Well, we are here. Both Mom and I arrived safe and sound. We met up in the Frankfurt airport, which is such a crap place compared to our beautiful Canadian airports (sorry, Frankfurt, but it's true). The good news is, we met up in the business class lounge. The deal I made with my lovely French publisher so we could swing this trip was that I would get my airline ticket on points and they would cover everything else. So I got Mom and I business class tickets. Huge difference, traveling in style! But we waited a bit too long to get breakfast in the lounge (we had a three hour wait for our next flight) and by the time we went to get food they had switched to lunch. Which meant there was this.
Oh, the Germans and their wieners! Anyhoo when we got to Paris we were met by a driver who took us to the adorable little apartment Helium had rented for us. It's a studio apartment, perfect for the two of us. Within spitting distance of the Pompidou Centre in Le Marais, bright and quiet. Gilberte Bourget from Helium met us and we walked around for a bit.
This is Gilberte. She didn't want her photo taken because she wasn't wearing make-up, which is clearly a huge faux-pas for a Parisienne. But she relented. :-) Merci, Gilberte. I told her she should come to Vancouver and see how we do it - we seem almost proud of our schlubbiness.
Me, slightly out of focus, by the Seine.
Then Mom and I explored on our own and had a meat-fest for dinner at a little resto we'd read about called "Robert et Louise." Slept like piglets (I think piglets sleep well, but really, how would I know?).
Today we went to see the Brassai exhibit at Hotel de Ville. Fantastic. Then it was out to the book fair. Holy crap, I have never seen so many munchkins in my life. It is a HUGE fair, and PACKED WITH KIDS. I didn't actually realize that it's a book fair only for children's and youth books. There must be hundreds of children's and youth publishers in France! God bless them! And hordes of school groups. I didn't get a photo of the hordes, unfortunately, but here is the Helium booth.
And of course those are my titles, en francais!
I first did an "encounter with children" for an hour, then a signing for an hour, then I was interviewed by the most lovely young man, Nathan. He is 16, I believe, and an avid reader. He's had a blog for a long time, reviewing books. It was the highlight of my day.
Then Mom and I made our way back to our apartment, and walked to Place des Vosges. Now we're back at the apartment and soon we'll go out to dinner with my translator, Valerie le Plouhinec. I haven't met her before, but I know she is an amazing translator. She's translated Roald Dahl!!!
Bonsoir for now ...