Ridley Pearson is the author of The Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers series for young readers. Earlier this week, our local library system brought him in for a combination speaking engagement/book signing. I took the evening off so I could see him speak.

The thing that impressed me most was that Mr. Pearson took the time before the event started to go around the room shaking hands with everyone who was in the room early and thanking them for coming (there was still a line outside in the hall to purchase books for him to sign afterward). Later on, I overheard one woman say that when they arrived, he was out in front of the library greeting people. I got the impression as the night went on that he really values his readers.

Mr. Pearson spoke for a little over an hour, relating a few stories from early in his writing career and his time playing in the Rockbottom Remainders with Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan and others. He also spent time talking about the two series (mentioned above) that he’s already completed for young readers, and a new series about Sherlock Holmes and his rival Moriarty set in a British boarding school.

Most of Mr. Pearson’s presentation inspired me, but I was a little daunted when he said that before he published his first book he’d spent 4-5 years writing six hours a day. I mean, I struggle to get 30-45 minutes during the week, and maybe six hours combined over a weekend. All in all, I’m glad I took the time to attend his presentation. I came out of it with a very high opinion of him as both a writer and a human being.