Posts Tagged ‘Libros de Seda’

Romance Conference in Madrid

I have just returned from two days in Spain where I attended the sixth annual ‘Yo Leo RA’ (roughly translated ‘I read romantic fiction’) ‘Encuentros RA’ conference in the heart of Madrid – a fantastic experience!

MeRAThis was a conference for readers and authors of romantic fiction which started six years ago with around 80 people getting together in a bar to share their love of the romance genre. It has been growing steadily ever since and this time there were over 500 attendees, 120 of them authors! I really enjoyed chatting to some of them and all were enthusiastic and extremely friendly, making me feel very welcome.

Me and Laura

Me and Laura

Among them were the lovely Laura Frias of the Cientos de Miles de Historias blog (whom I have had the pleasure of meeting before so it was great to see her again!), fellow Libros de Seda author Nuria Llop and the lady who runs the Lectur Adictiva blog.  It was great to see romance appreciated so much and the way the audience engaged in the discussions showed how passionate they are about romantic novels – just as it should be!

Me and Merche

Me and Merche

I was honoured to have been invited to take part in the programme and after listening to two panel discussions, it was my turn to take to the stage, where author and organiser Merche Diolch asked me questions. My Spanish is a little rusty (I can understand most of it but have forgotten so many words!) but fortunately I had two members of the Libros de Seda team (my Spanish publisher) to help me with translation – Maria José de Jaime and Alex Manyé – huge thanks to them and to Merche for her patience!

With Alex and Maria Jose

With Alex and Maria Jose

Unusually for Spain, the weather was awful with rain and strong winds, but I managed to get to the Prado and Thyssen-Bournemisza museums to have a look at all the fabulous artworks on display. It was almost too much to take in, a real feast for the eyes with some paintings so beautiful it was hard to believe anyone could have created them.

I finished my time in Madrid with a stroll round the old streets in the centre, narrow with the typical Spanish houses covered in wrought-iron balconies, and the sense of history was overwhelming. A stark contrast to the very new and very modern airport, whose ceilings had to be seen to be believed! All in all, a very enjoyable visit to one of my favourite countries – a very big thank you to the ‘Yo Leo RA’ organisers for inviting me!

With some of the lovely Spanish readers!

With some of the lovely Spanish readers!

Signing books

Signing books

The Prado Museum

The Prado Museum

Madrid's narrow streets

Madrid’s narrow streets

Mad1

The ultra-modern airport's amazing ceiling!

The ultra-modern airport’s amazing ceiling!

Air2

Sant Jordi Day in Barcelona

This year I was thrilled to be invited by my Spanish publisher Libros de Seda to take part in the Sant Jordi (or St George’s) day celebrations in Barcelona, which are held every year on 23rd April.  It is a day when men are supposed to buy women roses and the women reciprocate by buying them books – a perfect combination!

Rosa at the Libros de Seda stand

I had never been to Barcelona before, but right from the start, I loved it!  Everywhere you went, there were vendors selling beautiful red roses, most of them with a stem of wheat as added decoration.  The vendor’s tables, and indeed a lot of balconies throughout the city, were decorated with the Catalan flag in vivid red and yellow stripes.  This made for a very colourful display and added to the festive atmosphere.  Publishers and bookshops also had stalls in the streets, selling books and arranging book signings by authors, and I was lucky enough to take part in three of these.

First I spent some time with the lovely team from Libros de Seda – Rosa, Maria Jose and Alex – meeting some readers and trying to practise my very rusty Spanish.  (Not that it was really needed, as almost every person I met spoke extremely good English!)  I also had the great pleasure of

Laura and I

meeting Laura from the book blog Cientos de Miles de Historias who had travelled all the way from Segovia especially for this day, something we all appreciated very much!

After a while, we headed off for a book signing at the Plaza Monumental – an enormous shopping centre which has been built inside Barcelona’s former bullfighting arena.  As someone who loves ancient buildings, I was very pleased to see that they had retained the original facade of the building completely and the result was amazing.  I was given a very warm welcome by the FNAC Arenas bookshop team.

At the Libreria Maite stand

Later it was time to go to another book shop, Libreria Maite in the Gracia area of Barcelona, where I joined four other authors for another signing.  Here I was again given a warm welcome and I got to meet the bookshop owner and also three lovely ladies from the book group ‘Be Romantic Addict – B’Radic’ which was great!

The final part of the afternoon was spent back at the Libros de Seda stand, something I enjoyed very much.  Friends and family of the team joined us from time to time (including the lovely Gordo – a dog who despite his name was not fat but gorgeous), and I had fun chatting to everyone.  After such a brilliant day, it was sad to say goodbye, but I’m hoping to go again next year!

Rosa, me and Maria Jose

At the Libros de Seda stall

At the Libreria Maite stand

With Laura

Vientos Alisios (Trade Winds)

A rose for me!