Frankfurt Bookfair 2017

I’m just back from Frankfurt Book Fair 2017, a phenomenal achievement of organisation and planning, in vast spaces, in huge halls with enormous corridors on several levels….

So why did I go? I’ve not been especially well and have had a very sore foot, so going to a place where I knew I will have to walk for miles – kilometres, these days, I suppose – would seem to be the maddest, almost a masochistic ambition. Though I honestly can’t give you many practical reasons why I would choose to, I knew I had to go. And as it turned out, I went simply to be there, to listen, and absorb a frantic, noisy and almost overwhelming experience.

I stayed for two nights in a modest hotel in the suburbs, and, deciding what to wear each day, went with my papers and hopes. Nothing came of them at this particular event, but I have listened and learned, and I can now navigate my way independently around Frankfurt, with the help of taxi drivers. It has been very interesting to watch true professionals networking; to observe a stick-thin agent enjoying a glass of wine for lunch…and to notice how hard it is to climb onto any kind of ladder by the usual routes.

I met two author friends at my hotel, a chance encounter which proved rewarding and wonderful. Xaviera Hollander wrote a book which I read as a youngster and which I remember fondly, even after decades; she and Brenda Love made me feel enormously welcome. Thank you so much for your company!

Noticing how much the book promotion industry works for itself – ‘no entry except strictly by appointment‘ – (of course it does, how naive of me to suppose otherwise) – it would be so easy to simply give up and go home and give up trying. Okay, so I know when continuing with something becomes the equivalent of flogging a dead donkey. But even though I’m tired, I’m only momentarily deflated by the realisation that, on this occasion, perhaps, my dreams are not what I thought they would be.

I’m not giving up.

All set for the London Book Fair 2018! Watch this space.

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