I love children’s authors. I mean, LOVE them. Meeting them not only inspires me, it reminds me that I am freakily fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.
I read a comment by Sherman Alexie about the difference between the children’s and adult’s book worlds (I can’t find the actual quote, of course, because I’m useless) and it was something like: people involved in children’s books are nicer. I’m sure his answer was way smarter and well-worded, but the sentiment was pretty clear. For all the debates raging in children’s lit today, the folks who produce books — from authors to agents to editors to publicists and marketers to booksellers — are a thoroughly lovely bunch. I’ve noticed the same thing with pediatricians. There’s something about working with (and for) kids and young adults that brings out the best in us, I guess.
Anyway, I was reminded of this a couple of times in the past week . . .
On Monday, I popped along to my local Left Bank Books to see Lauren Myracle. Apparently the rest of St. Louis didn’t get the memo about her appearance, because the group was, um . . . intimate, to say the least. But Lauren was awesome. She constantly asked questions. She gushed about writing and reading. She learned everyone’s names. (Yes, seriously.) And in the spirit of general craziness, she let ME do the reading for her, and proceeded to let ME sign her books.
We’re talking about a New York Times bestselling author here, the one who wrote TTYL and RHYMES WITH WITCHES. How many bestselling authors of adult lit are that fun and, well . . . crazy? This wasn’t a book signing — it was a party where we all got presents. Lauren showed us that it’s okay to go to book events and just BE SILLY. What’s not to like?
Here we are with two of her (younger) fans, and with me signing THIRTEEN PLUS ONE (which I suspect will never happen again):
And that’s not all . . .
Last Thursday I visited Pudd’nHead Books in nearby Webster Groves, MO, for an event with James Dashner, uber-talented author of THE MAZE RUNNER and THE 13TH REALITY series. We shared stories, talked shop, and laughed about flying transcontinental with kids. He’s thoroughly lovely, engaging, and completely unassuming. And like Lauren, so openly grateful to be writing books for a living.
Now I just need to get them to come back to St. Louis again soon . . .