How to Make Me a Little Crazy and Quite Happy:
Invite me to your school for two days. Have me speak for 6 periods straight each day on pretty much the same topics (being an author, editing, story arc, etc). By the end, I may not know what I’ve said to whom or quite how to speak a grammatically correct sentence…but I will have had fun.
Yup, that’s what I did recently at a school in San Jose. I sat in the library all day (so I wouldn’t have to move from class to class with my still broken foot), and kids filed in and out with every period.
My favorite parts? Well, there were two things that made me particularly happy. One was reading a portion of “2108: Eyes Open” to students who hadn’t read the book yet (p. 41-44 if you’re curious). It’s where Jewel first meets Forge. The section builds up to Forge saying he’ll do something on one condition. That’s where I stopped, telling the students they had to read the book themselves to find out what that condition was. I can’t tell you the looks of anguish I got from some of the students. There were some who looked like they were literally in physical pain because I stopped and wouldn’t read more. I don’t think they knew how happy that made me. No…I’m not sadistic. As an author, to see someone THAT invested and affected by what I write THRILLS my heart. Their looks of agony hint that I have done well!
My other favorite part of visiting the school? Meeting students like Dessie (that’s not her real name). She was so excited when I talked about my friend’s “My ABC Book of Careers.” My friend, Jennifer, wrote it when she was 11 and I recently published it for her. Dessie was so excited! She’s also 11 and wrote a book for her little cousin. It gave her hope that she might be able to publish a book too. I love to see young people realizing their potential…realizing they really have something to say that’s worth while, even while they’re still young!
Those are two things I live for…to entertain well, and to motivate young people into the fullness of their potential. Even if I do end up a little crazy, tongue tied and exhausted in the process…it’s worth it!
Hope to see you soon!