Monday, August 12, 2013

Book Adventures in the British Isles

I just returned from a three-week trip to the England, Wales and Scotland and as usual took a copy of each of my OTP books to give away to the natives. I find this is a good way to make friends, start interesting conversations and get my name out into areas that wouldn't normally see my children's books.

Camouflage, went to a family who had us over for dinner. Although this book is for young children and they had teenagers, they had many nieces and nephews who were younger that would share the book. Even the teenagers enjoyed hunting for the wild animals hidden on the book pages.

Two other books, Butterfly Girls and The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake, I gave to our guide's delightful, bright four-year-old granddaughter. I chose these two books because they are for much younger children and especially little girls. She was happy to receive the book and at one point, she asked me to read the books I had "drawn" for her. Cute!

I had two books left, When Caterpillars Dream and Ants on a Log; what to do with them? Fortunately, toward the end of the trip in Scotland, I met an older gentleman, William Sloan, also a children's writer. He had self-published two books for his grandchildren (now adults), and we exchanged books. His books are small, black and white editions with line drawings. "A Grandfather's Tales" is full of delightful short stories, as only the English can write. "Of Bees and Bats, of Crocodiles and Cats" is a book of poetry, much in the vein of A. A. Milne's Christopher Robin.

As we talked, I learned that Bill Sloan admits to being a child at heart and has a keen eye for observation and wonderful sense of humor. We exchanged war stories about self-publishing and book sales. Unfortunately, we did not have much more time to visit.  I only wish that he had a wider audience and am happy to see that his books are both available in the U. S. online.

So, no matter where I travel, I always meet children or adults or authors, and when I offer them one of my books, it always starts an interesting conversation, a connection and hopefully a memory. I know I shall always treasure such moments.

I'd like to hear about your such treasured moments,


Julie Luek said...

What a delightful post about your travels and gifting your books. The gentleman you exchanged books with sounds like he wrote his books with a lot of love.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thank you Julie. I think for a lot of us writing children's books, it is always a labor of love. Beryl