My bookmarks toolbar has been frowning at me for several days now, so here is a post to appease it.
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to go speak to an elementary school class about my book. It was set up through a co-worker who was really excited to hear that I had written a book, once again proving that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
It was two classes of 4th graders. 10 yr. olds. And I was scared stiff. The 45 minutes the teacher requested seemed like half of my life. Who was I to go speak and mold the minds of young children? The class was starting to talk about the fantasy genre and I was to go talk about fantasy and how I developed my story; the hero, the quest, and the ending.
I don’t know why I was worried.
10 yr. olds, man, they don’t shut up! I should have known. I have a 10 yr. old sister. It turned out to be the shortest 45 minutes of my life. They were enthralled by the story and hastily scribbled notes as I waxed lyrical about my book, the characters, the plot, the villains. I could talk for five minutes and then open it up for questions and they went to town. They asked everything from writing, to cover art, to plot and what obstacles the hero had to overcome. We explored the map together and what each country was like.
They all faithfully promised to come to my next book signing, one girl even saying she’d wear the same outfit so I’d recognize her. The bookmarks I brought were eagerly snatched up. I even got a thank you card, hastily drawn in marker during my talk, saying how much the maker enjoyed listening and learning about my book.
To close out my visit, I read a few pages. The response was overwhelming. One youngster shouted “I love it!” I think some of the boys secretly related to the young, ornery prince Corin and his brother. And I only read the first three pages.
It is a little nerve-wracking to think that you might serve as an inspiration to young kids. But all you can do in the end is encourage them. After all, they might be the next great author of our time.