Friday, June 15, 2012

Engaging with German Readers at the Loveletter Conference by Michelle Styles

Spandau Zitadelle where the gala dinner was held
On 2-3 June I went to Berlin or more specifically to Spandau and the first Loveletter magazine conference. I was so right to be excited . The conference was far better than I dreamt. The European readers (people came from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Scandinavia) were big hearted and exuded warmth. It was just wonderful being surrounded by like-minded people.

My 2nd blind date
The thing I was most worried about – the blind dates turned out to be my favourite bit. Luckily they had set up several tables where English was spoken. And ladies at my tables were just lovely.  They loved books and chatting about books. I made the mistake of starting The Hunger Games on the Saturday night as a way to relax before the gala dinner. I ended up staying late to finish it and then I couldn’t get the wireless on my kindle to work. The ladies in the second blind date who had read the series also refused to give me spoilers.  Once I arrived at the airport, I downloaded the other 2 books and devoured them. I cried at the end which the ladies had sworn I’d do.

doing a reading
The panels  I participated in were very interesting. I learnt that the German market is far more geared towards unusual historical time periods, in particular medieval (including Viking!). The American west which is so popular in the US does not have the same resonance. This is also true in series, South American, Mediterranean and sheik heroes are preferred. Cowboys just don’t sell well.  Paranormal has peaked in Germany (something that has also happened in the US). This does not mean paranormal is going away, simply that it is not expanding at the rate it once was. Trends are like that. It is why when you are writing a book, your heart has to be in the genre.

during the break, posing  for an editor
The true trend is writing a book that really engages the reader. It is all about engaging the reader’s emotions (particularly if it is a jaded editor or agent) and making them stay up far too late or nearly miss meetings.

Part of the dessert spread at dinner
The gala dinner was great, if a bit noisy. The trouble with a castle’s cellar is that it is wonderfully atmospheric but the noise echoes. The food was sublime. I really enjoyed the starters, the poached salmon for the main and the desserts. I like tiramisu.

After the signing with some of the lovely ladies I met
I am looking forward to going the next time and will brush up on my German so that I can say a few more words...
If you ever get a chance to go to a reader's conference, go! They are just so much fun and you get to meet such pleasant people.

In Other News

The Harlequin Historical Authors are doing a Summer Beachbag giveaway with the grand prize of a kindle fire (or top rated kindle the winner’s country). My day is 27th June, but there are plenty of opportunities still left to win goodies.

If you like to live vicariously, check out Carole Mortimer’s blog on her meeting with the Queen of England. Carole recently went to the Queen’s Garden Party. She was invited because of services to literature. Carole has written 180 books for Harlequin. She is also  a super person.

My latest His Unsuitable Viscountess will be published in August, so next month I will do a giveaway for Tote Bags readers. (I am waiting for my copies to arrive!)

 Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance. His Unsuitable Viscountess will be published in August 2012. Visit for more details.


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Eli Yanti said...

congrats Michelle :)

Michelle Styles said...

Thanks Eli. It was a great experience.

emaginette said...

It looked wonderful.

Michele L. said...

Wow! What an amazing experience! Thanks for the contest updates. Congrats on your new book! Sounds fantastic!

Michelle Styles said...

Thanks Emaginette and MicheleL.
MicheleL I will be doing a goodreads giveaway and a giveaway here for my new book next month. I am v proud of it.