In the ice cream parlour today, a teenage girl said “are you Joanne Hillhouse?” When I admitted that, yes, I was in fact her, she pumped her fist and said, “yes, I’ve always wanted to meet you, I love your books.” Oddly enough this has happened before, though perhaps not so enthusiastically…in each case the girls, always girls, were all from the same school (the same school where I had a few years ago one of my best student Q & A sessions for which I give props for preparation to their teacher Ms. A)
…this girl wasn’t (she informed me when I asked) one of Ms. A’s students, though she said she had read the book in school, so presumably …via another source? In any case, the encounter (coming on the heels of some news I can’t share yet) had me feeling …well, happy.
This was a feel good moment, obviously, because it’s always good to know that your work is being read and appreciated, besides I have enough teenagers in my family to know that they’re not impressed with much. So to have this teen not only be made to read my books but enjoy reading them felt doubly good. Much as I appreciate having my books taught in school, I don’t ever want the reading of them to feel like a chore.
So, yay, for that moment!
I don’t know about the meeting me part, because I’m just me, but I’m happy that the writing connects.
Encounters like this never fail to make me appreciative of many things but especially of the teachers who choose my books and who help make them come alive for their students.