watching, reading, and writing stories

Famous in a Small Town

on September 14, 2015

Word Wrangler 2015 (2)

Like I promised, I wanted to write about my experience at the Giddings Word Wrangler Festival. It was my first time going and actually my first book fair too. It was quite the adventure and I thought I’d share some of the highlights from the trip.

On Thursday I headed out early to get to the Intermediate School with plenty of time to spare. I’ve had a few experiences with speaking to elementary age students, so I was excited to talk to the 4th and 5th graders about my book and the story of how I became an author. I had a slideshow all set up and a few little giveaways for the kids. Several ladies helped me with setting up the powerpoint and getting the preordered books all ready for pick up. We even got to put gold stickers on the front covers that said signed by the author. Then the first group of kids filed in, and the excited chatter began. One kid asked if I was going to show them How to Train Your Dragon, since I had the music playing. I said no, but it made me smile and I did tell him it was one of my favorite movies.


The rest of the talk was a blur, with kids making comments, answering my questions, and asking their own questions. The funniest question I got was “What would you do if you saw a bug?” I said “I’d probably just leave it alone.” But the whole experience made me feel like a famous person. All these kids wanted to shake my hand, give me a hug or ask me a question. Luckily my mom was there keeping track of all the books and cash for me. Every once in awhile she’d hand me another book and tell me the name I was signing it to. Then it was back to more questions.

I remember this one girl who didn’t get a prize asked to see the extra giant pen I had with me. I let her hold it and told her it was broken. She asked to keep it anyway and I decided, why not, it’s broken. So she rushed back to class all excited. Then a couple minutes later she came back with the most distraught look on her face and said sadly, “I fixed the pen.” I assumed her teacher told her to return it. So I smiled and said, “You fixed it, you keep it.” And she left happy once more.

The couple hours at the school concluded and I packed up and eventually made it my next book fair destination: The Public Library. We had a Gala scheduled for Thursday evening, so I got there a bit early and began setting up my table, with a nice cover, some business cards, a few books, and the painting I had made for the cover art. It wasn’t the most extravagant book table but it was something. Then I joined all the other authors and sponsors of the book fair for a delicious dinner. I even got a little gift bag with all kinds of goodies! It was great to be treated so well.


The next morning, the real Book Fair began, I barely had time to look around at the other tables before it was time to start. But I managed to pick out a few books I wanted to buy. The whole morning was taken up with busload after busload of students pulling up and hurrying through the library. Most of them had a sheet of paper to try to get autographs on. It felt like I was a celebrity the way these kids scrambled for autographs. I tried to make them a bit special by writing “Happy Reading,” before signing my name. But unfortunately my brain autocorrected to “Happy Birthday” a few times. A few kids got confused and asked why, but one little boy said, “How did you know it was my birthday?” So I guess it wasn’t a bad thing.


Several of the kids, whose school I had visited the day before told me they had started reading the book. One girl said she was on chapter 8 already, which was very surprising. And I also had some kids who hadn’t gotten their book, come over and buy one. It was a wonderful experience and I’d love to be able to do it again.

And lastly, the Book Fair gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of other local Texas Authors. In fact I shared a table with one close to my age. Jamie S. Foley has already published 2 books, the first of which I’m reading now. And we got to give each other so much encouragement and tips from our own experiences. It was priceless! Plus I have a new friend now.


And before I finish, I wanted to make sure that if anyone is reading this post, who picked up my business card and was hoping to read some of my book for free, you know how to do it. Just search in the categories for “sneak peek” and you’ll find all the sections I’ve posted form my two books. Happy Reading!


2 responses to “Famous in a Small Town

  1. Jamie Foley says:

    Ah, what a day! It was so much fun!! I’m glad you were my table buddy. 😉

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