Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I hope you make books for the rest of your life



I've had an amazing day. Honestly, I can't believe how lucky I am. This morning, I sent off a manuscript to my publisher, the second in a new series of creepy stories for kids. As soon as I hit "send" (god-speed little manuscript), I went to check the mail. A large envelope awaited me, from my publisher. Thinking it was ... bookmarks, maybe? ... I was delighted to find 22 letters inside, all from a grade 3 class in Whitby. I wasn't expecting to be so moved. How sweet, honestly. The class was learning to write letters, and had read two of my Lost Gargoyle books, and so decided to write to me.
Lucky, lucky me! I sat reading and re-reading for an hour, chuckling, thinking, and being really moved and impressed. Some kids had ideas for my next book (they were really good ideas, I wondered how I could borrow them), some told me their favourite books, their dreams, their hopes, their greatest fears. It was all really, really sweet (okay, I cried a few times, too).
Here are some of my favourites (I've tried to block out their names): "I think your books are really, really awesome, and maybe I might write an awesome book like yours one day." YES! YES! Definitely, you can. You should. Start now!
Or this one, "You should write another book." You are so right, young lady, and I should get on it, shouldn't I?
Or possibly my favourite, "I hope you make books for the rest of your life." This one slew me. How kind and adorable. Thank you, sweet grade 3 student from Whitby, me too, my friend. Me, too.
Tomorrow, I will write a long letter back to them, and try to answer their many, many questions in a reasonable and interesting way. I hope I can inspire them as much as they did me.
And maybe, if I try hard and channel my inner 8-year old, with a little luck I'll be as kind and sweet as they are.
Here are a few other posts about great questions, letters and visits:
"I would pick the book over candy"
 "Top 10 oddest things I've been asked at readings"
"What's the last book you're ever going to write?"

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Highest praise ever from a grade 5 reader: "I would pick the book over candy"

I had a fantastic school visit today in Clarkson, Ontario. A wonderful teacher and her grade 5 students made me feel SO welcome. They had just finished reading my Silver Birch Express nominated book, the Gargoyle at the Gates. First, they made these fantastic gargoyle statues.Then, they gave me pictures of gargoyles they had drawn, along with their thank you notes, which were AWESOME. And as if that weren't enough, they also choreographed the gargoyle shuffle, and 2 different groups danced while I played guitar. Could NOT stop smiling. A great day. Thank you Ms. Walker!