Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters!

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

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The Linden Tree, a wonderful bookstore near my hometown, coordinated school visits for me the week Book Scavenger was published, two of which were at my old elementary school and junior high. It was surreal to go back and talk to the students about how I used to sit within those very walls and fantasize about being an author one day but didn’t truly believe it was a possibility for myself when I was young.

At my elementary school I talked to an assembly of over 200 kids!! I was incredibly nervous, but it ended up being a lot of fun. (Now, after doing many school visits, it turns out I often find assemblies less nerve-wracking than small groups, so go figure.)  It helped calm my nerves having my husband standing on the sidelines–he’s always been my biggest cheerleader–and all the educators at my old school, as well as the bookseller from Linden Tree, were incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic about me being there. Once the kids filed in, I was having a blast.

At my former junior high the fantastic librarian, Mrs. Andrews, knew many of my teachers and had kept in touch with parents of some classmates, so she immediately put me at ease as we caught up and talked about how the campus had dramatically changed through renovations since I’d been there. I spoke to their creative writing classes, and was so impressed with the students’ seriousness and questions and the quality of their work. I shared one of my writing assignments from when I was in 7th or 8th grade to demonstrate how I was not an exceptionally gifted writer when I was young. They got a kick out that and also out of learning that my husband and I met in that very junior high, although we didn’t have an inkling that romance would blossom until much later. I said, “So you never know, the person who sits behind you in history class could end up becoming your spouse one day,” and boy, did that get a reaction out of them!