Frankfurt and other Book Fairs (Part One)

Noreen with Maple Leaf hatThe Frankfurt Book Fair opens today. Two years ago, I attended it along with Noreen (seen here sporting her Maple Leaf hat), the author of “Lovely To Look At: What Animals Should Know About Humans.

In the past, large international book fairs such as the Frankfurt Buchmesse and the London Book Fair (and BookExpo Canada, when we were lucky enough to have one here) didn’t encourage writers or other members of the public to attend these professional publishing gatherings. But major changes in the publishing business have forced organizers to acknowledge that remaining a closed shop is not in their best interest. 

I was surprised two years ago to see that the Frankfurt Book Fair devoted a day to welcoming the public. And on another day, they welcomed schoolchildren. It makes perfect sense.

In the coming months, I’ll be writing about the experiences I had at the many book fairs at which I displayed The Mammalian Daily. Stay tuned.

T-220 and stop: a long look back…and ahead

Metal buttonStop. Pull the plug. Turn off the power. And?

I suppose I would call it retirement if it had been my livelihood. But, of course, it wasn’t. It was an idea that I had (one of many) and one I thought was worth trying.

I can remember the exact minute The Mammalian Daily was born. It was in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where I’d spent the weekend with the man in my life, who was chairing an annual conference. We escaped the rest of the attendees and met up for dinner at a pub, where I put forward the idea.

“Why don’t I just write The Mammalian Daily?” I said. I knew that he knew what that was.

“That’s a good idea,” he said.

The year was 1999.