Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Still Learning/Still Making the Same Mistakes

I had another sparsely attended bookstore event, but I had a fantastic time and came away energized and excited about what I am doing.

This event was scheduled for 11 am and at ten minutes after the hour there was only one child, his baby sister, his mother, and her friend. He already owned a copy of my book (but had forgotten to bring it to be signed), and he was eager to have me read to him. I felt I could not keep him waiting any longer, so I pulled out my trucks and we read. He enjoyed all the trucks in the suitcase and I chatted with his mom. I also have book plates which Taylor, at Charlesbridge, sent me, so I signed one of those for his mom to stick in his book when they got home. How handy to have book plates—with a little truck on them.

Several of my friends dropped by to pick up signed copies of Truck Stuck. Lucky for me many of my friends are about to become grandparents for the first time and see my book as a must-buy for the baby.

A third-grade girl, in her soft-ball uniform, and her younger sister, and mom came into the store. I’m not sure if they knew there would be an author there—both girls seemed to be avid readers. They browsed the books on the shelves and I chatted with the softball player. She was wearing great red and white striped socks that looked like a barber shop pole. Not only is she a reader, but she is a writer as well. We had a lot to talk about. I asked what she was reading and I recommended the book I had just finished, Linda Sue Park’s Project Mulberry. The younger sister got interested in my suitcase full of trucks so I offered to read Truck Stuck to her. At this point another little boy and his dad showed up, so I read the book and even sold one copy.

What I learned from this event is that I can have a great time talking to the kids and parents who do show up, as well as the bookstore personnel. I learned about the third grade poetry unit the softball player was doing in school. I got the name and email of her teacher, whom I intend to contact about my poetry book coming out next year. I enjoyed finding out what the kids were interested in reading and hearing about the softball game. I am in charge of how the event will go—I can make my own good time and that gives me energy and ideas for future writing.

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