About three weeks ago I spent two full days at an elementary school. I went to every class (except the kindergarten) and talked about my book. 40 minutes in each class. I told them how I wrote the book, how I got it published, I read to them from it, and then taught them a quick lesson on writing.
It was a lot of work, and I had the time of my life.
Usually I REALLY don’t like dealing with my book. When I do a book signing I feel like an animal at the zoo, except for at the zoo, the people at least make eye contact with, and talk to, the animals. “Hello little monkey!” Nobody says “hello little author!” they simply walk around the author while looking the other way.
And when I talk about my book with people, I feel like an Amway salesman (not that there is anything wrong with that (ok, there is something wrong with that)). I find myself constantly telling people, “yeah, if you want to read the book, which you may not, and please don’t feel obligated, because I won’t feel bad if you don’t, then go to your local library and check it out for free, or read the first chapter online and see if it’s something you think you might like, which you may not, but I won’t feel bad if you don’t, because some people just don’t like some kinds of books.” Yes, I talk in run on sentences, and I use that many commas when I talk. You can see why I don’t like talking about my book.
But, there was something about talking to the kids that made it a blast. It was out of control fun. The kids kept wanting to get out of control, and the teachers were trying to reign them in. And of course, I’m asking them questions, and giving them activities that will lead to more out of control activity. But the funny thing is that now I’m almost a celebrity at the school. I work about 60 feet from the elementary school in the education building on USU’s campus. So when I walk to my car, I hear things like, “Hey! It’s Mathew!”, or “There’s the author!”
5 minutes ago I was walking toward my building and a small boy was looking up at me with wonderment in his eye. He was walking with a lady who appeared to be his mom, and at the risk of looking like a child predator I said to the boy, “Hey there! How is it going?” He just grinned as he walked past, and then I heard his mom ask who that was. “That’s Matthew Buckley!” He said it as if that was all the information she needed. “Oh, of course, that’s Matthew Buckley.”
So, I’m never going to reach celebrity status, nor do I want to, but I’ve got a taste of it here at Edith Bowen, and it’s a little fun.