Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, children's author, Bethesda
I "discovered" Phyllis Reynolds Naylor one summer when I was still teaching. I remember with embarrassment that I kind of neglected my pre-school aged kids while reading several of Naylors books.
When I discovered she lived in Bethesda I fantasized running into her at the local supermarket. I scoured the paper to see if she was possibly doing a signing anywhere in the area.
The next fall when my daughter entered kindergarten the school invited Ms Naylor to speak to the students. Even though my daughter was too young to attend the assembly, I volunteered to assist just so I could see Ms Naylor speak to the students.
I got to do more than that. I was asked to help out with the book signing and got to stamp Shilo's footprint in books Ms Naylor signed.
I aslo got to speak with her a little and let her know how much I enjoyed her writing. She asked which of her books was my favorite and I told her I had just read her adult novel. She seemed pleased that I knew about it and admitted that she liked it too, wondering where I found it. When I replied that I had found it at the local library she seemed surprised.
I recently found an address for her on the internet. I doubt it is her house - probably the house of her agent or something. I guess I expected Ms Naylor to live in a huge home in the mountains or on a beach or something better than a suburban tree lined street with modest brick homes.
I once wrote an email to Ms Naylor expressing surprise that she claimed to be older than my mother. She confirmed her age in the email she wrote back.
Maybe writing about teenagers makes you stay young. Maybe I should give it a go.