It was over a month ago, but I’m finally doing the blog post. In my defence, it’s because I was tackled and beaten by Monster Flu followed by its side-kick Sinus Infection. Yes, it all sounds ew, and it was, but I’m back!
So here’s my news — I was honoured to be asked to speak at Moorefield Girls High during Australian Bookweek, and look, I’m even on their poster! I’ve spoken at a few places, including the Sydney Writers Festival, but this was the first time I’ve spoken to a large group of teenagers. I was a tad nervous beforehand, but I shouldn’t have been — the girls were awesome. I spoke to three groups: Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. They were a fantastic audience and made me feel very welcome. After they’d asked me tons of interesting question, I was flattered when many of the girls asked for my autograph — I even autographed someone’s bag! Well, I felt like I had arrived :).
While I was there, I asked why the girls read. And these are two of the thoughtful answers I received, and I can certainly relate:
Christine J wrote: I read to relax myself, easing into a new world that another has created. When I read, I concentrate. Once I start with a new book I won’t stop reading it until I’m done. I usually sleep at 11 pm – 3 am on weekends because of reading. My mum tells me to sleep early but I can’t because reading is like an addiction for me, just like listening to music.
Macia A wrote: I read because I love literature. I love how a good author can make words flow, make you laugh and cry. Sure reading is an escape, but I wouldn’t say I read to escape, rather, the book takes me away to another world, someone else’s brain. Books are food for the soul. I read because I’m a word addict. I don’t remember when I got hooked, but now I can’t stop. I don’t want to.
Thanks girls! Their experience shows how important reading is, and how it can become an addiction (the best kind). When I write, I feel like I’m feeding my soul, and it’s wonderful to think the readers feel the same when they’re reading.
I would like to thank Miss Bell-Whittaker, the librarian who organised the event, and the girls who were attentive and made the experience lots of fun. I hope to get back to see you all soon! Below is a picture of me in front of a blank screen. You can’t see the audience either, but no, I was not talking to myself. Really, I wasn’t….