After my first dispiriting visit to Bologna Children’s Book Fair over a decade ago, I was determined to go back, but this time to embrace what the entire world was creating.
Instead, I was embraced.
This time I planned, prepared and was realistic what the Fair was all about. Although nothing can truly prepare you for the sleep deprivation due to the intake of fifteen espressos per day, might as well been on a caffeine drip.
As authors and illustrators, unless your publisher has flown you in as a special guest, as if, you need to take a deep breath and when you’re beat, remember you’re in Italy.
Perhaps being asked to speak at the SCBWI Symposium beforehand and having the SCBWI at the Fair itself to call home helped enormously. I met colleagues from around the world and shared the joy when they had successful encounters and commiserated together in combined exhaustion.
I’m still buzzing weeks later. I met so many people I’ve worked with, but never met in person. I’m in negotiation in selling foreign rights into a couple of countries, new projects are being thrown my way, and even a contract.