Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I want to be this guy when I grow up

Now that I've been doing this writing thing for a few years, I've gotten a chance to rub elbows with all different kinds of published types. And I've rubbed elbows with people who didn't used to be published but are now. And in general, they are confused about why our elbows are rubbing and see it as egregious violation of their personal space, but whatever. I didn't INVENT the practice; I just do it.

Anyway, it's interesting to watch how different people handle success. And it's interesting to watch how aspiring writers handle the published writers' successes. And I learn from watching both groups, and I've made some decisions about how I want to be. Or don't want to be, sometimes.

This is who I'd like to be like when I grow up in this business:


Goes by the name of Neal Shusterman. This is him standing in the library of my son's middle school. He wrote a bunch of books. YA books. And his daughter goes to this school so it's translating to some massive perks for us at the moment. Like for example, he's the driving force behind a brand new book club called The Text Factor and the inaugural read last month was The Mazerunner. And he bought pizza for all the kids who came and then led the discussion on the book. And it was awesome.

And then after signing a bunch of books for the kids and patiently answering a bunch of questions, he quietly went about the work of straightening up the school library, reshuffling furniture and picking up trash. Neal Shusterman. He's big time. But you'd never, ever know it and that's how I want to be.

Humble. Approachable. Ready and willing to teach. Or just move furniture around. Because that is seriously cool.

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