Scenes from a booksigning:
• "Where are the restrooms?" (asked 5-6 times by various people).
• A small display of my books crashed to the floor, silencing the room for a moment. Priceless.
• People who weren't interested in books, mine in particular, averting their eyes as they slinked by.
• An adorable, curly-haired 7-year-old named Jerry. Jerry! I fell in love immediately.
• A Girl Scout troop from Virginia. "I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid." I said. "Did you win any awards?" one girl asked. "No, I quit after my first year as a Brownie. I was a rotten Brownie." They laughed.
• A cluster of girls around 8 years of age giggling and asking me questions about how books are made. One of the girls showed me a selfie of her making a silly face with the taxidermy opossum in the visitor center display room.
• Nice people from all over the world came through that visitor center. I met many teachers and librarians, and I thanked them for their work in case they didn't hear it enough from everybody else. I could tell they didn't hear "thank you" much at all.
• A woman with her little boy who had never been to an author signing before and were ecstatic meeting a real live author specimen.
• Kids who stood around waiting while their parents poured over maps or guides. Nothing entertains me more than watching a kid gyrate and make goofy faces to himself when he thinks no one is paying attention. Oh, but I am, kid. Mwahahahaha. You might see yourself in one of my books someday.
And so cameras flashed as little ones posed with me or looked on while I signed their books. It was a good day. I do it all over again in Knoxville on July 11 (Union Avenue Books at 11 a.m.), where I'll also do a reading, the first one for this book. Come by if you can, and you'll get to hear me talk like a squirrel with a speech impediment. It'll be fun!