Sunday, October 25, 2009
Last Tuesday I did a reading for a group of 60 kids in the North York branch of the Toronto Public Library. The kids came from grades 6, 7 and 8. Some of them had heard of me before, some had seen my website, and a few had even read Epoch!
I was pretty nervous beforehand for all kinds of silly reasons: I wasn't sure I could fill an hour's time; I was worried the kids would think I was a dork, etc...
Turns out I had nothing to be afraid of. Not only were they a terrific bunch of kids, but they all couldn't get enough of me! They asked all kinds of questions about my stories, my writing habits, anything that came to their minds. I'd prepared a writing exercise in case I ran out of things to say, but instead I did two readings, answered as many questions as I could, and then gave away free books. I think I brought five Epochs and seven Evil?s, and it was difficult deciding whom to give them to. I told them I'd give a book to the kids who buttered me up the most, and they got right into it. "I love your shirt, Mr. Carter!" "I love your hat!" They were the best. They truly were. I wish I could have given a book to every single one of them, and felt badly for the kids who got left out.
I was a little nervous talking to them about the plot of Evil?, given the subject matter, but I decided to just go for it. I told them what the book was about, then gave them a chance to get all their giggles out before I proceeded. They handled it very well.
At the end I signed all the copies I'd given away, and then I signed anything else they could get their hands on. One girl got me to sign her friend's copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Other kids presented me with library magazines, or scraps of paper. I signed and signed 'till my signer was sore, but it was well worth it. The teachers thanked me, the library people said they wanted me back sometime, and I felt ready to take on the world!
I love kids. Probably because I'm just a big kid myself! I can't wait to do something like this again.