I Met the Rotten Ralph Guy!

About two weeks ago, still emerging from the fog of flu, my daughter tells me that she mentioned to a member of her gym that I was writing a book about her. The man responded that he was a writer too and was kind enough to give my daughter his email address which she promptly gave to me. You have to understand; my daughter is a people-person, and just having me Google his name was not good enough for her. No, she wanted me to meet him – a real-life writer. I didn’t know any writers in Boston. So maybe …

But first I did that ridiculous internal back-and-forth argument with myself. Would I be too pushy? Too self-serving? Too … Oh heck, I reasoned, what’s the worst that can happen, right? Right, I thought. Onward! I Googled his name, Jack Gantos, which sounded a little familiar; then my bravery evaporated. Poof! Jack Gantos, is the author of the Rotten Ralph children’s’ storybook series. (He’s written much more.) Rotten Ralph, the first book in the series, was a bedtime favorite of our two younger children! (Our oldest was more of a Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel generation child. )

My daughter remembered the book vividly, and that started a cascade of nightly inquiries. “So, did you send Jack an email?” Every night, the same question. She wasn’t letting this go.

Reading Jack’s very impressive curriculum vitae, CV (look it up) didn’t help my apprehension.

Well, I took the plunge and sent him an email. He replied right away and agreed to meet me at a coffee shop this morning.

I have to say; I’m still pumped up from our meeting. Jack was so kind and generous with his time and advice. I savored every moment he spent talking to me about writing. And the best part- he thought I had a great memoir story to write. The challenge will be to make the writing as good as the story. Easy, right? Oh God! I can’t go down that self-doubt road now. Not today. I’m still thrilled and want to hold on to that feeling as long as I can.


    • admin

      I know Diane. He was charming. Just found out he was on the board of the oldest private library in the country. The Boston Atheneum. It was where I wrote part of the first draft of my memoir. You have to check out the place it’s amazing.

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