Why do I attend book festivals?
The most obvious answer seems: to sell books! But that’s not my reason. It’s for all those small moments, those connections with readers that will ripple out into a life in ways you will never know. Often the connections I make aren’t even about my books (though it’s nice when they are). This past weekend at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, KY, it was talking Pokemon Go with a young reader who insisted I wear her Eevee ears.
The thing is, as a kid, I never ever said I wanted to be an author. I couldn’t imagine it as something I would do. Authors were some special breed of person, I’d decided, because I hadn’t ever met one. All I knew of my favorite authors was their pictures on the back flap, and those short paragraphs that said where they lived.
I attend book festivals (and do school visits and Skype visits) because I want kids to know that authors are just regular people. (Or weirdos! Sometimes that, too.) We aren’t typing away in some gilded castle. We’re that person in the park playing Pokemon Go because she needs to get out of the house after spending her day in a fictional world.
And yes, I will wear those Eevee ears.