So I spent the day yesterday out at Newbury Park High School, and it rocked. I spoke before two assemblies of classes, that each had a couple hundred kids in them, about writing professionally.
It was really cool for a lot of reasons... First of all, I spoke in the school's Performing Arts Center, which is a beautiful building, and I had this enormous screen behind me, so I could show the kids all kinds of pictures while I spoke (I am a very prop-oriented speaker).
The other thing was that this was my old school, the high school I graduated from, and I hadn't been back there in decades. The community is easily ten times larger now. The kids laughed when I told them about a girl named Faye who once rode her cow to school when I was in eleventh grade. And my English teacher came back to see me (she currently serves on the Board of Education). She was most definitely a teacher who made a profound difference in my life.
The school's librarian, Lucia Lemieux, set up the event after she'd met me at a book signing at a nearby Barnes and Noble. She's a terrific host, and runs an awesome library for the kids. She is exactly why I think Young Adult librarians are so cool (and more important than most people give them credit for).
Barnes and Noble had also sold copies of Ghost Medicine through the library, so I stayed around at lunch and signed copies for kids and teachers, too.
Thanks for having me out, NPHS. I'll be going back soon to spend a little time with their Creative Writing class.