Best moment of the book festival!
It happened to be a short conversation with a nine year old (let’s call her Emma —not her real name) waiting for me to sign her copy of my book.

JpT: You chose an owl bookmark. You’re going to meet an owl like that one in the story. His name is Mandwar.
Emma: (Said not a word, but looked at me with a sparkle in her eye.)
JpT: What do you like about fantasy? (I know. Bad question.)
Emma: Harry. (More sparkles.)
JpT: Ahhh…
Emma: I like adventure.
JpT: There’s an adventure in this book.
Emma: (Her eyes lit up with a dancing universe full of expectation of unexplored worlds.)
JpT: (Touched to the heart, I smiled broadly, signed the book with a message and handed Emma her new fantasy adventure.)
Emma: (She smiled—such expressive eyes! — clutched the promise of another world against her chest and trotted off.)
JpT: (To myself) How is it possible to have caught a glimpse of whole spinning worlds through one child’s eyes?!

I think I will remember this encounter for a long, long time. I think
I will write with that much more care and enthusiasm for the privilege of sharing created worlds.

Thank you, Emma.