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About Valiska’s Appearances

The first time I went to see my publisher in New York, the marketing director told me that hanging in the offices at HarperCollins was a framed letter from a child to the author of the Little House on the Prairie books.  “Dear Laura Ingalls Wilder,” the letter reads, “I know you’re dead.  Please write back anyway.”  Those are the kinds of stories that never fail to remind me how important book are to children and how much I treasure talking with others who spend their lives connecting children with good books.

It’s neither the celebrity status nor the chance to boost my royalty checks that keeps me speaking and autographing.  It’s the feedback; it’s the fun.  Writing has always been my best solitary joy, but there’s nothing quite like hearing from readers first hand that the words I conjured on a page are important to them.  Not only do I get to meet interesting people when I speak and autograph, but I get to remind teachers, librarians, writers, and booksellers how important the work they do is to the children they encounter every day.

Every child who learns to read—no matter how mean or small their circumstances—is given access to hope, and no author’s books can reach an audience of children unless all of us are working together to make it happen.


NOTE:  I’ve autographed everywhere from an art museum with a string quartet playing in the background to a super saver grocery store next to the fish market. Click on the Publishers Weekly Article that I was commissioned to write to find out about how meeting one’s readers can sometimes seem a lot like being in a wonderful, screwball comedy.


Illustration ©Leslie Baker