Random House Take Our Children to Work Day

NEW YORK, NY — Last week I was given the great honor of speaking to the children who went to work with their parents at Random House on Take Our Children to Work Day.

At first, the crowd didn’t look too big. I can handle this, no problem! IMG_6082Note the blue tape on the floor. It created a “stage.” It was the boundary line between author and fans. It meant CROSS AT YOUR OWN PERIL — in either direction.

A very nice lady named Robin came all the way from their Westminster facility to introduce my editor Anne Schwartz to the crowd. She tells everyone that an editor has a very important job — to look for writers and to help turn their work into books. IMG_6090Note the rebel tape sitters.

Here is my beloved editor, Anne Schwartz:IMG_6096She tells the crowd that we’ve been working together for a long, long time. WAY before any of them were born.

She alone has published all of my books, and she tells them that I’ve written many picture books as well as many chapter books.

And the crowd gets bolder . . . IMG_6092Note the complete disregard for the blue tape.

Worse, Anne is now hurrying through her words . . . IMG_6095I’d hurry too if I had to speak in front of all these tape sitters, crossers and leaner-inners! Note the kid in the bottom left in a sprinter’s start position. Yikes!

By now I can’t hear Anne at all. Her lips are moving, but all I hear is my blood exploding in my ears.

I have no idea what she’s saying. (Sorry, Anne! I know you had nice words for me, but I was so nervous!)

Worse, I have no idea what I’m going to say!

What do you say to a crowd that included numerous sniveling, onion-eyed, book-gripping Shakespearean princes and fairies???IMG_6098Oooh, I wanted so much to put the day in reverse and go home! Authors, as everyone knows, are supposed to be read, not seen! I’m really much better on the page than I am in person. When I speak, sometimes my tongue skips ahead of my brain, other times, my brain races ahead of my tongue. I trip over words. I tango with my thoughts. Anything could happen! You’ll love my books, but I’m not sure you’ll love me . . .

Suddenly, all my insecurities spill out, just like that.

Worse, Anne smiles at me and gives me the mic.


I have no idea what happened next.

But here are some pictures that show I was at least on my feet, and that the wonder and excitement of my books was the direct cause of some mania, at least in the front row:IMG_6097IMG_6105IMG_6107Not only was I about to put one foot in the grave (above), there were signs that I was about to have a very humbling experience (below) . . . watch the tape:IMG_6123IMG_6126IMG_6133 What to do when blue duct tape is more fascinating than you:

1. Smile.

2. Do not think about how you pale in comparison.

3. Do not think.

4. Do not even think of thinking.

5. Run.

6. Hide.

7. Cry!!!!

When you’re an author, you will have many humbling experiences.

After that, things will get worse . . . IMG_6134How to survive getting your ankles wrapped in blue duct tape:

1. Wear hose.

2. Take off hose.

3. Run!!!!

Can’t outrun ’em? IMG_6140You will be nailed and questioned with your back against the wall!

After that, I signed books for all the little darlings in my Random House family 🙂 :IMG_6142IMG_6143IMG_6146IMG_6147IMG_6149IMG_6151IMG_6152At the very end of the line was Chaz, my biggest fan of all, who had brought all his worn copies of Alvin to be signed:IMG_6153Isn’t that fantastic?!!!  He knew it would take me a long time to inscribe all his books, so he patiently waited at the end. Thank you, Chaz. You’re a true gentleman!!! You could teach Alvin a few things!

Here’s a look around my Random House home and the people who make it so special: IMG_6205IMG_6181This is Anne showing me the drawer where all the dummies of my upcoming picture book, BRUSH OF THE GODS, are kept.

Here’s copy editor Colleen Fellingham, who catch all me misteaks and fact-checks everything, with her pink pencil at the ready:IMG_6193This is the amazing book designer, Rachael Cole, who makes my books look as beautiful as they are:IMG_6198Here’s Anne’s editorial assistant, Stephanie Pitts, who’s super-duper efficient and makes everything run smoothly:IMG_6199Anne in her office:IMG_6203I get inspired with a new idea every time I see Anne. And walking into her office is tantamount to walking into a sacred place for me. This is the birthplace of so many absolutely amazing books.

Here’s a parting look at the Random House lobby where the first edition of every book they’ve published is on display: IMG_6208I’ve never looked for my own books here, where Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Awards and classics such as Catch-22, are prominently displayed. It would be too humbling an experience to bear.

And this is Sam and the HR team who had organized the day’s activities:IMG_6206Thank you, Ladies, for all your hard work!!!

Thank you, everyone, for inviting me to be a part of your special day. It was really wonderful and exciting to meet so many of you and to sign books for all my young readers 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!

I love my Random House family!!!  XXOO

5 thoughts on “Random House Take Our Children to Work Day

  1. Lenore,
    It is so fun to keep up with your adventures! Thanks again for all your special help in Honesdale. Fowler is looking pretty spiffy, thanks to you! Warm regards, Judy McSweeney


  2. Pingback: Brush Up Your Shakespeare With Ken Ludwig! | a globby bloogie by lenore look

  3. Pingback: Schwartz, Anne | Writing for Children and Teens

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