The same wittiness and heart Kate displays in her books comes through when she speaks to her audience. She showed us photos of her childhood and what lead to her becoming a writer. Some of these include:
After her presentation, Kate candidly answered all the questions from the kids and adults in the audience.
When it was all over, there was a book signing at the back of the hall. I sat with two other writing friends in the back row with our pre-purchased books so we could get our books signed. (Yes massive fans!) We hadn’t banked on how fast teenage girls run or try to nudge their way into line before you. I wasn’t first, but I was pretty close to the front.
My teacher librarian friend asked me to get her books signed. This opened a conversation with Kate about my writing group, what I write and that I was seeking an agent. She simply told me not to give up, to keep writing and that it will happen. She shared that Because of Winn Dixie came out of the slush pile and she picked up her agent afterwards. In a flash of signature and a quick sweet conversation, I felt so encouraged.
My favourite part of Raymie Nightingale is the unlikely friendships she has made at her baton twirling lessons.
I’ve found the children’s literature community to be filled with kind and supportive people. Kindred spirits who love books as much as you do. Kate DiCamillo is certainly one of those. Thanks for motivating me.