I’m writing this the night before the day it all kicks off.
Overnight I will go from reclusive, sitting on the sofa with my laptop writer, to all singing all dancing author in schools .
Normally, I slope about in gardening clothes, a bit grubby, but ready to respond to a falling tree or leaf at the drop of a hat.
Tomorrow, proper clothes, proper shoes. A powerpoint (just that word sends chills down my disorganized spine).
There will be maps of schools to find. Names to remember and corridors that are all remarkably similar to negotiate. School lunches, and school smells. Smiling teachers, anxious teachers, smiling children, reluctant children. In some cases, hostile children and I have to be honest, at times, I will long for my sofa and my laptop and my gardening trousers.
But then, when it’s all over and I look for photos on my phone and I remember to tweet and I write down the mileage (quite a lot this week) I will long for a trip out. A chance to leave my manuscript hanging, my characters stuck in a cave, half way up a cliff. I will long for someone to make me a coffee, not me. And I will remember the children that laughed, that got excited about books, that stared into space and told me about the best thing they ever read. And I will treasure the letters like the one above that arrive unbidden from children who have read my books.
And I will be glad of being a children’s author, rolled out for this annual festival. I will long for the excitement of World Book Week.
Just remember though. We are, like puppies, not just for one time in the year. Most of us like to crawl out of our shells more often. You just have to ask.