Rennes-le-Château and Rennes-les-Bains

Rennes-le-Château and Rennes-les-Bains

EVENT - Book Fair, Rennes-le-Château

Every year on the 3rd Saturday in August an annual book-fair is held at Rennes-le-Château.  This is a great day organised by the Atelier Empreinte bookshop and is completely free to both stall holders and visitors.  Every year it gets bigger and better.  Except . . .

16th August  2015  Oh dear a rainy day!


  There were no English-speakers there to buy my English books! but I enjoyed the work of the French stall-holders and bought books instead of selling them, poetry by Mistral and a history of Sainte Anne (the grandmother of Jesus - eventually!) from a superb second-hand stall, then a book all about Osiris,the green one in the middle picture. 

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  Behind the Egypt stall was one about Poussin, the artist from the court of Louis XIV who apparently visited this region and painted it.  There's nothing in the history books but his paintings are proof, many say . . .


  My friend Annie Jal took me and her pagan God attracted a lot of attention . . . we left sadly for we had come all the way from Canet near Narbonne.  The next day I started my house move to Couiza.  Roll on next year!

17th August   2014

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  I go every year to sell my books, yes, but also to talk to the many people who are simply tourists, or people exploring the region looking for the mysteries, or old friends and new who already live in the region either for the summer or for all the year round.  The Rennies come out in force! 

  Kris Darquis (in the picture above) and I were particularly excited about this day because she was doing a book-signing for her French version of Claudia Procula.  A lady came from the local paper to interview her and took some photos of me too. 

  The day for me began at four in the morning packing boxes, then Annie Jal my potter friend arrived at my home, we packed the car and we left at seven.  Annie is French and lives in Narbonne.

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  Annie had never been to Rennes-le-Château before and was fascinated by all the red in the landscape, apparently it is really good clay and she is going to come back to dig some up.  She met two of her friends there that she didn't know were coming and shared her picnic lunch and bread with a customer.  She kept everyone entertained with demonstrations of her work and tunes of the little birds on the flutes that she makes herself.  Oh, and the preserves were made from the organic produce of her own garden.  I was so pleased and we will go together again next year - the Narbo contingent!

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  I met many old friends.  Georges' book on the Templiers is doing so well, he has got it in all the bookshops, including those in the big stores (must ask how it's done) and in front of the buvette were Astrid Ancelle and Nico from the Atelier Empreinte bookshop.  Germain Delmas said he thought I had forgotten him!  I met him two years ago at the sale then.  Astrid is an artist and her pictures of our region were exhibited in the Hostellerie of Rennes-les-Bains.  I like them a lot, they are strong and passionate; this is the chateau that gave Rennes its name.


  ( Click here for Astrid's site.)

  Kris and I escaped for a quick pizza for lunch in the "Reine du Château" and came back to find the fair quite busy. I spoke to many English people about the mysteries.  One young man was training to be a psychic and a couple from Nottingham wanted to find out exactly what Bérenger Saunière's treasure was.  I met a man who delighted telling me in detail that Mary Magdalene lives in caves in Provence while I have written several books explaining how we know she came to Languedoc and never lived in caves in her life! 

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   I sold more books than I expected, one man spent 60€.  The favourites were Mary Magdalene's Yearbook and paradoxically, The Visigothic Inheritance.  There is no doubt interest in the Visigoths is increasing in our region.  And of course, every person I met of any nationality had a copy of my catalogue to take away and/or give their friends.    
  Annie and I left at six, when the evening light was shining on Bugarach in the distance, and got back to the Narbonnais at eight, where friends had refreshments ready!  It was a long day, but a good one.  


   Two days later an article in the local paper appeared.

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  Claudia Procula and Val Wineyard Publishing were both mentioned.   Yippee!

  And previous years?

August 2013

It was the annual booksale day held by Atelier Empreinte, the bookshop in Rennes-le-Château and their associated French publishers, Oeil de Sphinx.  There had been a thunderstorm during the night, but then the skies cleared and it was a hot sunny day.

  My friend Gabi came to give me a hand, as she did last year, and I appreciated it very much.

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  I sold more of my books than ever before and was also promoting my new book there, called "The Mayor That Was Me."  You can read much more about it by clicking here.  I was particularly moved when my friend Luke bought one.  "Val, I want to read this book," he said.  And I had a selection of second-hand books at very low prices.  In this times of economic crisis it's not everybody that has cash spare to spend on books!

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It was definitely a day for writers to meet readers and interesting for me, to meet the French writers who, like me, were self-publishing their books.  We compared notes. The readers were of all nationalities.  I asked one man if he was English and he said;  "Certainly not!  I'm Scottish!" We ate our ham-sandwich lunch at out table and of course, took full advantage of the buvette or drinks bar who sold blanquette, our local champagne from Limoux!

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Philippe Marlin (in blue), the publishing branch of Atelier Empreinte, and the buvette.

 For previous booksales, click here.

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