Have You Met Your Heroes? An Evening with Lois Lowry

Oct 16, 2012

I know I've said this before, but when I was in about the fourth grade, the book The Giver by Lois Lowry changed my life. I'd never read a book quite like it, and it basically stirred my little mind and gave me the direction for the type of stories I wanted to write. In fact, my current book about a girl whose memories are stolen is a result of the seeds The Giver planted in my mind. In so many ways, Lois Lowry is a personal hero of mine.

When I told my crit partner Chersti that a few weeks ago, she said, "Oh! Did you know she's coming to town?"

!!!!

As part of her tour for Son, the fourth book in The Giver quartet, Ms. Lowry was coming to my town. Tickets were hot, but we scored some. In preparation, I dug out my fourth-grade copy of The Giver, then bought a new, hardback special edition. 'Cause obviously I needed both the nice copy and the well-loved copy signed, right?

Ms. Lowry's speech was amazing. She spoke about how The Giver came into existence, and it resonated so hard with how my own story about memory came into existence. Though we both had different experiences that led to the idea, we both asked ourselves the same question: "What would happen if we could take away our difficult memories?"

She was eloquent, funny, approachable, and wonderful. At the Q&A at the end, she said something about the young boy asking the question having a t-shirt that said "Tigers" on it, then said, "Okay, ask your question, Tiger."

He paused. "Please don't call me that."

With Chersti and Baby Noodles

The audience roared with laughter, but Ms. Lowry only smiled a little, apologized, and invited him again to ask the question. Her respect for him was obvious, and it made me realize how well she still identifies with her target audience, though I believe she's now in her 60's.

I waited with Chersti, Bree Despain, and her friend Michelle for our turn at the signing. As Ms. Lowry signed my books, I told her how instrumental those books were in my own writing, and she smiled.
 
It was so inspiring to meet one of my heroes. Just hearing her talk and meeting her briefly reminded me why I love to write-- I love writing stories that have the potential to touch people's lives. It was incredible to meet the first author who ever touched mine.

So, my friends, have you met your heroes? Who are your heroes, and why?

14 comments:

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I got an email from Judy Blume. Okay, so she's sweet and answers all her fan mail, so I'm not special...but it made my day!
I'd love to meet Ms. Lowry. Loved The Giver. Such a powerful book.

Jeigh said...

I would love to meet Gail Carson Levine. I didn't read any of her books until I was an adult, but her books helped light the fire that started me writing again after a long time.

Julie Luek said...

Like you, there are authors I'd love to meet that would make me more twitterpated than any movie star or TV celebrity. I'd love to meet Michael Perry, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, just to name a few. How exciting for you! Ahhh-- inspiration.

LisaAnn said...

I'm so happy for you!. The Giver was a life-changer for me as well, and i bet there's something so incredible about meeting the people who created your favorite stories. I've never met any of my favorites (yet), but hopefully I will some day!

David P. King said...

I can't believe I spaced this event. I was so looking forward to it, too. Glad you met some awesome writers. :)

akossiwaketoglo.com said...

Yay! I'm so glad you met your hero. Stories like your are heart warming and so inspiring. Sadly I don't have anyone like that but there a few writers that I would love, love to meet in real life.
PS: I love the pictures. :)

Linda Jackson said...

Lois Lowry in person.... How awesome. 4th grade, huh. You make me feel old. I was in my 30's when I read The Giver. :)

Kittie Howard said...

What a happy, happy time. I'm so glad you got to meet one of your heroes. Ms. Lowry seems like a really nice, authentic person.

A kid wearing a Tee with Tiger on it and asks not to be called Tiger...hmm, where are the parents? I fully understand why Ms. Lowry smiled.

Angie said...

I am so jealous! I wish I could have gone. Her Anastasia books were my favorite growing up. She is such a versatile writer.

Monica B.W. said...

WOW!! That's SO AWESOME that you got an autographed copy!! *jealous*
Great pics, too!

Madeline Jane said...

I love Lois Lowry! That's so awesome that you got to meet her. :) It's so awesome meeting someone you look up to, isn't it?

Emily R. King said...

That is so amazing! What a fun memory to have!

BTW, I like your new picture. Gorg! :D

Romance Book Haven said...

What an amazing memory for you. I would also love to meet my favorite authors someday!

Nas

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh good for you! You look so happy!!!! Sometimes, that's all the inspiration we need.

 
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