Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ann M. Martin

Ann M. Martin was at my local independent book store on Friday.

If you have never been an eleven year-old girl obsessed with the Babysitters Club books, this will not interest you. But, once upon a time, I was. I read over a hundred of this woman's formulaic, terrible books. I popped them like tic-tacs. I had boxes of them cluttering up my room, and for many years, refused to give them up. Which led me to this point in my life, standing in front of a thin, sweet, librarian-looking lady, with this coming out of my face:

"I spent so many hours of my life with you and even my mom knows all of the characters in your books, because I used to stand in the kitchen while she was cooking and ramble on and on about every single story that I read, and you probably drove her crazy, and you don't even know me or her and now I'm an English teacher, and its because I love books because of people like you and I love you and I just want you to know that."

The bookstore held a half-hour of Q&A just for teachers, and offered Act 48 credit. I had to take Wendy, and was nervous about it, but hey, I need every hour I can get. (I will lose my teaching certification in October unless I get in another bunch of hours in by then.) So I sat there in my jeans, amongst these other teachers in professional clothes, with Wendy on my lap. I realized later that I had a bright green sticker on my shirt, around boob-level.

Ms. Martin looks like a first-grade teacher. Or, like I said, a librarian. She has a very soft, kind voice and gentle way about her...and she is apparently a writing machine. Around 250 little tween-read books to her name. She's not, like, a master wordsmith, or anything, but you have to be impressed by how prolific the woman is.

I wanted to ask her about the impact of the Harry Potter boom on the young adult literature world as felt from an established author's perspective, but I didn't. She probably would have been too mesmerized by my neon nipple sticker to answer intelligently anyway. Wendy drew quietly in a notebook the entire time, because she is awesome. Also, I bribed her with a lollipop.

After the teacher's session, I wandered around, absent-mindedly picked up and put down books, followed Wendy around the children's section for a while, and then swooped in on Ann M. Martin when I saw that she was not surrounded by little girls and women in suits.

I probably creeped her out. In fact, I probably creeped the entire store out. I actually have no idea how long I was there. The owner asked me if I needed help three or four times. When I get into a book store, I get this kind of gauzy glazed-over feeling, which I'm sure looks kind of unstable and shifty from the outside.

Looks unstable and shifty. Looks.

Anyway. YAY! I met someone famous! Prepubescent bookworm girls everywhere, envy me!!


  1. I remember these books! But I think I was more into the Sweet Valley Twins because that's what my cousin Amy liked. Amy was cool, and I wanted to be cool, so I read what she read. Congrats on the bookstore geekout!

  2. I did the Sweet Valley thing for a while, too!