I am still on a high from my visit to the Luttrell Public Library yesterday to give a talk. It was a great experience. I met readers who read my books. I do that often online and at book signings, but to actually have not just one or two, but a room of people who have read my books was so uplifting and inspirational.
One thing I did not realize is because the library is built beside Luttrell Elementary, they use it as their library. And I had a teacher who wanted to bring her fourth grade class over to meet an author because writing is such a core part of 4th grade anymore. I remember because it wasn’t too long ago my Freshman was there and hating it. But these sixteen students were amazing. They walked in, sat in the front of the room and listened intently, asked thoughtful questions about the writing process, like how do you come up with your ideas, how do you get your work published, how do you get an editor to read you, did you base your characters on a fairy tale character, how do you get the cover images of your books.
Since the teacher had already told me they did not like to write I asked them as they walked in if they liked to read and they all nodded yes. I asked them if they liked to pretend or play make believe and they said yes. So I told them that was what writing was like, imaging a different world or situation and putting it down on paper, creating a story to share with others. I could see that thought sparking interest in so many of their already bright eyes. Then I had one little girl raise her hand and begin to tell me about a character she had created which was like Rapunzel and like so many of the other Disney Princesses, even Mulan. Her character was different and yet very complex because she had so many different characteristics. I told the little girl she might one day be a writer and to keep working on that character.
Even the little boys asked questions. We didn’t get into much about the meat of my books, but more about the writing process and when the class left I asked the adults if they had any questions they’d like answered, but they’d been as much impressed by the children as I was. This wasn’t the visit I’d expected when I went, but I think it was far better than my doing a reading from several of my books. The library even video taped my visit and will be posting it to the library’s YouTube channel so you might want to check it out. The library’s website is http://luttrelllibrary.org.
Now I’m off to watch the Volunteers play. Go Big Orange!!!!