Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom came out last Thursday (May 14th).
Reviews continue to be AWESOME.
Friday evening, I did a reading at Glennwood Academy, the local 4th/5th grade school. I used to do a bit of acting, and in my twenties was a semi-pro storyteller for a couple of years, but this was my first public speaking event in years. I was anxious about it. I fumbled a bit. The kids didn’t mind; they were a mass of bubbling enthusiasm. And they loved the book.
Also, a good friend sent a gift with her daughter, who’s a Glennwood student: a package of quite tasty cookies shaped like frogs.
Saturday evening, we had the debut event at Little Shop of Stories, here in Decatur, GA.
At first it seemed the turnout might be small. Heck, at first it seemed there’d be no turnout. The weather was wettish, a good number of the local 4th and 5th graders had already seen me at Glennwood, and as anyone looking at the storefront would know, Rick Riordan (a kids’ book superstar) was gonna be here Monday. If folks were gonna turn out for me and my little first book or him this week, it wasn’t gonna be me. (And, indeed, apparently there were hundreds of people at his signing).
Then people started arriving. And then, we had a fairly good crowd. It was mostly adults, probably an unusual bunch for this store, and they were mostly people who knew about the signing from Facebook or my blog. Many were buying extra copies for kids in their lives, though.
Among the kids was a delightful girl named Emily, who was was there with her parents; she’d won an ARC (advance reading copy) of the book somewhere, and had fallen in love with it. She said she’d have read it in a single sitting except bedtime got in the way (I of course said she should’ve gotten out the flashlight). I’ve now heard from several girls who read and loved the book, which is heartening, because a lot of folks peg it as a boy’s book, but I think it’s great for both.
We had one tiny beautiful baby with huge cornflower blue eyes, carried by a couple of old friends. The marvelous writer/artist Elizabeth O. Dulemba was there with her husband. I saw old friends (some I hadn’t seen in years), made several new ones.
Because I’d been sort of nervous and fumbly at Glennwood, I’d been even more anxious about this event. But this time, once I was introduced and started talking, the stage fright vanished and I was as comfortable as I used to be back in my storytelling days.
I read the first five chapters and everyone was responsive and enthusiastic. Then I took questions, which took a lot longer than I’d expected because there were a lot of them. It all felt good. Really good.
Then we moved to the other end of the room and I signed everyone’s books.
A bowl of green gummi frogs was on the table. I’d gotten a rubber-stamp of a wicked looking frog and I stamped its sneaky smirk into each book.
How fun! Yet another reason I prefer writing for younger audiences–adults just want to get a signature and a photo and get out of there (because, let’s face it, they’re just hoping your mug will be worth something on eBay some day). But the kids? Ah, they’re the *real* fans! :)