Monday, 8 December 2014

A TRIP TO FRANCE… OOH LA LA!

Recently I took a trip to Paris to meet my readers at the fabulous Montreuil Book Festival… this is what happened!

Cathy says:
When my lovely French publishers invited me to Paris to a big children's book fair, I jumped at the chance; I had been to Montreuil last year too, and loved it. A French book fair is very different to a British book festival… this one was two HUGE floors of children's/ teen books! All the big French publishers had stalls, but the stalls were like vast, indoor shops… very cool! There were walls of books on sale and lots of tables where that publisher's authors would sit and sign books. There were also little theatres where the authors could do events and presentations with groups of schoolchildren. And most of all, there were thousands and thousands of kids of all ages… in school parties, with families, with friends… all buying books and loving books!

After meeting up with the fab Nathan staff and brilliant work experience schoolgirl Sarah (she's the one with the gorgeous red hair!) I went straight into my first event with two big groups of French schoolkids… my French is pretty basic, so I had an interpreter to help make sure all ran smoothly. The kids asked some awesome questions, and afterwards I signed a lot of books! After that, there were lots of meetings and discussions about book projects for next year in France, including a non-fiction craft/cookery/fashion project… all VERY exciting! The day ended with a long signing at the Nathan stall, and a veggie meal out with some of the  staff. Yum!

On Saturday, things got even more amazing. I was chatting to fellow author Meg Rosoff and some fab French book bloggers when I noticed a very long line of readers… all queuing for me. Eeek! I met some amazing readers and bloggers and signed lots of books, and then we were whisked away  for lunch - this is us (publishers and authors and partners!) in the Metro at Robespierre station. We ate toasted baguettes in a cafe with a view of Notre Dame… and an ice cream from the BEST ice cream shop in Paris! My publisher had been telling me about a famous French cake called a Mont Blanc (after the mountain) which was made of marron glace (chestnuts) and filled with chantilly cream. It sounded wonderful, but we didn't have time to go in search of one. Imagine my surprise when a man on a motorbike drew up and presented us with boxes of Mont Blanc cakes… as arranged by the publisher! How cool?

Back at the book fair, there was another big book signing on into the evening. Once that was done, I raced around buying some beautiful French picture books as Christmas prezzies, finally trailing back to my hotel very tired but very happy. The next morning, we took a taxi to the airport and it was back to the real world again… but with so many happy memories of lovely French readers, bloggers and editors. I'll be back… and I've already been invited to three French book fairs next year… whoop!

Have YOU ever been to France? Or to a Book Fair or Festival in the UK? COMMENT BELOW to tell me more!

3 comments:

  1. Aw this sounds cool, hope u had a lovely time Cathy! Hamdi:)xxx

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  2. Wonderful! Lal. x

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  3. Hi! I have been to France on a holiday before and I have been to a book signing of yours in the UK! I think it was in Lichfield theatre with a school group! 2 of my friends were there as well as a few other girls and it was really fun! I even had the chance to write a newsletter article for my school about the trip! It was really fun! I had two books signed Dizzy (which I had bought that day) and marshmallow Skye (which is one of my favourite chocolate box girls books)! I had previously won a voucher as a competition prize on the you tube channel so Cathy recognised my name and wrote: great to meet you in real life, I was thinking the same thing! I love your books Cathy! :)

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