And of course a few Shivers with accents were in attendance.
5. In Italy, they like to drink sparkling water and look at you funny if you don't. They ask when you sit down, "Gas? No gas?" and this does not mean what you think it means.
Most of these bottles in these photographs are water. Some gassy. Some not. Also, some of the people in this photograph are Dutch. Some not. (I love my Dutch publishers by the way. I believe in this photo she is explaining to me what is living on the plate in front of us).
6. When they say "Scholastic cocktail party at the castle" they mean a real castle. I feel warm/ cozy about being a Scholastic author at this moment. I barely restrained myself from reenacting any of the scenes from Anastasia.
7. It is cold at night in Italy in March. I brought my husband to stay warm.
8. They have a lot of vehicles I would like to have intercourse with in Italy. I want this Land Rover like WHOA. (technical term)
9. My husband has weird ideas of what constitutes picturesque tourist photos. We are alike this way. He took this photo in Venice.
10. They have cops in Italy. Some of these cops where helmets large enough to store sandwiches in. I'm not sure if they do actually use them for this purpose, however. (I would) If they did store sandwiches in there, they would be ham, because ham sandwiches are all the Italians eat between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Unless it's fish paste. They also eat fish paste.
11. They have copies of Shiver in Italy. When I tried to explain to them that I wrote this book and I would be happy to sign their stock copies if they liked, they explained to me they have no English copies. When I finally convinced them I was Maggie Stiefvater, through a series of pictionary clues, mime activities, driver's license photos, and finally, English-speaking bystanders, the manager read the bio in the back of the book and said only, "You have a Camaro named Loki?"
Also, this was when my eye started turning red. Can you tell?
12. In Florence, they had a lot of violent statues. Like, people chopping off Medusa's head.
And people raping Sabine women. (yes, I realize that is only her butt cheek. I wanted you to see how amazingly realistic it was in real life, with the fingers pressing into butt cheek. I was impressed).
Also, there Florence had a small but active clubbing scene.
Get it? Get it? Oh, I kill myself with the funny.
13. In Florence, they had living statues because they just didn't have enough not-living ones per capita.
14. If you take a photo of a living statue on their cigarette break, they will show you Italy's version of the finger, which takes a lot more arm muscles. And looks really impressive if you happen to be painted in all gold.
15. And finally, in Italy, they eat kraken.
I just realized that this was possibly the least informative post ever. However, I'm not changing it. I'm going to go not eat squid.