It is wonderful to see people with a passion for books. It warms an author’s heart and makes the pulse beat faster. I saw them in abundance crowding around the bookstands at the Interliber Book Fair in Zagreb, Croatia, where I was given the red-carpet treatment by my brilliant Croatian publisher, Profil. It was a huge thrill.
It was hectic. I was whisked up in a whirl of interviews for TV, radio and press, flashing cameras and eager handshakes, and no one seemed the slightest bit bothered by the fact that I only had four words of Croatian and a croaky voice. Warmth and delight that I had come to their country flowed from everyone I met.
I did a Q&A presentation to an audience on the Profil stand with a top-notch TV interviewer who asked perceptive questions, and I learned that Croatia loves a love story best. Don’t we all??
Afterwards when I was in a book-signing session a woman from the audience came up and presented me with a gift. An
exquisite square of lace that she had made for me with two lovebirds in the centre to represent the love-stories in my books. Wow! How kind is that? I was so touched, I had to swallow hard and offer her one of my four meagre words of Croatian: ‘Hvala’ – thank you.
But there was more. Another woman cried when I signed her copy of my book. No, not because I scribbled on it! She was just so moved to have me there signing a book she loved. That’s what I call a connection. I can’t imagine that happening in Waterstones!
So a big ‘Hvala’ to Profil. And to those who wined and dined me, and took me sightseeing and to a concert – Jelena, Nives and Ines. I’ll be back!