Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Author meetings and greetings

I've enjoyed Mother Reader's account of her meeting with Mo Willems. When it comes to author moments, I am an unabashed groupie/fan.

I am always impressed with how polite and courteous they are. I know they are on book tours to publicize their books but still, they must get tired, their faces must ache from smiling.

At conferences, I do not have to go to sessions on "how to run my library good" anymore (umm...not that I ever did too much anyway.) I head for the author presentations because my enthusiasm for them is what the kids pick-up when I'm sharing their books. At book signings, I know I only have 30-90 seconds to make a connection and let them know how much their writing has meant to me, my kids, my students, my extended family, my pets etc.

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is a charming Brit. During his talk, I sat very near the front of the room. My friend seemed concerned that I would rush the podium in my star-struck daze. Nonsense, there were way too many people in the way. I enjoyed his talk so much. I bought the recording. (Excellent!) He should absolutely be on Fuse #8's list of Hot Men of Children's Literature.

My one-on-one moment with Horowitz was a glassy-eyed, gushy and enthusiastic endorsement for the continuing of the TV series Foyle's War. I also added that my youngest entling had spied his name as screenwriter for the Poirot mystery we were watching recently. He quickly asked, "Which one?"

Umm...eerkk...uh...who remembers the titles of the David Suchet Poirot mysteries? Well, it was the one where Hastings finds a body on the golf course and the wife has been tied up in her room and..."Oh, of course, (he filled in the title,) Thanks! -- Next?"

Garth Nix

Garth Nix was smooth and professional. I've never read his books (I know, I know, I will read them soon.) I was buying the Sabriel series for my entling so I could only thank him and tell him how much I had enjoyed his comments on the YA discussion panel. He has worked in every area of the publishing industry. Love the accent. He should absolutely be on Fuse #8's list of Hot Men of Children's Literature.

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan must think I am a stalker. Everytime the poor guy turns around, there I am. I heard him talk to only about 20 people at a bookstore last summer then I started telling everyone I knew about The Lightning Thief.

I've read the first chapter to so many classes I should be able to recite it but I NEVER EVER get tired of reading the museum scene. It is a sure-fire grab 'em-by-the-throat read aloud. After I finish reading, the kids all flock towards me to look more closely at the book itself. When I show kids Riordan's autograph they pour over the title page touching the ink as if it is a talisman. They always want to hold the book and examine the cover. This library girl has never seen another book get that kind of reaction.

After the TLA panel discussion, a library friend asked me to take a picture of her with him. Didn't I want a photo too? Oh, no, I don't think so...bad lighting... oh! ...flash...Where was I looking? Were my eyes crossed? I think my mouth was open. Please, may those pixels evaporate.

I stood in line to get Sea of Monsters signed. Hi Mr. Riordan, it is me again.

He may be coming to a library near me next year...

He should absolutely, positively be on Fuse #8's list of Hot Men of Children's Literature. He is a class act and a real gentleman.

Susan Cooper

Although I was sitting very close to the front I had a very difficult time hearing her. She is quiet and shy and reserved. She shared a note from a young girl who commented that Cooper's books "fit her, just right." That term has resonated with me ever since. That is truly, what I find so interesting about young readers and their relationships with books. When a kid finds that perfect fit at the right time in their life, it is magic. I am not a scholar of literature but I am a practitioner, always looking for that right fit.

Susan Cooper's books fit my eldest entling just right. The proper book to bring to
Cooper to sign would have been E's copy of Silver on the Tree, dog-eared and the cover gone. I could not find that one so I settled on a new copy of The Magician's Boy and King of Shadows. I also received confirmation from Cooper herself about the dedication in King of Shadows. I was right. Lovely.

David Shannon

He has a terribly entertaining presentation about his No David books. The kids were completely engaged. They met the "money" shot of David with the customary howls of laughter. When it was my turn to have my book, A Bad Case of Stripes signed, I asked him if he had seen Sean Astin's excellent reading of the book at StoryLine Online. He had NOT seen it which surprised me. I picture authors checking on their "children's" progress in all areas. Astin's reading was a great lesson one week when I was without a voice.

(File under LOTR--Obsession, Family: This family also drove to College Station, Tx one weekend to see Sean Astin. He is another class act in person. He showed the audience his "Nine" tatoo. Lots of college kids from UTAustin as well as A&M. Before the event, Astin talked at length with a student who was taking a Tolkien course. Very cool.)

Brian Jacques

his man makes such a connection with his readers. Boys especially love his Redwall books if they are readers. The size of the books can be daunting to tentative readers. Girls love the books too. I know one young lady who would not shop for a purse without a hardcover Redwall book with her. The book had to fit in the purse before she would consider buying it.

When he came to a local bookstore a few years ago, I was so touched, in fact blown away by the huge amount of time he took to speak to the kids who shyly opened their books to be signed.


fusenumber8 said...

I see Horowitz as more a Teen author, but I'll take Garth Nix and Rick Riordan under advisement.

Camille said...

Hmmm...good points...That is a question...what are the parameters of Children's literature. If we are thinking of "picture books" then I would say all three are not candidates. I do know fans of all three who are as young as 4th grade. I think of Nix is more middle school, just because of the size of his books. Riordan is on his way to becoming a rock star though, in my humble opinion, based on the reactions I get to his books. Your Hot Men list is too much fun.

Erin said...

YOU GOT TO MEET BRIAN JACQUES?! Oh I'm so jealous. :) He used to be my favorite author....

And my brother would love to meet Anthony Horowitz!

web said...

What a fun post! Thanks for sharing.

Michele said...

You met Garth Nix AND Anthony Horowitz ? I feel a transatlantic sulk coming on !! *grins*

You lucky person - and meeting Sean Astin too... I am considering never speaking to you again, but with whom could I share my LotR obsession, if not with you ?

Little Willow said...

What a great and appreciate post!