I know exactly what I want to obtain in regards to my writing career. And I know exactly what it will take to get there; hard work. I believe that most people, some authors included, think once a book is released the work is done, but the truth is the work is just beginning. Building an author platform, marketing, well it’s safe to say it’s a never ending job.
Being an author, especially a children’s author, I experience things that I normally wouldn’t do such as speaking to large crowds, visiting schools, conferences or book signings to name a few of them. To say you meet the neatest people or kids in this field would be an understatement. Some memories are permanently ingrained in your mind. I caught a glimpse of a boy who had given me one of the most memorable experiences of my career as an author. Seeing him, reminded me of that day, and I thought I’d share it with you.
During a school presentation, everyone noticed a small boy, front row, was hanging onto every word that I said. His teachers, the aid, librarian, and my assistant. Since I’m often animated, walk the floor as I speak, the library was full, I hadn’t noticed. But the little boy did stay behind after class asked me a question. I answered his question, and he asked if I would be signing at Barnes & Noble’s later that evening. It was a book-fair night, so I assured him that I would. Within minutes, another class had been brought into the library, seated and were waiting patiently for me to begin. As he left, he looked over his shoulder and said, “My name is Hayden.”
I wrapped up five classes that day, took a break, then headed to Barnes and Noble (The Parks in Arlington), to sign copies of my book. Hayden approached me. He smiled, stepped forward and held up a little plastic baggie. It was the most precious sight I have ever seen. Why? Because he was so proud of it, and so was I. “Mrs. Thrasher I’ve got my money,” he said as he started counting. He pulled out one dollar bill and then started counting his coins. His dad stood by his side, holding a baby in his arms. “May I please buy your book?” he said.
I was so stunned; I swear my heart stopped! It’s not unusual for a child to have their parent buy a book for them, but Hayden was buying my book with his own money. I looked at that beautiful boy, standing at his father’s side and I said, “Hayden, of all the books in Barnes and Noble you want to buy mine?” Without hesitation, he said, “Yes ma’am.” I thought I was going burst with pride! I know for sure my eyes filled with tears. I grabbed that boy and hugged him, signed his book and walked him to the front of the store to make sure he didn’t have any problems with his bag of coins. I wanted so bad to buy that book for that beautiful boy, but to his credit, he was so proud to be able to buy it for himself. A reflection on his parents and him for sure!
Hayden’s dad emailed me a lovely letter. He said, “Mrs. Thrasher, I didn’t want to bring Hayden to the store that night, I was so tired, double shift, and it was my turn to have the kids. But Hayden wouldn’t leave me alone. He begged me to take him to get your book. I’m glad I did. He used to hate to read, but has read your book twice.” He went on to thank me for the other books that I had sent his son (I sent hardcover copies of the series). The funny thing is, he had NOOOOO idea how much Hayden’s gesture was a gift to me. Between that, the letter Hayden wrote, and his father wrote, priceless. His message truly was like gold. These are the things, as authors, that remind us why we do what we do.
You can bet I will never delete that email. I thanked his father for bringing him that day, despite how tired he was and allowing his son to contact me. Hayden did stay in touch.
“May I have your book please?” words I will never forget!
Copyright © 2016 Author Amanda M. Thrasher