Saturday morning I was lucky enough to be a guest at Anderson's Bookshops Sixth Annual Children's Literature Breakfast where I got to hear featured speakers The Spatulatta Sisters, Kevin Henkes, and Richard Peck. I love hearing other authors speak because I know I have much to learn, not only about writing, but also about presenting.
The Spatulatta Sisters taught me that you just have to be yourself and have fun when you're presenting. These two young girls were so natural and poised. I was impressed.
Kevin Henkes read from his new novel, Bird Lake Moon. I have never been very good at listening to people read aloud. I'm a visual learner, so unfortunately, I wasn't able to fully appreciate his novel excerpts, but I will definitely read it when it comes out.
Richard Peck was incredibly polished. He had the audience in the palm of his hand. Right away I realized I should be taking notes so I could truly take in all the wisdom he had to offer. But I didn't want to miss even one moment of listening in order to find a pen and paper. One thing I do remember is that he said, "Nobody grows up in a group." How true! I remember doing a lot of growing up myself senior year of high school when I suddenly realized I didn't really like my group of friends anymore. There were so many other bits and pieces of wisdom and inspiration. Now it's all a jumble in my head. Note to self: Be prepared to take notes next time!
Luckily there will be a next time very, very soon! I am heading to Champaign this weekend for a writer's retreat, and guess who is leading it? Richard Peck! Yippee!