Yesterday morning, I had a lively photo shoot with L, a young kid who is modeling the main character for my next book, Ron on a Mission. Funny how some kids express themselves, or don't. L didn't say one word the entire time he was here. He never smiled or showed much of any emotion, though I knew he was excited about being the star of my book. Before he left, I paid him $10 and gave him a signed copy of Summer Sun Risin', and he smiled so big, he lit up the room.
Following the shoot, I received a call from...guess who? No, you'll never guess, so I'll tell you. Acclaimed illustrator Floyd Cooper. Ain't that cool, or what? And, to tell you what's even cooler, he reads my blog — or at least, had read it recently and decided to contact me.
We talked the trade picture book business for a good while, talked about what he's working on, talked about what I'm working on. I have most of Floyd's books — Grandpa's Face, African Beginnings, I Have Heard of a Land — too many books to mention in one blog. And he's illustrated for just about every author of note — Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, Nikki Grimes, James Haskins. It was so cool to sit back and chat with someone who has already done all the things I can only hope to accomplish someday. Once I got past the initial shaky voice syndrome, I...er, we had a great conversation.
I'm honored he contacted me. When I told the wife, she screamed and said, "If you're friends with Floyd Cooper!, I'm friends with Floyd Cooper, too!"
Sit down, woman.