Thursday, April 22, 2010

London Book Fair MADNESS

London Book Fair went ahead this week, despite lots of people not being able to get here. I'm sure this was very annoying for the publishers/agents/other people trying to do serious business-type things. But for me it meant:

1. No queues for the toilets.
2. Plenty of room in the aisles, which meant it was easier to spot friends and stop to have a natter without getting in anyone's way.
3. Empty stands to sit at and pretend I was Conducting Business.
4. Lots and lots and lots of chatting.

I was at the Fair on Tuesday with my authorly hat on, so I went to a Chicken House panel event on Writing for Teens. It was a really interesting event and I took lots and lots of notes. And later on I got to catch up with one of the panellists, Sophia Bennett, who wrote Threads. Sophia is officially Lovely (with an entirely necessary capital 'L' there). Go read her book... you know you want to.

I was also able to catch up with/meet lots of lovely Twitter folk throughout the day, including the legendary Ben Johncock, who was doing a very good job of luring people to the Bookseller stand. Oh, and I also found out that Quercus has been shortlisted for Publisher of the Year. I happened to notice that the Quercus stand was very busy every time I passed... unlike a lot of other big stands. Just sayin'.

Another highlight of the day was meeting up with my agent, Marvellous Victoria, and the ever-awesome Nancy Miles. At this point I was able to have a well-deserved beer to soothe my parched vocal cords. (I'm sure that's a medically proven cure... although my knowledge of anything even vaguely sciencey is sketchy at the best of times.) It was lovely chatting to them both in person for a change, rather than on email or on the phone.

If there any vegetarians reading, please look away now...
I rounded off the day by eating chicken wings and ribs at Bodean's with two of my very favourite people. Much meat was consumed and Fair gossip exchanged. Seriously, it was A LOT of meat (and A LOT of gossip).

Was back at the Fair on Wednesday afternoon, this time wearing my rather fetching Editor Hat. This was a much more sedate visit, as everything was winding down. I got to meet an author I'm going to be working with, eat pizza with my best mate, mooch around other publishers' stands, see Ben Johncock (AGAIN!) and snag a whole load of free books. Staying till the bitter end definitely had its advantages.

I'll miss you, LBF 2010.
Roll on, LBF 2011... when I'll actually have a book out... gulp.


  1. I sorta wish I'd gone now! Next time maybe, especially when I have my own book in my hand! Fingers crossed!

  2. I was at the Masterclasses this year but I really wish I'd been able to get down for the fair itself. Will have to try and do so next year - it sounds as if it was well worth visiting. See you - and the legend that is Ben Johncock - there next year!!

  3. Is the LBF just for professionals? Or would people like me find it interesting?

  4. Lynsey- Maybe see you there next year then?

    Kath- you HAVE to come, just to check if he's real or not.

    Becky- it's mainly industry people, but there are also students (studying publishing, I'd imagine) and people looking to get published. It can be difficult (sometimes impossible!) to get access to the publishers' stands if you don't have an appt, but there are lots of interesting events and seminars. It really depends what your expectations are.

  5. I wish I'd gone, too! Sounds like a great time. And Bodean's - yum!

  6. "Staying till the bitter end definitely had its advantages."

    I'll take that as a compliment ;)

  7. I regret missing out on the opportunity to attend the LBF when I had the chance, but how exciting to go next year when you have a novel out.