I'm just back from the Victoria Public Library's main branch, where I had a whirlwind session with three groups of Grade Seven French immersion students from Central Middle School. It's not too often that I meet anybody with hair as wild as mine -- but you'll see from today's pic, that I met my match today -- a student named Gabe. And half of Gabe's hair is GREEN! What do you think, blog readers, wouldn't a half-green-haired kid make an interesting character in a kids' book?
The best thing for me about today's session was the number of questions and comments from the audience. In all my years of doing author visits, I don't think I've ever had so much reaction from a group. And the question and comments were great. I'm going to share some of them in today's blog entry. When I talked about the importance of getting stories from grandparents (if you are lucky enough to have grandparents -- if not, borrow someone else's!), a student named Katya looked at me in a way that told me she was close with a grandparent. Later, Katya told us about her grandmother, and I hope you get started on interviewing her, Katya!
When I showed the students my daily journal, Echo asked, "Qu'est-ce que tu écris IN ça?" (We all thought the bilingual question was fun.) I told Echo that for me, my daily journal serves to keep my writing muscles limber, and that I do whatever I want in my journal -- say why I'm happy when I'm happy, complain when I'm grumpy, and try to find solutions to my writing problems when I am grappling with a story. Many of the students wanted to know whether I had read the book, or seen the movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I told them I hadn't, but their question made me think that maybe I should.
This was the last of my school visits in British Columbia for this week. Some people get really wiped out from doing visits and talking to groups of students, but I'm the opposite. Working with students during my visit to Vancouver Island has given me EXTRA ENERGY. Plus it's made me realize I had better get back to work on my newest book project ... how else am I going to get invited back to this beautiful part of our country?
Many thanks to librarian Sarah Isbister, for making today's visit happen, and to the students' teachers, including Mrs. Martin, who turns out to be a former Montrealer. To Mrs. Martin and her fellow teacheers, thanks for sharing your students with me. They were smart and fun. Lucky me!
The very best thing about today's session was that in all my years of doing author visits, I don't think I ever had so many questions and comments from an audience.