As I reported in my June 11th and June 15th post I went to the LoveLetters Convention in Berlin, Germany in May. I was amazed at the number of readers who attended. The first morning of the event, a Saturday, I arrived forty-five minutes before the convention was to start and there was a line of over a hundred or more people standing outside the building. Security was letting about twenty people in at a time. A number of readers were already inside when I got in. I was shocked by the attendance and enthusiasm. But I have to admit I was excited to see them.
My first event was in a large room. I was on a panel about writing internationally that was moderated by the fabulous Annie West, a Harlequin Presents writer. Joanna Grant from Harlequin joined me along with a couple of German romance authors. We had a great discussion with a large crowd attending. A number of people asked questions which made the hour even more interesting. The main question for me was why I wrote medicals.
Side note: There was very little translating being done. The Germans spoke English often better than I did. They were tickled to get the English copies of my books. Many of them said they like to practice their English by reading in English. Also, they like the original version of the book feeling that the translated ones take away from the story.
My next event was also a panel. There were seven of us on it. Two of us from the US, two from Germany, one from Switzerland, France, and another from the Netherlands. We discussed writing for different countries, where we got our stories and again they were interested in why I wrote medicals. I enjoyed this panel as well.
That afternoon I went on some blind dates. There were four different tables set up with four readers sitting at each table. Every ten minutes the time keeper would tell the author to rotate to another table. While I was at the table the readers had a chance to ask me questions. I thought it was a great way to meet them. I gave away books and goodies. They seemed happy with them and I think I made a couple of fans. (Horrible picture of me, I know, but you get the idea.)
My final thing for the day was a Meet and Greet. This was held outside under a tent. I stood at a high table and signed autographs. Sometimes it was the convention booklet and others times it would be something that the reader had put together.
The next morning started much the same. I was up early to get to the event. I had to walk because the Tram was down for service but I made it in time. The first thing on the agenda was a Q&A with Annie West. We sat on a sofa and discussed our books, characters and answered questions from the people who came to join us. This wasn’t heavily attended but I enjoyed it the most. Annie and I played off each other well and those that attended were really interested in what we said. I would love to do more of this type of thing.
I also did a reading from one of my books. It was nice as well. I took a few questions before it was the next person’s turn. I also did a workshop on Doctors in Popular Culture. Using power point, I showed different doctors on TV, movie and real life. I talked about how they had evolved and why I thought they were so popular. I didn’t have a great attendance but those that were there were engaged in what I was saying.
The last event was the big book signing. For me book signings are either feast or famine. This event was no different. The larger name people were the first the readers went to. I worried up until the last fifteen minutes that I wouldn’t sign all my books. The readers were allowed to get three books then they had to go outside and get another three tickets and come though again. This went on until all the books were gone. In that last fifteen or so minutes I signed about forty books. All my books found a happy home.
The LoveLetters Convention was a tightly run ship. I was plenty busy, which I was glad to be because I had come so far I wanted as many chances as possible to meet readers. I think I got that. I hope I am invited back. I thought it was well worth my time. I have to give kiddos to the women who worked so hard to make it an excellent event.