This weekend I attended the St. Petersburg Reading Festival for the first time as an attendee instead of a speaker. It was great to listen to fellow novelists speak about their work and never stress out that no one would show up to my event. Which is usually how I spend the time leading up to a talk. So far that only happened once. Okay, three people showed up. But two of them were friends of mine, so they don't count. And the other person just wanted to know what my agent's name was and didn't care about my book. So he doesn't count either.
But I digress. During the question/answer session with Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) the woman behind me stands up and asks: I'm an English teacher. I teach seniors. How can I get them interested in writing?
Jamie Ford answers: You have to get them reading. I know you don't have a lot of leeway in your curriculum, but having everyone read the Scarlett Letter (great novel, by the way) won't get them excited. Have them read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and you'll have a reader for life.
How cool is that? I was just thinking that it was the greatest book ever and here, Jamie Ford agreed! I was so excited. This English teacher had never heard of it, so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and gave it to her. I never told her that I write for young adults too, 'cause I like to stay undercover when out in the civilian population. But my estimation of Jamie Ford just jumped through the roof. Clearly, he's a fine writer and an excellent judge of books.