On a flight home from Orlando to Newark International, I got the exit row seat. I signed up for it because I like the leg room. I had forgotten that the flight attendants have those little jump seats that fold down which are positioned right in front of that row. During takeoff, two flight attendants were sitting across from me.
I was reading Gringolandia, a YA about political refugees by the wonderful Lyn Miller-Lachman. The title was clearly catching the eye of one of the flight attendants. (It turned out she is Latina). They were talking amongst themselves about it, so I smiled and handed her the book.
She asked me how I found it. I explained that Lyn wrote a beautiful review of my book (click here to read it) and that due to our mutual interest in social justice and young adult literature we are meeting for lunch in the city in a couple of weeks. I want to read Lyn’s book before we meet. “Oh, what’s your book about?” one asked. I explained.
That’s when the celebrity treatment started. I had an advanced review copy in my bag (because… love) and they took pictures of it, wrote my name in their phones and asked me if I ever go to L.A., where they are based. When I said I’m doing a panel there on 3/15, (click here to see deets on the panel in L.A.) they wrote down all the details and said they’d try and make it. They kept saying things like, “You’re gonna blow up, I just know it!” It was super sweet). Soon the commotion got other passengers asking me about the book too.
I think this was my first official “rock star moment” with total strangers. For a minute I thought about explaining about day jobs and taxes and the infinitesimal likelihood of me ever having the kind of success they imagined for me. But then I just let myself enjoy it. It was amazing to see that their enthusiasm and hope for my success was making them happy too in some way. I love the thought that my happy moments can be bringing happiness to other people as well. It makes me feel like a rock star!