Last week I stopped in at a lunchtime program at the Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL) about becoming a published author. It was wonderful and engaging and I especially enjoyed meeting other local writers.
At one point during the hour I mentioned that I was working on a young adult novel about a 12-year-old boy who saves an art collection from the flood…the art collection owned by the Cedar Rapids Public Library, in fact. Two CRPL children’s librarians’ eyes lit up in the back of the room. “You’re going to tell us when it’s done, right?” they both asked enthusiastically.
Ever since I’ve announced that I’ll be writing Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim I’ve been getting nothing but excited feedback. It is truly amazing to have the support of all your family and friends as you embark on an incredible journey like this. And honestly all the people I have talked to about the book—that I am not related to or friends with on Facebook—are so far intrigued by the idea. (Whether they want to read it is another story I guess.)
I am proud to be from Cedar Rapids. And I am proud and honored that I get to write a story about my new friend Noah from Cedar Rapids, too. There is a wonderful sense of community here and I am just so touched by the fact that my story has been taken in and supported by that community. I can’t wait until the book is finished and I can go back to the CRPL and do a reading, or visit my son’s school, or meet with local book groups…and show my fellow Cedar Rapidians that we have great stories to tell.
Now part of you can’t help but wonder if anyone else out there…outside the city limits of Cedar Rapids, that is…will care. I have to think so, or believe so. There are important messages in my story for tweens and teens (and anyone else who wants to pick it up) and a pretty excellent adventure.
So I help draw a little attention to Cedar Rapids in the meantime. I’m just doing my part for my hometown.