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Earlier this year, I mentioned to my German publishing house, Egmont LYX, that I was planning a summer vacation to Germany with my husband and I hoped that during my time there, I might have the chance to stop in at the LYX offices in Cologne (Köln) to say hello in person. Well, from the seeds of that brief email conversation, the German release of SHADES OF MIDNIGHT (Gezeichnete des Schicksals) was confirmed for mid-June and a mini book-tour was born. And what a whirlwind, exciting tour it was!
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the folks at Egmont LYX, Audible.de, Argon, and LoveLetter Magazine for putting together a fantastic series of meet-and-greets, readings, and signings. I had an absolute blast -- as you can see from the photo slideshows on this page!
Upon arriving in Germany, we met up with my long-time, long-distance friend Kris Alice, the founder of LoveLetter Magazine. Kris recommended a fantastic German restaurant in Mitte, or central, Berlin, which used to be part of the East side before the wall came down. It was great catching up over authentic schnitzel and spaetzle, followed by a brief walk around some of the former Soviet districts of that part of the city, including a stop near Museum Island (Museumsinsel) for photos.
Later that weekend, Kris arranged a small picnic for me with the LoveLetter staff and a couple of readers, Beatrice and Nicky, who won invitations as well. Because the weather was rather cold and rainy, and because I had come down with an airport cold that was threatening to rob me of my voice, we held the picnic indoors at a magazine staffer's flat (Danke, Berta!). I had a wonderful time meeting everyone and really enjoyed the laid-back gathering.
On Monday, the book tour officially began. Kicking off with a river cruise through the heart of Berlin with twenty readers (to my delight, many of whom I'd already met online via Twitter, Facebook, fan forums, etc.). From there, we cabbed it to the offices of Audible.de for a rooftop BBQ party and my first introduction to Simon Jäger and Irina von Bentheim, the voice artists who would become my roadshow partners for the rest of the tour. After a fun few hours courtesy of the folks at Audible--and the incredible news that Gezeichnete des Schicksals, the German release of Kade and Alex's story had just debuted in the #3 spot on Der Spiegel's bestseller list!--we all headed over to the Quatsch Comedy Club for the reading and signing. I was stunned to learn that 100 tickets were sold for the event! It was both nerve-wracking and exciting to be on stage, talking about my books and characters with so many excited readers. Thank you, Berlin! What an amazing way to begin my first-ever book tour!
From Berlin that next day, we flew to Cologne (Köln) for dinner with some of the Egmont LYX staff, followed by a day at the office where I met more of the LYX team and worked on some in-house promotions and other things. Afterward, we were back in motion, leaving Cologne by train for Dortmund, where the tour's second booksigning would take place.
As if the event in Berlin wasn't enough to blow me away, the one in Dortmund was even bigger! As soon as we arrived at the bookstore, we heard they were running out of chairs for all of the attendees. One of the employees whisked us upstairs, where I was interviewed for the store's website newsletter while people continued to arrive for the signing. The store had been anticipating about 80 people. How many turned out? I think they stopped counting around 150!
It was a great event--lots of nice comments and interesting questions from readers, tons of smiles and laughter as folks waited so patiently in the massive queue to get their books and totes and CD cases signed by Simon and me. Big hugs to everyone who came out to Dortmund!
We boarded another train for the third and final reading/signing, which took place in beautiful Nuremberg (Nürnberg). After spending a half-day exploring parts of the picturesque Medieval walled city and castle, on Friday night we made our way to Thalia's impressive, multi-level bookstore.
This event had a very relaxed vibe, maybe because of the nature of the Bavarian region itself, or maybe because by now, with two prior engagements under my belt, all of the butterflies had fled my stomach and standing up in front of a hundred or so people I'd never met before was beginning to feel very comfortable and familiar. Whatever the reason, Nuremberg was great fun. Thanks so much to all of you who came out to Thalia--some of you driving several hours to be there (you know who you are!). Your warmth and enthusiasm made this last event such a wonderful experience and the perfect finish to an amazing trip!
I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial recap of my visit to Germany. Everyone--from the readers and online friends who came out to see me, to the hard-working and patient bookstore staffs, and, last but not least, my trio of witty and entertaining cohorts who accompanied John and me at each of the three events--made this an adventure that I'll never forget.
Thank you all so very much for your hospitality and for your incredible enthusiasm for my books!
p.s. Want to see more photos online? Be sure to visit the following links:
Additional links to be added as we receive them!