Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bologna - The Fair Opens! (and, thanks to a pickpocketter, so does my purse...)

But fear not, gentle readers. I caught him red-handed. I laughed in his face and said, “Sorry, buddy. There’s nothing in there.” He was so busy trying to sort through all the clutter that he couldn’t get to the money at the bottom before I interrupted him.
See, after a long and wonderful day of talking books with
publishers and other book types from Korea, Ireland, Israel, Quebec, France, Brazil,
and Mexico, Margie Wolfe (Second Story) kindly offered to accompany me back to
our hotel on the local bus. I’d taken a taxi out there so I didn’t really know
the route. The bus was crammed with people and Mr. Lightfingers was right in
the crush. I had my purse zipped up, with the strap around my shoulders. I was
clutching my briefcase in one hand and the pole in the other hand and chatting
with people. But I kept looking down at my stuff, just to be sure, and that’s
when I noticed he’d unzipped the top of my purse and was just trying to root
around a bit. Little turd. It’s a very compact little purse so even I have a
hard time trying to get stuff out of it. Margie says it was lucky for him he
didn’t try that on her or she’d have smacked him. She probably would have, too.
I’m not really the smacking sort, though I kind of wish I was. Would have made
for a better story.

But the real story of the day, of course, was the fair. I
set the booth up this morning in plenty of time and almost immediately, a
publisher from Brazil was drawn to one of our as-yet-unpublished picture books,
Tadeo’s Search for Circles. I only had a handful of illustrated spreads to show her but it was enough to get her very excited. So thank you to Kyrsten Brooker, our fabulous illustrator, for
getting those few spreads to me as quickly as she did!
Actually, most of our picture books were very well received – they were the real draw, I think, though there was some interest in the novels.

Oh, yes, I took George Clooney and Jacob Deng
with me for company!
On the table, you'll notice a bookmark for Random - a novel by Lesley Choyce. It was recently named as a White Ravens selection (that's an international award) and for those of you viewing this image at F&W, after I took this picture, I added to the display the fabulous colour flyer that Cheryl Chen made right before I left. It has attracted attention, so yay, Cheryl!

After my pickpocketting escapade,  I went out for dinner with Alison MacDonald, an agent at The Rights Factory, at  the same little restaurant that I went to last night, across from my hotel. We had an absolutely marvellous time, talking about kid lit and authors and all the best parts about working in children’s literature in Canada.  Thank you to Sam Hiyate for treating us to a fabulous eveningI

I am SOOO looking forward to tomorrow’s appointments! J

(Oh, and here is another random plaque that I noticed on a wall as I waited to cross the street. Boy, you certainly don't want to blink around here or you'll miss something cool! Imagine finding a tribute to Byron across the street from my hotel - in Bologna!)

1 comment:

  1. We had a similar pickpocket experience on the subway in Rome. Luckily we had our travel wallets clipped to the inside of our waistbands. Can't be too careful!