Joan Bauer was the guest speaker at a luncheon I went to yesterday and if you follow my blog you’ll know how much I was looking forward it. I was not disappointed. She was amazing. Her website is: http://www.joanbauer.com/. She’s had an interesting life.
You can access a list of her books here: http://www.joanbauer.com/jbbooks.html
Joan is a barrel full of energy. Unlike most author/speakers, before lunch she mingled with the librarians instead of staying insulated at the ‘big wig’ table. Unlike most author/speakers, she spoke for over an hour. Unlike most author/speakers, early on she abandoned her microphone so she could walk around untethered because she cannot stand still. According to her, she comes from a long line of story tellers and she is full of stories.
So, of course Joan started with a story. She said a neighbor came over to borrow a cup of sugar. With sugar in hand the neighbor headed towards the door and then turned around and said “You’re my hero.” Joan continued that the media has made heroism something small and, in many ways, meaningless. For example, if a football receiver catches a great pass for a touchdown, he’s a hero.
But Joan disagrees. You don’t become a hero over sugar or touchdowns. Rather, she thinks that real, true heroism is within each of us for meeting and overcoming life’s challenges. Her books try to instill that in readers, without preaching, without fable-type morals.
She also said that there is a piece of her in every book. Her books explore, in some fashion, things that are going on in her life that she must come to terms with. I found that intriguing.
There is so much more Joan talked about; much too much to outline here. However, while I loved her writing before hearing her speak, I have a new respect for her and her craft. I look forward to reading, again, Close to Famous, hoping to find that piece of Joan in the book.