There I was, thinking that the ultimate high is reading a piece of your novel, (pun intended), in front of a group of adults, who smile, laugh, frown, and applaud at the appropriate times.
And then, I read in front of a group of children.
I did this three times in five days, so the margin for error is considerably low, and I promise you, there is nothing more uplifting than reading your story to a bunch of humans who are by nature, filter-free, who nevertheless stare at you and your book in awe. Who patiently line up and wait for you to sign their book, the first book they’ve ever had signed by an author and an illustrator. Who kneel down at the box of books you have next to you and ask if there are other, different books like this one in there.
Adults know how to be polite, they know how to pretend, how to force a smile, a laugh, a frown, an applause. But kids, they only know to tell the truth.
Us writers are a vain bunch, but that’s only because we spend so much time in the solitude of our tumultuous minds, creating something we are forever convinced is not good enough. If the opportunity for praise and acknowledgment arises, we grab it with the hunger of a jilted lover reunited with their soulmate.
So thank you, children, those that were at the launch of “When Clouds Embrace” this past Saturday, and to the brilliant groups at Byron College today.
I’m going on a children’s book tour.