When we moved to Germany six years ago, we had no idea when we would see the U.S. again. The pandemic hit and travel became impossible. Now it’s finally happening. I’m going to visit my old stomping grounds, Bloomington, Ind. for a family and friends visit. And as it happens, a reading at Morgenstern Bookstore, hosted by the Writers Guild at Bloomington where I used to be a member.
My new novel, When the Skies Rained Freedom, got completed just in time for the reading in the US. I’m excited to be back there and provide a bit of insight into a very exciting and nerve-racking time in Berlin, Germany in 1948/1949. Read more about the story on the book page.
BookBerlin – An Interesting Experience
I always wanted to do a larger book fair or trade show. The BookBerlin at the end of September offered an opportunity to test the market in Germany without overdoing myself in Leipzig or Frankfurt. Both are much larger, more expensive and not manageable without a team. So, I told my husband that we’d try Berlin and he as usual supported my plan. Not only that, he volunteered to accompany me.
The evening of setting was quite chaotic as 300 authors tried to park and bring their merchandise indoors. By the time we returned to our hotel, it was 9:30 pm. Since the hotel had no parking available, we were forced to park on the street-without luck. We ended up in a run-down parking garage, nerves thin and super tired.
The fair itself was mostly attended by a younger crowd and not our target audience – mostly people over 50. We had excellent conversations, met nice people, sold books, but would not return. The overhead is just too high to make it worth our while. Still, it was a good experience and now I know.
While visiting Berlin, we also visited Tempelhof Airport which played a huge role during the Berlin Airlift in 1948/1949. I had no idea just how large the buildings are – it took us nearly two hours to walk around once. In front of the main entrance was an exhibit of the airlift, inside another exhibit of the airport which turns 10o in 2023.
Across from the airport that is now part museum, part quarters for immigrants, part park for Berliners, we stopped at the airlift monument, depicting three points for the three air corridors. Berliners, who always have a sense of humor, call it the hunger rake – Hungerharke.