It was so strange.
I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous but I pushed the nerves back and just went into the school. As I approached Jeff’s class (I’d been there before, after school) a young boy started calling out my name.
“Mr. Bryan! Mr. Bryan!”
I guess he was my escort. I’m not used to being called Mr. Bryan but it made sense. It was kind of funny.
So I entered the class and Jeff was up front. All these 6th graders smiled with excitement. Holy spit! They’re all excited to hear from me. Plain ol’ me!
Jeff had told me ahead of time that they had questions. Once I was there, at the front of the class I just figured I’d open it up for questions, then after I’d tell them about the changes to the book and how a writer tries to get an agent and publisher.
During the questions I was able to tell them those things too. When I said that I heard they had questions over half the class shot their hands up! I was so happy that so many kids enjoyed Ann and her brother. Man what a rush!
There were questions on how did I come up with many of the characters. People wanted to know the name of the second book and how many books there would be. They wanted to know if I was going to write other books after Ann’s tales were done. They wondered what my vision of the covers for books 1 and 2 are and when I told them what I wanted for cover 1 they smiled. When I told them that I didn’t have cover 2 planned they had ideas! They laughed and shot even more hands out as I explained things. They seemed to understand as I told them of Ann and Roland’s aging problems and hoped that I would be published.
I was scheduled for 30 minutes and it took 45. Jeff finally had to cut it to those who still had their arms up. No more questions were allowed after them. The last question was if a kid could have my autograph. Soon I was signing a bunch with my real name (cause they knew it) and my pen name. I guess that pen name idea is redundant now, but I’ll still proceed with it.
After I left, my head had swollen very big. Don’t worry. I’ve had strong beta reads and a bunch of rejections. I wont believe any dilutions of grandeur.
Still, it was an amazing experience. They all wanted it published. This was the earlier version, too. The one that needed lots of work.
I can only hope that the next version will entrance adult agents like it entranced the main age group it’s meant for.