Friday, 20 April 2012

Book fairs and Goosegrass

Today is the end of the London Book Fair which is one of the most important in an international author’s year. There, on stand 8c, is Marcia’s agent—Dinah Wiener. The other week of equal importance is the Frankfurt Book Fair which Dinah (who speaks fluent French and German) also attends. It is at these fairs that she makes and maintains her contacts with Marcia’s foreign publishers and Dinah’s network of sub-agents such as Ulf Töregård who looks after Scandinavia for her (and so us)..

Last week we received copies of the first two books being published in Poland by Wydawnictwo Replika. Here are the covers.
The Summer House

A Week in Winter

Sales of Marcia’s books in Germany are on a par with her UK sales. At the moment all of Marcia’s books are in print here in the UK but the Germans are now trying out a new campaign. Instead of publishing simply a new hardback with last year’s novel in paperback, they are now adding one of the early novels. They started with Those Who Serve and so in a few years time all of the books will be in print in Germany as well as the UK.

Below are some five of the covers for Echoes of the Dance just to show how differently each book is seen by different publishers (two are the UK editions, one the hard back and one the paper back).


Thanks to overcrowding in their tank, I have now divided my shoal of frog tadpoles and so have two of the four available now in operation. Is ‛shoal’ the right collective noun for tadpoles? Not sure but the other possibilities—flock, swarm, etc.—don’t seem right either. Perhaps they should have one of their own. How about ‛a wriggle of tadpoles’ or ‛a squirm of tadpoles’? Any better suggestions, anyone?

This is the middle period of tadpole life when all they are doing is getting bigger with no sign of legs as yet. Feeding them is critical and my thanks to Pat Tytherleigh for her email in which she tells me that her tadpoles like Goosegrass (also known as Cleavers, Sticky Willie and—for the more scientific—Galium aparine). I would not have thought to try it but I am delighted to confirm that she is right.