Even though I'm a homebody, I was very interested when Scholastic asked me if I wanted to travel to some bookstores this fall to talk to people and sign copies of my new novel, A Corner of the Universe. Because I'm excited about the book, and because I love meeting my readers, my only question was, "When can we get started?" And after almost a year of burying my head over my computer, it was time to get out of my office and meet some fans!
My schedule took me to bookstores in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. In each case, the owners had let the local community know that I would be coming, so I was always greeted by a nice group of kids. At several of the stops, I was asked to read a chapter from A Corner of the Universe. (Note: You can hear me read this by clicking on the link on this webpage under Hot Topic.) When I arrived at one bookstore, readers were already involved in a group discussion about the book. We then moved on to a question and answer session, which I very much enjoyed. At several stores, I sat at a table while readers lined up to have their copies of the book signed. This was fun because it gave me a little time to speak with everyone. Some kids are shy and just gently push the book towards me to sign, but others are very chatty and want to share lots of comments and observations.
Long-time BSC fans might remember reading in the old Fan Club Newsletter about some of the BSC book tours. These could be crazy! At the height of the series' popularity, there were hundreds of readers waiting on line to get a signed book. As exciting as that was, it was also a little overwhelming for me. Nowadays, I find that I really enjoy the smaller stores and the smaller crowds and having the time to personally greet everyone who has come to see me.
Have you ever been to a book signing? The book section in your Sunday newspaper lists upcoming author events at area bookstores. If you find that one of your favorite authors is going to be signing books nearby, ask if a parent or other adult can take you to the store. It's always exciting to meet the people who write the books that you like to read; but believe me, it's a thrill for us authors to meet the people who like to read the books that we write!