It's no secret I love doing school visits. They're my favorite form of promotion because I love talking to kids of all ages. I recently did a school visit at Blairstown Elementary School that involved three presentations and it was such a rewarding experience. It reminded me of something very important, something writers tend to forget. Famous doesn't have to mean you're a NYT best seller.
When I walked into the school, people knew who I was. That baffled me at first. Especially when kids were whispering in the hallway, "That's Kelly Hashway." My first thought was, "They know my name?" That's when I discovered why. The librarian had purchased all of my children's books and had been reading them with the different grade levels.
I saw this bulletin board of my books and the students reading them:
And then there were these displays in the library:
But the truly awesome thing was what wallpapered the sides of the librarian's desk. The kids had written to me and illustrated their favorite parts of my books:
I gave three presentations to encompass grades Pre-K through sixth, and while I was losing my voice, I'd do it all over in a heartbeat because these kids made me feel like a superstar for the day. They reminded me that even if you don't make millions from writing, you're still touching lives. Every "I love your books" I got was like someone handing me a big sack of money. No, it was better because it meant more to me.
So thank you, Blairstown Elementary School for letting me visit and making me feel so special.
*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.