I had what can only be described as a stellar day. In a last minute booking, I was called to Walter Moberly Elementary where I was greeted by 200 students grades 4-6.

What I liked most about this event was that my host, librarian Gwen Ingham, was someone I had met when I worked full-time at Kidsbooks. She was always pleasant, and very eager to talk books and hear about new releases. While she at that time had the chance to see me selling something I loved (books), now she got to see me doing something I love (performing).

Yes, writing books is great fun, too. But there’s this part of me that will always want to be up on stage, giving a performance to an eager audience. I had one today, where, for a whole hour, I got to tell the story of how I evolved from someone who hated reading to someone who loves it. I also had the chance to show them how my books evolved from idea to paper, including me acting out a small scene of what made Jon become “Pyre.”

This is one of the things that I have enjoyed most about being a writer of YA fiction: the part where I get to give back a little. To encourage a group of students to read, or to write, may very well change their lives – perhaps not to make them a writer, but to give them courage to follow their own dreams. The best part of all is when one of those students returns that respect back to you…

One of my regular students at CWC (Creative Writing for Children Society), Heejae (who is in my junior novel team), took a photo of me at the Spring Book Hatching and then played with it. Tonight she emailed it to me, and, yeah, it made me smile. Now I’ll share it with you … and maybe it’ll make you smile, too!

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