In summary, a whirlwind week of smiles, smells, hair raising excitement and sheer panic.
Authors spend countless hours preparing for Book Week. Making sure presentations are polished, giveaways are packed, costumes are pristine, and of course our cars loaded with plenty of stock.
This year I enjoyed my first fully booked Book Week. I was fortunate to visit children and teachers from Kindergarten to year 6 from Gymea Bay Public School, Engadine Public School, Burnside Primary School and Penshurst West Public School. I also had the pleasure of visiting pre-schoolers at Mayflower Preschool and Love of Learning.
To top it off, I booked two kids workshops and an adult's workshop for the weekend immediately concluding Book Week. I know, what was I thinking, and would I have a voice left?
The kids were wonderful, teachers and Principals welcoming. The Principal at Penshurst West even talking photos for me, as my Book Week helper had to pull out at the last minute. Everyone was embracing Book Week and this year's theme of 'Find your Treasure'. There were countless questions from the kids. What's your favourite book that you have written? Are you rich? Do you know JK Rowling? And the list goes on.
I love being able to share Lulu and Clover's BIG Ideas with new little faces. I find the year 6 boys love wearing pink tutus and pirouetting for their classmates. This year I tested out my upcoming picture book In the Shadow of an Elephant, which hit the mark with the older audience. Being able to share the history behind this story and demonstrating what can happen when you create a story from the 'what if'.
I even tested an old/new story after my 12-year-old's encouraging words 'That's pretty good Mum, I thought it was going to be rubbish. You should use that in your BW talks.' She was right. It was excitedly received. Fingers crossed, I can get it across the line with a publisher.
Presenting day in/day out takes its toll. I don't know how authors like Jacqueline Harvey, Andy Griffiths and Tristan Bancks do it. My voice completely left me during the second session on day one but recovered over lunch time and held out for the remainder of the week. An intense headache greeted me on the Wednesday morning. Lucky my husband was able to drive me to my author visit that day. Again, I bounced back. You must, you can't disappoint the kids. What if you are their only visitor for Book Week. As they say the show must go on.
With each school visit, we grow as authors and we learn. We are quickly educated on the fact that kids aren't afraid to ask you anything, and they will. They have an insatiable need to share their ideas and stories with you. For that moment in time they are your world and you are theirs. They hold your stories in their hands and if you are lucky, hopefully, in their hearts for years to come.
With all but a handful of giveaways left and having shared my stories with over 2300 kids, I consider Book Week 2018 to be a success.
I used to dread talking to large numbers of kids. Now I find myself energised and craving my next session.
I'm ready Book Week 2019…