Blogger Convention – Salt and the City

Hey There,

Salt and the City is Salzburg’s first blogger convention for food and lifestyle and was held on the last weekend of May. Caro, one of the organizers, assured us early on that book blogs are lifestyle blogs, so of course Nana and I had to join the fun.

Salt and the City - Blogger Camp for Food & Lifestyle


The convention started off with an Instawalk. This was particularly funny, because I still have an old Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phone that I love very much (who needs touch screens anyway?) and as a result I don’t have an Instagram account. I was thinking about bringing my bridge camera and then decided against it as I didn’t want to carry that heavy thing around the city. “It’s an Instawalk,” I thought, “so why don’t I just take pictures with my mobile phone?” And that’s what I did. You can see those “lovely” retro shots on our Facebook page.

Instawalk through Salzburg
Instawalk through Salzburg. Image provided by

On our walk we got an exclusive tour of the Salzburger Landestheater where we went backstage and up to the millinery. I could have stayed there for hours just to try on every single stunning headpiece and hat. We had some schnapps at Sporer‘s, a liquor manufacture, and tipsily climbed four flights of stairs to the realm of Andreas Kirchtag, the workshop of Kirchtag umbrella manufacture. It was great to see how much work goes into a single umbrella and that not only can you choose the fabric of your umbrella but also the shaft. After this informative stop, we sat down for iced coffee and tea at Afro Cafe and recharged our batteries for one more climb. The highlight of the day was the view from Salzburg’s city hall tower which isn’t open to the public. On our way down we were treated to some delicious Venusbrüstchen chocolates, so I didn’t have to worry about bedtime candy that night.

cake topper
The cake topper I made.

Official convention day was Saturday and started with a breakfast table laden with muesli and excellent Rauch Juice Bar Grünschnabel spinach juice that I can’t seem to find in stores. I relaxed and chatted until lunch, as my workshops didn’t start until early afternoon. The first workshop was by Tina Tagwercher who gave a presentation on Thai fruit carving techniques and even though the time was too short to have a go at it myself, I’m fairly confident that I’d manage to carve a melon with the right tools. In the second workshop, I got to do some cake decorating. Dr Oetker sent a pastry chef and his assistant to teach us how to make fondant roses and pipe chocolate decorations. I had a good time and I think my cake top looks presentable.

Thai fruit carving
Thai fruit carving

In the evening we were invited to dinner and a craft beer tasting at Trumerei. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy this part of the day as a migraine hit me.

Hallein Salt Mine
Hallein Salt Mine. Image provided by

On Sunday it was time for the bloggers to explore Salzburg’s countryside. I was looking forward to a visit to Sonnleitn Alm in Abtenau but my migraine wasn’t gone when I woke up in the morning, so I had to pass on the first half of the outing. I joined the others for the second half though. We went up to Dürrnberg mountain to visit the Salt Mine. I’ve been there many times already and I have to admit that I don’t like the videos that you get to see touring the mine. You feel stupid watching them. They might do for children’s tours but adults would appreciate content instead of bad jokes. The mine itself is impressing though and you wouldn’t want to miss the boat ride on the salt lake and the slides.

When I arrived home, I finally had time to go through the two goodie bags that we got. I’m already excessively using my Riess mug for overnight oats, and I tried Quinoa for the very first time. It has a weird consistency that I think I like. 😉

I had a great weekend at my very first blogger convention and I hope that Salt and the City will return next year. Thank you girls for the hard work you did!

Beautiful Salzburg
Thanks to all the sponsors who made Salt and the City possible:





altstadt-salzburg dr-oetker verival wuesthof

riess nenihotel-sacher rough-cut-board

coworking-campdecora bombasei

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 – It’s Been A Pleasure


I’m back from a wonderful weekend at Frankfurt Book Fair. Fortunately, this year we didn’t have a snow storm, so we arrived Friday late afternoon, just in time for a quick stroll through the halls and the Virenschleuder-Preis award ceremony.

The Virenschleuder-Preis award is a German marketing award established in 2011 by Leander Wattig and Carsten Raimann. The winners of this year’s awards were:

On Saturday, my friend and I were on a tight schedule. First on our list was the dotbooks and Skoobe blogger breakfast. When we arrived, the stand was already bustling with bloggers. We were served coffee, orange juice and pretzels and soon got talking with Lena and Adrian from Büchernest. The breakfast ended with dotbooks and Skoobe handing out nice little goodie bags containing postcards and a smart phone wiper.

Kein & Aber stand
Particularly beautiful stand by Kein & Aber publishers

On our way to my next meeting, we came by the stand of the Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig where we were able to do an etching which we printed using a historical press from the mid-19th century. This was most definitely one of my highlights at the fair.

Etching Eye
The etching I did

After our creative rest, we moved on to meet Ulrike from Penguin Random House UK. We had a very nice time and were treated to coffee (my friend said it was the best she had on our trip) and coke. I’m going to tell you more about our meeting with Ulrike in a separate blog post in the upcoming weeks.

Frankfurt Book Fair
A foggy view of Agora at Frankfurt Book Fair

As soon as the meeting was over, we had to rush to hall 4.1 to be engulfed by a mass of (mainly) girls at the Lovelybooks readers’ and blogger get-together. We had a great time talking to Tina and Dani from Lovelybooks, IraWira of … always time for a nice cup of tea and a good book!, Mareike and Maike from Herzpotenzial and, again, Ulrike. The get-together was a blast and Lovelybooks made our day by serving cupcakes and cookies and providing us with a huge goodie bag with lots of books, notebooks and a teeny-weeny stamp in it. Thank you so much! My shoulders and legs hurt for three days and some Christmas gifts are already covered. 😉

Finland Kids
Kids’ corner in Finland’s hall

On Sunday, we spent a large part of our remaining three hours visiting the hall of the guest land Finland and the antiquarian fair. I have to admit that I had expected more of Finland’s hall. It was very basic and cold. I also wasn’t tempted to browse the books on display, as they were arranged chaotically with all sorts of languages and topics mixed up. The only thing I found nice was the children’s area, as it was warm and inviting. The antiquarian fair was warm and inviting as well and so we stayed there for a while to gaze at delicately painted book pages, beautiful old leather bindings and books as big as modern TV screens. We were so in awe of these very expensive artifacts from another time, we didn’t dare to touch a single book. Another highlight at the fair!

Finland’s hall

Soon after, we had to leave the fairgrounds to hop onto our bus to make our long way home to Austria. But there’s one more thing left to tell you. Strolling through the halls, I’ve written down the names of a few books that grabbed my attention.

Unfortunately, many stands in hall 8 weren’t very inviting. A lot of the publishers were packing, many had already left, others had arranged a wall of chairs to hinder you from browsing their books.

Empty Stand

Finally I’d like to direct special thanks to Mr Besold from Buchhandlung Besold for helping us out of a difficult situation. Buchhandlung Besold is a local bookstore in Carinthia that offers free shipping ;).

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 – Tips, Preparation and Anticipation


As Miss Treegarden and I loved our trip to Frankfurt Book Fair last year, I have to go there again this year. I’m taking a lovely friend and, as a special guest, Nana from Nana – What Else?. We’ll be there Friday late afternoon ’til Sunday noon.

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014
Image provided by Frankfurter Buchmesse¹

In two weeks, Frankfurt Book Fair will open its doors and there are still way too many points on my to-do list. I still don’t have a new digital voice recorder for my interview(s). I cannot say if it’s interview or interviews because I still don’t know if it’s going to be more than one :D. But I’m really looking forward to this one! And I finally know what to wear. That’s another huge plus. I’m also not sure if my friend will get a ticket for the fair on Friday but I’m working on it. I really hope she’ll get one so we can attend the Virenschleuder Preisverleihung on the fairgrounds together. All this sounds chaotic but at least I know what I’m dealing with this year. This time last year I had no clue what Frankfurt Book Fair would be like and so I thought I’d share some hopefully helpful tips with you.

The Beginner’s Guide to Frankfurt Book Fair
What to wear
  • Comfortable shoes: comfy shoes are probably the most important thing on the list. Don’t wear your favorite shoes if you can’t walk miles and miles in them. The fairgrounds are huge. They are actually twice the size of the old town I live in and that doesn’t count the multiple levels of the halls.
  • Layered look: I can’t predict the weather but I can tell you that fall will have arrived in Germany. 😉 It might be rainy and cold outdoors, but the halls will be heated and full of people, so no matter if you’ll go with a business look, or a more down-to-Earth casual-visitor look, you should think about dressing in layers. Jackets, blazers, bolero jackets, cardigans, etc. will do the trick.
Things you might need
  • A small bottle of water: food and drinks are awfully expensive on the fairgrounds, so I prefer to bring something.
  • Granola bars: they are small & fill you up until lunch or dinnertime.
  • A small notebook & a pen: to note down great books and contact details of people you meet.
  • Business cards: if you have some, bring them 🙂 .
  • A camera or a camera phone: you’ll see awesome stuff!
  • Lip balm: beware of dry air 😉 .
  • A comfy shoulder bag or a rucksack: Last year, I took a tiny shoulder bag for the things I needed close at hand and a rucksack for the water, granola bars and everything I picked up along the way on my day at the fair. A good decision.

You can save money by eating at the mall right next to the fairgrounds. Just exit through the East Entrance in Hall 3 or the City Entrance in Hall 1. The mall is a one-minute walk from Hall 3.

Bloggers, journalists, everyone else who wants one: You don’t have to bring one of those plastic badge holders because you can pick one up for free at every entrance.

So I hope this was helpful or informative for some of you! I hope you’ll have a great time experiencing Frankfurt Book Fair. If you want to meet, my calendar still has open spots. Just drop me a line 🙂

If you have any tips, please share them with us in the comment section! Thank you 🙂


Frankfurt Book Fair – Interview – Kirsty Wilson


I hope you had a good start into December. Did you already buy all your Christmas presents? Well, I didn’t. Two chaotic months lie behind me. But I’m slowly getting in the mood for Christmas. I just love it! As promised, today I present you the first of the two interviews I did at Frankfurt Book Fair.

Kirsty Wilson works at Canongate and as I had difficulties making an appointment prior to the fair, I just walked up to the booth and Kirsty was so kind as to spontaneously squeeze our interview between two meetings. We had five minutes, so don’t be surprised, if there are sudden topic changes 😀 Also, I was nervous. This was my very first interview ever.

Canongate Booth at Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

So here you go ladies and gentlemen. Let’s find out more about what Kirsty Wilson’s job is like, what she did at Frankfurt Book Fair and what books she enjoys.

ATM (All That Magic): What’s your job at Canongate?
KW (Kirsty Wilson): I’m rights executive there.

ATM: And what do you do as a rights executive?
KW: I sell translation rights in our titles to countries where we use a subagent in Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey, Russia and Asia. And I also sell directly to Greece and Israel and handle audio and large print rights.

ATM: Oh that’s interesting.
KW: Yeah it really is, and lots of fun too. And then as well as, you know, the selling, I draft contracts for deals that we do and I make sure publishers send us artwork so the author can approve them and make sure they get manuscripts, reviews and everything they need to publish.

ATM: Okay, and you have lots of work to do at this fair I guess?
KW: Yeah, Frankfurt is like the biggest book fair of the year and it’s really important for us and we have meetings all day, usually from 9 ’til 6. It’s very busy but it’s really important for us to meet publishers from around the world. We discuss our titles with international editors and also discuss what they’re looking to buy and what they’re publishing lately, which really helps you get an idea of each particular market.

ATM: So you meet people who you normally only talk to via e-mail or phone?
KW: Yeah, usually and it’s so good to put a face to the name. ‘Cause e-mail can be quite impersonal sometimes. And also we meet a lot of publishers we don’t work with and introduce ourselves and find out about their lists and what kind of books they are looking for.

ATM: That sounds like you’re really busy here. So, what’s your favorite book so far this year?
KW: Uuh, You mean on our Canongate list, or just in general?

ATM: Any book.
KW: Um, I really loved Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

ATM: Me too, that’s my favorite.
KW: Isn’t it fantastic? I think she’s such a great writer. I really loved it.
I also read a really great crime novel by a Scottish writer called Malcolm Mackay. It’s called The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and it’s really smart and fast-paced, really filmic in style.

ATM: And do you have any recommendations from Canongate?
KW: We just published a book called The Novel Cure which is amazing and we’ve produced a really beautiful edition, so it’s perfect for gift giving. The author’s recommend novels to any kind of ailments that you might have. So it can be something serious like feeling depressed to something light-hearted and funny. “What to do if you’re in love with a nun” is one of the ailments of the book. It’s great, it’s really enlightening and so good to read.

ATM: That book sounds fun! So thank you very much for your time!
KW: No problem!

Image provided by Canongate

The Novel Cure is on my letter to Santa. Oh yes it is!!

So what do you think?

Do you want to become a rights executive? Did you learn something new, or did you know all this already? I’d love to read about your thoughts.

And thanks again to Kirsty for taking the time to do this interview! I really enjoyed our chat.

Frankfurt Book Fair – We’re Back!

Hi y’all,

We’re back from our short but busy trip to Frankfurt Book Fair. In those few days, we met wonderful people, walked many miles, saw beautiful books and learned a lot.

Beautiful Usborne Booth

Our trip started with a snow storm that delayed our departure and arrival. The late arrival also prevented us from visiting the fair on Friday. Therefore, we weren’t able to meet Megan from Harper Collins International Sales who had to leave that day. We would have loved to chat with her but the weather and traffic weren’t on our side that day.

On Saturday, I met Kirsty Wilson from Canongate, who was awesome. She was flexible enough to just squeeze our interview between two appointments. Ain’t that great? After my interview with Kirsty, Miss Treegarden and I went to a Lovelybooks get-together to meet all those people I only knew from the internet. The only problem was that it was pretty cold and everyone wore jackets or coats that kept the unique blog t-shirts some attendees wore hidden. I only recognized the two girls working for Lovelybooks, the other attending people will stay a mystery to me. 😀

After the get-together, Miss Treegarden and I had a little stroll through halls 3.0 and 3.1 which are halls full of German publishers’ booths. These halls got overcrowded quickly, so Miss Treegarden and I decided to separate and she went to see the other German halls, while I went back to lovely and quiet hall 8.0, the international hall. It’s a little sad to see the difference between the international hall and the German halls, because you notice that the Germans don’t seem to be that interested in international literature. Still, it had a good side that hall 8.0 wasn’t crowded: I had room to roam 🙂 At the Telegram, Saqi, Westbourne Press booth, I had a great talk with Ashley Biles who supplied me with two interesting books. Thank you! A few rows down, at the Chronicle Books booth, I stumbled upon this wonderful poster. I even got a paper cup of Grumpy Cat to take home  😀

Grumpy Cat didn’t agree with me.

On Sunday, time was short. We only had four hours until our departure. Nevertheless, we attended a talk by Frank Grafe of Random House Germany, who told us about their publishing house and the work they do at the book fair. Later on, I met lovely Thérèse Coen from Bloomsbury for an interview. We had a great chat and I left with a wonderful present, a book I’ve been waiting to read for months. Thank you SO much. I noticed much later just how precious this present was. At the bus on our way home, I had a closer look and saw that it was signed. I was barely able to breathe. Oh wow Thérèse, you sure made my week! After another quick stroll through hall 8.0, I had to say goodbye to my favorite hall, as I planned to join Miss Treegarden for a book signing that was very important to her. On our way out of the fair grounds, we also got a quick look at Cecilia Ahern (P.S. I Love You), who was also signing books at the fair. Boy, isn’t she young?

Cecilia Ahern signing tons of books

Our days at Frankfurt Book Fair had come to an end and we had to board the bus back home again. Before leaving for Frankfurt, I was a little worried, but now, I’m glad everything worked out fine. I’m sure, I’ll be back soon. This was only a quick roundup of our trip. I promise you’ll read more about it in the upcoming weeks!

We’re going to Frankfurt Book Fair


I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. Miss Treegarden and I have great news for you! In a few days, we’ll head north to attend the largest book fair in the world – Frankfurt Book Fair!

Image provided by Frankfurter Buchmesse

Miss Treegarden and I are both book fair first-timers and we are pretty excited by now. We’ve got months of preparation lying behind us and we hope we can bring back lots of pictures and stories. Of course, we will look out for new and upcoming books that could be of interest to you (and us 😀 ) and we hope to get to meet and talk to many interesting people!

Miss Treegarden found out that one of her favorite authors will be at the book fair and I already found my Mecca in Hall 8.0 which is the International Hall. That’s where most of the English-language publishers are. It will be a pretty intense trip with only two days time to explore hundreds of booths and thousands of books.

Image provided by Frankfurter Buchmesse / Peter Hirth

We still got a few days left and we want to know: Is there anything you’d like to know about Frankfurt Book Fair that we can find out while we are there? Please tell us. We’ll try to help!

Travel Review – New York City

“New York remains the most fabulous city on earth,” claims travel journalist Graham Boynton, and boy, is he right. Spending ten days in the Big Apple, I could appreciate a great deal of New York’s wonders, starting from juicy burgers to breath-taking Broadway shows. There are numerous reasons for why I made New York City my travel destination: a rich palette of cultural offerings, the ringing tills of Fifth Avenue, magnificent high-rise buildings, and extravagant boutique hotels.

Once the city had whetted my appetite, I couldn’t get enough of it. I enjoyed memorable walking tours through Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, China Town, and the Financial District and experienced two more of New York’s five boroughs: Brooklyn and the Bronx. The city’s constant reinvention makes it an eye-catching venue which I looked at with great admiration.

I appreciated the glittering lights as described by Edith Wharton and dived into the big city’s night life while standing on top of the Rock. The Empire State has it all: from overcrowded and stuffy subway rides to cultural diversity in the various New York neighbourhoods. It’s no secret that life in New York has its price, but there are quite a few things to do which are for free, including spending time in Manhattan’s oasis: Central Park.


Visiting the magnificent Metropolitan Museum, strolling through Washington Square Park to walk off some of my lunch, admiring the New York Public Library and walking all the way up from Battery Park to 42nd Street contributed to making my stay an unforgettable experience. I loved my vacation, I loved the city, but I didn’t like what they call morning caffeine intake. Honestly, New Yorkers have to start taking coffee seriously!