By Erin L. Cox
I’m leaving for The Frankfurt Book Fair on Saturday. With my multiple hats on (literary agent, Biz Dev/writer for PP, and publicist), I am juggling a few things on site and at home while I’m there. Because I’ll be busier than a one-armed paper hanger, it is important for this week to be very organized to help me prepare for next week’s onslaught and to help find those things that will keep me sane and grounded amid the flurry of activity. So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things to help you get prepared or so you know who to talk to when you need gum/Milk Duds/a granola bar/bourbon:
• Candy and gum: If anyone follows me on Twitter (@erinlcox), you will know already that I love candy. The only thing I love maybe more than candy is bacon…and booze…and possibly coffee. Anyway, let it be known that candy is one of my favorite things. So, I have a lot of it for our week away to not only keep the sugar high going, but to remind ourselves that we should take some pleasure in what we do because, after all, book publishing is a fun industry to be in.
• Coffee: I don’t know about you, but the German coffee isn’t quite my taste and mama needs her coffee. So, I bring some of my own just in case. Coincidentally, a friend gave me some Starbucks Via as a gift, so if you see me dashing by through Hall 8.0, you’ll know I’ve just reupped my caffeine supply (hopefully, that won’t include my just pouring instant coffee directly into my mouth as if it were a Pixie stick).
• Snacks: Since I will likely not be sitting still for too long (except when writing my stories for PP and meeting with folks), it is important to bring snacks for my jacket pockets. I take a page from some of the mothers in my life and have snacks stashed in every bag and pocket for those moments of hunger/desperation. My snacks are mostly healthy (to offset the candy): granola bars, fruit leathers, nuts, and protein bars. Once they work out the packaging for bacon-wrapped dates, I’ll be golden…perhaps for next year’s fair.
• Non-work reading: Yes, I know I’m going to a book fair and there will be books EVERYWHERE, but I need to catch up on pleasure-reading and have a way to unwind at the end of the day that isn’t alcohol-induced. I read probably 3-4 books a week, but they’re all “work” reading and, thus, I can’t really fall into the story. On the plane, I want to read for fun. After semi-crowdsourcing my choices (by asking my friends what they thought I would enjoy reading on my trip), I have selected ROOM by Emma Donoghue, THE EMPTY FAMILY by Colm Toibin, and THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY by Hannah Pittard (which I may have lied to Michael McKenzie about reading already when I was only about 20 pages into it and, thus, have to finish before he finds out…shhh, don’t tell him).
• Bourbon: Okay, you must be thinking, “That’s sort of strange.” But, is it? No. I am from the south and I like bourbon. It’s in my blood, there isn’t anything I can do about it. I am also just coming off a month of NOT drinking, so I want to drink what I want to drink. And, you know what’s hard to find in Frankfurt? Bourbon. Ok, it’s not SO hard, but I don’t want to be hunting all over town looking for bourbon. So, I’m bringing my own.
Does anyone else have things they have to travel with? I didn’t even get into sensible shoes and toiletries, but I think this stuff is more important…you can always buy new shoes, but do they have Jujyfruits in Frankfurt? No, I don’t think they do.