Monday, November 17, 2014

It takes a village

Most authors will tell you that they are nothing without the support of their readers and while this sounds like a politically correct statement, it's true. Especially in today's context where reading is on the decline, it really does take the support of a whole community to keep books and authors going.

On my blog, I sometimes encounter readers who express their appreciation for what I do. But every now and then, I come across gestures of support so generous that they leave a deep impression in my mind. This post is a thank-you for the wonderful people I've had the fortune to meet, personally and virtually.

First, there's a mum who tried very hard to get her son's school to invite Lesley-Anne and me to conduct a workshop. When that endeavour failed, instead of leaving it at that, she rallied a group of like-minded parents and engaged us for a private creative writing workshop.

Denise, our bookseller, generously offered her office space as a venue and on a Sunday afternoon, we spoke to some 31 kids from different schools, and got them writing!

Some of the parents even brought snacks!

Another very supportive mum is Jenn, who has been a long-time reader of my blog. She has read my books and interacted with me on many occasions. She even got her son AJ interested in Danger Dan who contributed a kid's review! She blogged about my books here.

Finally, we have Mrs Zahira, Head of GEP Humanities at St Hilda's Primary. She has been one of our most ardent supporters, and has invited us to give talks and conduct workshops at the school. Through her, the school has purchased numerous sets of Danger Dan for its partner school libraries and in her personal capacity, she has also ordered many copies of our books for her children, nephews and nieces.

Look at the number of books waiting to be signed! We've truly been very blessed by her heartfelt support.

And in the spirit of community, we want to acknowledge the brilliant team that makes Danger Dan happen. Behind our books is a group of dedicated people who work behind the scenes to bring Danger Dan to life and to bookstores. So recently when we were at Epigram Books for a Danger Dan #5 planning meeting, we interviewed the people and recorded some scenes to give our readers a glimpse of the work that goes on.

We were half expecting them to decline to be video-ed but instead, they all gamely participated and readily answered our questions, even the strange ones (the questions, not the people!) They're terrific sports and we feel very fortunate to be able to work with such fun people. We hope we've managed to capture their passion and quirks in this second Danger Dan video, created Lesley-Anne and me (well, mostly Lesley-Anne). Enjoy!

Afternote: If you haven't ordered the books yet, a gentle reminder - 20% discount on online orders of The Good, the Bad and the PSLE, as well as all Danger Dan books ends 19 November 2014 midnight! Details here.

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