I’m entering new territory.
As a published author, it’s good to do the odd public event. It’s a useful way to connect with readers and to spread the word about your writing. And, contrary to what your natural inbuilt fear of public speaking tells you, it can actually be good fun. Unless you get heckled, natch.
As a published children’s author, however, I am told it is essential. School visits are a must. Without them, you are NOTHING!
And that’s what I mean about new territory. For me, this land is uncharted.
Speaking to adults is fine. They tend to be polite, nod in the right places, smile when you expect them to and sit still for a whole hour. It’s like a trip to your local city centre. It’s fine. You know where you are, you know what’s around you, there might be the odd unexpected surprise but, y’know, you’re a grown up, you can handle it.
Schools, though? That’s like going into the jungle, right? And children? Well, they’re these crazy, unpredictable things that roam wild in schools. They fidget, yawn, sigh and shake their heads. They snort and cough and roll their eyes. And the questions they ask? Oh, don’t be expecting no easy questions, man . . . and if you don’t keep their attention, they pounce. They sneak up on you like predators and tear you to pieces in the blink of an eye.
See what I mean? Uncharted territory.
But I’ve got my map and I will stand firm. Oh, and I’ll ask my ex-teacher Mum if I can borrow those eyes.
Y’know – the ones in the back of her head.