Best of Books in Edmond: Signing, Snakes, Superstar Librarians and a Reader I’ll Never Forget

Wow! I’m just getting caught up on my blog posts about last week’s Oklahoma wonderment! I have to admit, I have more fun in Oklahoma than anywhere else these days. Possibly because the librarians are so passionate and engaged with their kids, or maybe it’s the kids themselves… whatever it is, I love it.

Today’s post is about one small part of last week’s amazingness: the Best of Books event on March 11.

Best of Book is one of those hen’s-tooth gems: a small, family-owned bookstore with regular patrons that stop in every day for a chat as well as to browse the newest books. They support local authors as well as hosting super famous ones (Peter Lerangis and Wendy Van Draanen were there the same week I was), and they make every person who walks into the store feel valued.

I sure did. When I arrived, they had a gorgeous display of my books set up, with cookies and young readers already waiting! We painted rocks and had so much fun.

Rock paintingPainting more!

I did my talk, and chose The Perfect Volunteer (Tony, pictured here with permission of his mom) whose job was to hold very, very still with a snake wrapped round his ankles the whole time I read.

Tony & Snakey

A Chapter One has never been so long, huh, Tony? (He was awesome!)

Then I signed books for friends from near and far! Librarian Michele Scheffe from Edmond, as well as Janet Bass (who live-tweeted the whole thing!) and Jenny Regier, the co-creators of the wonderful Twitter chat #sequoyahchat. Jenny drove from Enid, which is a long way…

Janet, Jenny, and me!

And my long-lost sisters (how did we get separated in this lifetime?) Rock Star Librarians Tammy Matlock and Susie Masters drove from Stillwater, OK and made my night sparkle even more brightly!

Tammy Matlock, a few weeks before!

Tammy Matlock, a few weeks before!

Susie Masters!

Susie Masters!

After I was done telling funny, true stories,  I signed books for all the kids that had shown up. There was one girl in particular who kept peeking around the line to see me. She was trembling, and her lips were quivering when she got to the front of the line, almost like she was trying not to cry.

And then, when she told me who she was, I was the one tearing up. This girl had written me a letter (a real one, in the mail!) a few weeks before, and I wrote back. Then she came to see me in Edmond, even though she lives a full two and a half hour drive away in Muskogee.

Alison, pictured with permission from her Super Mom. Alison is possibly the nicest kid in the world.

Alison, pictured with permission from her Super Mom. Alison is possibly the nicest kid in the world.

She and her mom (who may win Mom of the Year) drove five hours to meet me, and get her book signed. I was stunned, delighted, and humbled. This picture (thank goodness I had the thought to get someone to snap a picture with my phone!) is now one of my great treasures.

And here’s why. The writing life is chock full of pain and rejection and disappointment. Sure, I talk about the exciting stuff… but for every good day, there are ten or twelve where the world tells you you’re not good enough, smart enough, and that nobody likes you/your work.

And then, every once in a while, it gives an author a moment like this. An unforgettable one that leaves a deep fingerprint on the heart.

Alison, you will never know how meaningful it was to see you there. Thank you, thank you. I hope your life is filled with magic and stories and as much joy as the world can offer.

(And, Author friends? Answer your fan mail. Every single piece.)



Posted in Children's Fiction, Miscellaneous, People I Love on 03/18/2015 03:29 pm


  1. What a lovely post! A beautiful account of an evening to remember! You are an incredible speaker to go with your writing gifts. Thank you for sharing your words with our student readers. It says a lot about your character and heart that you write for children. You touch the future with your words. Blessed to count you as a friend.


  2. You, my dear, are a beautiful human being! Rachel (she of the blue & white striped shirt in your photos) and I both thoroughly enjoyed seeing you at Kingsgate and at Best of Books. Thank you for taking the time to do more than just talk at the children…the time you spent really showed your heart, and it was GOOD. By the way, I just finished Wish Girl…gobsmacked. There’s just no way for me to tell you how this book made me feel. You have truly created a wonder, and I certainly hope it’s on the Bluebonnet and Sequoyah lists in the near future. We are looking forward to reading more of your work (although we’ll probably pass on the bodice ripper romances if any of those are floating around!)
    We are praying for everyone in your neck of the woods…my heart just aches seeing the images coming out of the Hill Country and my hometown of Houston. I pray that you and your loved ones are all safe and sound. God bless!


    • Nikki Loftin

      Oh my goodness, what an incredibly lovely comment! Thank you for keeping the Hill Country people in your prayers. My family is well, just waiting for word on some family friends… and trying to find ways to help.
      I am so glad you loved Wish Girl. Tell your readers!! 🙂


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