An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I Survived La Charla

My book for sale at Kel's stand
A pretty exciting experience for me: my first book reading! I wasn't that great at it, as I get too emotional. But it was a fabulous experience in all--especially because so many friends showed up in support.

The International Book Fair in Buenos Aires has grown to be second only to the Frankfurt Fair, and is the largest one of course in Latin America. It takes place for three weeks every year in the huge Palermo fairgrounds, La Rural, where Ruben and I danced in the tango championship finals in 2006.

Four big pavilions house the many stands of publishers and bookstores from all over the world. Strange to see stands from Cuba and Paraguay, and not from the U.K. (Politics play a part in everything, unfortunately in books and information as well.) It was great to see so many people not only interested in books, but buying them too, even mine!

The U.S. Embassy stand is quite impressive with its sleek white curves and changing colors via spotlights. It is simple, elegant and clean at the same time. There are several iPads in the lobby area with games and puzzles having to do with the U.S. And then a circular room with white poofs for the presentations.

Leave it to the U.S. to have a living Liberty!
Later when Liberty was off duty, Elvis took her place.

My charla announcement in Castellano
Here I am doing my thing. You can't see the plasma screen that showed photos of the book cover, France, Mexico and the Milonga de los Consagrados

Is this ironic? I hope he gets a visa one day!

Celebrating in the VIP Salon

Many of my colleagues from the Buenos Aires English Writers Group were there (not pictured are Stephen Page and Donigan Merritt who also did presentations) Friends Beatrice Murch and Karla Freeman also attended, and several more left messages that they tried but couldn't manage the 90 minute wait in line for tickets.

We all wanted to celebrate, so we stood in line at one of the many cafes and ordered a bottle of Champagne, and another of malbec, while Ruben and Daniel were trying to arrange a table for six in the crowded cafe. Every time I looked over at Ruben, he was carrying a plastic chair over his head through the crowd.

The young man at the register told us we couldn't seat us there, and we said, no problem, our guys are arranging it over in the corner. He called someone on his cell phone while we were anxious to order some munchies to go with the drinks. The line behind us got longer and longer, but he was unflappable. Finally all was paid for, and instead of letting us go to our corner table, a waitress appeared and, opening a velvet rope, ushered us upstairs to the VIP Salon! We sat on purple and cerise velvet chairs and had our wines served in appropriate crystal far away from the bustling and noisy crowd downstairs. It was like a serendipitous miracle. And so much fun. If this is the author's life, then it's for me! But now I've got to get back to work on my prequel.

Happy book signing

Thanks so much to Holly Murten and the U.S. Embassy for inviting me to share my book with the public in such a lovely way.

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