There really is nothing more fun for a children's author than to have a child be excited about your book. Nothing compares!
Yesterday Bob and I drove the 100 miles to Boerne, Texas to do a signing at a coffee shop that my publisher set up. To tell the truth, I was leery of the coffee shop gig because last week I had a zero, nada, no fun signing at a coffee shop here in Austin. But it was a beautiful day for a drive, I had the great company of husband/best fan/partner, so I thought I'd give it another shot. After all, we could enjoy a nice latte if nothing else.
We arrived at the Daily Grind and were lucky enough to set up on a sidewalk table on a busy Saturday in super-cute historic Boerne. Lots of families strolling Main Street. Bob got us a latte and we sat back to see what the day would bring.
First, our friend Mary Jo stopped by on her way back to town from her ranch to buy a couple of books for her grandchildren. I love signing them to people I know! Then another grandma stopped by and bought one for her grandchildren. Then two things happened that made every moment and every drop of gas worth it.
The first was a beautiful little girl from Utah named Jillian. She walked by with her mom and some other women who were not planning to stop at our table. Jillian did a double-take and picked up a book. I told her a tiny bit about the book and she called her mom back. Jillian told me she would like a book signed to her. I told her how much they cost and asked how her mom felt about it. Jillian took the book to her mom and said, " Look. It's about a girl who is very angry. I want one." Mom shrugged and opened her purse. Jillian and I talked a little as I signed her book. Then she gave me a giant hug. "I love people who smile," she said. So do I, Jillian, so do I. Keep that open heart and big smile.
A second gift was a little boy named Steven (his mom said I could share his picture on the Mad, Mad Annabelle Jane fanpage, facebook.com/pages/Mad-Mad-Annabelle-Jane) who spied the book from a nearby table where his family had stopped. Steven asked me about the book, and his mom came over and asked him if he could read the back cover. A second grader, Steven is already a great reader. He laughed in just the right places in the synopsis. He grinned real big and told his mom he wanted the book. While I signed it to him, he stood by to have his picture made, and as he walked away, he showed it to his little sister. I heard him tell her he would read it to her, and the pride in his voice made me feel really good.
We sold a few other books and were packing up to go when the last fun thing happened. A woman rushed up and apologized for her wet hair, saying she had hurried to get the book she had seen advertised on the events page of the paper, submitted by my publisher. It turns out she is a play therapist and wanted four books to use in her practice. How cool is that? I am very pleased to think that my book might be tool to help a child. A perfect ending to a very, very nice day. Lucky me.