The Big and the Small of it

Speaking is a part of the writing life. Initially I thought I would speak to larger and larger audiences as I became better and better known.  Two events this past weekend show how wrong I was!

On Friday, October 31, I joined forces with illustrator Will Hillenbrand and Richmond Symphony Orchestra flutist Evelien Woolard to present my 1995 picture book Wicked Jack through word, illustration, and music.  There were over 900 5th and 6th graders in the audience and they filled the hall, from the main floor to the balcony.  There were lights, sound, multiple microphones, a house manager….it was a production!  Photographer Diana Pappin got some great pictures if you’d like to take a look.  When the trick-or-treaters came to our door the evening after the performance, one said, excitedly, “Hey!  That’s the girl that wrote Wicked Jack!!!”  Ahhhh, fame!  What can I say!

The very next morning I brought two of my favorite recently-published picture books by other authors (Where’s My T-R-U-C-K? and Books Always Everywhere) along with my own Just Fine the Way They Are to do a reading at Morrisson-Reeves Library….to an audience of six children plus a handful of parents and grandparents.  You can take a look at that event as well.  When I told the children I was the author of Just Fine the Way They Are, a boy in the front row said “You wrote that???”  It was obvious he didn’t believe me.  I felt as if I needed to produce my editor, several reviews, and the original manuscript but I’m not sure it would have convinced him.

Spending Friday afternoon reading from a stage and Saturday morning reading on a rug are what I call “The Big and the Small of it” and I’m very glad for both.  There’s nothing like hundreds of kids hanging on my every word, but there’s also nothing like a handful of kids, close enough to touch and comfortable enough to challenge my credentials.


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Speaker / Presenter

Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!

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