Sleepless in Gothenburg


Ok, so I’m not a seasoned traveler. It’s 2.30 in the morning and I’m sleepless in a hotel room in Gothenburg. My third and last night here, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of sleeping in a strange bed, in a strange room with this insane silence that comes from not having a snoring husband on the pillow next to me. How do people sleep like this?!?
You would think that after hours and hours and absolute infinite hours of walking around looking at books, listening to interesting discussions, standing in line for book signings and meeting up with fellow writers for intense and interesting talks about our book projects and plans, I would be exhausted and fall asleep as soon as my head touch the flat hotel pillow. But no. It’s been difficult falling asleep and I keep waking up over and over again, all night through. Well, at least now I can get some blogging done while I’m still here and remember what actually happened.
I listened to an interesting discussion about the happiness myth that is keeping women in a constant state of feeling inadequate and dissatisfied, led by the incomparable nightclub queen Alexandra Charles. Their conclusion: Try to shake off the “comparison-itis” and enjoy the good things we have instead of constantly chasing the next “must-have” item on the list.



Something a lot of Bookfair visitors probably had on their “must-have” lists for this weekend was some of these new romance reads. Above: Book 3 in Simona Ahrnstedt’s latest series (Book 1, All In, was released in the US and UK this summer)

To the left: Lina Forss’ Arvtagerskan (The Heiress) and Samantha Olofsdotter’s Kärlek på öppet hav (Love on the Open Sea).

Below: Sofia Fritzon was the winner of Harlequin’s novel contest with her book När drömmen slår in (When the dream comes true).
The last seminar of the day was on Romance. On the panel was Katerina Janouch, Lina Forss, Maria Nilson and Simona Ahrnstedt. The discussion was moderated by Lotta Olsson, book reviewer for Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
The discussion was interesting enough, although a bit predictable. I thought it was sad that even though there was much talk about Romance being a sanctuary for women, a place in literature where women don’t need to fear being victimized, raped or murdered and where problems can be overcome and dreams can come true, there were still very dismissive voices heard. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it weren’t so obvious that the critics hadn’t actually read any current romance novels and had no clue about all the different voices and subsections within the genre.
After closing, I went out for a bite to eat with some writer colleagues at a nice Italian place a short walk from Svenska Mässan. The food was lovely and the company was even better. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again, even though it might be six months or more.
So, who cares about sleep? When there are such wonderful people and so many lovely books out there? I’ll sleep when I get back home, lulled to sleep by my husband’s snores!

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