I am finally back at my desk after a couple weeks of non-stop traveling around doing school visits, book signings and events. Most of the time I can be found holed up in my studio, painting the day away. But more and more I've been getting off my butt to talk about my work. I have, in the past, dreaded this kind of thing- imagining all kinds of catastrophic situations where I show up to do a visit and forget my name or something. But lately I've started to enjoy it- I actually really like talking about books when it comes down to it. You never know where it will lead and sometimes it helps give you the encouragement you need to persist with your work back at the studio... plus you get to hear kids say really cute things like "I can't believe you're still alive!" Guess there are some misconceptions about the age of your average children's book author floating around out there?!
Last week I was a featured author at the West Virginia Book Fair. It was a good time on the whole, I had a lot of fun connecting with kids and librarians. One wanted to set me up with her son who lives in NY after my presentation (I'll take that as a compliment), while another informed me in a droll tone of voice that my author photo was "very unflattering" (guess looks are important after all.) Hey, maybe I'll hire a fashion photographer and get some glamour shots!
Anyways, why the picture of the dog? That is Faith, the dog who walks on her hind legs! She was a fellow attendee of the book fair, her family wrote a book about her (maybe you caught her on Oprah?). It is hard to believe she actually walks around like a person (I kept thinking of Beatrix Potter books), but she really does. She was born with a birth defect and had to be trained to walk like this so she could survive. Throughout the weekend Faith was walking around the book fair getting all loved up.
You couldn't help but admire her perseverance and sheer determination. Sometimes it feels like getting ahead in publishing is an impossible job. But maybe its not so impossible, you just take it one book fair at a time!