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Bon journo!

I’ve just returned from attending the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. For those of you who may not be familiar with the fair, it’s the largest celebration of Children’s Books in the world. Publishers from all of the world meet to sell rights to their titles back and forth. It’s a tremendously energetic show and it was a thrill for me to be there.

Why was I there you ask? That’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked it. Really I am. p3070085.JPG

I was in Bologna to celebrate the upcoming publication of my new novel THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR: Keeper of the Grail which will be published (please pause for a moment to mark this date in all Google, Yahoo, Outlook and Aol calendars) on September 18 by G.P. Putnam Sons. THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR: Keeper of the Grail has been purchased by seven countries so far and audio rights have been sold to Listening Library (a division of Random House). So my agent, Steven Chudney, or as I now refer to him, Supreme Commander, hosted a very lovely cocktail party and invited all of the foreign publishers and the foreign agents and scouts who worked on the book to attend.

It was a thrilling night. I met all of the foreign publishers and editors and had a wonderful time listening to and appreciating their enthusiasm for THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR: Keeper of the Grail. For about two hours I felt like I was J.K. Rowling or something. It was so delightful to see their genuine enthusiasm and to watch them grow more and more excited when I explained to them my plans for books two and three in the YOUNGEST TEMPLAR trilogy. Many of them asked me to return to Europe in the fall to help them launch the book. To which I responded “‘kay!”

I’ve come home tired but at the same time energized by the response I received to my work in Italy. When things like that happen it only inspires me to work harder. To try to write better, more meaningful books. It was probably one of the most thrilling experiences of my writing career so far and I hope I have a chance to return there someday.

Of course the trip wasn’t all work. We had a chance to visit Florence and Venice on day trips and we also spent some time in Bologna which is a beautiful city in itself. In fact my wife and daughter managed to witness a political rally, complete with police in riot gear and every thing! In short we had a blast, and I would take a trip back there anytime. The food is fantastic and the Italian people are wonderful, warm and friendly. After Canada, Italy is my totally favorite foreign country!

About the only downside of my visit to Bologna is that I never got to meet Oscar Meyer. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Some other odds and ends…

Just a reminder to all my Texas Librarian friends that I will be attending The Texas Library Association meeting in Dallas next week. I’ll be signing copies of TEXAS RANGERS: LEGENDARY LAWMEN at the Walker & Company booth (#1335) on Wednesday April 16th from 11am to 12 noon.) So please be sure to stop by and say hi.

Also, I’ll be signing SPY GODDESS: CHASE FOR THE CHALICE at New York Comic Con on April 19th from 2-2:30 at the HarperCollins booth. Hope to see you there!

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