Hey, all. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging, for which you have my abject apologies. Travel makes the internets hard.
As I’ve said, I’m on a research tour for Leviathan, checking out all the European locations for the novel and, of course, the Zeppelin hangars of Friedrichshafen, Germany. (We’re not there yet, but you’ll be seeing those in later posts.)
My first trick was seeing the Alps from above, straight from the plane on the way to Rome:
In Rome, I finished the Uglies Guide. (Look for that this fall.)
Then we flew to London for a mini-tour of England. Thanks to everyone who warmly welcomed us there, and asked such interesting questions. My favorite: “Did writing Uglies make you see people differently?” Still mulling that one.
Right now, Justine, Holly Black, Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare, and I are all ensconced in a 17th-century tower in Bologna, Italy. We’re attending the annual Children’s Book Fair here, where publishers from many lands come to sell and buy translation rights for teen and kid books.
So far I’ve met with publishers from France, Israel, Holland, Germany, Australia, and the UK, some by chance and some by design. Brazil and Thailand are tomorrow. It’s a great way to meet a lot of the far-flung publishing world, and to find out weird stuff about how teens in different places read. Here are a few factoids:
Germany loves fantasy. The magicker the better, so say the Germans.
Holland doesn’t like fantasy or science fiction, but Maureen Johnson rules there.
Manga is so huge in Italy that there’s a teen imprint named after a manga character.
Ugies is a monster hit in France.
Another cool thing about Bologna is seeing all the art. One of my favorite traditions is the huge bulletin board where hopeful young illustrators pin up their work for publishers to look at:
This photo shows just a tiny fraction of the art here, of course. There are any huge aircraft-hangar sized spaces fool of books and art. It’s an awesome display of creativity.
Less uplifting is the vast Hall of Agents, where agents sit at tiny desks pitching books to possible buyers all day long. My hats off to those who toil in the mighty foreign rights mines:
Anyway, enough of the business end of things. On Friday, the research tour moves into the Tyrolean mountains, and a week later into the Zeppelin hangars of Friedrichshafen!
Pictures will be posted.