I was in a store the other day, and I noticed a family with a young daughter who was running in circles around their shopping cart. My initial thought was, "Wow, that kid has a ton of energy!" But when the mother turned around, her face was very familiar to me. I just couldn't figure out why. But a few seconds later and with a big smile on her face, the woman said excitedly, "You're the author!" Their little girl immediately stopped running in her circles, and she stared at me like I was a movie star. The girl's face went red as I started saying hi to her and her family, and she smiled and nodded, not sure what to say. As I chatted with them for a moment, asking how their day was, it came to me. They were at one of the many holiday signings I had at the Barnes and Noble this past December. I was so glad I remembered where I had met them, and I smiled and talked with them for only a few minutes. As soon as I said it had been nice to see them again and began to turn away, the mother started to push their cart down the aisle and the little girl went back to her skipping, as if she suddenly found her legs again.
A few weeks ago, I had my Wonky Witch t-shirt on when I ran into a Starbucks for a Frappucino. A Smores one, probably. That's my newest addiction. Seriously. Have one. They're amazing. Anyway...The young girl behind the counter who was ringing me up was maybe all of twenty years old. She gave me my change and then looked at me with a confused expression.
"Did you write The Wonky Witch?" she asked.
I had forgotten that I had the t-shirt on, so I was confused how she knew me. I stammered for a second, "What? Oh, yes. I did."
She smiled so big. "You came to visit my school. That was one of my favorite books when I was growing up."
I was completely floored. Number one, because she said it was her favorite book. I was wondering how many times she might have read it. And number two, I was floored because she seemed to be too old to have read The Wonky Witch growing up. But it is horribly true. My original fans are now graduating high school, beginning college, and some are even graduating college. It has been ten years since The Wonky Witch was released. That's totally crazy, right? Has it really been ten years?
So through all of this, I have discovered the magic of marketing really works, and I plan to wear my t-shirts more often and do as many events as I can to continue to spread the word about my books. I absolutely love every minute of it. And let me tell you, having people recognize you is the most amazing feeling. I felt like a movie star. Even if it was in Target.