Tuesday, April 13, 2010
FUN AT THE VIETNAM BOOK FAIR!
Well, if you're going to visit a foreign country, what better time to go than during its national book fair? Especially if one's book is at the fair and one's publisher is the gracious and generous Mr. Ton Quang Toan, or simply Ton as he likes to be called, of Thuong Huyen Books. This is us in the crowd outside the entrance gate in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) -- the fair is a really fun, open-air affair.
As soon as he heard I was coming Ton did miracles, arranging for the most impressive welcome I've ever received at a foreign book fair. First of all, he got a tent for a speaking engagement and a series of print and television interviewers. Here Daniel and I pose out front of the tent by a sign with the book's cover in Vietnam.
Inside the tent are a series of twelve or more posters spaced around the side walls. Ton and I pose here, sans crowd.
Then at the front of the tent is a stage with a massive poster across its entire width, with my name in letters taller than me. And running along the bottom, a series of drawings from the richly illustrated Vietnamese text. Yikes! Talk about an ego massage. My head was floating higher than a hot air balloon.
More on the speech later, but here is Ton at his booth at the fair. You'll note the red Chanda's Secrets in the foreground. :) He publishes books from Vietnam, the U.S., Italy, Russia, England and Canada (me:)). The books include high-end Caldecott titles as well as the reader-friendly Scooby Doo series.
It was a pretty house, with lots of interesting questions -- like, what did I think of China restricting entry of persons with HIV. Here are a few photos from after the session. I hope I have the names rights, but here's Ton's foreign rights head, Trinh Hai Phuong; my presentation translator Phuong Cao; Vy Dang who was M.C.. In another shot you'll see me and the presentation translator getting ready for a T.V. interviewer. and then me outside with my book translator, Truc Quan.
AND OF COURSE ALL THE TEEN READERS WHO MOBBED ME!!!
IT WAS GREAT!!!
Ton even arranged for flowers!
All you writers out there will know how special this treatment was. I am on my knees in gratitude.
THANK YOU TON!!!!!