Will She Say Yes?

It all starts with an idea …

Today had finally arrived. I had been excited for weeks about attending Bonny Becker’s book signing at Hicklebee’s Bookstore. (btw if you live in the Bay Area and have never been to Hicklebee’s .. what are you waiting for .. it is a great children’s bookstore in downtown Willow Glen with a friendly, knowledgeable, well-read staff) Sorry for the digression. Anyway, I had the bright idea, as I often do in the early morning hours, of asking Bonny to do an author interview for the blog. Yes, this was going to be awesome.

Then the doubt sets in …

While driving to work, I started thinking. How do I approach the author? What if she asks the size of my readership. What if she doesn’t say yes right away. What if I just sound like an idiot. As you can tell I got very nervous. (Felt like a hundred butterflies swooping down.) But ta-da this is where SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books and Illustrators) came to the rescue. At the SCBWI summer conference, I met a lot of wonderful writers/illustrators one of them was Laura Elliott, she is the author of a YA fictions and runs a blog. On her blog she does a lot of author interviews. So I texted her while I was driving … okay not exactly. I was filling the car up at the CNG gas station, where I was so engrossed in texting that the guy behind me knocked on the window to tell me the pump had stopped. Oops. My writer friend was available to talk later that morning. Only 90 butterflies now.

Help is on the way …

I had a short but lovely chat with my friend Laura. She answered my questions about how to ask the author for an interview, what type of questions to ask during the email interview and then some of the logistical details.  Most importantly she reminded me that the children’s book writing community is very approachable and nurturing. This is true and something I am still getting used to. Now I was confident and excited for the afternoon event. Begone your butterflies, only 20 left.

The Event …

Bonny Becker is the author of the renowned Mouse and Bear books. Due to a surprise construction detour I was 5 minutes late and the reading had already started. I quietly snuck in and sat down. It was wonderful to see all these young kids sitting eagerly listening as Bonny read the first book in the series a Visitor for Bear. Most of the kids had already read the book, as they yelled out where the gray and bright-eyed mouse was going to show up scene after scene. Next she read her newest book, Sniffles for Bear. And finally the Q & A. Don’t worry I let the kids ask their questions first. But then surely enough the restless young tikes sprang off their bottoms to go explore, allowing us adults to ask our most pressing questions. I must say that was very considerate of the kids. I got to ask my question at which she soon realized that I was an aspiring writer and gave some additional advice. After the Q&A  I still had one butterfly, but it was wrapped in a nice warm fuzzy blanket.

Time has come …

It was time for the book signing, and my chance to talk 1-1 with her. I decided to let all the other people go first, since I am such a kind person. Okay, okay, I just didn’t want to feel rushed when it was my turn. I got my two books for signing, my nephews are the proud owner of an autographed copy. We chatted a little about India, apparently she has visited India more recently than me. Hmm.  Also talked about the low-residency MFA program she teaches at. I asked do I really need an MFA, to which she said nope and that the most important thing was to be in a local critique group. Ding, Ding, Ding got that taken care of. Then finally the moment arrived … I handed her my business card and asked if I could interview her for my blog .. and she said

YES!

Woo-hoo. Party in the house tonight.

Okay, maybe I should save that for after I post my first author interview with Bonny Becker. So now I just need to come up with a list of 10 never-before asked (remember she is a renowned author) amazing questions.

If you have any questions you would like to ask Bonny reply to this post and I will try to work them in.

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