Last Wednesday I met up with my summer workshop co-teacher, Ken, at Barnes and Noble to plan our classes for July.* After he left, I wandered over to the neighboring table where a boy about 10 years old was reading. Next to him, his father was working on a laptop.
Peeking at the title of the kid’s book, I got excited. He was reading Rick Riordan’s Camp Halfblood Confidential. I’ve only read two of Riordan’s books so far, but I jumped right in, asking the boy if he liked the Percy Jackson series.
He did. I told him what I enjoyed most about The Trials of Apollo. It followed easily to mention that I, too, wrote fantasy. By now the dad was listening, and he asked for the title of my book. “Tangled in Magic,” I told him, and added, “It’s available on Amazon.”
The lovely man immediately went online to Amazon, and then asked his son, “Do you want to read it?”
Oh, yes, the boy did. Dad bought it for him right on the spot.
Honestly, readers, I did not have a sale as my ulterior motive. I really just like talking to kids about books and writing.
The boy’s name was Rohan, which I now know is a location in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I gave him my card and told him he was welcome to write to me. “I always write back.” That’s the same promise I gave to my second-grade students at the end of the school year.
Maybe we get a little bolder as we age. Or maybe I miss being around kids. In retrospect, I had to laugh at myself. Have I become a slightly dotty writer-crone, starting up conversations with strangers in bookstores?
Doesn’t matter. It was fun.
*Ken and I will be teaching a Sci-fi/fantasy writing workshop for 12 – 14 year olds in July. Go to Hudson Valley Writing Project, based at SUNY New Paltz.