Bookish talks

Les imaginales debrief

Hi guys 🙂

I have been meaning to write this post for a week now, and kept postponing it because I was too tired to write… But I still felt like I had to share my last week-end on the blog, as it was the most bookish week-end I ever had!

I work as a bookseller in France. This led to me having a work opportunity to go to Epinal, the city hosting “Les Imaginales”. Since I’m pretty sure it’s not THAT well-known in places that are not France, “Les imaginales” is a yearly book festival dedicated to imaginary fiction. It mostly includes fantasy, and all subgenres and science fiction. It lasts 4 days, and is hosted in a huge park. How cool is that?

Credit : Ville d’Epinal

I got there with my boss for the last 2 days of the festival, on Saturday and Thursday. It was REALLY hot, and it got a little unbearable for me at some point, but overall, it was a great week-end, even if we were there for work. We started by meeting a co-worker, who was already there, as she wrote a book and had a booth with her publisher. Then we took the whole festival in, and wandered a bit until we reached the “Bulle du livre” in which the most famous authors were located. We first met Victor Dixen, author of Phobos and Vampyria, as another of our co-workers is a big fan, and I wanted to use this moment to get a signed copy of Phobos 2 as well.

But right after that, we decided to go see Shelley Parker-Chan, who was signing right at the entrance. I was super excited to see her and get a signed book, as I remembered seeing a lot of She who became the Sun on bookstagram etc last year, and had huge expectations for it. I was also pretty certain I would enjoy it (and I do! I read half of it so far and it’s a great book!). I saw some English copies coming in, and thought there would still be some when I would come to meet her… This was my mistake as she and the booksellers hadn’t planned on selling the English ones so much, and they were already out of stock when it was my turn 😦 Still, I got a signed physical copy in French, and got the English ebook to read… Turns out Shelley Parker-Chan is adorable! I don’t know if she has done many festivals like this before, but she was very shy, and kind, and smiley! It was nice to talk to her!

We bought a few books more, and we went to some conferences organized in small circus tents, which were absolutely gorgeous! We went to a conference regarding Asia in SFF literature, one featuring the role of vampires in literature, and how relevant they are, and popped in and out of a few others, that we couldn’t see in full, but were also interesting, with some cool speakers!

To end the day, we got to see some bodypainting models who were roaming the park as a living art collection. The works were incredible! I had never seen any in person!

Day 2 was a little shorter, as we didn’t have any conferences to attend, and we had already seen most of the authors we wanted to meet. We went to chat a little with some lesser known authors, gave out some work cards (hey, we were still on official business :p), and that’s pretty much it. It was really too hot, and we had a 2 hours drive to go back home, so we didn’t want to leave too late. In any case, it was a nice week-end, even if it was officially for work, and I enjoyed going to a real book festival for the first time 🙂

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading, and see you soon !
Jade ❤

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